Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been jonesin for a visit with Nelson DeMille's John Cory. Unfortunately that visit is several months away. Junkie that I am I picked an older story by Demille called Word of Honor.

The novel was first published in 1987,a former decorated Army Lieutenant Ben Tyson is now a corporate executive,an honest, handsome family man admired by men and desired by women. He's charged with having overseen a massacre of innocent civilians in Vietnam. Now the press, army justice, and the events he tried to forget have caught up with him. His family, his career, and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance.

DeMille does well describing the huge moral conflict of the Vietnam war. He probes those conflicting concepts of honor, duty and loyalty as they apply to one soldier and the war. To ratchet up the emotional turmoil further all the hostile witnesses are called up while friendly witnesses are lost or silent. Tyson's own sense of honor lets him give only tiny scraps of information even to his attorney. As with most DeMille novels the dialogue is witty,irreveret and sarcastic. Although it wasn't John Cory, I had a nice visit with Tyson.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I love to be frightened. My husband and I have taken great delight in scaring the be-jesus out of each other over the last twenty-five years. I'm so proud when I catch him off guard and make him jump. Believe me it's hard to startle someone whose been a cop for thirty plus years. However most of the time I'm left living gratuitously through mystery and thriller novels, and suspenseful movies for those moments of astonishment.

Alfred Hitchcock stated a thriller is the difference between suspense and surprise. His example was two characters sitting and talking in a cafe, then a bomb goes off under the table. The audience experiences surprise. But Hitchcock says if the audience sees the villain place the bomb, sees him set the timer for one o'clock and the audience can see a clock in the scene, the conversation of the two actors goes from mundane to suspense. The audience now has ten minutes of suspense instead of a ten second surprise. I love Alfred Hitchcocks' movies. Watch them all the time.

Recently I read two thrillers,the first passed the Hitchcock rule. What do you get when you cross Steve Berry with Dan Brown and a healthy dollop of Steven King?... Graham Brown's debut thriller Black Rain. Goverment Operative Danielle Laidlaw, takes her search party into the Amazon searching for a Mayan City, and an elusive new fuel source. The plotting is complex as well as fast paced. The rain forest, the indigenous people, the animals, plus the ruthless billionaire doesn't leave you wanting for foes or obstacles that hinder their ability to obtain their prize.

My one quibble with the book is that Danielle's character isn't as well fleshed out as her friend, pilot Hawker. Brown does a nice job of sprinkling in the back story for Hawker throughout the book, which is what he needed to do more with the character of Danielle.

Once you start it is difficult to put down. Well done on his debut, leaves you wanting to read more. It hit the bookstores the end of January. Thanks to Good Reads for having the contest for the ARC.

Dan Brown is back again with another plot driven thriller, Lost Symbol, that really didn't pass the test. Robert Langdon is trying to save his mentor Peter Soloman from the vicious psychopath Malakh who wants the ultimate Masonic prize. When reading Dan Brown you need to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride and ask no critical thinking questions. Yes, he spins a good tale but the threads are just barely held together. The CIA investigating inside of the US? Well it shouldn't occur and that alone put a big rut in the road which I had trouble believing. He could of easily made it the FBI and the threads of the story would have held together better. I'm sure his "new age" definitions of the bible's meaning didn't pleased the church with this novel either, although his writings weren't as critical as the DaVinci Code.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Homicide detectives Jake and Frank are being punished and are banished to animal control for a month after an unfortunate accident when a previous murder suspect met his demise. Chasing a feral cat into the old Sin Strip Ember Hotel they make a grisly discovery of a mummified body. Before calling the police department Jake brings in Sam to evaluate the crime scene. Sam is now working as a PI after leaving Chasen Heights PD .

Sam's nemesis Police Chief Murphy is running for mayor but as the investigation advances all the evidence points to the Chief as the main suspect. Is it a political set-up or did the Chief have hidden secrets from the Sin Strip era? Forced to defend himself he's left with no choice but to turn to Sam to try and save his political career as well as prove his innocence. But will she?

The 5th book in Tooley's Sam Casey series lives up to previous outings. Fast pacing, witty dialogue and an intriguing mix of paranormal with mystery. My one quibble was not enough time spent with Abby and Alex, rightly so since the story didn't support their character interaction. As always Tooley's writing is an appealing mix of eccentric characters and subplots. A must for fans.

Monday, April 19, 2010

YouTube - The Future of Publishing - created by DK (UK)

This is some creative advertising by Penguin. Make sure you watch it to the very end, because appearances are deceiving. YouTube - The Future of Publishing - created by DK (UK)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blogger: Upload Images

Blogger: Upload Images
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds is my favorite book of the year. It opened with a bang and kept me glued to the book until the end.

The CIA discovers there is a connection between the historical Library of Gold and a terrorist bank account. Like Robert Ludlum, Lynds follows the money welded by the cabal of powerful men. She weaves a tale of intrigue with rare book expert Eva Blake and CIA agent Judd Ryder in solving the mystery. The characters were well developed and she deftly and seamlessly crossed genres; spies, historical, and treasure hunting without losing the tantalizing pace of a thriller.

I was tickled pink with the character introduction on page 166. Also I was pleased to see that the Carnivore, one of my favorite Lynds characters made an appearance in this novel. Usually I poo-poo the blurbs on the back of a book, but I have to agree Gayle Lynds is one, if not the best of the suspense writers in the world. If you like espionage or historical novels both readers will be satisfied and left wanting for another outing with Eva and Judd.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


You know it's going to be bad news when the author puts a note in the front of the novel. I grabbed the box of Kleenex, knowing the puddle of tears would be on there way. Yes, F. Paul Wilson decided to end his Repairman Jack series. I know. I know. He always said it was a closed-end series, but who believes a fiction author? He's decided the series will end with number 15 thus, with great reverence I opened and began 13, Ground Zero.

I tried to read it slowly, absorb all the details, but I buzzed right through it like usually. Ground Zero starts with September 11, 2001 and suggest an alternative reason for the terrorism that occurred on that day. Jack's childhood friend has now begun to piece the puzzle together and Jack becomes involved in her misfortunes and the craziness of the internet 9/11 Truth Movement.

I'm officially in mourning. How else will I live vicariously? I am in awe of Jack's antics to rectify injustices. In a previous novel Wilson kept me white knuckled but giggling the whole time when he had Jack duct taped the villain, wearing reindeer antlers, to the front of a deuce and quarter trunk then drove the bad guy through New York traffic. One can only dream of such possibilities, F Paul Wilson is a clever guy. He comes up with so many unique forms of retribution. If only I were so creative. I do have a itsy favor to ask of Jack. Now if he would just answer my emails. But that's another story.
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