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Road Ends: A Novel
Road Ends: A Novel
by Mary Lawson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.94
60 used & new from $7.18

3.0 out of 5 stars "Don't say no, it's the end of the world." Song lyrics., July 30, 2014
This review is from: Road Ends: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a family history that is entertaining and informative.

In part, it tells the story of Megan Cartwright who is age twenty one at the start of the story. She's the eldest of nine children, the only girl, and she's had to run the house for years. Finally, she decides to have a life of her own and move to England. Her father is pleased with her decision and supports her financially. Her father had wanted to travel to Europe for years but never got the chance.

Tom Cartwright is Meg's nearest brother. He's a college student as the story begins. He witnesses something with one of his friends and this adds to his desire for isolation. He keeps to himself at home and tries to find work where he doesn't have to communicate with anyone.

Edward Cartwright is Meg and Tom's father. His parents had a farm and it was expected that their sons would also become farmers. Edward's high school teacher told Edward's mother that he had potential if he stayed in school. Edward's brothers had adjoining farms and Edward became a banker.

Through the story we see what happens to these characters from 1966 to 1969. The family is dysfunctional and face these dilemmas. Will Meg find happiness and use her talents in England? Would Tom put his college education to use and begin earning a decent income? Will Edward ever get to Rome? The final dilemma is if the family will find someone to manage things at their home.

Mary Lawson gets the reader to think for themselves about what might happen in certain situations. She describes life as it really is, but with tenderness and hope for the various characters. I was disappointed with the ending which seemed to foretell of family members accepting their fate.

I can't write more without revealing plot but would say the the book really described a slice of life, even if it was sad.


Sniper's Honor: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel
Sniper's Honor: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel
by Stephen Hunter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.16
84 used & new from $9.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death. Gita, July 28, 2014
It didn't take me long to know I'd be hooked by this excellent adventure story. I just closed my eyes and imagined Clint Eastwood in the role of Bob Lee Swagger.

Swagger is retired and he's contacted by his friend, reporter, Kathy Reilly. She's doing a story on a forgotten Russian Sniper from WWII and wants Swagger's help.

The woman's name is Mili Petrova and she's called the White Witch. In alternating chapters we read of her adventures in 1944 and then Swagger and Reilly researching Mili's history.

Mili's first adventure that we see is when she's in a waiting game with a German sniper at Stalingrad. She wins this battle and her next assignment is in Ukraine where she's ordered to kill the leading German official. This man has sent many Jews to their deaths and Mili is on a deadline since the Russian Army advance is set to begin in Ukraine and the Germans will be retreating.

Swagger and Reilly examine the history and observe that Mili must have been betrayed soon after her arrival in Ukraine. However, she escapes a trap and continues with her mission.

Swagger and Reilly come into difficulties of their own as a group of American mercenaries warn them to leave and forget about Petrova. Of course, this only makes them more interested to learn of why Petrova was never heard from after this assignment.

The excitement mounts as a member of the Mossad learns that something is being made from a mineral found in Ukraine, this element was made into a gas that killed millions of Jews.

There are a number of very interesting characters who the reader can sympathise with, the leading person for this is the leader of a German Parachute Battalion stationed in Ukraine.

I enjoyed the novel but found one editing mistake where a friend of Swagger's is referred to as JT in one part of the story and JF in another. Otherwise, the story was excellent and I can't wait for Swagger's next adventure.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 6:08 PM PDT


Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)
Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)
by Stuart MacBride
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.37
90 used & new from $0.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If I held you any closer, I'd be on the other side of you. Groucho Marx, July 25, 2014
Award winning author, Stuart MacBride gives his readers a new adventure of DS Logan McRae in "Close to the Bone."

This is a complex story with multiple story lines.

There is a movie being filmed in Aberdeen, Scotland. The movie is about witches and someone begins imitating the film by killing people in imitation to the movie. Soon after the story begins, police find the body of a man who had been necklaced. The man's head was forced into a tire, his arms trapped in the tire and then he was set on fire.

DS Logan McRae investigates while his department is also investigating a gang rivalry. People begin showing up at the hospital who have been beaten and their knees broken.

McRae's superior, a compulsive smoker and wise cracking woman has an enjoyable banter with McRae. This provides a break from some of the gruesome murders and beatings we read about.

At the same time, a gangster, Wee Hamish, is ill. He is a friendly acquaintance of McRae and wants him wants McRae to be his executor and take over his business enterprises. One of his goons thinks that he (the goon) should be the successor and makes his opinion known by breaking McRae's nose.

With a large cast of characters working on various crimes, the reader gets a feel of the old TV show, Hill Street Blues. The descriptions are vivid and the reader gets a good insight into the characters.

MacBride's writing is colorful, "But it was her hair that really stood out. And up. And in every other direction as if she'd brushed it with an angry cat."

The story is lengthy and should be read in a liesurly manner to appreciate the dialogue and Scottish setting. However, with the large cast of characters and with many nicknames, I did become confused at times. I enjoyed the novel and look forward to the next adventure of Logan McRae.

