Month: December 2018

“Past Tense” by Lee Child

“Past Tense” by Lee Child

What I don’t understand is why I have waited so long to pick up a book by Lee Child. Once again I am late to the party, but fortunately, I did not miss out on all the fun. “Past Tense” is the most recent installment in the Jack Reacher series. Jack has decided to leave Maine and head for San Diego but his ride only gets him to New Hampshire. When he finds himself close to the small town where his father grew up he decides to make a detour and check it out. It pretty quickly becomes apparent that his presence in town has stirred up quite a big hornet’s nest. The cops want him out of town but Jack is determined to get answers to his questions.

I knew I was going to like Jack Reacher from the moment I met him. He’s a bit of a misfit but he lives according to his own rules and is not easily persuaded once he sets his mind to something. Jack is a big guy and very intimidating if he’s not on your side in a fight. He’s the kind of guy that I would love to know. I also found the companion characters in this story to be a really great mix, my favorite would have to be the Rev. He’s a very quirky character (and you know I love quirky), at times afraid of his own shadow but always there when you need him. I really enjoyed the pacing of the story ranging from somewhat calm to bracing action, from coffee shop conversation to raging infernos. This story just hit all of the elements I love. A bit of history, some genealogy, really bad guys up to no good, thrills, mystery and action. Definitely a home run and a series that is going on my TBR.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connolly

“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connolly

Narrated by Peter Giles

Mickey Haller #5

Mickey has received a call about a murder case. What he doesn’t realize at first is that the victim is a former client of his. A prostitute, who he thought he had helped get out of the life. Now she is dead and he realizes that she had secrets he knew nothing about, and one of them may have gotten her killed. Her manager is the accused but Mickey thinks that he’s too obvious as a suspect and is probably completely innocent. Mickey and his team soon find themselves digging into a complex web of lies that puts their lives in danger.

So this is my first dip into the Mickey Haller series, though I’ve been interested in it for a long time. This is another one that I picked up on the Audible Daily Deal and it was definitely a good choice. Mickey Haller is handsome and easily recognizable when he’s out and about. But his reputation is a little bit questionable. He stills work out of his Lincoln but he’s put together a top-notch support team that are committed to winning cases. I couldn’t help but like the whole team and their devotion to Mickey. This case was really a fascinating one. I found myself going back and forth in my opinion of the manager’s guilt or innocence. There were lots of plot twists and surprises both in the case and in Mickey’s personal life. Finally, the narration of this story is excellent. I enjoyed Peter Giles’s voice and he didn’t over characterize but let the drama of the story come out naturally. This one is a winner in my book and I will be looking for more of the books in this series.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Ex-Wife” by Jess Ryder

“The Ex-Wife” by Jess Ryder

Narrated by Annette Chown

Natasha is a beautiful young woman who has recently married a dreamboat of a man, who is also hopelessly devoted to her. They have just given birth to a daughter, live in a mansion and she has everything she could ever want. But the dreamboat has and ex-wife who is constantly stealing the joy from her life and seems to be there every time she turns around. Then one day her daughter disappears and her whole world changes. Can she possibly pull her life back from the edge and get her daughter back?

This thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. You can’t help but like Natasha and admire her commitment to her husband and daughter. She wants the kind of life that she didn’t have growing up with a single mother and who can blame her. But the ex acts like she still lives in the house. The husband appears to be devoted but there just something not quite genuine about him. These are some wonderful characters. The story has all kinds of twists and turns and enough psychological drama to keep an office full of therapists busy. I loved it! I listened to the Audible audiobook version and it is expertly narrated by Annette Chown. You really should not miss this one.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

Lady Wainwright rules over Belting Manor with an iron hand. Her elder sons Hugh & David have both been killed in the war and she’s left with her two younger sons, who she finds to be perpetually disappointing. Also in the household is her orphaned nephew, who is now 19 and has just returned from college on a break. Lady Wainwright’s health is starting to fail and the brothers are hanging around out of habit and a desire to not be written out of the will. But then a stranger shows up claiming to be David, returned from years in a Russian prison camp. Everybody is skeptical except Lady Wainwright. Hugh sends his nephew to London to find people that knew David and will be able to expose him as an imposter. When the mystery is finally solved you will be surprised.

