Pronto is the book that introduces Raylan Givens from the TV series, Justified. It's a great mob versus the 'good guy' story. Raylan tends to do everything 'his way' and on his own moral judgments. When a bookie, Harry, is set -up by the Feds to draw in more bad guys, Raylan decides that 'fair is not fair' here. Raylan goes off to Italy to 'bring back' the bookie, and to save him from a mob hit.
The character descriptions are marvelous, and Raylan's 'biography' is apply drawn throughout the story as he gets to know Harry's girlfriend---soon to be Raylan's girlfriend. The bad guys range from those looking for any little excuse to kill people, to the big talkers who wimp out when the action calls for gunfire.
Scenes in Italy are interspersed with stories of the poet, Ezra Pound. Beauty for one person becomes boredom and confusion for others. Like all great 'bad versus good' hero stories, the good guys win in the end!! If you like the TV series, this is a must read for you!!!
Although this book is listed as a Young Adult read, I found it thoroughly engrossing, thrilling, and heart reaching for this very adult reader!! It reminds me of C J Box's BLUE HEAVEN and the best of Charles Dickens' books about young orphan boys. Don't know how I missed this when it first came out, but am so glad I've found it now. I will definitely add John Gilstrap to my list of favorite authors!!
Nathan Bailey's Mom died when he was a baby, but he had a great life with his Dad, until his Dad was killed in a train wreck when Nathan was 10 years old. Unfortunately, things went rapidly down hill after that. He was placed in his drunken, scum-bag uncle's house. After much abuse, beatings and neglect, Nathan stole his Uncle's car in an effort to get away. He was caught, whereupon his uncle gleefully saw Nathan sent off to a Virginia Juvenile Detention Center for his punishment. After a miserable few months of fighting off bullies and abusers, he found himself in the tiny detention room, fighting for his life with one of the worst guards there. Sheer luck and stealth found Nathan surviving, running from the guard whom Nathan had killed in self defense. Now branded as a cop killer, the whole force of the police and politically motivated Attorney General's office comes down upon him. Continuing to run and hide seems to be Nathan's only hope.
"The Bitch" is a night time radio host who makes her living speaking to callers in shocking honesty. When the topic of "Nathan" comes up, everyone wants to see the "cop killer" caught, but should he be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. Opinions are strong for both sides. Hearing himself talked about, Nathan calls "The Bitch" to give his side of the story. Then it becomes ---is Nathan a murderer or a victim, and why would anyone want to kill a little boy?!? But the action has just begun. Nathan is definitely being pursued by police and a hit man, and the chase continues.
The characters were so well written that I felt like I knew who they were. The suspense drew me in from the very beginning and didn't slow down till the very last word on the very last page!! Nathan definitely won my heart. Great book, John Gilstrap!!
Detectives Zach and Kiely are on the special task force, NYPD Red, a police force that protects all the big stars and Hollywood type events happening in New York City. With everybody enjoying a huge breakfast event, a big time producer collapses, dying of poisoning. This begins a spree of killings by a psychopathic couple who are seeing all of these events as a movie script playing out in their minds.
Zach and Kiely have a history as a couple, but now Kiely is married to someone in the movie crowd. Threats get too close to home, and their personal lives are at stake. These killers must be stopped before they make a grand finale for their psycho imaginary movie.
This is your typical Patterson mystery/thriller, and he doesn't fail to come through this time either. Adding the Hollywood events and New York City atmosphere makes this book especially interesting. The relationship of the Zach and Kiely characters adds just the right amount of human interest within a fast passed chase to stop the killers. Another good Patterson book!!
Once again, Reavis Wortham takes his mysteries into the world of literary writing. This second installment of his Red River Mysteries combines Tom & Becky Sawyer, 1960's Texas small town cowboys, Vietnam War veterans experiences in tunnels, and a touch of Steven King, to produce a fast passed thriller with a coming of age story.
