Monthly Archives: January 2018

Don’t Be Cruel by Barbara Portman

Don’t be Cruel by Barbara Vortmann relates the adventures of Melanie, a teenage girl who runs away from home. She takes the bus to Memphis where she hopes to form a band and to become a star. Flat broke and with little more than a pair of drum sticks, she befriends another runaway girl who sings, and together they record a record and join with other young musicians to perform.

Melanie shows courage and perseverance as she faces tragedy and shame. The author fills the story with warmth, humor, and love, and I had to wipe away tears at the end.

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The Last Mrs. Parrish

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine is the story of two women and one man. Daphne marries a wonderful wealthy man who turns out to be a monster who abuses her. Amber pretends to be her friend as she tries to steal her husband. It is a tale of deceit and treachery with interesting characters and a surprise conclusion.

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The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware creates another exciting novel in The Lying Game. It involves four women who had been forced to leave an English boarding school years ago following the disappearance of the school’s art instructor who was the father of one of the girls. The discovery of the man’s body creates a crisis for the friends who had kept a terrible secret since that time. They return to the little village to decide what they should do.

As students they had played a game that involved lying to their teachers and peers, and now no one believes anything they say, and many of the villagers are convinced that they bore responsibility for the death.

            Soon threatening signals and messages reveal that someone knows what they did and plans revenge. 

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The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line is Lee Child’s latest thriller. Jack Reacher, ex-military police drifter, finds a woman’s West Point ring in a pawn shop. He assumes the woman has fallen on hard times and begins a quest to find her. What he finds is an illegal drug network and lots of troubles, including a disabled vet with a narcotic addiction. Convincing her to accept his help proves difficult especially with a drug dealer marking him for death.

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The Break Down by B A Paris

In The Break Down, B A Paris creates a psychological thriller about a woman who fears she has become insane. Fear and panic dominate her life as she tries to convince her husband and friends that she is not impaired. Throughout the book, the reader is unsure what is happening until the surprise ending.

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Breaking Point by C J Box

Breaking Point is C J Box’s thirteenth novel featuring Joe Picket. Joe is a game warden in Wyoming who tends to find trouble in every chapter. This book deals with abuse by bureaucrats in government agencies to punish people with whom they have disagreements. It is based upon an actual incidence of such overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency. Joe is a likable character with old fashioned ideals and the guts to stand up for them.

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The Book Case by Nelson DeMille

The Book Case by Nelson Demille is a short mystery in which John Corey, a NYPD detective who appears in multiple Demille novels, is called to the scene of a death of a bookstore owner caused by a falling bookcase. At first it appears to be an accident, but Corey soon suspects murder. The entire novel takes place in the bookstore with Corey questioning the suspects. Nelson Demille is one of my favorite authors and John Corey is a great character, but this novel does not come up to the standard of his other superb works, perhaps because the short length does not allow for the intricacies of plot typical of a Demille novel. I did, however, enjoy reading it.

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The Terror Years by Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright in The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State gives an excellent accounting of the evolution of Islamic terrorism in the middle east and its spread to the rest of the world. Much attention is given to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi founder of al-Qaeda: Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who succeeded bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian jihadist who founded al-Qaeda in Iraq. The book discusses the consequences of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and gives little hope for peace.

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One False Move by Harlan Coben

One False Move is the fifth book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. In this thriller, Myron helps Brenda Slaughter, a female black professional basketball star, search for her father who has disappeared. He also must protect Brenda from people who wish to kill her. Soon bodies pile up, and Myron faces mobsters and powerful men who want him dead. The novel moves at a fast pace, and has no boring pages.

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Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

In Darkest Fear, Harlan Coben has an old girlfriend inform sports agent Myron Bolitar that he has a thirteen-year-old son. The boy has Fanconi anemia and will die unless he receives a bone marrow transport. Unfortunately, there is only one match. He has disappeared and possibly may be a serial killer. Myron is confronted by moral dilemmas such as can he harm innocent people to save his son and should he try to have another child with this married woman to create another potential donor.

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