Month: August 2018

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

“The Reapers” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall

Circumstances have changed for Charlie Parker since he lost his PI’s license. Meanwhile, Angel and Louis are faced with a potentially fatal decision. Someone is coming after them by targeting their business interests and the people that they care about. Tracking down the person behind it all brings Louis back in contact with a key figure from his past and puts them all in danger. Louis and Angel are out-numbered and out-maneuvered until a faithful friend contacts Charlie to come to the rescue. The question is, who will still be standing when the smoke clears away?

Book 7 in the Charlie Parker series is different from the previous books in that the story focuses on Louis and Angel more than on Charlie. In this one we get to learn a lot about Louis and Angel’s history and their relationship with each other. We meet some of the characters at the periphery of their lives, like the mechanic that Louis saved from ruin and who is infinitely loyal in return. I really enjoyed the opportunity to understand these two pivotal characters better. I did however miss Charlie as he really doesn’t show up until the middle of the book, but I liked the role reversal here where Charlie is the back-up man instead of the lead. The story itself is one you really have to pay attention to as these guys have lived very complicated lives. I think the change of focus in this book really shows the creativity of the author and his skill at developing multiple characters simultaneously.  Finally, George Guidall, as narrator, has once again delivered a stellar performance.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

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Weekly Round-Up 8/26/2018

Welcome to the Round-Up! If you were here last week, you know that I was starting a new full-time job this week and wasn’t sure how that would impact my reading. As it turned out, I haven’t had as much time for reading but I have been able to do a lot of listening while I work. So while I didn’t finish any print books, I did manage to finish 2 audiobooks and start a 3rd. Let’s get into the details.

TBR – Lucky for me, Audible was having a 2 for 1 sale last Sunday and I took advantage of that, picking up 2 books. I finished one print book and the 2 audiobooks. Those reviews should be up soon. Total TBR today is 268.

Goodreads Challenge – Unfortunately, I am still 2 books behind schedule on this one.

NetGalley score – Still at 85%. I think I’ll be stuck here forever.

John Connolly Challenge – One of the audiobooks I finished is “The Reapers” which gets me about halfway through the series as it stands now.

Coming Up – I am currently reading “Queens of Georgian Britian” by Catherine CurzonQueens of Georgian Britain and “One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson.One Man's Meat I am listening to a history selection called “American Nations” by Colin Woodard.American Nations My reviews of “The Reapers”The Reapers and “No Cure for the Dead”No Cure for the Dead should be going up in the next couple of days. Reaching the top soon will be the audiobook of “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate MortonThe Forgotten Garden and “Regina Diana” by Vivien Newman.Regina Diana

And just in case your wondering, the new job is going really well. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Happy Reading!

 

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins – Audiobook

Narrated by Laura Aikman, Imogen Church, Daniel Weyman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred

From the author of “The Girl on the Train” comes another page turner of a mystery. Lena is 15 and her single mother has just been found dead in The Drowning Pool. This pool has seen several suicides in its history and everyone assumes that this is another in the line of women who have killed themselves by jumping in. Lena is convinced that her mother did not commit suicide and the policewoman Erin, recently transferred from London, also finds the idea of suicide to be questionable. As Erin begins to look into the case she finds herself uncovering all kinds of dark secrets that the townspeople are hiding.

This rural community is a treasure trove of psychological angst. It seems that everybody has a secretand some of them are barely contained. And I was so drawn into this story that I listened to the whole book, 11 ½ hours, in just 2 days. The structure of the story is similar to her first book in that it is told by several different people, sometimes in the present and sometimes in the past. I found this format a little challenging in the beginning because there is not much to indicate the transition from one character to another, except the change in voice. I found myself a couple of times getting distracted and missing the transition but was able to quickly get back on track. That being said I thought all the narrators were great. Their interpretation of the characters was excellent. The story itself is full of twists that kept me guessing till the end. There is some physical action in the story but the suspense really comes from the psychological aspects of the story. A couple of these people are really messed up and none of them seem to have truly functional relationships. Lena’s teenage angst mixed with the trauma of losing her mother is just perfectly written. Overall, I found this to be a riveting story with exceptional characters and a really top-notch narration. Don’t miss out on this one, whether in print or audio.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Weekly Round-Up 8/19/2018

Good morning all! I have a bit of news today. I will be starting a new job on Tuesday, which I’m very excited about, but I’m going to be losing some of my reading time. So, I will be posting reviews but they may not be quite as frequent. As for the weather, we are having a rainy day here in North Dakota, a sure sign that fall is not to far away. Let’s take a look at the numbers for this week.

