Month: November 2015

Book Review: “The Lake House” by Kate Morton

Book Review: “The Lake House” by Kate Morton

This is a new favorite for me. Everything about this book was beautifully crafted, from the cover to the last page.

Sadie is a police detective in London who’s being forced to take leave because she talked to a reporter about an active case. She decides to visit her grandfather who has moved to Cornwall following the death of his wife. One morning, while out jogging with her grandfather’s dogs, she comes upon the Lake House. Her curiosity piqued, she learns that the house was vacated by the owners 70 years previously after a family tragedy. The only son of the family, only 2 years old at the time, disappears during a party and no one knows what happened to him. Since she can’t go back to work yet, Sadie decides to launch an investigation into the mystery of Theo’s disappearance.

As you’ve probably guessed, I loved this book. There’s mysteries within mysteries. The characters are complex and appealing. Sadie, in particular, captured my imagination. She’s a skilled detective but vulnerable to her emotions and haunted by her past, a past she must come to terms with during her investigation. This story is more than just a mystery though. It’s a journey into the heart of relationships and commitments, and how one choice can reverberate through time. There is a richness to this story that made it a true pleasure to read and I highly recommend it, not just to mystery lovers, but to all lovers of good fiction. Thank you to Kate Morton for enriching my reading experience with this wonderful story.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “A Monster Chase” by Marion Stahl

Book Review: “A Monster Chase” by Marion Stahl

I found this book very disappointing. From the description, I expected this to be a story exposing a major problem, physician prosecution, in the healthcare industry. While the book did tell the story of one physician who was maliciously prosecuted, the story itself was not well written enough to be worth my time. The writing was choppy and many of the conversations between characters just didn’t flow well or make sense. The characters had no depth and the descriptive passages were written in a very juvenile way. This book is a good idea but not well executed.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Face of Our Father” by G. Egore Pitir

Book Review: “Face of Our Father” by G. Egore Pitir

This is a complex story that will force you to rethink. Stu and Angie have been married for 25 years and raised two children, but something seems to have gone out of their relationship. Stu suspects Angie is keeping secrets and it’s tearing him apart. Kashir, Hosaam, and Abbud have been trained by their Mullah in Afghanistan to hate and wage war against Americans, but are their motives simply a matter of training and can they follow through with the slaughter of innocents? Uday is a prince of The Realm but behind the glitz and glamour is a monster waiting to be unleashed. The author expertly takes us through the lives of these people, digging deep into their motivations and relationships, and exploring how far they are willing to go for their cause. The story is very complex but perfectly written. This is the author’s first book and it is stunning. I would recommend it to any adult reader, as long as you’re willing to be open-minded.

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Book Review: “Atlantic Island” by Fredric Shernoff

Book Review: “Atlantic Island” by Fredric Shernoff

Theo and his friends are just teenagers who want to spend a weekend at the Jersey Shore. Their biggest concern is how to talk to girls, assuming they even get one to notice them. They’re not scholars, just average Joes, looking forward to their final year of high school. When a car full of cute girls passes them on the highway they can only hope to run into them again. The boys can’t believe their luck when they and the girls all end up at the same pizza joint for dinner. Then, while walking and enjoying the evening air the whole world changes. A huge storm rolls over the island and the friends will soon find out that Atlantic City is now just an island with no other land or civilization in sight. This group will have to grow up fast as a vicious dictator takes over and Theo suddenly finds himself leading a rebellion.

This book will draw you in fast and keep you engaged until the very end. I love that Theo and his friends are just ordinary kids. No superstars or superheroes here. No magical powers flowing through their veins. They must become creative and resourceful in order to make a life for themselves in this new reality, and they must stay true to each other. This is an alternate reality, apocalyptic story with great characters and plenty of action. The story will probably be most attractive to teens and young adults because the heroes are teenagers but there’s plenty here for readers of all ages. This is the first book in a series and does leave you with unanswered questions. There are some descriptions of violence that may not be appropriate for sensitive readers but overall a very good read.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Dark of the Moon” by John Sandford

Book Review: “Dark of the Moon” by John Sandford

“Dark of the Moon” is Book 1 of John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series. Virgil work for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His boss is Sandford’s Lucas Davenport. In this first installment, Virgil is on the case of a serial killer whose victims are all residents of Bluestem, MN. Bill Judd, Sr. is the first victim and as the case develops it all seems to revolve around him. While working on the Judd case, Virgil uncovers a methamphetamine ring based in a religious compound. Virgil finds himself with way too many suspects and not some pretty vague clues. Will he be able to unwind this twisty knot?

