"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."--Groucho Marx

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Eighth Day, by Tom Avitabile

Fiction Studio Books

William (Wild Bill) Hiccock is the Science Advisor to the President, when unknown terrorists begin to attack the United States in a wide range of areas, with various methods. When the Director of the FBI goes after the terrorists with the same old techniques, William believes that using scientific methods would look at the picture differently and bring about a better outcome. He turns to his ex-wife and other experts to track down some of the peculiarities he sees.

This is an incredibly action packed book that reaches out to the reader on so many different levels. The setting moves all across the country and in multiple areas of the White House, dealing in political, military, and FBI/CIA relationships. Using science as a venue for the crimes, the vocabulary and focus of the book builds around various areas including computers and artificial intelligence, keeping the reader involved. The action just keeps hopping. It kept me up late for three work nights! The premise leaves your wanting to check your computer to make sure it does not have an enemy within. Hiccock is much like a mental MacGyver. If you like action packed adventure with scientific deduction, you will love this. I cannot wait to get the next book in the series. 

Digging Up Death, by Gina Conroy

Writer Interrupted
Mari Duggins is at a turning point in her life. Her husband left her alone with her two children and her brother two years ago to return to the archeology field in Egypt. Now, she is vying for a prime time TV spot to bring in more money for her family. About to begin her current program on archeology, her colleague has a heart attack, then her old lover shows up, bringing back lots of old feelings. When she hears that her colleague is dead, and her ex-husband is accused of stealing Egyptian artifacts, Mari stumbles around trying to find the killer, while trying to avoid her feelings for her old lover.

Mari's life is a series of crazy events that never stop dragging her down as she attempts to make the best choices for she and her family. Her friend Elizabeth attempts to share her faith, but Mari does not believe that God will accept her because of her past. Mari trudges through life trying to keep all the balls in the air, working for more money, happy children, and gluing her marriage back together. When she finally hits a wall and breaks down, Mari accepts Gods love and sees that This story is interesting and keeps you guessing until the end as Mari learns that God and family are the most important things in life. I'd recommend this for women who are looking for something more than a basic mystery or love story. 

Published by StoneHouse Ink on November 28, 2012.

Gina blogs atWriter Interrupted

Hurt: A Novel, by Travis Thrasher

David C. Cook Publishing

Hurt is the continuing story of Chris Buckley, who came to the town of Solitary with his mother, only to discover that a group of creepy, evil men want him to take over their business from his grandfather that everyone thought was dead. With his mother now locked in rehab, crazies are coming out of the woodwork and Chris has no way to fight against them. Chris begins seeing things that happened in the past and putting all the pieces together. He now knows that May 28 will be the end, one way, or another.

Thrasher writes in short choppy sentences that create the feeling of being in the mind of an adolescent as well as increase the intensity of the book. Absolutely, do not read this book alone. I would definitely recommend having all four books in the Solitary Tales series ready, so that you can move immediately to the next. The tension is such that you will not want to wait even a week for the next one. Thrasher never lays out the plot, so the reader continually guesses the outcome. Though targeting young adults, anyone that enjoys paranormal horror will enjoy this series.

Received from NetGalley.

Published by David C. Cook on January 1, 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shattered Silence: The Men of the Texas Rangers, Book 2, by Margaret Daley.

Durango, Texas has a problem with a killer, and Lillianna Rodriguez is the police investigator in charge. Her partner is about to go on vacation, but Rodriguez is not looking forward to a stranger helping her investigate. To remove his son from the influence of his white supremacist stepfather, Texas Ranger Cody Jackson just moved to Durango with his son, only to be immediately consumed in the investigation. Variations on the theme of bullying twist through the story and include abuse against people due to race, physical handicap, or members of a family, while Rodriguez and Jackson romance enjoy each other.

This is a good romantic suspense novel wrapped around a murder investigation as each party deals with family issues. Put this on your ‘to read’ list if you enjoy a quick romantic suspense.

Received from NetGalley.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Charlotte Fig Takes Over Paradise: A Novel of Bright’s Pond, by Joyce Magnin

Abingdon Press

When Charlotte’s domineering husband drops dead with a heart attack, Charlotte doesn’t know which way to turn. When she reads an advertisement, Charlotte buys a doublewide trailer, sight unseen, and moves to Paradise Trailer Park. Her rosy view of a trailer park crashes to the ground when she pulls up to her purchase that is far less than advertised. Another resident, Rose Tattoo, conveniences her to stay, and together they pull the residents together and form a softball team. There she finds her old self, long ago crushed under the abusive hand of her husband. Charlotte deals with her grief, her fear, and her mother, along with a colorful cast of unusual neighbors.

This story is laugh out-loud funny with the descriptions of Charlotte’s life, her choices, and the other residents at Paradise. It also pulls at your heart as the story touches on spouse abuse, and Charlotte’s search for the Lord. Though this book can be enjoyed by anyone, mature readers will be able to appreciate Charlotte’s struggle to grow after her husband’s death. I recommend this to anyone who has lived long enough to understand that life is a series of changes, and not for the faint of heart.

Published by Abingdon Press, March 2010.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Full Disclosure, by Dee Henderson

This is the story of a romance between Paul Falcon, an FBI agent and Ann Silver, a murder investigator/writer that begins when Ann brings a motor vehicle death to Paul’s attention.  Working part time as a small town police chief, when the wreck occurs near her town, Ann tracks the driver’s identity enough to know that he appears to have a link to a long time contract killer.  Paul has tracked the contract killer for years.  When Paul meets Ann, his personal interest is hooked.
Bethany House Publishing

As a long time Dee Henderson fan, I was thrilled to read her new book, and she has definitely out done herself.  The romance reads like a manual for best practices for knowing your future mate in a way that precludes future marital problems.  The concurrent story of the tracking of the killer, along with the continuing drama of Falcon’s large family, and a retired Vice President’s involvement with a serial killer create a deep full novel.  This book is over 400 pages of twists and turns with the main characters’ discussions of their deep relationships with the Lord.  Excellent development of characters, along with a full, rich story.  I would recommend this to anyone looking for Christian romantic suspense that pulls at the heart and the mind with intensity.

Published by Bethany House on October 2, 2012.

Deadly Aim, by Patricia H. Rushford

Baker Publishing Group, Revell

The story opens as Angel Delaney, a police office, and her partner arrive on the scene of a pharmacy robbery in progress. Angel chases the robbers out of the rear of the pharmacy, confronting one in a darkened warehouse. After the robber raises a gun, Angel shoots and realizes that he is a kid. When the boy dies, Angel's world falls apart, with the media and the boy’s relatives attack her and accuse her of being a racist.

This is an exciting, enjoyable mystery romance with a Christian theme. The themes of racial hatred and Christianity run through the book, while Angel attempts to deal with the emotions of the killing and issues in her life. Rushford keeps you guessing about the identity of the killer until the end of the book. Angel is an enjoyable character as she struggles to deal with shooting a boy, accusations of racisism, and her unstable faith. Female readers of detective stories with a romantic twist should pick up a copy of Deadly Aim. I can’t wait to pick up the next ones in the series, as well as other Rushford novels.

Published by Baker Publishing Group, Revell, on February 1, 2004.