Friday, April 18, 2008

This, That and a Few More Books...

My week of author events is quickly approaching and I can't wait. I'll get to see Kathy Reichs on Tuesday May 6th then Michael Koryta on Thursday May 8th. What fun. Just imagine this time next year when I'm preparing to go to the Los Angeles Book Festival. I'll really be hyped then!

But for now, I have a few odds and ends. I picked up my copy of Harlan Coben's Hold Tight on Tuesday. I'm probably going to let my dad read it first since I have The Moving Target that I'm in the middle of right now, and I haven't started my "already-own" book for this month, Faithless (Karin Slaughter). By the time I'm finished with those, my dad should be done and I can read that one.

I wanted to update the release dates for this year. I have a new book to add; I wasn't aware that Alafaire Burke had a book coming out this year. I really like her. She seems like a genuinely nice person and she's a very talented writer as well. Anyway, here's the new updated list:

Chasing Darkness - Robert Crais - July 1, 2008
Fractured - Karin Slaughter - July 29, 2008
Envy the Night - Michael Koryta - August 5, 2008
Angel's Tip - Alafair Burke - August 19, 2008
Devil Bones - Kathy Reichs - August 26, 2008
The Brass Verdict - Michael Connelly - October 14, 2008

August is going to be a busy book month for me.

Now it's time to get caught up here. In the last week I finished Southern Fried (Cathy Pickens), One for the Money (Janet Evanovich) and Visibility (Boris Starling).

Southern Fried is the first Avery Andrews mystery. Avery has returned to her small-town North Carolina hometown of Dacus after being fired from her big-town law firm. When she agrees to help Harrison Garnet with an environmental agency visit, she suddenly finds herself in quite a circle of deception.

This book was charming and fun. The stereotypical small-town antics were amusing and the character of Avery is well-developed. Avery's parents are also strong characters. The plot was a bit on the predictable side, but it was an enjoyable read overall.

One for the Money - yes, I'm one of the few who has not yet read Janet Evanovich. But, I can no longer say so. Like Southern Fried, this was a fun book. There were several parts that made me smile and laugh. It was a tad bit on the silly side, but a fun read nonetheless.

One for the Money introduces Stephanie Plum, who like Avery Andrews, suddenly finds herself out of work. Stephanie was downsized from her job as a lingerie buyer for a discount clothing store. She decides to try her hand as a bounty hunter. Yeah, a little far fetched, but at least Evanovich makes it seem like a comedy of errors. Stephanie isn't magically adept at catching these bond skippers. I especially liked the scene where her prey handcuffs her naked to her bathroom shower curtain rod. Then she has to call the guy who is "mentoring" her to come and help her out of her conundrum. Stephanie's grandmother is an absolute stitch. I could just see Sophia Patrillo from The Golden Girls whenever her grandmother was in the picture.

It was light, funny and quick. I'm sure I'll check into more from this series down the road.

And finally, the final book I finished this week was Visibility by Boris Starling. This one was a bit heavier in its plot than Southern Fried or One for the Money. But, boy was it good. The plot was unique, based on my reading experiences. I can't say as I've read a lot of spy novels, though.

Herbert Smith works for Scotland Yard, but he isn't well accepted there because he came from MI5 - Britain's CIA. So, he didn't have to work his way up at Scotland Yard, he started high, and is therefore resented by his colleagues. The novel takes place during the Great Fog of 1952. What a great setting for a spy story, don't you think? When Herbert takes a case involving a man found in the Long Water, he takes on more than he realizes.

I loved the character development in this book. Herbert and Hannah are phenomenal, rich, dynamic characters. The plot has you chasing your tail trying to figure out, "who done it." And at every turn there is a new, surprising development.

My only criticism on this book would be that certain parts seemed to get weighted down by excessive detail. There were several parts where I started to zone out because the just seemed to go on and on without actually progressing the plot at all. There are also a couple elements in the conclusion that I think may be a little over-dramatic and unnecessary, but I won't give anything away.

Suffice it to say, I think this is definitely a book worth reading. It had my brain cells going!


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