Steve

Steve's Reviews

I first met Nancy when she was the manager of the highest grossing (per square foot) B. Dalton store in the country and I was still in the midst of a 40+ year banking and investments career. She introduced me to many authors that rekindled my love of reading. Spending a lot of time on airplanes (or waiting for them) was made a lot easier with my new "friends." I am now retired and split time between Florida and Indiana with reading and golf competing for my time. I have eleven grandchildren and most of them are readers as well - one of my favorite things to do is take them to our local bookstore and turn them loose!


I See You                                   

Author:  Clare Mackintosh                      Fiction

On her way home from work on the London Underground, Zoe Walker sees her picture in an advertisement for a website called FindTheOne.com. She knows that she did not put it there, and in the next few days, she sees the same ad with different pictures, and she realizes that some of those pictured have wound up in the news as crime victims. She reaches out to Kelly Swift, a London policewoman, with her suspicions about the adverts. Kelly has her own issues, having been disciplined for her reaction to a suspect she had been questioning and is desperate to return to her role as an inspector rather than walking the beat. She succeeds in convincing her boss and thus begins a twisting story of figuring out who is placing the ads and what is the motive behind them. I was beginning to wonder why I had chosen to read this book as more than halfway through there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to where the story was going. But then, the tide changed and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. There were a number of suspects and the reveal was worth the wait.

Lady in the Lake                            

 Author:  Laura Lippman                          Fiction

Set in Baltimore in the mid-1960’s, Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband to live a meaningful life, whatever that may be. Now in her late 30’s, she wants to be someone and that turns out to be a reporter for the local newspaper. When her and her friend discover the body of a missing eleven year-old, it is her opening to reach out to the afternoon newspaper where she starts at the bottom but takes advantage to push her bosses to let her write stories. When the body of a young black woman is found in the fountain of a city park lake, no one seems to care and Maddie jumps in to learn the truth about her death (and her life). Every other chapter is about a character in the story and why they fit in, especially the lady in the lake, Cleo Sherwood, who seems to want Maddie to just leave her alone. She is not beyond using anyone to reach her goals, including her lover, Ferdie, a black Baltimore patrolman. This is a story about Maddie’s focus on herself. An interesting idea, but not really my type of book, and I did not like this as much as some of Lippman’s earlier novels. I appreciate the opportunity to review the ARC of this book and thank HarperCollins and Edelweiss.

Poison                                                       

 Author:  John Lescroart                                   Fiction

This is book 17 in Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series, and let me say from the outset that I did not feel that you had to have read any earlier books in the series to enjoy this one. Hardy is a San Francisco attorney who is closing in on retirement. His wife wants him to walk away, Dismas having been shot by a recent client. But when Abby Jarvis, a young mother who Dismas has defended in the past, is accused of killing her boss, Grant Wagner, turns to him to represent her. Abby was the bookkeeper for Wagner’s very successful family business, and his four children, the G clan as they are known, discover that she had been receiving a significant amount of money under the table from the company. She insists on her innocence, that Wagner knew of the payments because of a secret the two of them have carried for many years. Hardy wants to believe her. When two more murders occur, there appears to be a connection to Wagner and Hardy and his private investigator begin to dig for clues that will exonerate their client. What ensues is an entertaining and fast-moving story that will keep you guessing as to who the guilty party or parties might be and that kept me listening (I confess to listening to this book).

Good Girl, Bad Girl                                  

 Author:  Michael Robotham                              Fiction

Cyrus Haven is a forensics psychologist who has been called in to evaluate a young girl in a high-security children’s home in Nottingham. The young girl was found hiding in a secret room in a house in North London. In the same house is the decomposing body of a man who had been tortured to death. The girl won’t tell anyone anything about herself - name, age, or where she is from. Now six years later, she has petitioned the court to allow her to go free. But she has never been identified - she is given a new name, Evie Cormac, and has landed at Langford Hall after several stops along the way with foster families and other juvenile facilities. Cyrus soon discovers that Evie is like no other person he has ever evaluated. One particular talent is that she can tell when anyone around her is lying, and there aren’t many people telling the truth. At the same time, Cyrus is called into the investigation of the apparent murder of another teenager, Jodie Sheehan, a figure skating champion. As Cyrus investigates, he discovers that Jodie has some interesting aspects to her life, and that Evie knows something about them. This book captured me from the very beginning, with good character development and plenty of twists and turns that will keep you off your mark when trying to figure out who did what. While this is a stand-alone novel, watch for a reference to Joe O’Loughlin, the “hero" of many of Robotham’s earlier books. My thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for the opportunity to review the ARC of this novel.

The Never Game                                 

 Author:  Jeffery Deaver                           Fiction             

This book opens with Colter Shaw, tracker of lost persons, trying to rescue a young woman who is trapped in a sinking boat in the cold waters of the Pacific. Go back two days and Shaw, who lives in a camper with his motorcycle racked on the back, is attacked by a man he calls The Rodent because of his physical characteristics. The Rodent escapes and it will take some time to figure out what his role is. Shaw is then hired by a father to find his daughter who has gone missing in the Silicon Valley. This brings him into the world of electronic games - designers, players, and company owners. What is going on is someone is bringing a video game, The Whispering Man, to life. Why, and how can he/she be stopped? Shaw was raised on a large ranch-type property by his father Ashton, taught to be a survivalist and possessing some interesting skills as a result. He will need all these skills and more to figure out what is going on, and to protect himself as well. This is clearly the first book in a new series by Jeffery Deaver, best known for his Lincoln Rhyme series. I thought it took a while to get things going in this book, but once they did, the pace was unrelenting. Colter Shaw is a protagonist who will be around for a while.

 

 

Hardcore Twenty Four                     

 Author:  Janet Evanovich                       Fiction

This is the 24th book in the Stephanie Plum series by Evanovich. And all of the characters we are familiar with are back including Joe Morelli, Ranger, Grandma Mazurka, Lula, Stephanie’s family, and the bail bonds team. Also making a return visit is Diesel, the man with no limits including locked doors and windows. And, as always, Stephanie manages to find all kinds of trouble. The first fugitive recovery is Simon Diggery, who is willing to be taken in if Stephanie will care foe his large snake - needless to say lots of things happen with this arrangement. When headless bodies show up, Stephanie becomes involved, primarily because Lula thinks she is dealing with zombies. The usual other wacky FTAs are present as Stephanie stumbles into one situation after the other. The whole zombie theme just didn’t work for me in this book. And I must admit I listened to the audiobook and it just seemed that a lot of the usual laughs out loud were missed reading it this way.

 

Game of Snipers                           

 Author:  Stephen Hunter                       Fiction

This is the 11th book in the Bob Lee Swagger series. Swagger is now 72 and retired, or so he thought. Janet McDowell lost her son to a sniper during the Afghanistan war. She has devoted her life to finding that sniper, an expert rifleman know as Juba. She approaches Swagger as she has run out of options and strategies. Swagger decides that he must help her and manages to team up with the FBI and other US government agencies, Mossad, and even local law enforcement as he tries to determine who is Juba’s next target and how to track him down and stop him. Juba is not only one of the best snipers in the world, he is smart and ruthless as he works to put a potentially world changing plan into action. Hunter is a masterful thriller writer, with lots of action, tension, and suspense. And the story could probably happen in today’s crazy world. I hadn’t read a Hunter book for a while and will have to catch up on some of the earlier episodes in the series. And the only reason I didn’t rate this book five stars was all the technical stuff about rifles and bullets and other things shooting-related - too much for my needs. My thanks to G.P. Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss for the ARC of this book.