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Bobbewig (New Jersey, USA)
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The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart 1)
The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart 1)
by Saul Black
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting And Engrossing But Definitely Not For The Squeamish!, 29 Oct. 2015
The Killing Lessons is the debut crime thriller by Saul Black (the pseudonym of Glen Duncan who has written some novels about werewolves), and it is a book that will grab your attention from the opening page and, for the most part, keep you turning the pages at a fast pace throughout.

I won't spend time providing a plot summary as this can be found in the Amazon Book Description above. I'll just say that the plot pertains primarily to two of the most psychopathic, violent serial killers you've probably ever come across in your thriller readings who travel around the country killing young women in a horribly sexually violent manner, and to the troubled female detective obsessed with capturing these killers. These killers in some ways make Hannibal Lecter seem tame and in control. Be forewarned that author Saul Black is quite graphic in describing these murders.

In addition to the plot being well-developed, the author does a well-above average job in developing his characters and in making the reader understand the mindsets of the killers, the female protagonist, as well as some of the more secondary characters, and particularly of the young girl who escapes from the killers. Further, overall, Saul Black does a very good job in telling his story from alternating viewpoints, settings and time periods -- although, at times, this "jumping around" made this reader work a little harder than I would have liked in order to follow everything that was going on.

While I, personally, didn't have a problem (at least a big problem) with Black's narrative style, you should be aware that he spares no words in making sure the reader fully understands why the characters act and think the way they do, as well as in making sure the reader has a vivid picture of the various settings in which the plot unfolds. As a consequence of this writing style, I won't be surprised if some readers will, at times, find his narrative to be too wordy and repetitive.

Further, I also won't be surprised if some readers at times feel that the actions of some characters require a suspension of disbelief; although this is something I've have come to expect in many thrillers and, as such, it did not in any way detract from my enjoyment of The Killing Lessons. As a matter of fact, if Black is planning a sequel to The Killing Lessons or another book that features his main character, Detective Valerie Hart, I will be one of the first on line to get a copy it.

Blueberry Pet Christmas Santa Claus's Reindeer Holiday Season Dog Collar with Detachable Bow Tie, Neck 30cm-40cm, Small, Holiday Collars for Dogs
Blueberry Pet Christmas Santa Claus's Reindeer Holiday Season Dog Collar with Detachable Bow Tie, Neck 30cm-40cm, Small, Holiday Collars for Dogs
Offered by Blueberry Pet UK
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Attractive, Festive And Well-Made At A Very Reasonable Price!, 28 Oct. 2015
While I didn't think it possible, the reindeer-designed Christmas collar from Blueberry Pet has made my little (well, not so little) French Bulldog, Luigi, even more handsome! I selected the collar in size medium for my 34 lb. fur boy and it fits very well, is easily adjustable and is very well-constructed. Plus, its three-layered, multi-colored bow tie quite eye-catching and appealing. This collar is well-worth the money and will make a nice gift for your dog with the Christmas Holidays being not too far away.

I received a sample of this collar from Blueberry Pet in return for an honest, unbiased opinion, and it is a product I highly recommend to you for your dog.
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Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas
Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas
by Edward Klein
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £7.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Informative, Insightful Expose!, 28 Oct. 2015
Edward Klein once again demonstrates his ability to write a highly informative and insightful expose of our nation's leaders. In Blood Feud, Klein uses his highly regarded reporting skills and his strong access to sources close to the Clintons and the Obamas to provide a no-holds barred expose pertaining to the mutual dislike, if not loathing, between the two leading families within the Democratic party.

Now, as the Clintons attempt to maneuver their way back into the White House, Blood Feud provides some key insights on the political spectacle to come during the 2016 Presidential election.

Specifically, some areas in which you'll gain insights in Blood Feud include, but are not limited to, the following:
...The “deal”: why Bill Clinton supported Barack Obama for reelection—and why he feels betrayed
...How the one—and only—White House dinner between the Obamas and the Clintons was fraught with tension and contempt
...Benghazi: how Barack Obama set up Hillary Clinton to take the blame and why she agreed to go along with (i.e., lie about) the initial cover-up
...The secret Hillary Clinton is keeping that could make it impossible for her to be president
...The very serious medical conditions Hillary has had for several years, and that Bill in particular has, that have mostly gone unreported in the media
...How the true power behind president Obama is not Michelle, but her close friend Valerie Jarrett, who sets the administration's policies and personnel
......Why Michelle Obama's political ambitions could rival Hillary Clinton's
...How not just Bill and Hillary, but Barack and Michelle, lead largely separate lives, and
...The Oprah factor: how she was used by the Obamas—and stroked by the Clintons.

