Tag Archives: Hachette

A Hollywood Ending – Robyn Sisman

I first found Robyn Sisman when I was in my early teens through Just Friends. I loved that book. It is one of my all time favourites to read. Now why am I reviewing one that isn’t that book? Well simply, I have just recently finished A Hollywood Ending compared to Just Friends. It seems to follow a similar pattern to that of her previous books so Sisman is clearly working under the ethos that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. For some, this philosophy doesn’t work as the same storyline repeated but with different characters can make an author boring. Sisman falls into this category I am afraid.

Plot

This book is about a woman named Paige Carson. A movie star with an Oscar under her belt. However, her career is on the decline and after being embarrassed by her current co-star, she decided a change in needed. Off to England she goes to perform in a Shakespearean play. However, obstacles appear before her in the shapes of no car service, an obnoxious landlord named Ed, can she even act and no one seems to care who she is.

Opinion

I don’t think I need to continue with the plot. Can you see where this book is going? We have an uptight American who comes to England and annoys the hell out of an English guy whilst panicking that maybe she really can’t act. So what happens? She falls in love with the English guy (obviously a twist involved) and succeeds at the play.

Don’t get me wrong. I love chick lits. From the paragraph above you might surmise that I don’t. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and my previous read of Sisman’s was excellent. It’s just this followed the same storyline as her previous book. An English person and an American person, both headstrong, both on failing careers or with a boss who doesn’t appreciate them. Falling in love, arguing, missed a sign from each other etc etc. its just the same. <—Not a happy chappy.

All in all, not a great read. If you want a good Robyn Sisman book, read Just Friends not this. My verdict 5/10. 

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Gone Girl – Gillian Flyn

First off, I would like to wish all my readers a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope 2014 is all that you could wish for.

Now for this year’s last review, I shall be taking a look at Gone Girl by Gillian Flyn. It was rooted to be the best psychological thriller of 2013. In all honesty, when I finished this book my first thought was WTF???? There is no other sentiment for it. Trust me. If you read it you shall have the same expletive! (Caution: Spoilers in the Plot section!)

Plot

We start off with a husband and wife narrative, Nick and Amy. His written in the present, hers in the past through a diary. We find out that the day in the present is their 5th year wedding anniversary and that they are not a happy a couple. Nick recently lost his job and opened up a bar in his home town with his twin sister, thanks to some money off of his wife. He tells a tale of a couple who no longer want the same things any more, where as Amy’s story tells us of how they got to be married in the first place. We feel the sadness of this crumbling relationship and feel sorry for them both.

Then comes the interesting part of this story, Amy goes missing. Nick arrives home to find his door wide open, ironing not finished and his lounge to be in complete disarray. Obviously he calls the police and what we begin to see from Amy’s diary and Nick’s reaction to the whole saga begins to be suspicious.

Every year on their anniversary, Amy creates a treasure hunt for Nick which he never gets. The clues lead to things that Amy has always seen as important to their relationship and Nick never has. This means he never gets the clues, resulting in it looking like he doesn’t care. This year, the clues mean something to him and he can answer them. This takes us down a path that Nick cannot go back on. During which, we come to the end of the diary. Amy has painted Nick as the abusive husband, we now see he has a mistress and the police are closing in on him for the murder of his wife. However, half way through this book, we hear from present day Amy and find she has set up her husband. She wants him to be tried for murder (specifically her murder) and within the state of Missouri, this is punishable by death.

Amy’s plan is so excellently devious that it is the perfect crime. Nick is clearly the murderer. Everything points to him and it all came through the police’s hard-work. Nothing was handed to them and this just adds to Nick’s guilt. However, she was not able to perceive what would happen to her and she is robbed by some supposed new friends. This leads to a whole heap of trouble and definitely adds a twist that I never saw coming.

Opinion

Like I said earlier, this is definitely a WTF book. Amy and Nick are both downright cuckoo. Amy is from the start, setting her husband up for murder and then changing her mind and eventually committing murder herself. I think Nick turns insane throughout this book. Yes, Amy has him trapped in a corner and there is little he can do but his acceptance in the end of his wife is bone-a-fide crazy. 