TBR – I finished reading 2 books this week and I did not add any to the list. The total is now 269!

Goodreads Challenge – I am 2 books behind schedule this week.

NetGalley Score – Still at 85%.

John Connolly Challenge – I am 75% through “The Reapers” audiobook.

Coming Up – I finished “No Cure for the Dead” by Christine TrentNo Cure for the Dead last night and I’ll be getting that review up today or tomorrow. I will probably also have my review of “The Reapers” up sometime this coming week.The Reapers I am currently reading “Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine CurzonQueens of Georgian Britain and after that I will be visiting Flaxborough again with “One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson.One Man's Meat

Well, wish me luck on my new endeavor and I’ll check in again next week.

Happy Reading!

 

“Maladies & Medicine” by Jennifer Evans & Sara Read

“Maladies & Medicine” by Jennifer Evans & Sara Read

Exploring Health & Healing 1540-1740

Calling all medical historians! I have a little gem here for you. In “Maladies & Medicine” the authors explore the most common complaints of this early modern period and what type of treatments were available to patients at the time. The book is organized in a similar way to how the medical textbooks of the time were arranged. There are four parts, head complaints, abdominal maladies, whole body ailments, and reproductive maladies. Each part is then broken down into common ailments such as headaches, disorderly bowels, gout, and greensickness. While the chapters are relatively short, they are full of information often using quotes from medical texts of the time to explain the maladies and their treatments. Some of these ailments we find have disappeared in our time, smallpox, for instance, while others continue into modern times.

I found this book to be very interesting. It was well organized and covered a wide variety of medical maladies. It is in places a bit gross and I wouldn’t recommend reading this while eating. I also thought that some of the treatments that patients were willing to endure were quite shocking. In addition to the herbal type remedies you would expect from this time period, there were also treatments involving cow dung, and earthworms appeared far too often for my taste. Finally, I appreciated that the authors took the time at the beginning of the book to delineate what the theories of medicine were at the time and how those theories affected the way that doctors treated their patients.  A fascinating and well-presented piece of history.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Weekend at Thrackley” by Alan Melville

“Weekend at Thrackley” by Alan Melville

When Jim Henderson receives and invitation to a weekend party at Thrackley Manor in rural Surrey, he has no idea how it will change his life. Henderson finds himself as one of a party of six being hosted by the reclusive and mysterious Edwin Carson. Carson is known to be a jewel collector and everyone but Jim is dripping with them making Jim wonder why he was invited. Then he meets Carson’s daughter Mary and discovers that the chauffeur is really an undercover Scotland Yard man sent there to investigate Carson. Will Henderson and his friend be able uncover the truth, will the guests ever be allowed to leave the house, and does Mary like Jim as much as he likes her?

This book has been re-published as part of the British Library Crime Classics. Set in the 1930’s this is a charming little mystery. Jim Henderson is a handsome and appealing young man with a mind for details and an insatiable curiosity. Though not from a privileged background, he behaves like a perfect gentleman. Mary Carson is a bit of a mystery in the beginning but her courage is the key to unlocking this mystery. I thought the author did a great job of creating the atmosphere for this mystery. His descriptions take the reader right into the house and gardens and keeps you engaged. The story moved at a very comfortable pace and I had some difficulty putting this one down. This is a great example of the classic British crime novel.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 8/12/2018

Another Sunday, another round-up. It’s been blistering hot here in North Dakota this week and I turned over another birthday. But have I managed to do any reading this week? Let’s look and see.

TBR – I read 2 books this week and added 1 leaving a new total of 271. Hmmm…I thought I’d done better than that.