Regardless, of your political affiliations and your personal feeling about the Clintons and Obamas, Blood Feud is a book well worth reading for the insights you might glean about these two leading "first" families, and about the woman who might be our next president -- and the man who views

Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary
Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary
by Edward Klein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.22

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Insightful Read!, 12 Oct. 2015
Edward Klein in Unlikeable, once again uses his no-holds-barred style of writing and his strong ability to accurately interpret the facts and information obtained from his "in-the-know sources" to provide readers with a very insightful expose into Hillary Clinton. Whichever way you lean politically, Unlikeable is a book all readers should read who are willing to have an open mind about the type of person the woman who could be the next president is.

If you weren't already among the many people who feel Hillary Clinton is unlikeable and, more importantly, untrustworthy, those who read Klein's expose with an open mind will come to learn that Hillary entered the 2016 presidential campaign with a boatload of baggage -- including a tissue-thin resume as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, a mountain of scandals, widespread Clinton fatigue, a reputation for mendacity, no clear rationale for her candidacy, a brawler's reputation for foreign interventions and a very forbidding personality.

Further, without going into detail, Klein makes the reader abundantly aware of several other facts that generally go unmentioned in the media, including, but not limited to: (1) the intense dislike of Hillary's (and Bill's) towards the Obamas and the Obamas' at-least-as-strong dislike of the Clintons' (e.g., one way Klein makes this evident is by Obama and his staff giving the FBI tacit approval to proceed with the Hillary private email server investigation; an issue, by the way, Obama --despite his public denials -- has known about throughout her period as Secretary of State); (2) Hillary's and Bill's use of the Clinton Foundation in unethical, if not illegal, ways; (3) Hillary's and Bill's serious health issues; and (4) Hillary's long-term knowledge of Bill's sexual exploits long before the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which she has been willing to condone and use to her advantage in exchange for Bill using his political connections and providing his political savvy to foster her ambition to be the president.

Klein also points out that, through his research with many people who are/were ardent Hillary defenders, the arguments in support for Hillary being president boil down to three main points; and for each Klein presents an insightful point of view as to why these arguments are flawed. I'll leave it to you, the potential reader, to find out what these three arguments and their counter-arguments are. Instead, I'll just state the fundamental question Klein posits that Americans should ask themselves when they decide on whom to select as their next president, which is: "Have our standards and morals declined to the point that we will elect someone who is so shameless that she lies without a tinge of guilt, and so untrustworthy that she engages in massive cover-ups?"

The Amateur
The Amateur
Price: £10.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading -- But Probably Not Much New After Experiencing Over 6 1/2 Years Of Obama As President!, 8 Oct. 2015
This review is from: The Amateur (Kindle Edition)
If after having Obama as President for the past 6 1/2 years or so you think you know all you need to know about the type of person he is, perhaps you might want to rethink what you know -- or think you know -- and read Edward Klein's The Amateur. Admittedly, the time to have read this book was shortly after it was published in May, 2012, so that it perhaps could have given you food for thought regarding your decision to vote to (and not to) elect Obama to a second term as President.

The Amateur is not a straight reporting of facts about Obama, but rather it is based on facts and information Klein obtained from nearly 200 interviews of people from both inside and outside the White House who came to know Obama well -- or thought they did. To paraphrase from the jacket flap, The Amateur is Klein's expose that pulls back the curtain of one of the most secretive White Houses in history, and reveals Obama to be a callow, thin-skinned, arrogant president with messianic dreams of grandeur supported by a cast of true-believers, all of them united by leftist politics and an amateurish understanding of executive leadership. If this portrayal upsets you or if goes against your beliefs about Obama as president, then I highly recommend that you avoid reading this book -- unless you are willing to keep an open mind to reading about some things you might not have REALLY known.