I can’t decide if I like this book. As many other reviews have said, it is a book of two halves. When we see Amy through her diary entries, the book is almost boring, a typical husband killed his wife and we wont see his admission of guilt until the end. Then it twists for the first time and Amy is alive and basically she is a psycho. No matter how bad your relationship is, to frame your husband so convincingly for your murder, potentially resulting in him getting the death penalty and then committing suicide just to prove he did do it… psychotic.

Then we have Nick. A seemingly normal guy. An adulterer with his student but not a murderer, who works out his wife’s plan for him and desperately tries to find a way to successfully tell the truth.

The book is well written and Flyn gets you to believe what she wants you to believe at the right moments. She reveals things in stages and the twists are sublime. There is potential to guess the twists but it is only hindsight which makes you realise this. This truly is a psychological thriller as like I said, the characters are all crazy. There isn’t a single one who would not need a shrink in real life.

Unfortunately, the bad side of this book is that I don’t know what outcome I want. Nick is not a loveable character. Part of you almost feels that he deserves what happens to him. This isn’t great for the ‘hero’ of the story. Amy is a hard character to describe. I cannot like her nor hate her. She makes me feel uncomfortable and I am truly grateful I do not know her. Yet her parents almost make you understand why she is like she is. Everything they didn’t like about their daughter, they ‘corrected’ in their stories of Amazing Amy. Imagine reading about a perfect version of yourself and knowing you could never live up to it. Enough to class it as mental child abuse.

Also against this book is how boring and long winded the start is. I almost didn’t finish it because it is such an easy and bog standard detective story. Nick clearly is the murderer. It is boring to see the police put together such an obvious prosecution. It does get better when we find out that Amy is alive but then it takes so long for us to get to the end that again I was slightly bored with mild segments of interest.

Overall an interesting idea and in certain ways well written. The confusion of reading this book lets it down. Do you want Nick to be free, Amy to be alive, them to stay together? All these questions and more counter each other out and leave you firmly in the WTF category. So my verdict is a 5.5/10. Decidedly average but one that has managed to create quite a sensation. Give it a go, let me know if you agree!

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Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

I first found Beautiful Creatures as a film. Although it took me a while to get into the film, I found it to be very enjoyable so obviously, once I saw the film was based on a book, I had to have it. I then found out it was a book series of four; Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption. As I bought the series as one for my e-reader I shall review them as one.

These books are written by two authors. Unusual but not unheard of. In fact, some of my favourite series’ are written by two authors. Women’s Murder Club has two and PJ Tracy is the mother/daughter writing duo. Therefore this duel authorship is nothing to deter readers.

When deciding whether to buy the books as a whole or see if I should just buy the first to see if I liked it and would want to carry on reading the series, I stumbled onto a review. This reviewer said if you liked the Twilight Saga and  The Hunger Games Trilogy then these were the books for you. I agree and I’ll add my own to that mix too. If you like these and the Inheritance Cycle, then you will also like Beautiful Creatures. Its an epic love story, a struggle against evil/darkness, mythical creatures, a mythical world and much more.

Plot

We start of meeting Ethan Wate living in a small country town in the heart of America’s Southern states. Mainstream bible basher belt. Like all towns in this area, change is slow and hard to adjust too. Ethan is a high school jock who plays basketball but has a secret love of reading. His best friend, Link knows all of his secrets and just rolls with them all – a true best friend! One day, the niece of old man Ravenwood arrives and joins school. Ethan has literally met the girl of his dreams and obviously wants to know more about her. He tries to do so and ends up falling in love. Little does he know that she is really an adolescent castor, waiting until her 16th birthday to find out if she will go “dark” or “light”. Alongside this main storyline, there is the story of the “curse”. One that involves Lena’s ancestors and Ethan’s. This adds an extra twist to Lena’s future moral compass.

