Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

This is the typical rogue agent book.  Part of a series, this follows Rapp on his trip to kill all those involved in the Lockerbie bombing.  It's a good series but not that deep.  From
INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR VINCE FLYNN DELIVERS THE YOUNG, HUNGRY, AND LETHAL MITCH RAPP AT THE ONSET OF HIS CAREER AS A CIA SUPERAGENT. In the year since the CIA trained and then unleashed him, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each swift and untraceable kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians in the Pan Am Lockerbie attack become increasingly aware that someone is hunting them. Rapp is given his next target, and finds the man asleep in his bed in Paris. In the split second it takes the bullet to leave Rapp’s silenced pistol, the trap is sprung and he finds himself in the fight of his life. The next morning, nine bodies are discovered in one of Paris’s finest hotels—among them the Libyan oil minister. Back in Washington the finger-pointing begins in earnest as no one wants any part in what has become an international crisis and potential embarrassment for the CIA. Rapp’s handlers have only one choice—deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way. Rapp must avoid capture or die quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving such important things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and Stan Hurley will not allow Rapp to be taken alive by the French authorities, even if it means killing him. Operating on his own and outside the control of his handlers, it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp. In Flynn’s newest page-turner, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been as Mitch Rapp embarks on the journey that will turn him into America’s most deadly asset. The nonstop action in this shockingly realistic political thriller will keep your pulse pounding till the very end

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

I was initally interested in this book because it centers around a rowing crew.  (I have a friend who rows).  It was a good mystery and is part of a series which follows a group of dectectives from Scotland Yard.  I will be requesting the books from the library, starting with the first, A Share in Death.

From the author's website:
When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman's body tangled up with debris in the river, Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met—a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.
To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.
Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own.

Pirate King by Laurie R. King

This book is part of a series which follows the story of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.  At this point in the series, Russell is Holmes' wife.  These are great and if you are looking for a new book series, I would recommend this one.  Especially if you liked the Alexander McCall Smith books.
From the author's website:
In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate the criminal activities that surround Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for movie-making for a generation or sink a boatload of careers.
Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the thirteen blonde-haired, blue-eyed actresses Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader, La Rocha. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout

In the Absence of Honor by Jim Proebstle

I stole the synopsis from the author's website:When Jake Lorenz retreats to his family’s cabin in the North Minnesota woods for the winter, he’s looking for peace, quiet, and time to reflect on the loss of his wife and his job. But instead, he finds destruction and death—a gruesome murder scene on his very doorstep. The more he discovers about the death, the deeper he is drawn into a shadowy struggle for land, wealth, and power. There are forceful men who don’t want him to search any further: the corrupt tribal council that controls the nearby Ojibwe casino, the secretive and antisocial plutocrat who owns half the peninsula, and the ruthless Indian Mafia, to name a few. But to save the community he loves, which is set in this harsh and lovely wilderness, Jake must battle personal demons and the deadly forces of man and nature to learn the truth.
I liked this book, good back story and great mystery.

Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith

A while ago I read the book Child 44 by the same author.  That was a great book.  This is the final book in the trilogy and also a great book.  If you like CIA-type thrillers, you will love these.  The main character is a Russian Secret Service Agent.  The books take you into the closed Soviet Union and provide fascinating insight into life behind the Iron Curtain.  LOVED this book.

The Buddah in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

This book is a collection of short stories or essays on the lives of women who came here from Japan as mail order brides.  It was interesting and sad and ultimately forgettable.

Inperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton

I found this book disappointing.  I was quite obsessed with the case and the trial and just felt like it didn't answer all of the backstory details that I want someone to talk about.  Now, I understand why it doesn't (it's about the prosecution, after all) but I was still disappointed.  Worth reading, though.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

This is Stephen King's time travel book.  Like all his books it is extremely well written, well thought out and a very easy read.  Unlike some other time travel books, it made complete sense, was not confusing and didn't require a complete suspension of disbelief (I didn't blog it, but I did NOT love the 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch).  Basically, a man discovers his friend has a time travel portal and he goes back to try and prevent the assasination of JFK.  It was a great read and very entertaining.  If you like time travel or JFK or Stephen King, you will enjoy this book.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

You need to read this book.  Every person on the planet needs to read this book.  This  book will change your views of your life and what it means to be free..  It will make you feel guilty about what you have and every complaint you have ever voiced or even thought.  It is the story of ordinary people in Korea and what it is like to live under a Communist dictator.  It details the struggle to survive amidst a country-wide famine.  You will learn things you were never taught in school and that are never mentioned on television.  You will wonder why you had no idea that this is going on.  It is a great book.

The Zoo Keeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

This was February's Book club book.  I would say that most of the group really enjoyed it.  It is the true story of a Polish family who ran the Warsaw zoo and hid numerous Jews within the zoo to save them from the holocaust.  It was a fascinating story but was told oddly.  The author would spend page after page on the minutae of the animal world and then in one sentence would gloss over a story of human tragedy or courage.  So much of the book I found myself thinking, WAIT!  Tell me more about that!!  Overall it is well worth the read and would inspire me to read more about particular incidents.  A good gateway book.