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
Absurdistan
Nefertiti
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Amagansett
Peter Pan


Toni Osborne's favorite books »
}

Monday, November 20, 2017

"Deadly Partnership", by Richard Gardner

Murder, Blackmail and Voices from the Spirit World

At first I was leery reading this book after all voices from the other world is not my kind of excitement and by far not my cup of tea. Was I ever wrong thinking this and so glad I said yes to Mr. Garner’s request to review his book. This was a very captivating read.

Right from the opening page I was hooked by this dark and clever storyline. The author feeds his story and builds suspense in calculating steps, drop by drop. It begins with an introduction to the main character with Paul Jenkins decisions to live with his sister Julie in their child-hood home after retirement….this may not have been a wise decision. Our first meeting with the spiritual world comes when Julie attends a séance.

After moving in Paul’s idyllic life turns into turmoil when he comes face to face with a burglar, his reaction to this intrusion had tragic consequences. It is not the first time Paul has taken matters in his own hands and it seems that those who have disappeared in the past are not completely gone….from then on we have strange occurrences, medium visits and more murders.

I enjoyed this book. It has a cracking great story with characters easy to connect with. The story provides surprises after surprises and the medium aspects are at its bare minimum. What kept me glued was wondering the outcome, what will Paul do next, who will squeal on him, will he get caught, what about his son, his sister, old friends and the riffraff Paul associates himself with, what’s next…..This story is very well-written with enough suspense to have us flipping the page at a rapid rage…that good.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Finding Grace:Captured by a Cult", by Warren Adler

What would you do if your loveable child is in the clutches of a notorious cult? Would you question yourself: where did we go wrong, was our child unhappy, did our chattered life had a terrible effect on her…etc. a million questions and very few answers….The novel gets to the heart of brainwashing and its power to control. It also highlights how far parents will go to get their child back, even if that child is an adult.

Mr. Adler is a master in creating drama with visual scenes and building upon relationships. At first blush, the book seemed to be of Grace and the parental attempts to find her but it soon morphed into an overwhelming sexual obsession between two self-centered characters: Harry and Paulie, Grace divorced parents. The story jumps back and forth from the present and go back in time as the characters often reminisce about their life together. At one point, their romance is rekindled and this completely takes over the plot. These two characters did not fully won my heart… but their quest and the drastic measures taken to turn Grace around and bring her home is where this story excels in delivering its message.

This easy and fast read set some decades ago moderately dabbles into the cult mindset and their persuasion techniques. Although the premise is more about the efforts and courage needed to find and bring Grace back home we nevertheless have a look at this young woman who has been sucked into a cult and is now under their firm grasp.
As with all of Mr. Adler’s work, the narration flows smoothly and his powerful prose leaves a whirlwind of emotions. After-all having your child under the spell of mind control who shuns your love can only be but devastating.

An emotional read

Friday, November 10, 2017

"Casino Havana". by Graham Tempest

Book # 5, an Oliver Steele Thriller

In this latest our intrepid forensic accountant is tasked with another mission this time to Cuba he goes to find a friend, who was kidnapped and put in prison.

This is another suspenseful story in the Casino series hard to put down. Mr. Tempest creates interesting intrigues that pulls you in and manages to keep you captivated till his protagonist wraps up his mission. This one reads more like an espionage thriller than a mystery. The Castro era is winding down, Cuba is in a process of a big political change and officials are jockeying for position but some are very corrupted, Oliver must tread the line very carefully.

The story keeps a steady pace, is exciting and full of red herrings especially when Oliver mounts an attack on an island prison trying to reach his friend .Throughout this nail biting journey, one crisis after another happens to our loveable adventurer. Along the way we have details of old style Cuba, its 1920’s music and how things were then and how things are since the Castro era. Recurring characters from previous adventures are weaved in to show us that Oliver still has to deal with bribery and intimidation at every turn. No dull moment with Oliver.

“Casino Havana”, has an interesting and well-written plot with good characterization and is an enjoyable entertainment from cover to cover.

"Gaslight", by Mark Dawson

Book #0.5 in the Soho Noir series

A 65 pages novella, a prequel to the earlier published works “The Imposter and The Black Mile.

The story is moody and vivid but it is too short and too thin but the biggest disappointment is that it leaves you hanging and wanting more. Like most short stories “Gaslight” has its flaws but it is worth the time reading it.

What pushed me to download this book: simple I am a huge fan. Mr. Dawson usually writes exciting stories that lures you in and keeps you interested till you reach the end and why not at the time the book was offered free of charges.

Here he set the stage to post war London 1920, his main characters are two brothers, Harry and Frank Costello who burgle house to supplement their incomes. Mr. Dawson even in his short story never misses the mark in creating the right atmosphere. His vivid prose paints a picture of the seedier side of London’s life, its crime elements and the poorer quarters with ease. But it ends too abruptly for me. This story is more of a teaser…..

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"The Westhampton Scare", by Gerald J. Kubicki and Kristopher Kubicki

Book#28, in the Colton Banyon Mystery

Although this may be the 28th book it is just the 2nd bringing us back in time when Colton was a young man. The year is 1968 and Colton just finished his sophomore year at college and was home for the summer working at a restaurant along with some of his friends.

Using the same pattern he always does, Mr. Kubicki starts with an interesting prologue and a bit of history then he swiftly moves to the core of his mystery. I really love this new approach, a good storyline that moves along a good pace with plenty of suspense. The book is fun to read and not taxing at all, we can easily read it in no time. Making Colt and his friend trespass on some secret government land where a nuclear missile went missing gives us just enough intrigue to keep turning the pages, to boot a Russian sleeper cell lurks around the corner….a recovery search spearheaded by a sexy Major is teasing our teens and the wild ride through Westhampton can only make “The Westhampton Scare” a very captivating read.

After reading all but one book written by the Kubicki I noticed a great change in style that I appreciate: out with the ridiculous fantasies, out with the over-sexed dim-wits and more concentration on a solid and good storyline. Well-done.