Sunday, May 4, 2008

Looking Forward to A "Book" Week

This is the week I will be attending two author events. On Tuesday I'm going to Toledo to hear Kathy Reichs speak, and on Thursday I'll be attending a luncheon in Medina to hear Michael Koryta speak. Definitely looking forward to both events. I'll post pictures and recaps from both later.

This week I finished Faithless by Karin Slaughter as well as Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child.

Faithless was true to form for Karin Slaughter. She always manages to grab me on the first page and keep me enthralled passed the last page.

Faithless is the fifth book in the Grant County series and it finds Jeffrey and Lena investigating the murder of a young woman. She was buried alive in a box with a pipe that allowed for air. The pipe wasn't enough to counteract the cyanide that was poured in on her. The investigation leads Jeffrey and Lena to a cult-like farm where the young woman grew up.

This plot is full of twists and turns. Slaughter plays off of stereotypes to reel her characters and you, the reader, into false assumptions. That helps to build up the suspense and keep you turning pages.

Slaughter is a phenomenal suspense plot writer, but she is also extremely adept with her character development. And that is a large part of why I enjoy her work so much. It's rare to completely love or completely hate a character in one of her books because there is so much dimension to them. I'm often conflicted about her characters. One minute you want to choke them for doing something ridiculously selfish or stupid or thoughtless and the next minute you empathize with them because you can completely understand what they are going through. I'm constantly questioning my perspective, wondering if my response to a character is based on experience, based on passion, based on what I THINK I know. I love that! Lena, in her abusive relationship is a prime example of this. At points I feel so much pity for her: the loss of her sister, her own history with abduction and rape, her sense of feeling alone. And at other times I feel nothing but revulsion. So many people try to reach out to her and she does nothing but push them away or unfairly judge them while secretly wishing she could lean on them. And at even other times, I'm totally baffled. How can a female law-enforcement agent with her talent stay in an abusive, life-threatening relationship?

Definitely another great book from Karin Slaughter.

My other read for this week was Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child. I listened to this one on audio book, read by Dick Hill. I think he does a very good job with the Jack Reacher novels.

In this book, Reacher is summoned by a member of his former army team, The Special Investigators. Frances Neagley reaches out to the self-created nomad by making a deposit in his bank account. When Reacher answers the call, he learns another member of the group was murdered. Now they are out to seek revenge because "you do NOT mess with the Special Investigators."

Even though I found this motto cheesy and repeated an annoying amount of times throughout the book, I also found myself looking forward to listening to this installment in the Jack Reacher series. As with the previous book I read in this series, I found it to be pretty predictable. Jack Reacher is the "superhero"-type protagonist, so while things may happen on the last try or at the eleventh hour, you know he's going to come through in the end. That takes a bit of the mystery out of things.

Reacher and Dixon involve themselves in a little "fling" and I found myself asking "why? What's the purpose?" It did nothing for the plot. It just seemed like Child felt the need to have some kind of sexual encounter involved in the book. The book would have been just fine without it.

I thought O'Donnell was a rather fun character in this book. His dry humor and banter with Reacher added a lot.

Overall, it was a quick, non-challenging read. Entertaining but nothing that made me react with a "WOW"!

Hope your week is great! Happy Reading!!


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