***** Excellent and not just by airport standards **** Very good. usually something fresh unique or quirky about these books ***+ 1/2 A good book. Well written and I enjoyed it. I would call this my Dick Francis rating. The plot may be formulaic but it's always a page turner *** Read the whole thing. This is often a some what generous rating. If I get through the flight I'm happy. ** + 1/2 A book with this rating means that I did read the whole thing but there is some significant flaw in the book. That means it's ok to pick it up in the airport under emergency circumstances but not to buy in a bookstore. ** Skimmed it for the few good parts I could find. Definitely only purchase under true emergency situations (as defined by there being nothing else on the shelf you haven't read) * Hurled the book across the room and wrote nasty comments at the amazon.com review site. A pure waste of money (buy magazines instead)
Turning Angel by Greg Iles ***
Classic pot boiler. I found I skimmed to the end and then wasn't really interested in reading the whole thing. It wasn't bad but it in trying to be realistic and hard edged it lost something in the telling.
Hornet's Nest by Patricia Cornwell ** + 1/2
Synopsis: This book is less a thriller than a character study of the main characters: Judy Hammer, chief of police in Charlotte, North Carolina; Hammer's deputy, Virginia West; and Andy Brazil, a young reporter assigned to ride with the police as they go about their jobs.
Nothing like her Kate Scarpeta novel's. I have somewhat mixed feelings on the book. To quote one reviewer "Essentially, we walk into the middle of her characters lives at the start of the book and walk away at the end with almost everything up in the air and unresolved." In fact the book simply ends almost but not quite midsentance. The book held my interest enough to earn a 3 on the airport scale but it's flawed enough to need a warning tag.
Along comes a spider by James Patterson *** 1/2
Synopsis: Washington, D.C., police detective, Alex Cross becomes caught up in a kidnapping case that may involve a schizophrenic psychopath. A few charms lift this above run-of-the-mill: psychologist/cop Cross is black, while his lover, Secret Service honcho Jezzie Flanagan, is white; and the narrative moves briskly by cutting between Cross's ambling account and a sharper third-person tracking, mostly of the killer's movements.
Liked the book but didn't like the price. $8.00 for a mass market paperback turns out to be my price resistence point. I'm now checking every book I buy and unless I'm dying to read it I put it back on the shelf if it's marked $7.99. I either need to switch to amazon.com for all my books or at least write the publisher to say that I for one have been pushed too far. I'm definately going to buy more of Patterson's books but I'll find a used book store first
The Silent Cry by Anne Perry ***
Synopsis: Monk and his friend Hester Latterly, an independent young woman inured to life's horrors by her nursing service during the Crimean War, investigate the murder of prostitutes in Seven Dials. As always, Perry's grim landscape of tenements, sweatshops, and boozing kens becomes almost as much a character as the living people who inhabit them, while Monk and Hester's rebellious intelligence and unconventionality keep us coming back for more
I'm a long time fan of Ms Perry's novels. William Monk and Hester Latterly are basically old friends in their 8th novel. Ms. Perry established a distance between the characters in her last novel that weighs uneasily in this one. Monk's character is more fully and honestly developed than in the past but he is becoming somewhat unlikable in his attitudes.
Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry ****
Synopsis: Jane Whitefield is a Native American whose special talent is making people disappear. A battered wife, an informer on the run from the Mob, just about anyone with a real need to change identities and vanish can turn to Whitefield and find an avenue to remove them from the world.
This book reminded me of the Fletch series by Gregory McDonald. It's quirky, unexpected and
original. I could nit-pick things in the story (Jane's willingness to use violence is never really
explained and in my opinion women usually don't become macho without conditioning and a very good reason). Comments like that aside I was delighted to find something different
Son of Fletch by Gregory McDonald
If you haven't read the Fletch books find the nearest used book store and buy them all. And if you can find his Flynn books they're even better. Son of Fletch isn't great but it was nice to see the characters again after all these years. (I found it in a used book store)
I am a real fan of the J.D. Robb books. They are absolutely the best airplane books available. I can always be sure I will get through the flight and I like her humorous touches. Yes everything is a cliché but it all has just the right mix to be fun.
Divided in Death by J.D. Robb ***1/2
A few more twists and turns in this book. I think it suffers just a little because her villian is complex but there isn't any time in the story line to make him more than a cardboard cut out. But still a good read.