This book was full of action and thrills but you’ll need your thinking cap on to follow all the twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it took me a few chapters to warm up to Virgil. He’s a rebel but not in the “fly in the face of authority” way. Virgil is persistent in his pursuit and his quirky habit of reviewing a case but thinking about it as a story was a unique take on the investigative process.
Mystery and thrill lovers will enjoy this book but I don’t think it’s appropriate for younger readers as there are some graphic scenes throughout. I will definitely be reading more in this series.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Beacon” by Jonathan C. Gillespie

Book Review: “Beacon” by Jonathan C. Gillespie

The universe has been reduced to a grouping of spaceships gathered around a star they call Beacon. The remnants of the races live here but reproduction has ceased among all of them. It’s been 20 years since a child was born. Then twenty-year old Tersias and nineteen-year old Mally find out that Mally is pregnant. Within hours all the remnants of civilization have their eyes on this pregnancy. A grand celebration is planned, but will all go as intended?

This short story is the first in a series. I really enjoyed this one and hope to read part 2 soon. I particularly liked the characters of Tersias and Mally. Even though the short story format doesn’t allow for a huge amount of character development, I found these two totally likable. They were totally overwhelmed by all the attention but handled it with grace and calm. The occurrence at the end makes me especially curious to see where the author intends to go with the world he has created. I recommend “Beacon” for lovers or dabblers of sci-fi.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “Cold A Long Time” by John Leake

Book Review: “Cold A Long Time” by John Leake

This is the heart-breaking true story of the disappearance and death of Canadian hockey player Duncan MacPherson. “Cold A Long Time” tells the story of the 20 years that Duncan’s parents spent trying to find out what had happened to their son and the cover-up by authorities. In August of 1989 Duncan was traveling in Europe before taking up a coaching job in Scotland. He had been calling his mother on a regular basis but after missing a scheduled call time his parents began to be concerned. Then they received a call that he had never arrived in Scotland. No one could have imagined how difficult it would be for them to find out what their son’s fate had been.

John Leake expertly relates the MacPherson’s story, the obstacles they faced, and the strength and determination they showed in persisting with their search for answers. I found the story thoroughly engaging and really felt for the MacPherson’s and their heartbreak and frustration. This book would be an obvious choice for a hockey fan, but any lover of true stories would also enjoy this book. It may not be suitable for younger audiences as there are some difficult pictures of the body near the end. All in all a good read.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review:”Stupidparty Math v. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy” by Patrick Andendall

Book Review:”Stupidparty Math v. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy” by Patrick Andendall

Political party bashing at its best! If you want a breakdown of all that is wrong with the Republican Party, than this is the book for you. Patrick Andendall is a disillusioned Republican who has written this book as a way of exposing all the ways that the Republicans are showing their stupidity. While I do not consider myself a Republican, and have many criticisms of the party, I nevertheless found this book to be a bit much. For one, I have never been a fan of name calling, though it seems to be the norm in politics, so the constant repetition of Stupidparty began to wear on my nerves after a while. That being said, the author has thoroughly researched his topic and has broken his argument down into well-organized topics. There are lots and lots of quotes, cartoons, and graphics to further support his arguments. I appreciate the work that went into this, and would have to say that I think the author is right in his views, but this is definitely a book for someone who is more of a political junkie than I am.

Happy Reading!

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“The Accidental Exorcist” by Joshua Graham

“The Accidental Exorcist” by Joshua Graham

This is a short story which I picked as my Halloween night read. I was not disappointed. In this story a psychiatric doctor, who consults with authorities on insanity cases, is confronted by an accused woman who is unlike any defendant she has encountered before. The defendant shifts easily from a sweet, charming mother into a raging demon and back again. Before she realizes what is happening, our doctor finds herself in the role of exorcist. This story is graphic in its descriptions of demonic activity so may not be appropriate for younger kids.

Coming in at around 30 pages this scary story was like a piece of Halloween candy, quick to eat but oh, so delicious going down. Next time you need to run a little chill down your spine, check out “The Accidental Exorcist”.

Happy Reading!

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