My work for this book is charming. The story is told by the nephew as narrator and he is delightful. The story is carefully crafted to move at a fully engaging pace with fascinating people and conversations. The number of family secrets seems limitless and there is more than one skeleton hidden in the closets of Belting Manor. I was quite frankly, surprised by how much I enjoyed story. A great example of a British crime story and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

First Aid Beauty – Face Cleanser

First Aid Beauty – Face Cleanser

Ahhh!!! The satisfying feeling of a clean face. If you love that feeling as much as I do than I recommend the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. I discovered this cleanser about a year ago and nothing else I’ve tried since has been able to beat it. FAB products are Allergy-Tested, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Soy-Free, Suitable for Sensitive Skin, Vegan, and Nano-Free. It also claims to be suitable for all skin types and a solution for dryness and redness. I’m dealing with normal to dry skin that is aging and prone to redness. I use this as a cleanser and a makeup remover, secondary to using either a makeup wipe or micellar water.

So does it hold up to it’s claims? I say yes. First of all, I love the whipped texture which does become creamy was you start to work it with your fingers. It rinses off easily and does not leave a residue but does leave my skin feeling refreshed and moisturized. My skin also feels ready to take on whatever serums, lotions or moisturizers are coming next. This product has a light scent that is not overpowering and fades quickly. I was a bit skeptical about the redness claim but I have to admit that when I am using this product consistently I have less redness and my skin just seems to be clearer (less muddy looking) overall. So, I think this product does exactly what it claims to do, and does it in a healthy way. I for one am hooked.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   5 stars!!

Have a beautiful day!

“The Cutting Edge” by Jeffrey Deaver

“The Cutting Edge” by Jeffrey Deaver

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

Confession time: it has been far, far too long since I have read a Lincoln Rhyme story and that is my loss. So when this one popped up on my Audible feed and decided that now was the time to re-visit Lincoln and Amelia Sachs. A brutal triple murder has occurred in New York’s Diamond District. Two of the victims are a young, engaged couple. Then other engaged couples start to die. The killer is deemed The Promisor. But he made one mistake, he let a young man get away. Now Lincoln and Amelia must track him down before The Promisor does if they intend to solve this case.

Lincoln Rhyme: He is acerbic and arrogant but he is also dogged in his pursuit of criminals. What I find most intriguing about him is how he does not let his disability defeat him. I love that this character is out there as an example of a person overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Amelia Sachs: Amelia is so complicated and her relationship with Lincoln is very intricate. At once seemingly fragile and yet unbreakable. And I love “watching” her work a scene. There is something satisfying for me as a reader in her methodical way of combing a crime scene looking for clues.

The story: This one has a lot of fascinating little twists and unexpected characters. Crimes which at first glance seem to have an obvious motive end up being something entirely different and the true villains of the piece are not obvious.

The narration: Edoardo Ballerini did an excellent job with narrating this story. His pace was just right to keep up the drama and suspense but without feeling rushed.

Final thoughts: An excellent book with great characters and a very effective narration.

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Lathe of Heaven” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“The Lathe of Heaven” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Narrated by George Guidall

I have always thought that I should try this author but just never picked up one of her books. Then, a couple of weeks ago, this one popped up on the Audible Daily Deal and I saw the narrator is George Guidall and I just couldn’t resist. You all know how much I enjoy George Guidall’s voice. George Orr has become a drug addict in the process of trying to avoid sleep. Why does he avoid sleep? Because when he dreams the outside world changes. He ends up in the care of Dr. Haber, a psychiatrist who claims that he can teach George how not to dream using an experimental machine he is developing. George gradually begins to think that Dr. Haber may have an ulterior motive in treating him and this leads to a disturbing series of events.

