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 »

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Fractured', by Karin Slaughter

Book 2 in the Will Trent series

This is a crafty and suspenseful crime fiction tackling sensitive themes such as sexual abuse, violence against women and vulnerability of teens that are targeted by sexual predators. The novel is narrated in the third person in a tone that is tense and captivating stimulating the reader's interest.

There is a lot of action right from the start; it opens when a mother comes home to find a killer standing over a body mutilated beyond recognition. She immediately thinks it is her daughter and the tiger within her is released. How far will a mother go for her child? The outcome is quite shocking.....

Special Agent Will Trent now teamed up with detective Faith Mitchell is called to look over the crime scene in this affluent Atlanta neighbourhood. There, they discover that the Atlanta PD has unprofessionally compromised the scene and in haste has incorrectly identified the body. Who is this unfortunate girl and where is the young Miss Campano? They soon realize they have two cases to solve and it is a race against time......

Along with the main plot, the writer also develops the professional relationship between Faith and Will and their childhood baggage also plays an important part in the story. The protagonist Will is intriguing; his deepest secrets are a never ending battle with dyslexia and a need to keep up with everybody. He is also a man prepared to overstep the boundaries to get results. Faith on the other hand resents him for what happened in the past but nevertheless is determined to make things work out between them. The author has expertly developed the dynamics between these two characters; they make a good and interesting team. Hopefully we will see them in the future.

"I Alex Cross", by James Patterson

Book 16 in the Alex Cross series

Of all Patterson's novels the Alex Cross series is my favourite and I am glad that in this 16th instalment the author has returned to the core of what makes a thriller good and exciting. This novel does not disappoint.

Alex life is turned up side down after receiving a call that his niece Carolyn has been found murdered most likely perpetrated by a clandestine killer with the pseudonym of Zeus. Unlike other serial killers, capturing this murderer will have ramifications rarely seen and will require Alex to infiltrate and blend into the black side of Washington's elite. I was pulled immediately into the action and was intrigued by the development. I had trouble putting this novel down.

This story is one of the best in a long time. It may be a bit gruesome for some readers; the author has not held back when it came to describing the horrific acts of murder involving call girls. As the mystery deepens, scandals and extensive cover-ups hamper the investigation. But don't mess with Alex; he is unstoppable when it comes to family even if it involves top echelons of the US government.

There is also a subplot which revolves around other members Alex's family. Nana Mama is hospitalized; this side story draws the reader into Alex's personal life and helps to soften the tone. Lots of emotions come forward that will touch most readers deeply.

In whole, "I Alex Cross" is sharply written and flows in a manner fans will find quite entertaining.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"The Paris Vendetta", by Steve Berry

Book 5 in the Cotton Malone series

This story continues the Cotton Malone saga, plunging him once again into the center of an international intrigue where he will face assassination plots, search for hidden treasure, be caught in battles between his enemies and his friends and his customary dabble in romance. Once more Steve Berry has delivered a very captivating and interesting novel, true to his style.

Secret Service Agent Sam Collins has come to alert Cotton Malone that his friend Henrik Thorvaldsen is looking for him. He is on the trail of who killed his son and would like his help. The action as in previous novels starts with an explosive start as gunmen storm Malone's bookstore.

This novel does not disappoint, we have a charismatic hero in Malone now torn between duty and friendship. The plot is thrilling and exciting as we follow him on his mission to piece together all clues. Many twists and turns in the plot take the reader on a wild ride through Paris stimulating ones interest page after page. A touch of historical fact around Napoleon is a plus.

Mr Berry's formula pays, "The Paris Vendetta" is another entertaining novel in this adventure series..

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Ignorance of Blood", by Robert Wilson

Book 4 in the Javier Falcon series

This is the last novel in the quartet. It is based around the aftermath of the terrible terrorist attack bombing described in "The Hidden Assassins"

Detective Falcon had publicly promised to find the perpetrators of this outrageous event. His investigation ground to a halt until new leads surfaced with the death of a Russian gangster in a very nasty motor accident. The discovery of millions of Euros in the vehicle adds fuel and intrigue to the investigation....

Intricate plotting plunges the reader into suspense with Falcon suddenly immersed in the middle of a turf war over prostitution and drugs. Now the target of the Mafia, his multi-faceted investigation will also bring blackmail, kidnapping, espionage, political corruption and terrorism to the forefront.

The story is very complex and concentration is needed to keep up with the mix of characters we encounter along the way. There is an awful lot going on and you will need to remember names, places and events. The challenge is mind stimulating and rewarding.

As the story moves forward, parts of Falcon's past personal and professional enhance the story. The author provides enough background details that even without the knowledge of the earlier novels, it is easy to follow. Although it is best to have read them.

Mr Wilson's thrillers are based on his characters and are plot driven. Unique in his genre, I find the depth and complexities of his writing mind bending and quite addictive. I am looking forward to the next series although I will miss Javier Falcon.

"My Soul to Take", by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Book 2 in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series

This Icelandic crime novel is a thrilling read, an array of intricately woven plots unravelling slowly and mysteriously. A novel that has all the essential elements to peak the reader's interest leaving him somewhat spellbound.

The story brings lawyer Thora Gudmindsdottir to a recently developed health resort to gather information regarding the newly converted farmhouse. Her client Jonas purchased the propriety earlier and now believes the sellers purposely concealed the property's haunted past, a reputation that hinders the success of the resort . He is seeking compensation.

Soon after her arrival, the situation at the resort turns ugly, a grizzly murder is committed and Jonas becomes the prime suspect. Thora needs to help him clear his name. While investigating she uncovers some very disturbing occurrences, events that happened years earlier and were deeply hidden... some of the disturbing findings set a tone of scepticism on her part. Are the apparent supernatural events real or tales of folklore? What else will be revealed?

This is a complicated mystery with intricate plotting setting stage for many red herrings. Thora is represented as a wonderful sleuth/lawyer/detective and the story has a cast of numerous and intriguing secondary characters. The tale has its creepiness and supernatural side that lingers long after the last page. "My Soul to Take" is a chilling work of suspense I enjoyed thoroughly.