Some of the things you'll get insight into in The Amateur are:
•Why the so-called “centrist” Obama is actually in revolt against the values of the society he was elected to lead
•Why Bill Clinton -- who originally referred to Obama as an "amateur-- loathes Barack Obama and tried to get Hillary to run against him in 2012,
•The spiteful rivalry between Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey
•How Obama split the Kennedy family
•How Obama has taken more of a personal role in making foreign policy than any president since Richard Nixon—with disastrous results
•How Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett are the real powers behind the White House throne.

Whether you are or are not in agreement with Klein's (and others, myself included) referring to the President as The Amateur, I'll provide the author's rationale for doing so to help you decide if "the shoe fits" or not:

"A president who is inept in the arts of management and governance, who doesn't learn form his mistakes, and who therefore repeats policies that make our economy less robust and our nation less safe. A man who blames all his problems on those with whom he disagrees ("Washington," "Republicans," "the media"), who discards old friends and supporters when they are no longer useful (Democrats, African-Americans, Jews), and who is so thin-skinned that he constantly complains about what people say and write about him. A person who derives no joy from the cut and thrust of politics, but who clings to the narcissistic life of the presidency."

I hope this review is of help in deciding if The Amateur is a book you'll want to read.

The Truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President
The Truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President
by Edward Klein
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Worth Reading!, 5 Oct. 2015
Keeping in mind that I read this book 10 years after it was written, I'm trying to keep my review based solely on what is presented by Edward Klein as "the truth" about Hillary, and not bring into it much of what has become known about her actions, decisions and personality during the past 10 years since its publication. Admittedly, this is not easy to do since "the Hillary" over the past 10 years mostly tears apart any doubts or skepticism I had about "the truth about Hillary" in Klein's book.

This books clearly demonstrates the extensive research and interviewing Klein and his staff did with many people who had close, personal and first-hand involvement with Hillary (and Bill) over the years, ranging from when they first met through the period leading up to the 1992 presidential election. In my opinion, Klein provides a very insightful perspective on the character (or lack thereof) of Hillary Clinton, and should have influence on potential readers (and voters) who are willing to keep an open mind about the woman who is possibly the next President of the US. On the other hand, those people who have been so mesmerized by the Clinton (and the Hillary) mystique over the years, and thus too blind to any longer be able to see her true character, should save themselves the effort of reading this book. The close-mindedness of these people will only result in those who read The Truth About Hillary viewing it to be a total hatchet job to "get" Hillary that is full of lies, and that the author is a "professional Clinton hater"; which seems to be borne out by many of the 187 1-star reader reviews posted to-date.

My question to these people would be if the book was so inaccurate in the material presented and was nothing more than an attempt at character assassination (which, to me, is ironic since the Hillary and Bill team are considered by many to be masters of character assassination), then why hadn't she sued for libel at the time this book was published?

Personally, while I recognize that Klein wrote this book with a slanted point of view, I consider it to be mostly factual and very insightful, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in broadening their perspective of Hillary. As a matter of fact, I plan to read Klein's recently released book about Hillary, titled Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary.

by Michael A. Draper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Attention-Holding Mystery!, 1 Oct. 2015
I've been an online friend of the author for quite some time, as we share a strong interest in mysteries and thrillers and I've selected many books to read based on his well-written reviews. So, when Michael Draper offered me a copy of his latest book to read and review, I was interested to see if he writes books as well as he writes helpful reviews.

Having now finished Three Strikes And You're Dead, I can honestly say that this mystery works very well in maintaining reader attention from beginning to end. Without going into detail about the book's plot, it centers around the efforts of a team of three relatively new private investigators and some law enforcement agencies to capture a disgruntled fan who is killing some of baseball's superstars when MLB suspends play due to a contract dispute. In addition to its interesting plot, Draper does a good job in creating some well-developed characters, and I hope he brings these characters back in future books.

Three Strikes And You're Out is a book I'd recommend to baseball fans who enjoy a good mystery or, actually, to anyone who enjoys an entertaining mystery, in general. That being said, Draper's second book is not flawless, but then again, how many books -- especially second efforts -- are flawless? Basically, I have two criticisms with this book but both of them are quite minor. One is that I, at times, had to suspend disbelief in regards to the ease with which the team of three relatively new private investigators' could uncover clues, leads and evidence relative to the much more experienced and larger law enforcement agencies. Further, I found the ending, while satisfying, to be a bit abrupt.

