Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Book Reviews category.

Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Victim’s Club (Kindle Single) by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Victim's ClubA different approach in some ways. Deaver has written this book as a Novella and it is very interesting though short.

Jon Avery is a detective working in Monroe County Sheriff’s office and is given a case to help out on as the primary detective is away for a few days. Avery begins his work when the state calls with some info the other detective had requested on one of her cases. It turns out that a burner phone was used to photograph a professor from the local college. The pictures showed the lady lying on a bench and pretty much undressed but also appeared to be asleep.

Avery knew of the college and that it was well known for its sports programs as well as quite a bit of partying. In discussing the event the other detective had found that Rose Taylor, the professor, had been at a party where she had one glass of wine and had started the second when she really felt wiped out so she had laid down on the bench. When she came to she noticed how her clothes were all messed up but instead of reporting to the police or anyone at the party she headed home. Read the rest of this entry »

The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The 17th SuspectI have to assume the title The 17th Suspect refers to this book’s place in a series of books by Patterson. Probably the 17th Women’s Murder Club novel since I know he has written a batch of them (usually with help and often with Maxine Patterson). There is nothing in this story about a bunch of murder suspects but there is lots of good reading.

It is two stories (kind of usual for the Murder Club series) in one of which Yuki Castellano, the Assistant District Attorney, is involved with attempting to find a woman guilty of (a) first raping a man while holding him captive and (b) of attempting to find her also guilty of shooting the same man in the leg.

The second story involving the second member of the Murder Club is about San Francisco Police Sergeant Lindsay Boxer as she not only is battling to find who is shooting vagrants and street people but also battling her own physical condition which appears to be deteriorating rapidly.

Both stories are well worth the reader’s attention as they unfold quickly and show how the in-side portion of the criminal justice system works but also shows how the “on the street” portion of the system plays out.

Yuki fought hard to get her case into Criminal Court and worked even harder to figure out what actually went on as two co-workers entwined themselves in not only sexual adventures but then it appears one of them took it even further. The female player supposedly tied up the male participant and raped him (while he unbeknownst to her recorded it all on tape.) He claims she raped him though they had been having sex for some time together willingly on both behalves. Read the rest of this entry »

Rescued: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (An Andy Carpenter Novel) by David Rosenfelt

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

RescuedAndy is called to come help with a truck load of dogs found at a rest stop. The driver of the truck, who was contracted to transport the dogs from Southern states to rescue groups in the Northeast is found dead having been shot. Andy is on board with the Tara Foundation taking on the care of the dogs, but he isn’t necessarily so ready to yield to Laurie’s request. Laurie asks Andy to defend her ex-fiance who is going to be charged with the murder. Dave Kramer had a history with the victim which is bound to come out, and while he admits he shot the victim, he claims it was in self defense. The problem is, there is no sign of the knife Dave claims the victim used to threaten and attack him.

As Andy begins to investigate he finds several things that don’t seem to add up. The Tara Foundation is having trouble locating the groups supposedly in line to accept the dogs. As is often the case, some folks are not quite who they appear to be which leads to some interesting twists to the plot along the way. Rescued, in my opinion, has one of the best legal cases running through it of the series. There is a fairly complicated solution to the murder which requires Andy and is team to look well beyond the dogs and into corporate America for their answers.
Read the rest of this entry »

A Howl of Wolves (Sam Clair) by Judith Flanders

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Howl of WolvesFlanders brings back book editor Sam Clair for a fourth book in A Howl of Wolves. Again there are two plot threads to follow-the major one being a crime involving a murder that Sam’s boyfriend and Scotland Yard detective Jake Fields is assigned to and a minor one involving some aspect of the book publishing industry. Once again, the plot solving the murder is well written with plenty of twists, but it is the insider scoops on publishing the draws me to the series and sets it apart from the many crime fiction series available.

Sam and Jake’s neighbors who are involved in the theater world have a new play opening with the added bonus of their son Bim is also going to have a part. Sam and Jake attend the opening night and while they are a bit taken a back by the thirteen murders written into the script they are horrified when the body opening the second act turns out to not be the stage dummy but the body of the production’s director. Immediately Jake is on the case, and as always he warns Sam to stay out of the investigation. However, she is drawn in because of her relationship with Bim and his parents. Read the rest of this entry »

The King of Torts by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The King of Torts[amazon_link asins=”” template=”” marketplace=”” link_id=””]I am not sure how I missed this one by Grisham as it is not a new release but it, like most of Grisham’s, is a great read. Perhaps because he writes about the legal field and he has had much experience in that field. He came out of law school, worked in criminal law, and even served in the House of Representatives. His background really has helped his writing expertise.

The King of Torts follows Clay Carter as he while working in D.C.’s OPD gets stuck with a murder case that he tried desperately to avoid. No one in his Department wanted murder cases as they are far too time consuming with little or no reward for the work.

It seems that a young black male named Tequila Watson had shot a young man for no apparent reason. He wasn’t on drugs and they weren’t fighting. Watson just walked up and shot him 4 or 5 times. Then when he was confined to a cell he beat his cellmate profusely and again for no apparent reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Baby’s First Felony (A Cecil Younger Investigation) by John Straley

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Baby's First FelonyBaby’s First Felony brings back Cecil Younger and the wonderful setting of Sitka, Alaska. Before even starting the book, I would strongly urge readers to turn to the end and read through the A Guide to Avoiding a Life in Crime. The rules as outlined are referenced frequently, so you might want to keep a book mark there as well.

