Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Peter Pan

Toni Osborne's favorite books »

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Creep", by R.M. Greenaway

Book#3, B.C. Blues Crime series

This 3rd mystery featuring Cal Dion and David Leith is a well created and a haunted tale set against the dark side of Vancouver’s North Shore. “Creep” has also elements of a gothic suspense I loved, some quite spooky making the experience a compelling read I enjoyed immensely. Ms. Greenaway stories are getting better with each outing.

As in the previous novels “Creep” is an exciting wild ride into police procedural with deeply characterized RCMP officers as main players. Dion and Leith are on the hunt for a killer who may be responsible for the death of a hiker and also for the mauled body found in a derelict house. Reported sighting of wolf, werewolf and large dogs….is the perpetrator human or beast……. As the investigation unfolds people are starting to think yes there is a werewolf on the loose….

Mental illness and paranormal, a mix that makes one ponder why some lose concept of normalcy and in which world they live on. Ms. Greenaway brings to her story a keen understanding of frailty and is at her best when she brings us into the forbidding wilderness and plunges us along with her characters into hugely intricate murder cases. Strong narrative all through gives strengths to the investigations inevitably holds us captivated, glued to every word from start to finish.

After 3 books, this author has finally won my heart. Her writing is economical, her plotting taut and her knowledge is sound. Well-done.

I received this ARC from Dundurn Publishers via NetGalleys for my honest thoughts.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

"The Poet", by Michael Connelly

Book #1 in the Jack McEvoy series

Not surprising Mr. Connelly is a bestselling author. “The Poet” is an intense and captivating mystery of a reporter’s single-minded pursuit of the serial killer who murdered his twin. This was his first departure from his crime novels featuring Harry Bosch, we all came to know very well. This novel was published in 1996 and won the Anthony Award and the Dilys Award the following year. Why did I take so long to read it? (Too many books on my TBR list).

The story is told mainly in the first person narrative from the perspective of reporter Jack McEvoy and his nemesis the mysterious character named “Eidolon”, Mr. Connelly switches to the third person when the story is told from the view point of Gladden, the pedophile. The transition from one character to the other is professionally done and very smooth. I really like how Michael Connelly takes us into the world of reporting. His experience as a former writer for a newspaper makes the reporter stuff such as deadlines and chasing down leads sound so authentic. Being written a long time ago makes some of the technology outdated but if you were around then you will definitely remember the phone booth, the sound of a modem dialing…a bit of nostalgia…does no harm…

Of course death is at the heart of this novel. A serial killer is at large, his target: homicide cops and the killer’s calling card is a quotation from the woks of Edgar Poe. When Jack decides that the best way to exorcise his grief is by writing a feature on police suicides he soon finds himself involved in an FBI investigation of a serial killer referred to as the Poet….Jack meets Rachael Walling, the lead investigator.

This is a page-turner I had a hard time to put down so captivated I was to see how Jack would manage to pull through the intricate web of conspiracy he found himself in. The mystery has great characterization, a plot line that moves along at a steady pace, rich and colourful narration and strong dialogue. No wonder this was and still is a winner.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Sundown On Top of the World", by R.E. Donald

Book#4, In A Hunter Rayne Highway Mystery

This story captures the wildness of the North, its beautiful land and the strong and resourceful people who live there. “Sundown On Top of the World”, is named after the highway that connects Dawson City, Yukon with the town of Tok, Alaska.

The story is set in 1997 and we follow Hunter Rayne, an ex-Canadian Mountie who has changed career to become a long distance trucker on his latest haul from Vancouver to way North to Fairbanks, Alaska. He meets up with his friend Sorry, a biker who can’t hold down a job to help him with the drive. Of course what seems to be a straight forward assignment turns out to be totally deferent then expected …after the rig brakes down and the two decide to take a side trip to Eagle, Alaska…Soon the intrepid travellers finds themselves deep into the wilderness…..

There is a lot going on in this book, the author has done a great job weaving it all together in an engaging way. The players are great characters that ring true. The tempo is steady and includes twists and turns to surprise us. We go back in time when a recent murder crosses path with a cold case Hunter worked on as lead investigator more than 25 years ago. The two, present and past, narratives converge smoothly and paint a colourful and extraordinary adventure in the middle of the wilderness where only a few hard-core individuals would dare to make it their home.

This story is captivating and very interesting…a well-done whodunit story said with a Northern touch.

Friday, February 9, 2018

"The Heavies", by Ty Patterson

Book # 6, in the Warriors Shorts series

Mr. Patterson brought us once more a fast and furious and very captivating short story featuring Bwana and Roger, two of his most talented operatives. These two heavies are vacationing in Hollywood when an agent offers to cast them in a movie but instead ended up in a skirmish with the Mafia.

88 pages of never ending suspense and a lot is said in those few pages. Mr. Patterson knows how to entertain. The drama although short contains all the essential elements to make a good story: exciting plot, great characterization and everything neatly tied up.

When I have a few moments to spare I love Mr. Patterson’s short stories to fill in between his full length thrillers

Monday, February 5, 2018

"Hamfist Over Hanoi", by G.E. Nolly

Book #4 in The Air Combat Adventures of Hamilton “Hamfist” Hancock

The narrative is a vast memoir of everything that happened to the author during his tours of duty as a U.S. Air force pilot in Vietnam. Taken from actual events Mr. Nolly tells his story in his own words and has enhanced it somewhat to carries his readers along with him as if we were a co-pilot. If you like anything about flying fighters you certainly will devour this book.

1972, Hamfist is back in action and now flies an F-4 Phantom at the start of Operation Linebacker, the bombing offensive over Hanoi. The book contains a heavy load of information on how to fly an F-4 fighter and has a lot of acronyms to go along with the narrative (a glossary of terms is at the end of the book). The author does not mince his words in this meat and potatoes conduct of the air war in Vietnam. The Rules of Engagement put many restrictions and was terribly frustrating for the pilots. Flying over the most heavily defended area in the world, dodging Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and dueling with enemy aircraft, the vaunted MiG-series fighters is what this book is all about. Hamfist was the last pilot to complete 100 missions over North Vietnam.

Mr. Nolly doesn’t have much respect for antiwar protesters, conscientious objectors, or for Jane Fonda, who gets a two-page rant in which she is called a traitor and compared to Tokyo Rose. I highly understand his point of view. At the time men had no choice, they were drafted into the war. The war dragged on and people ( parents, siblings, friends, wife and children) wanted their men back home…so they took to the streets…..I highly understood them also…..

Of course this book is not for everyone. I particularly liked the action, it is exciting and very well-done, I did feel being part in the daily activities of an ace pilot who flew airplanes in the Vietnam War.