Nonetheless, as mentioned, Three Strikes And You're Dead is a fun read and Michael Draper is an author that deserves a large fan base.

The Nightingale
The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Most Emotionally Impactful Books I've Read In Quite A While!, 1 Oct. 2015
This review is from: The Nightingale (Paperback)
The following few lines from the Amazon book description hits the nail right on the head in terms of describing The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. "With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime."

Hannah does an excellent job of keeping the plot moving in an interesting and exciting, yet very disturbing, way. I found her characters and the settings she describes in The Nightingale to be so realistic that I felt that I was "right there" personally experiencing all of the hardships and tragedies -- and, a times, love -- that occurred during this period in history. Further, Hannah's writing style had me turning the pages at a very fast pace throughout the book; and by the time I got to the last 100 pages I couldn't put the book down at all.

Needless to say, The Nightingale is a book I highly recommend! In closing, let me reassure any men thinking about reading this book but are perhaps concerned about it being a "woman's book," that you could put your concerns to rest. The Nightingale is a book for everyone; everyone, that is, who is not concerned about reading a book that is very emotionally impactful.

The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog
The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog
by W Bruce Cameron
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars W. Bruce Cameron Scores Big Again!, 15 Sept. 2015
Although I didn't enjoy this author's past two books nearly as much as A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey -- which I consider to be two of my all-time favorite books -- Cameron's The Dog Master has me, once again , considering him to be one of my favorite authors. While I found A Dog's Purpose And A Dog's Journey to be more-emotionally charged books, The Dog Master, for me, is much more expansive in its scope; and it in many ways reminded me of Jean Auel's The Clanf Of The Cave Bear.

Without summarizing it's plot, I'll just quote from the Amazon Description provided above to, hopefully, give you enough of a sense of what The Dog Master is about to enable you to decide if it is a book you might want to read -- that is, "it is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog."

The Dog Master is a book I'd highly recommend...and not just to dog lovers. Actually, while wolves (one of which becomes the first dog) are central to the book's tale, the primary focus of The Dog Master is on a few clans of nomadic people. And Cameron does an excellent job in dimensionalizing the large cast of characters that live within these clans so that the reader comes to develop strong feelings and opinions about them. Of particular interest to me is the character, Mal, who is responsible for a wolf becoming the first dog, and, of course, the wolf itself that becomes "Dog." I think you will find that several of these characters will stay in your mind a good while after you finish the book.

Unlike many books I read, my attention level while reading The Dog Master never waned, remaining in high gear from beginning to end. As such, I never wanted it to end - but the good thing is that it seems highly likely that Cameron has a sequel planned. If that is the case, I will be one of the first to get a copy; and I think you'll feel the same way if you decide to read The Dog Master.

The Racketeer
The Racketeer
by John Grisham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time And Money!, 25 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Racketeer (Paperback)
Prior to reading The Racketeer, I've been a fan of John Grisham since The Firm was published and enjoyed -- though to varying degrees -- all of the many books of his that I read, but one. Now, after finishing The Racketeer, it becomes the second Grisham that I disliked.

I won't spend time offering a summary of this book since this can be found in the Amazon Book Description above and in many reader reviews. Instead, this review will focus on why I was disappointed in it and, thus, why it is not a book I'd recommend you rush out to read.

In fairness to Grisham, my problem with The Racketeer had nothing to do with his writing style, as Grisham does a good job in moving the book along at a pretty fast-paced, easy to read manner. As such, I never felt that the book dragged or was boring. Rather, my problems with The Racketeer stem from two factors: 1) without getting into specifics and run the risk of providing spoilers, the scheme on which the plot is based is almost totally preposterous; and 2) none of the characters are credible to me, nor are any of them likable; resulting in my not caring what happened to any of them.

While I am usually very liberal in my willingness to suspend disbelief when reading a thriller, The Racketeer, despite its moving along at a fast pace, pushed me well beyond my limits in this area. As a consequence, although it was readable for me, it is not recommendable. I hope this review is helpful in deciding if The Racketeer is a book for you.

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