3 1/2 stars moving up to 4.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 6:11 PM PDT


The Drop
The Drop
by Dennis Lehane
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.57

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a teardrop., July 20, 2014
This review is from: The Drop (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In "The Drop," Dennis Lehane returns to the Boston area and the setting of his novel, "Mystic River."

The story opens shortly after Christmas where a number of customers gather together to celebrate the life of a missing friend after leaving the bar, Cousin Marv's, ten years ago. The reader is left with the feeling that there will be more to come in this part of the story.'"

Bob Saginowski is the bartender at Cousin Marv's. On his way home, he hears a whimpering sound and finds an abandoned puppy in a garbage can. As he removes the lid of the can to get the dog, a woman comes to her porch and yells at him to get out of her garbage. In this way, Bob meets Nadia. When she learns what Bob was doing, she becomes more friendly.

Bob is a loner who attends daily Mass at St. Dom's but never receives communion. There is some feeling of guilt in his past that leads to this. A police detective who also attends daily Mass wonders what Bob's secret is.

Bob's boss is Cousin Marv. When Marv tells Bob to take down the Christmas ornaments on December 27th, it tells the reader what they need to know about Marv. We also see what a Scrooge he is when he objects to Bob's kindness in allowing a senior citizen to run a never ending tab.

The little we know about Marv is that he was the owner of the bar but it is now owned by a Chechen mobster. It is currently a place where Marv takes bets and the Chechen mob uses it as a drop for their illegal money.

Bob learns that St. Bart's is going to close so it can be used for commercial purposes and the reader can appreciate this as a problem with the Catholic Church. There is less attendance at Mass and an aging group of priests which necessitates the combining of parishes.

I enjoyed Bob as a character. His solitary life reminded me of the character, Marty, in the 1950s movie. The warmhearted butcher in that film seemed like Bob who admits that he didn't have any friends before his relationship with Nadia. I also sympathized with him with his pride at owning a pet who depended on him. When the original owner of the dog decided he wanted the dog back, it created a good feeling of suspense while Bob figured what to do.

Eric Deeds is a character who had been in prison. When he's released, he travels to see the man who was his protector in prison. Eric intends to get some drugs to sell up North. The scene that transpires with Eric at the man's home was powerfully written and visually described.

There are a number of surprises and twists to the story that make the reader unable to foresee where the story will lead.

The setting was well done and I wanted Bob to succeed in whatever he set about to do. However, I would have liked more background on Marv, Nadia and Eric to understand their actions in the story.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 6:13 PM PDT


Wicked Prey (Lucas Davenport, No. 19)
Wicked Prey (Lucas Davenport, No. 19)
by John Sandford
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.99
428 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pray you don't miss this one, July 16, 2014
Every time I pick up a John Sandford story, I know I'm going to be entertained. With "Wicked Prey," my enjoyment of Sandford's writing continues.

The 2008 Republican National Convention is coming to Minnesota and John McCain is the expected candidate. However, along with the politicians comes a group of robbers who have already killed two armored car guards.

There is also a paraplegic man who vows revenge against Lucas Davenport. Lucas arrested this man, Randy Witcomb, and Witcomb ended up in prison. His life spiraled downward from there. Eventually he was shot by another cop while Witcomb was commiting another crime. He ended up a paralegic and feels that Lucas is the cause of all of his woes.

Lucas shows himself as a well rounded man who has a family life besides his work. He and his wife are in the final stages of adopting their ward, Letty, who is age fourteen.

A third portion of the story concerns a right wing radical who has been target practicing and officials fear he's planning to kill someone at the convention.

Letty has a major role in this story as she learns of Whitcomb's plan to harm Lucas and decides to stop him by herself. In this shows that she's made of the same stuff as Lucas and would be a good detective in the future.

The characters are vividly described. The setting is excellent and allows the reader to get a glimpse of the inner workings of a political convention.

Sandford haways leaves me wanting more and with the good suspense, excellent characters and a strong story, I'm ready for the next episode of Lucas Davenport and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2014 4:22 PM PDT


Unmanned: A novel
Unmanned: A novel
by Dan Fesperman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mishap with a drone, July 13, 2014
This review is from: Unmanned: A novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a story that describes what a person might do in order to live with their mistakes that cost people's lives.

The psychological novel tells the readers about F1 fighter pilot Darwin Cole. Darwin loved flying the F1's and felt pride in his work. Then he was transferred to be a pilot in the Predator drone program. One day, he's given a target in a village in Afghanistan. He's told it's a HVT - high value target. Just after he sets the mission on its trail, he spots a young girl running out of the house that was the target. It's too late for Cole to do anything about it and the next thing he sees is the death and destruction caused by the missile.

Cole has a daughter about the same age as the Afghan girl who was killed. He becomes haunted by his act but the person who ordered the strike is nowhere to be found.

Cole begins drinking heavily and goes AWOL. His wife takes the children and leaves and Cole becomes a washed out drunk, living in a trailer in the desert.

One day a reporter comes to his trailer and convinces him to join her and two other journalists. They want to find the person who ordered the strike and hold him accountable for his act.