Goodreads Challenge – I am 2 books behind schedule.

NetGalley Score – Still at 85%.

John Connolly Challenge – No progress on this one.

Coming Up – I am currently reading “Maladies & Medicine” by Jennifer Evans & Sara Read.Maladies and Medicine After that I’ll be reading “No Cure for the Dead” by Christine TrentNo Cure for the Dead and then “Queens of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon.Queens of Georgian Britain

So that’s the update for the week. Thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and a hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy Reading!

“Fatal Evidence” by Helen Barrell

“Fatal Evidence” by Helen Barrell

Professor Alfred Swaine Taylor & the Dawn of Forensic Science

Attention CSI fans! This book is for you. Helen Barrell gives readers the opportunity to uncover the very beginnings of forensic science. We take it for granted nowadays that poison can be detected with a blood test, that stomach contents can be analyzed to help determine cause of death, and that autopsies are routinely performed. But where did all this testing get it’s start? Professor Alfred Swaine Taylor, a British physician and scientist in the 1800’s, was a pivotal figure in the development of forensic science. In fact, he wrote the textbook on the subject. The author, in this book, documents Taylor’s life from his birth till his death and skillfully recounts the cases he participated in which pushed forward the science of jurisprudence.

I found this book to very well written and in such a way that is approachable and easy to follow for even a casual reader. Taylor’s passion for his work is evident throughout the book. One of things I most liked about Taylor is that he wasn’t in it for the accolades he received but because he genuinely wanted to improve the science both for the improvement of public health and the prosecution of crime. I was also impressed by how often he used collaborators as a check to his own conclusions. This is a fascinating look at an easily forgotten key figure in the field of forensics. I highly recommend.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

A Jane Hawk Novel #3

Looking for non-stop action? Look no further. Reading a Jane Hawk book is like riding a roller-coaster, in a good way. Jane is still hot on the trail of the conspirators who are taking over people’s minds. As she gets closer, the danger begins to spread to those closest to her. But Jane has a way to turn the tables. Armed with the mind control device, Jane uses one of their own against the conspirators and unravels some of their darkest secrets. Meanwhile, those being controlled continue to wreak havoc, and Jane’s son is hidden from view. Can Jane bring these people down, or will they get to her and her loved ones first?

This continues to be a compelling series that feels like it’s all too real. Jane is like a one-man army as she continues to undermine the organization while staying just under their radar. We get to know her son a little more in this book and he is a great kid. As usual, there is a cast of side characters, good and bad, who make Jane’s work possible. I especially enjoyed the Shukla twins in this one. I continue to be surprised by the complexity of the plot in these books. Dean Koontz is a best-selling author for good reason. His stories are carefully crafted and his characters are well-developed and believable. I am a huge fan of this series and can’t wait for book 4 later this year.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“In Pursuit of Dragons” by Anne Renwick

“In Pursuit of Dragons” by Anne Renwick

An Elemental Web Tale Book 4

Dragons, Steampunk, Romance, Sword Fights! What more could you ask for in a fantasy book? “In Pursuit of Dragons” is the latest installment from Anne Renwick. In this one we have Russian born Natalia who was forced into a loveless marriage and locked away in a castle in Scotland. This is intended to protect her and the dragon under her care. Now she is alone and dragon hunters are battering down the door. Suddenly, a man from the past appears, but does he bring hope for the future or is danger following his every step?

Let’s just start with the cover, because I just love this one. The colors on this one really caught my eye and drew me in to the story. Characters: Natalia is so likeable and I couldn’t help but be sympathetic of her situation. She’s also a mighty warrior when it comes to protecting her own and she’s not willing to be pushed around by men anymore. Luke is handsome, charming and determined to be with Natalia. Kia is my favorite character in this story. She is fiercely protective when she needs to be but also very loving. I found the story to be original and innovative. There are some very interesting twists throughout and I had a really hard time putting this down. Anne Renwick has once again created a story that is charming and romantic and full of fascinating science references. I have yet to be disappointed by this author and look forward to many more.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website