Ned has resigned as Constable but the towns folks continue to call upon him with their needs even though Cody has taken over this job. Truly, these two men, and Ned's counterpart in the Black community, John Worthington, work as a teem anyway, as titles are of little use to anyone In this small community. Ten year olds Top, and his precocious cousin Pepper, want in on all the action too. Though this may also result in whippings, and mouth washings with soap, their curiosity can not be thwarted!
When a headless body is found in the surrounding waters, a nightmare premonition of Cody's seems to be playing out in real life. A hoarder of the first order has filled the five story cotton exchange with tons of "stuff", garbage, and booby traps. Pursuing a lead, Cody and John find themselves lost in a deadly maze of burrows, with rats, snakes, body parts, and explosives---and they are trapped within this whole deadly mess. Hopefully, Cody's experiences in the tunnels of Viet Nam will help them to get out alive. Everything seems to be revolving around a suspected "crazy" character from the town's past who needs to be caught before more headless bodies pile up.
Again, great characters, thrilling descriptions, Texas humor, and twisted mysteries make this second book in this series a real winner of a book! Be sure to read the beginning in this series first--THE ROCK HOLE.
THE ROCK HOLE is an usual combination of old time Texas humor and chilling thriller. The year is 1964, and these small communities are mostly segregated by white, black, and American Indians. Ned Parker is the white Constable, who is married to an Indian; best friends with the Black Deputy Sheriff, John Washington; uncle to Cody, a brave Vietnam war veteran; and forever friend of an old codger, Judge O. C.Rains. After a car crash killed his parents, ten year old Top, has come to live with his grandparents. Pepper, Top's ten year old tomboy cousin, spends most of her time at their house also.
Though a Constable, Ned really considers himself a farmer, who from time to time, finds himself dealing with drunks, bootleggers, and fighting families. But a new evil has entered his community. Someone is viciously mutilating animals, and he seems to be escalating his violence. The communities in Texas and near by Oklahoma are affected. The chase is on to catch this person who also seems to have a grudge against Ned and his family.
This story is populated by wonderfully fleshed out characters, with a feeling of story telling that reminds me of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and A TIME TO KILL. The atmospheric descriptions took me right back to the good and bad times of the 1960s. It reads like a combination of small town community, and good old fashioned westerns. Great mystery, but feels like literature at it's finest. Great start to this series!
This is the true story of a young teacher, Erin Gruwell, and diary entries from her "unteachable" students in Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. When she found a cartoon of a big lipped boy being passed around her classroom, in her rage she told her class that this stereotyping is how the Holocaust got started. When she realized that none of her students had heard of the Holocaust, she assigned the kids The Diary Of Ann Frank, and thus began her program of writing for tolerance and change, rather than violence and ignorance.
This book includes the anonymous entries, for the safety of her students, of the diary writings of her students telling of their personal issues and problems around violence, racism, gang "ethics", drugs, alcoholism, spouse abuse, child sexual abuse, and one parent families, etc. Various activities, visits to famous places, corporate help, and determined hard work changed these kids from failures and hoodlums, into productive kids pursuing college educations and "legal" careers.
Great read for educators, parents, and children who may see the connection of their problem lives to these children. The focus is for hard work, determination, courage, hope, and understanding of the humanity of all kinds of people through sharing ideas in writing rather than violence. Excellent book---good for thought for everyone!!
Acres and acres of wilderness land around a beautiful lake have just been purchased by a billionaire so that he can build a huge summer resort in wilderness Maine. This means that many long time settlers who have been living on these lands will be forced to leave their homes. Feelings run high and anger builds between the new owners and the settlers. After a community meeting, the owner, and the well love policeman escorting him home, have become murder victims
Mike Bowditch is a young Game Warden in Maine and he loves his job and working in the outdoors wilderness, but his personal life is pretty much in a shambles. His wife teaches, and has hopes of a better life where Mike might decide to return to school for his law degree. Their separation is mostly the result of bad communications. But Mike doesn't have much time to deal with his home life because his estranged, game poaching father has just been accused of murdering the two men. Though Mike and his father haven't even spoken in over two years, Mike can't believe his bar brawling father is a murderer.