Cecil is called to the jail to arrange bail for a client who asks that he go pick up a box containing things that will prove her innocence which she left with friends. Two things about this cause Cecil angst. First, the box contains money. Lots of money. And secondly the place she left the box is the house where a friend of Cecil’s daughter’s friend is now living and a place that his daughter Blossom has run off to when her mother gets on her nerves. But that is just the beginning of Cecil’s problems. There are drugs a kidnapping and a murder to contend with causing Cecil breaks nearly every one of his rules as outlined in the book.

Along with the criminal plot is an interesting side story involving the use of humor as therapy for autism leading the book to be packs with jokes as told by Todd, the sort of adopted son of Cecil. Some of these are really pretty funny. There is a very brief note at the end of the book lending credence to this as a real therapy. This also brings in the very real issue of who has a right to post someone’s comments on line. Read the rest of this entry »

The Disappeared (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The DisappearedAs usual Joe Pickett, Wyoming’s favorite Game Warden, gets picked to move out of his normal bailiwick and has to work on a problem for the governor. But this new governor is not a fan of Joe nor is the governor’s right hand. Mainly because Joe is always solving problems but he is always causing other ones as he works. Usually he is not only tearing up state furnished equipment like trucks, etc. but he also tends to even run up against the legal system by doing things HIS way as opposed to by the book!

However because of the seriousness of the newest problem and because they have no one as good at solving problems the governor gives Joe an assignment that no one could solve. It seems that a very well-known British businesswoman has turned up missing instead of returning to England after her stay at a very exclusive guest ranch in Wyoming. And wouldn’t you know, Sheridan Pickett, Joe’s oldest daughter is working at the ranch as a wrangler after just finishing college. Joe is somewhat astounded by this since Sheridan was never the horse lover that her mother and sisters were. But it seems Box needed a “friend” in the right place for Pickett as the story evolves.

As Pickett arrives at his new working grounds which is not in his assigned region he receives a call from Nate Romanowski who wants to bring in someone to talk with Joe about a problem that the falconers are seeing and trying to solve. Joe isn’t happy with the potential interruption but does know that Nate, even though he can be a problem, can also be an asset in Joe’s endeavors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Murder on the Left Bank (An Aimée Leduc Investigation) by Cara Black

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Murder on the Left BankWhen a dying man shows up in Eric’s offices asking for help to right wrongs of the past by delivering a ledger to authorities, against his better judgment Eric agrees to help. Really his task is pretty simple. He would have his nephew deliver the ledger to the designated person and that would be the extent of his involvement. But from the beginning things go wrong. The nephew was on his way to meet his girlfriend so instead of making the delivery, he hid the ledger and went to meet his girlfriend. They were attacked and the nephew was killed. The room was tossed, but the ledger wasn’t found, Now Eric wants his nephew’s murders found and the notebook delivered.

Aimee Leduc has more than enough to keep her busy between raising her daughter as a single parent and running her private investigation business. After her father’s death, Aimee pledged to stick to cyber crimes and security problems, but when Eric Besson shows up in her office seeking help locating a missing ledger which may contain information that would implicate her now deceased father she is drawn into another dangerous case.
Read the rest of this entry »

Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Flight of the FoxProfessor Sam Teagarden never expected what happened one weekend as he was relaxing on his sundeck: the appearance of an armed drone over his head. He managed to escape but had to witness the death of his beloved pet and his 11-year old neighbor. Teagarden is forced to go on the run, carrying with him a mysterious document sent to him by an old acquaintance only days before: an encrypted FBI file dating back more than 50 years. There was a note with the file challenging Teagarden to see if he could decipher it, just for fun. Unfortunately, the file contains secrets the FBI wants to remain buried and they know the file was sent to Sam. A black ops team is dispatched to eliminate the threat and the resulting chase will run the length of the Eastern seaboard. The information in the file could turn American history on its head. The question is, would Americans prefer total transparency or blissful ignorance?
Read the rest of this entry »

The Candidate (Newsmakers) by Lis Wiehl and Sabastian Stuart

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The CandidateErica Sparks (who has appeared in several of Lis Wiehl’s books) is a top flight newscaster and is very keyed up about the upcoming presidential race. She realizes that this type of excitement just adds to her show’s audience and thus her ratings. She decides that she will spend a lot of time checking out all the possible candidates and see who is most likely to bring her more listeners.

It turns out that two of the top runners very quickly put just about all the other hopefuls behind and therefore make them of little value to Erica and her network. Erica is also mindful of the fact that her boss is constantly watching the ratings battle and truthfully is always looking for results whether they come by way of Erica or someone else.

To help solidify her position and hopefully even add to it substantially she decides to hone in on Senator Mike Ortiz one of the Democratic candidates. He is currently locked in a battle with Fred Buchanan of Pennsylvania and would make a prime candidate for a moderated debate on Ericka’s show. She begins making arrangements although it means that she is going to be spending quite a bit of time away from her eleven year old daughter, Jenny. Jenny has begun giving her grief anyway because since the divorce of her parents Jenny doesn’t feel either Erica or her former husband care enough about her wellbeing. Read the rest of this entry »