Cole doesn't need much persuading and joins the team. We follow his actions as he approaches a retired CIA agent and later, a man who agrees to be a source. This man works in the Pentagon.

As Cole does this, the reader follows the man who is hunting him. This man is ordered to find Cole and then, perhaps, decide his fate.

Generally in a thriller I look for suspense, good action and drama. I've enjoyed Dan Fesperman's work, in particular his award winning "The Prisoner of Guantanamo," but this book doesn't measure up to Fesperman's other work. I look forward to the next novel from this writer and hope to see more excitement and more characters who the reader can sympathise with and want to know more about.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2014 5:55 AM PDT


Target America: A Sniper Elite Novel
Target America: A Sniper Elite Novel
by Scott McEwen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.12
84 used & new from $3.31

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure to hit the target is usually the fault of the shooter, July 11, 2014
There are certain books where the reader can determine they will be entertained from the start. Such is the case with "Target America."

We read of U.S. Navy SEAL Master Chief, Gil Shannon and his group who are sent on a special ops mission.

Two nuclear bombs have been smuggled into the U.S. One of the bombs is being moved via a drug cartel's tunnel beneath the U.S. Mexican border when it is detonated prematurely. Since it went off underground the nuclear affects were somewhat limited but it intensifies the search for the second bomb.

Scott McEwen's Sniper Elite series is a mixture of fact and fiction. Much of the story is based on the collective narratives of active and retired U. S. Navy SEALS.

There are two segments to the story. In one there is the search for the bomb. Since it is a suitcase bomb, it's easily hidden. In the other, a Chechan terrorist wants to payback America by killing its number one hero, Gil Shannon. He plans his kill to take place at Gil's ranch in Montana. In this segment we see Gil's wife, Marie, as a gutsy and determined woman.

We learn of two brothers, members of AlQaeda in the Arabian Pensula who are part of the plan to strike against the U.S. They provided the funds for the bomb and are planning the target. Gil and his boss must deal with the threat of political reprecussions since the brothers are operating out of Canada.

The characters are well described and the combat scenes realistic.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 11:54 AM PDT


The Boy in the Boat
The Boy in the Boat
by Brian O'Raleigh
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.26
28 used & new from $10.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pass this by., July 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Boy in the Boat (Paperback)
Disliked this book. Found many grammatical mistakes and poor editing. Don't waist your time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2014 8:23 PM PDT


Suspect
Suspect
by Robert Crais
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.49
114 used & new from $3.74

4.0 out of 5 stars There aren't many suspects who are free from crime., July 10, 2014
This review is from: Suspect (Paperback)
This suspenseful action thriller tells the story of K-9 Maggie and her handler, Scott James. Scott is a police officer with the LAPD.

The story opens with Maggie and her Marine handler, Pete, on a mission in Afghanistan. In an ambush, Pete is killed and Maggie wounded. Marines had to put a blanket over Maggie's head to get her away from protecting Pete's body and to get her medical treatment.

At a later time, there is a shootout in Los Angeles where officer Scott James is wounded and his partner, Stephanie, killed.

After a period of recuperation, Scott returns to duty and joins the K-9 unit. He's teamed with Maggie who was retired from Marine duty as a sentry dog and retrained for police duty.

Both Maggie and Scott have to adjust to each other. It's as if they both suffer from PTSD and having a partner with the same affliction is a remedy. What is unique and wins the reader's heart is that we follow the remainder of the story from both Maggie and Scott's points of view. To read Maggie's thoughts as Scott proves his love for her and earns her respect, she becomes to feel that he is Alpha and her duty is to obey and protect him.

Scott can't forget the shooting and Stephanie's death. He requests the case records so he can investigate the crime in his spare time. This becomes more and more time consuming as he gets leads and Maggie's sense of smell about the evidence, helps Scott in the investigation.

There are many levels to the story. On one hand we see the faith and friendship between a K-9 and her handler have for each other. We also admire Scott's determination not to let Stephanie's murderer go unpunished.

There are a number of surprises and the conclusion is something that the reader will view and jump up and cheer.


Field of Prey
Field of Prey
by John Sandford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.32
213 used & new from $4.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The black hole, July 2, 2014
This review is from: Field of Prey (Hardcover)
As one reviewer states, John Sandford never disappoints.

This is a scary story. I get nervous when thinking about the murders that took place in the story. The killers were so professional and analytical in the manner in which they picked their victims and then kidnapped and murdered them.
It seemed as if the victims never had a chance.

When Lucas Davenport made his appearance, I assumed that the killers would be caught within a short period of time.
However, that didn't happen and Davenport and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had their work cut out.

I enjoyed the characters, the good characters were sympathetic and we want them to succeed in their efforts to catch and punish the villains. The villains were very bright and we want to see them stopped. This is the stuff of a good mystery.

The setting was also well described. I thought it was terrific how two lovers stumbled on the scene where the murderers dumped the bodies of their victims. It was truly a black hole in the literal and actual sense.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 6:25 AM PDT


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