This book is a great start to this series featuring Mike Bowditch. The scenery descriptions are wonderful, and the reality of fractured family relationships adds a great deal to the story line. The mystery is gripping, and kept me involved until the conclusion. Environmental issues are handled nicely. Definitely a new author for me to follow. He's working on the fourth book in this series, so I have expectations of great future reads!!
Sheriff Walt Longmire returns in his second mystery. The story begins with a Basque proverb that excellently fits this story--"A life without friends means death without company."
An old Basque woman is found dead in the assisted living center where Longmire's old boss, ex-Sheriff Lucian Connally is living. When Lucian announces that her death was not natural, no one really believes that the old woman was murdered, but of course she was. Longmire and his whole crew are instantly caught up in a very involved and intricate group of murders that eventually show their connection to the old woman and ex-Sheriff Connally.
Craig Johnson's descriptive writing builds characters and atmosphere excellently. Another winner in this Wyoming mystery series!
This is the true story of a remarkable man, and what led to his success. Dr. Carson is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He began his life as a child in Detroit, Michigan. His Mom, who Dr Carson attributed much of his success to, was one of 20 plus siblings. She married at 13, and when Ben and his brother were young boys, they found out that his dad was a bigamist. When he left Ben's family, he was never seen by them again. Ben's Mom's third grade education assured her the necessity of working three jobs to support heir family. It was this attitude that started Ben and his brother on their road to success. She fostered the attitude---You are responsible for your life success--if you work hard you will succeed---if you are not succeeding, it's YOUR responsibility to make the changes to succeed!! ---God is your ever present help in life!!
Dr Carson tells of his early years of poor grades; his Mom's rules to insure that her boys would do their best in school; his raise to top student in his classes; his issues with a bad temper; his continuous faith and prayers to Jesus Christ; his raise in the medical field; his wonderful married life; and the medical procedures that led to saving lives of children with medical brain issues. The focus of people being responsible for their own success ---with NO excuses for failure---makes this a must read for EVERYONE. There is a YA version for the very young also!! The writing was very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!
This second Feathering mystery finds "proper" Carole, caught in a downpour while walking on the downs. Taking shelter in a dilapidated and deserted old barn, Carole was shocked to find two fertilizer bags of old human bones. Thus, Carole, and her new-age friend, Judy, begin their second quest for discovering who was murdered in Feathering, and which one of their friends or new acquaintances are responsible for the death.
Brett has once again populated his book with many unique and quirky characters. Family resemblances, and traditions play a large part in this book, as do various types of games. Of course, Carole's game of choice is the cross word puzzle, but another local family is heavily involved in role playing games.
I enjoy Brett's books for their satirical outlook on British county life, and the characters that he develops wonderfully. Added attraction is trying figure out WHO was murdered , as well who did the murdering and why they felt the need to do so.
Simon Brett has created the seaside village of Feathering, in England, that is a quaint background for an updated re versioning of a Miss Marple type mystery. He completely captures the scenes and residents of Feathering, so it feels like a second home for this reader. Our protagonist, Carole Seddon, is a fifty something, divorced, former employee from the Home Office. Being "proper" and quietly in the background of society is her goal for her latter years. All goes well until a free-spirited, loudly jovial, and TOO neighborly woman moves next door to Carole. "They just call me Jude" keeps everything about her own personal life quiet, but she shares in everything else going on around her.
When Carole finds a dead body on the beach, that conveniently goes missing when she reports her find to the police, Jude becomes her encouraging side-kick to prove that there was actually a dead body. Of course, the two find themselves getting into all kinds of compromising situations, and threats are made to their safety. When a young boy is also washed upon the beach, the police finally become involved, and the "game is afloat".
Great characters, wonderful scenic descriptions, stereotypical village life, and subtle humor makes this a GREAT start of a new series for Simon Brett.
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