Beautiful Darkness carries on from the last and we see the town dealing with the shock of Macon Ravenwood’s death. In particular, we see Lena struggling with her Uncle’s death and obviously blames herself for his death. This puts a strain on Lena and Ethan’s relationship and she begins to hang around with Ridley and another boy, John. Liv moves to town and becomes a trainee Keeper under the tutelage of Marion. Lena runs away with John and Ridley, leaving Ethan little choice but to follow his one true love. However, Liv and Ethan begin to have feelings for one another and Ethan realises that if this secret world never existed, he and Liv would have been soul mates. Lena also realises this and this hurt sends her further away from Ethan. We discover that Ethan is a Wayward in this world, a mortal who can find a way to things in the castor one. A human SatNav. Handy when no one knows where Lena is going. We end up at the edge of the magical world, once again fighting for Lena’s moral compass, Dark or light?

Beautiful Chaos again carries on where the last one left. Lena has chosen to be File:BeautifulChaos2011book.jpgboth Dark and Light, Link is now part Incubus, Ridley is mortal, Liv is no longer a Keeper in training and Macon is living his second life, this time as Castor. The world is now in Chaos and mortals even recognise this to be so. Link’s mum believes it to be the final reckoning from God. Ethan keeps having dreams about himself. However, he and Lena are now back together though still unable to touch for longer than a few seconds without Ethan’s heart stopping (a problem when a Castor and Mortal try to be together romantically). This problem seems to be getting worse. Ethan’s mother is once again sending him messages through songs and this time it seems to be telling him that the one who is two is the only one to save earth by killing themselves. Ethan also learns that he left half of himself in the underworld when he died and Lena brought him back. John Breed thinks that he is the saviour so he throws himself off the water tower. However, fate does not agree and Ethan discovers that it is him.

File:BeautifulRedemption2012HBCover.jpg

In Beautiful Redemption we find Ethan in the afterlife. We also meet his mother. Aunt Pru, who passed away in the previous book, tells Ethan of way to return to the living by taking his page out of the Caster Chronicles and destroying it. However, he needs a few things from the world of the living so he sends messages to Lena via the crossword in the local paper. Ethan continues on his journey through the underworld.

Opinion

Like I said, these books are a mixture of Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Inheritance Cycle. Star crossed lovers from different backgrounds trying to be together under impossible circumstances. An epic battle against the laws of the Castor world. A unique connection between two people. All of these throw hints at the previously said books. However, these are unique in their own right. The duo of Garcia and Stohl have a good partnership and their writing as a team is almost flawless. Lena and Ethan’s connection is excellent and does remind me of Eragon and Saphira’s from The Inheritance Cycle. Each character brings something unique to the story. Liv and Link are some of the best supporting characters I have ever seen in a book. I found book 1 to have confusing elements and certain aspects to not be explained well. Maybe because of the duel authors but something wasn’t quite right. The editing team should also have picked up on this so perhaps they were changed for the remaining three as there was nothing similar in them. Seeing as how that is my main gripe with these books, it’s doing something right.

My verdict; 8/10 if not for the first books inconsistencies it could have been higher. Great books overall and well worth a read!

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Filed under Beautiful Creatures, Book Review, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Twilight, Young Adult

The Twilight Saga – Stephanie Mayer

I have decided to review all four books as one. This is because I find the saga as a whole difficult to analyse. Twilight is a phenomenon but why? Don’t get me wrong, I do have a fascination with them and read the whole series more often than I care to admit. I also read these books before they were the phenomenon they became (the perks of working in a library). The storyline is intoxicating and uses a tried and tested topic. Vampire stories have always been popular since Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Our fascination of the undead can be chartered throughout literature, whether it be Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to Elizabeth Kostova “The Historian”, Vampires and Monsters hold our attention. Mayer has drawn on that and I feel that it wouldn’t take much writing ability to make it a story people would happily want to read. It isn’t a subject matter that has to engulf you fully to make you want to carry on to the bitter end. Having said that, Mayer obviously got something right to keep us intrigued and glued to the pages.

