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Book Reviews

Sons of Fortune – Jeffrey Archer

United in their rivalry, Sons of Fortune is the classic tale of two brothers engaged in a power struggle from international bestselling author, Jeffrey Archer.

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Dean Koontz

The Crooked Staircase * Dean Koontz

I must say I was really excited to pick up Dean Koontz again. I didn’t realize it was the third novel in a series following Jane Hawk, superwoman 🙂

The 4.09 Goodreads rating seemed promising, the synopsis ticked all the boxes and I turned on the audiobook on my daily commute to work.

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Book Reviews

The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif

Last night I dreamed I walked once more in the house of my father’s childhood: under my feet the cool marble of the entrance hall, above my head its high ceiling of wooden rafters: a thousand painted flowers gleaming dark with distance.

Short-listed for the Booker prize and acclaimed by critics worldwide, Soueif’s novel certainly seems promising: in 1901, Lady Anna Winterbourne travels to Egypt, where she falls in love with an Egyptian patriot and is swept up in the country’s struggle for independence from British rule.

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Book Reviews

The Devil’s Triangle – Catherine Coulter

This book made little to no sense. Jumpig from one country to another, scrambled timelines and with a cast ranging from DaVinci and his lover to about 15 interchangeable personalities with generic names like Mick and Ajax, the book left little enthusiasm and kept me hoping for an early finish.

And when the dialogue was along these lines, I was mostly praying in vain:

“Yes, here it is. The Kohaths have a house in a town called Castel Rigone, near a big lake called Lake Trasimeno. It’s only thirty minutes from the airport in Perugia. Huge place, too. Practically a castle.” Kitsune was already heading toward the door. “That’s where they are. Mike’s right—since Grant is there, the Kohaths must be, too. We have to go now.”

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Book Reviews

Karin Slaughter – The Kept Woman

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically-connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

“Faith gripped the steering wheel. “I hate rape cases. You don’t throw a murder case to a jury and they ask, ‘Well, was the guy really murdered or is he lying because he wants the attention? And what was he doing in that part of town? And why was he drinking? And what about all those murderers he dated before?”

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Book Reviews

Spoken from the Heart – Laura Bush

In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story.

Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. She vividly evokes Midland’s brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day.

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Book Reviews

Black Mass by Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill

Black Mass, the true story of a deal between Irish mobsters and their FBI handlers written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

The South Boston neighborhood has long been considered a poor younger sibling to its swanky northern Boston locales. Long populated by generations of Irish immigrants, ties to the neighborhood run deeper than blood. With the catholic church, schools, and Irish towns of origins being ethnic markers, gangs quickly formed among the neighborhood boys.

As Southie fathers worked long hours at blue collar jobs to support growing families and mothers relegated to the role of homemaker, boys joining gangs became a rite of passage in which they may have experienced more love and attention than they did in their home life. As the middle brother in a family of six children, James “Whitey” Bulger soon found a ‘home’ in Howie Winter’s Winter Hill gang. Quickly rising through the ranks, Bulger’s persona soon grew to legend proportions in his South Boston Irish neighborhood. His charismatic albeit pushy personality caught the attention of many younger kids including one John Connelly. The two Southie natives would be linked for the rest of their long, tumultuous lives.


black-mass.jpgThe authors, Lehr and O’Neill, used a variety of first-hand sources to not only write this book, but to break the entire story in the Boston Globe. What they examine here is basically the true cost of the information provided by Bulger. While he’s giving them good information, he’s also being allowed to literally get away with murder.  However no matter how much researching they did, the writing was not very good,in chapter after chapter they told the same story over and over again, I began to think they were getting paid by word.

The term “black mass” essentially refers to a deal with the devil. In this case it refers to a handshake deal between criminals Whitey Bulger and Steve Flemmi and their FBI handlers John Connolly and John Morris, with a few others, to do pretty much whatever criminal activity they wanted as long as they fed them some occasional tips on other mobsters.

Book was a bit dry for me, filled with facts and tidbits. I loved the description of how the Irish Immigrants have arrived in Boston after the famine that killed a third of the population and how the community got knit together.

The newly arrived Irish Catholics took immediately to Southie’s grievance list with outside force. Indeed, it became holy writ as the community coalesced around church and family, forming a solid phalanx against those who did not understand their ways. Over the decades since then, nothing had galvanized Southies more than a perceived slight by an outsider who would change The Way Things Are.”

The rest was peppered with a LOT of FBI agents and not enough mobsters. Corruption and money changing hands. Dirty agents and unreliable informers. Solid 2/5.

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Book Reviews

Iron Gold * Pierce Brown – Book Review (Red Rising Novella)

“Change isn’t made by mobs that envy, but by men who dare.”

Well, at least the author loved it!

Capture

I didn’t.

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Book Reviews

Lie In Wait – Eric Rickstad Book Review

Even in a quiet Vermont town, unspeakable acts of the past can destroy the peace of the present.  Mother of two Detective Sonja Test investigates her 1st murder case after a young teenage girl is found bludgeoned to death in the home of the prosecutor in a high profile civil rights case.

Read by: Amy Landon

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Book Reviews

James Patterson * Mistress

Meet Ben. Ben is not like other people. Ben thinks about a lot of things all at once – from his motorcycle to different movies and to his beloved friend and would-be girlfriend Diana, who mysteriously dies the same night he installed some hidden cameras in her house.