The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim. A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted.
The plot is intricate and suspenseful, but I couldn’t deal with the torture scenes. I skipped through them. Not sure I’ll ever do another by this author. On the plus side, I guess, the writing was vivid enough to bring the torture to life. Too vivid for me.
A prolific journalist, Martin Walker has crafted a mystery series that deftly blends the stylings of Peter Mayle and Alexander McCall Smith. Chief Bruno Courreges loves life in his small French village. One day his idyll is disturbed when a local research station for genetically modified crops is burned down. An enclave of environmentalists seems to be the most likely culprit, but soon Bruno uncovers evidence that makes the case infinitely more complicated.
I thoroughly enjoy this series. I note that some complain that the books are slow. Well. Yes. Not a constant edge-of-your-seat thrill. Tension builds in fits and starts.In the meantime, you spend time learning how rural French folks acquire truffles, cook from their gardens, appreciate wines, and keep their small town alive. Yes, there is a murder. The police chief is on the case despite interference from incompetents and danger from the criminals intent on thwarting him by whatever means they can. But mostly, I enjoy the sojourn in a part of France I don't know. The easiest kind of travel.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder. No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary.
When I read the first Three Pines book, I found it a bit slow. I'm more accustomed to the noir of the Scandinavian thriller writers, the convoluted grunge of Tana French, and the literary stylings of Elizabeth George. I didn't know how to take the village of Three Pines.
But as I settled into the second offering, I began to see the village as a type of Eden, so perfect that it takes a while for the snake to be recognized. There are spiritual references in both, but they are more apparent in "A Fatal Grace" than in the first book of the series. I love the world that Penny creates where even the most benign and attractive apple has a worm burrowed somewhere inside. To counter balance that, the most disagreeable characters have something worthwhile peeking through the cracks.
I was able to figure out the whodunit part of this story before the end. But I enjoyed the journey, being led by the voice of Ralph Cosham, so much that I didn't mind.
I will do listen to more of these.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful
In this lively and compelling biography, Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751 - 1831) went on to become America's first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America's national and international durability.
I usually can stand hagiography. I take it with a grain of salt. But this one is so over the top that I'm bailing after an hour. I think it might go down a little better in print. The melodramatic reading puts it beyond my ability to continue past the first hour.
I'd like to know more about James Monroe. But surely there's a better biography out there somewhere.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Introducing Wyoming's Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Dry Bones, the first in the Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, full of memorable characters.
I'm enthusiastic because now have a new author to follow. Good page-turner with decent character development. I'll look for Johnson again!
On a busy Washington morning, the stately calm of the White House is shattered in a deadly terrorist attack on the executive mansion. The president is evacuated to an underground bunker, but not before nearly one hundred hostages are taken. Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, is sent in to take control of the crisis and determines that the president is not as safe as Washington’s power elite had thought....
I am usually determined to get through any book I paid for. My husband laughs at me about that. But this one defeated me. I didn't make it through the first hour. I don't know how I picked it out and put it in my wish list.
I hate to pan a book because it's just my opinion. Another listener might like it. The reader sounded fine. But it's way below my normal reading level. I don't have the patience to be told what Israel is and what Hamas is. I already know that Persians speak Farsi. It was simplistic, all black/white, caricatures. I felt I was being talked down to by somebody who didn't have much to teach me. For folks who don't follow news, maybe a high schooler, this might be the one.
Maybe it was going to get better. But an hour was all I could stomach. Just sayin'.
Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier’s head, and tells her to count to 25. When he doesn’t get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.
This may not be Great Literature. And I do love Great Literature. But it is great fun. Nesbo has been added to my Scandinavian thriller list!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam's masterpiece. And now that novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat. As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, this novel is a triumph.
I thought I might not like this addendum to Gardam's "Old Filth," which I really enjoyed. I was expecting a lot of repetition perhaps. Or something that would skewer my enjoyment of "Old Filth". But no. It's quite wonderful to see the marriage of Old Filth through the eyes of his wife, Betty. The author answers questions that you didn't even realize you had. Thoroughly enjoyable.If you liked, "Old Filth", as I and the other members of my book club did, this one is a must.The reader is terrific. Keeps the voices separate and clear without overly dramatizing dialog. I have no complaints about this one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A new addition to the New York Times best-selling Stone Barrington series. After an eventful trip to Bel-Air and a reunion with his sophisticated (and very wealthy) former love, Arrington Calder, Stone Barrington is back in New York, and he's looking to stay closer to home and cash in on his partnership at Woodman & Weld. But Arrington has other plans for Stone... including introducing him to the child he fathered many years ago.
This might be the story for you. You can breathlessly fast forward wondering if the billionaire's son who has an IQ of 161 and parents who know every member of the board gets into the good school. You can press your headset to your ears so you won't miss it when the author tells you whether they take his jet or hers to the party.
However, if you require something a bit more important than that to create suspense, this isn't the book for you. ALL the protagonists are perfect. Rich, gorgeous, moral, kind. There is no suspense of any sort. None. There is a crime in the last two hours (yes, I kept going, hoping something somewhere would happen), but you see it coming from the first chapter and are just waiting to get it over. No character struggles with anything at all. Nobody worries that he might drink too much or fail to say the perfect thing at the perfect time. It doesn't cross anyone's mind that he or she might not get the girl or win the award or look fabulous in a riding habit. There is nothing to worry about. Ever. Nobody even grieves if there is a death.
Happy families may not be all alike. Maybe they are each boring in their own way. I would take an expert's word for that. I don't want to keep reading about them to find out for myself.
It was a crime of senseless violence. On a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse, an elderly farmer was bludgeoned to death, his wife left to die with a noose around her neck. As if this didn't present enough problems for Ystad police inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman's last word, his only tangible clue, were foreign. If publicized, they could be the match that would inflame Sweden's already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.
I found Mankell after reading "The Girl ... " trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Went looking for other Swedish thrillers. I wouldn't so much call the Kurt Wallender series thrillers. More police procedurals, but that doesn't do them credit. As it turns out, I like them more than I like the Larsson books. Far more character development and examination of cultural issues than the standard cop stories. I read the latest Wallender story first. Now I will work my way through the series. My husband also has become a fan. In a few months, we are going to Denmark and intend to take a side trip to Ystadt, Sweden to see Wallender's haunts. The performance is also excellent. Mankell's works may not be great literature, and I enjoy great literature as well. But they are great reads without being simplistic.