Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blue Heaven, by C.J. Box

2008 Edgar Award winner, this thriller set in North Idaho follows a 12 year old girl and her younger brother who go on the run after witnessing a brutal execution-style murder, and know that the killers saw them. Fun read, and really well done look at what happens when people (in this case retired LAPD) move into an area with well-established locals, and no one has the same ideas about what the town should feel like.

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Wonderful, very dark and gruesome. Libby Day was 7 when she was the sole survivor of the murders of her mother and two sisters, and based on evidence she gave, her 15 year old brother Ben was convicted of the very violent murders. Now as an adult, the last of the sympathy fund that had been established for her has run out, and she has no life skills to earn a living. A group of true crime enthusiasts offers her money to tell them about that night, and she begins to explore, for the first time, the facts of the case, and to find out what really happened that night. This was pretty fantastic, but disturbing- not for the squeamish, but a really well written take on a very unsympathetic character and a wonderfully plotted story.

Frozen Fire, by Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson

Fast paced disaster thriller, very James Bond-y with hot brilliant scientists willing to die for charismatic leader of covert group, great explosions, etc. Ridic, but super fun.

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

Dreadful improbable schlock, but quick.

Lush Life, by Richard Price

Gritty with amazingly realistic dialogue. The mix of immigrants, projects, and hipsterish newcomers to the lower east side of NYC leads to what feels like inevitable tragedy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moonlight in Odessa, by Janet Skeslein Charles

This was so good, yet frothy somehow. Ukrainian Daria is working in Odessa at an inport/export company, avoiding her lecherous boss, and takes a second job helping translate for a Valentina, who is running a dating site to match Ukrainian women to American men. Daria's character was so well developed, and her insight into the world of mail-order brides was fascinating, but I felt the story lost strength when Daria herself came to America.

Love Will Tear Us Apart, by Sarah Rainone

I really wanted to like this book, but found it hard. Set in Rhode Island over a wedding weekend, this story of friends gathering in what was clearly Cranston felt overwritten.

Killer, by Sara Shepard

The fifth in the increasingly nonsensical Pretty Little Liars YA series.

The Season, by Sarah MacLean

Exceptionally bad YA regency romance, interesting only in that- YA regency romance? really?