Plot

In “Twilight” we meet Bella, our heroine. She is leaving her desert home of Arizona to the rainy, green land of Forks. Here she now lives with her father, the local sheriff and attends the town public school. This is where we first meet the Cullens. An extraordinary family. They are all intelligent, beautiful and have golden eyes. The youngest boy is in Bella’s science class and she seems to cause a very strong and powerful reaction within Edward Cullen. So much so that he tries to change his classes so he is never with her and then does not return to school for numerous days. When he returns, he seems much more amiable to Bella, though he does warn her away. We later find out why as Bella discovers his secret after talking to the local Native Americans and her childhood friend Jacob Black. The answer is simple, he and his family are actually a coven. A coven of Vampires. The rest of the book goes on to describe how Vampires came into existence  how the Cullen family came to be and shows the growing love that Edward and Bella have for each other. It ends on a battle of Edward and a stranger vampire fighting for the right for Bella or rather, the right to keep her alive or drink her blood.

“New Moon” begins barely after “Twilight” finishes and Bella’s birthday causes alarm as she suffers a paper cut in the middle of a Vampire Coven. This causes Edward to re-evaluate his relationship with Bella and makes him leave her for her own good. Bella is heartbroken and takes comfort in the friendship she has in Jacob Black. However, this friendship is also fraught as a Vampire called Victoria vows to kill Bella for Edward killing her mate at the end of “Twilight”, meaning the Quileute children become shape-shifters who take the animal shape of a wolf. Jacob joins in this pack and we have Bella once more involved with dangerous creatures. Edward believes Bella to be dead (due to a prophecy of Alice and pig-headedness of Jacob) and tries to commit suicide by revealing his presence in the home town of the Volturi (Vampire Elite and police). Bella and Alice race off to Italy to rescue him, in the process revealing  Bella to the Volturi.

Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse“Eclipse” again begins a short while after its predecessor and we see Bella forcing Edward and Jacob to accept that they are both important to her and that they are both in her life. Hard as they are sworn enemies. However, Victoria is back and this time making an army of new-born vampires to try to kill Bella. The Quileute wolves and Cullen vampires join forces for the first time in history to destroy this invading army and save Bella. Bella asks Edward to changer her into a Vampire but Edward will only allow her to be changed by him if she agrees to marry him first. He was after all born in a different era where virtue was honoured.

“Breaking Dawn” could easily be two books as the two films based on it show. The first half we have the wedding, honeymoon and Bella’s pregnancy and the second half we have Bella being a newborn vampire, Renesme being seen, building up an army of witnesses and the Volturi descending on the Cullen family.

Opinion

As I mentioned briefly above, I am not fully convinced by Mayer’s writing ability after the Twilight Saga (However, “The Host” proves she can for me). I wasn’t enthralled by the prose of Mayer. Some of her writing is confusing and didn’t always make sense. The problem could be due to her writing from a 16-year-old perceptive. Her dramatic improvement in writing for her book “The Host” suggests that this might be the case. This doesn’t reprieve it though. Many books can be written from a teenager’s point of view or 1st person and still be well written. Writing prowess aside, this book has the ‘X-Factor’. Maybe that Edward is just so darn romantic or that Jacob is your best friend turned hot boyfriend type that we are kept entertained or the fascinating friendships and relationships that take you on a roller-coaster, Twilight has something. You are invested in each of these character’s lives and whether it be the romantic triangle (Team Jacob by the way) or the bonds of loyal friendships, Mayer has stumbled on to something great. All in all one great storyline that keeps you for 4 books and one you can re-read.

My verdict is 8/10. Worth a read though I don’t believe the films do the books any justice and I prefer to keep the characters separate in my head as Pattinson and Stewart just aren’t my idea of Edward and Bella (I know I shall be stabbed by many Twihards for the Pattinson comment!).

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Filed under Book Review, Stephanie Mayer, Twilight, Young Adult

The Host – Stephanie Mayer

Stephanie Mayer is famous for her Twilight Saga. The intricate web of love, honour, suspicion and hate kept everyone captivated throughout 4 books and 5 films. While I certainly don’t think the Twilight books are well written or that ingenious of an idea they do have a type of magic about them that keeps you hooked. The Host, has nothing to do with Vampires or Werewolves. It’s about Aliens. Now don’t panic. It’s not your typical little green men type book. It’s all the best parts of Twilight mixed with a new idea and written well. Plus it’s apparently set to be a trilogy with “The Soul” and “The Seeker” becoming the second and third.