I don’t often dip into science fiction but I’m so glad I picked this one, and now I know what all the fuss is about with this author. This story is very unique and fascinating. The book was originally published in 1971 and if I had read it at a younger age I think I would have found it inconceivable, but reading it now, with all the technological advances since the 70’s, it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Dr. Haber was of great interest to me because of the way he starts out as being the benign “Sure, I can help you” kind of doctor from whom you don’t really expect much. He’s assigned to George, doesn’t see very many patients, and at the beginning seemed to see George as more of a bother than anything else. But then he begins to realize just what George can do and his transformation, while not unexpected, was nevertheless startling. George also goes through an amazing transformation as the story progresses. The story touches on some very intriguing topics, such as, where does a person’s value lie? What happens when an individual’s power goes unchecked? And, is there any such thing as a perfect society?

I also really enjoyed the pacing of the story. It was not rushed but moved along at a steady rate. Finally, of course, George Guidall again does an excellent job with the narration. He really knows how to present a dramatic story without forcing the drama. He doesn’t over-characterize with his voice but uses subtle changes to differentiate the characters. As you’ve probably guessed I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and I definitely would recommend this one.

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

Happy Listening!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Dream Daughter” by Diane Chamberlain

“The Dream Daughter” by Diane Chamberlain

How far would you go to save the life of your unborn child? One young mother is about to find out. It’s 1970 and Carly has recently lost her husband to the Vietnam War. Shortly before she had found out she’s is pregnant with their first child. A few months later, her doctor tells her that her unborn child has a heart defect that will be fatal once the child is born and there is nothing that can be done. Her physicist brother-in-law thinks he has a solution, but it’s a drastic one, and will take all of Carly’s courage to give her daughter a chance at life.

This story left me breathless and in tears at several points. The intensity of the drama surrounding the birth of Carly’s daughter is quite moving. The author has written the story in a way that really makes the reader feel like they are right there living the story with the character. And the characters are ordinary people who find themselves thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Their ability to stand strong throughout is inspiring and uplifting. In particular, I really liked how the author wrote the teenage girl to be so true to what every teenage girl I’ve ever met is like. The story line is unique and full of surprises. I think a wide variety of readers will really love this book.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

November Round-Up

So we’ve been having winter for about a month now up here. Temperatures have barely crossed above freezing in the last couple of weeks. I was find it amusing when people in states further south talk about being cold. I was watching a YouTube video today of a girl talking about the great sweatshirt she bought and how great it is now that it’s getting colder in California. Ok, I grew up in California and they ain’t never felt cold over there. We had sweatshirt weather here for about 3 days in September and then got out the heavy coats (perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much).

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m going to talk about books. Have I actually even looked at a book during the last month? Let’s find out.

TBR – I added 6 books in November and read 5. TBR now stands at 189. To be completely honest, I also requested another 4 (or maybe 5) books from NetGalley in November but those requests have not been granted yet.

Goodreads Challenge – Failing miserably this year. I am 9 books behind schedule and have no hope of getting caught up.

NetGalley Score – This number went up by 1 to 87%. (Finally, some improvement)

John Connolly Challenge – I finished book 10. Six more to go!

Coming Up – I’ve got reviews coming of “The Dream Daughter” by Diane ChamberlainThe Dream Daughter and “The Cutting Edge” by Jeffrey Deaver. The Cutting EdgeI’ve just gotten started reading the British Crime Classic “The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons.The Belting Inheritance I will be listening to “The Lathe of Heaven” by Ursula K. LeGuin.The Lathe of Heaven That’s as much planning as my overworked brain can handle for today so you’ll just have to stay tuned and see what shows up here.

I hope everybody has a great holiday season and I will check in again as we roll over into 2019.

Happy Reading!