Plot

We start of meeting some form of Healer who as his title suggests, has just finished healing a body and implanting a ‘Soul’. We witness the body’s final moments as a human and see the terror that these ‘Souls’ have brought to the few remaining humans on earth. Our ‘Soul’ awakens to find her Seeker scrutinising her every movement and wants to know all of the humans memories. The healer names the ‘Soul’ Wanderer and we see her become frustrated with her inability to control her Hosts previous mind. She begins to worry if this means she isn’t strong enough for this world, ironic as her name comes from the fact that she has been to 9 other planets (unusual for Souls). We discover that her Host’s name is Melanie Stryder and she is in love with a man named Jared and has a younger brother, Jamie. Wanderer and Mel join forces on their dislike of the Seeker and embark on a journey together to find Mel’s Uncle Jeb (an extreme believer in conspiracy theories meaning he was able to disappear off the grid with the first invasion of Souls). Through their journey, Wanderer falls in love with Jared and Jamie due to Mel’s memories and the fact that the body loves them so alters Wanderer’s mental feelings.

They both find Jeb’s hideout and we come face to face with real humans. However, all the humans are distrustful of Wanderer as she is,

afterall, a Soul who has taken over Melanie’s body. Jared saves them but only through his inability to allow the body he loves to die.Within the commune, Kyle and his bother Ian try every day to see if Jared has left a gap in the defence of Wanderer to kill her. Eventually, the commune needs supplies and as Jared is the only one who is able to take a group of people and get them back alive as well as get all the supplies needed, he sets off with Kyle while Jeb promises to keep Wanderer safe until his return. During Jareds absence, Jamie comes to visit Wanderer and grows to love Wanderer as a separate person to Mel and is able with his young mind to talk to Wanderer and Mel as individuals enabling him to accept this new, strange way of family. With a twist, Ian begins to have feelings for Wanderer the Soul, not Wanderer in Mel’s body and here lies the crux of the story. Wanderer and Ian love each other, Mel and Jared love each other, only problem is 2 of them have the same body.

Opinion

I loved this book. It’s far far better than Twilight. I don’t know if because we see the world through something which is technically a few thousands year old instead of 17 or because Mayer has improved as a writer but her prose is much better than in the Twilight saga. Every character is understandable and due to this we can relate to them. The love ‘box’ of Wanderer, Mel, Jared and Ian is beautifully created and grows as you read. Ian was meant to be a background character who hates Wanderer all the way through the storyline but Mayer found that his personality was too difficult to ignore and seemed to shout at her to allow him to grow and evolve into this man who Wanderer herself says has “the mind of a Soul with the strength of a Human”. I am so glad Mayer was unable to ignore his shouts as he is one of the best characters in this book.

The relationship of Mel and Wanderer is similar to that of Eragon and Saphira in the Inheritance Cycle as they talk to each other and relay information through pictures and memories. Although only one body for two minds, they begin to develop an understanding and form a relationship closer to that of sisters as they battle the prejudices and hatred against them.

Jeb and Jamie are important to the storyline as they are the only two people to fully accept Wanderer/Mel as a package deal but through very different eyes. Jamie is very naive and is desperate to be a man where as Jeb is the leader of the commune and has the ability to understand everyone’s motives and arguments but continues down his own moral road.

It is these characters interactions and relationships which make this books so interesting and a joy to read. There are no epic battles and very few dramatic encounters but the subtle shift in feeling and prejudices towards Wanderer is a fascination to watch and you feel part of this life. You love, laugh and live with the characters and it is this fact alone which makes ‘The Host’ one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I cannot wait for the sequels, although I am apprehensive of a change in narrator as we witness the goings on in ‘The Host’ through Wanderer’s eyes and I would hope we stick to Wanderer or someone within the commune so we know what happens to Wanderer and co. A total change of characters but within the same world wouldn’t be able to encapsulate the magical bonds that we find with these characters and in my opinion, that would reduce the enjoyment level of the books. However, they haven’t been written yet so no point analysing them to early!

This book gets a score of 10/10. I’d recommend it to anyone. Read it. Or watch the new film that is set to hit cinemas at the end of this month! 

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Filed under Book Review, Eragon, Stephanie Mayer, The Host, Young Adult

3rd Degree – James Patterson

This is the 3rd book in the James Patterson series “Women’s Murder Club”. Now, if your English, 3rd degree is related to education, temperature or burns. Murder wouldn’t cross our minds. Under our law it’s either Murder, Manslaughter or Not Guilty. Of course this book, being American and set in America, where degree’s of murder exist, and about a Murder Club does tend to suggest that it will be about Murder. Patterson uses this play on words to introduce the idea of murder by fire into his books, allowing for both meanings of the word to be used. I would like to add that while looking on the internet for picture ideas for the title 3rd degree, some rather disgusting pictures of 3rd degree burns appeared… If you are of faint of heart, don’t look them up! (I hope you appreciate the horrors I go through to write for you!)

I would like to add that quite a major spoiler and plot point occurs in the following review as I would find it hard not to put it in and if your read the next review on WMC then it would be spoileriffic anyway! So warning, if you would like to read the book with no idea of what is to happen then stop and read this after!

Plot

We start of with Lindsey and Jill out for a morning jog with their dogs. For WMC this is relatively serene. Two friends working out together and having a laugh. A more sinister cloud does appear though when Jill takes off her jumper to reveal bruising which Lindsey finds suspicious, even with Jill’s easy going attitude towards it. With Lindsey, her gut feeling is usually right! Into the 2nd chapter and after the run, Lindsey sees a town house explode and go up in flames. Always the policewoman, she calls 911 and then runs into the burning building! She saves a little baby from the fire and immediately begins the investigation into the explosion.

A few more houses are targeted and it turns out the inhabitants are all high profile. It becomes a terrorist plot and so the FBI are called in once more onto a Lindsey Boxer case. This brings about the introduction of Special Agent Joe Molinari – sounds a little like another book I’ve read…

3rd Degree James Patterson.jpg

Lindsey’s friends start to become targets due to Lindsey working the case and it comes to light that Jill is being abused by her husband.

Lindsey finds the terrorists and begins to date Joe, giving us an ending of sadness and bereavement as the four is tragically reduced to three. On a date with Joe, at her house, dinner becomes dessert and Lindsey ignores a phone call from Jill asking for her to go over to her house as she has just left her husband… or rather locked him out of the house, and then (SPOILER WARNING) Jill is found dead.

Opinion

Now, I know that was a large spoiler to announce but this plot point is my main review. I found the main crime story line to be dull and uninteresting, being used as a tool for Joe to be brought into our lives and Jill to lose hers. These two side notes make this book for me. Without them then I would have scored this book quite low as it didn’t enthrall me like the last two. Joe’s entrance is very significant as he becomes quite a large character for the books. Jill’s death comes as a shock, especially as it is only the 3rd book. Usually this kind of drama occurs when a series is losing some momentum with audiences and wants to shock them back into the characters. I am invested in these girls and their pain becomes our pain. You want to read the next one to see how Lindsey deals with this death as compared to her last boyfriend, Chris Raleigh, especially when you can easily see how she will blame herself for the murder of Jill.

All in all, not the best read from Patterson but two very important character developments increase this review score to a 6.5/10.

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2nd Chance – James Patterson

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas! Hopefully Santa brought you all the gifts you were planning for and more!

Well for one of my last posts of 2012! (I was going to say last and then realised I had nothing else to do today so might bang a cheeky one out later!) A book review about James Patterson’s second novel in his Women’s Murder Club series, “2nd Chance”. This was a good book. In fact, most of WMC are good. As I said in the last post, the first book was so good that the rest of these books have to do a lot to stay on par. This does so 99% of the time. It has a teeny tiny 1% drop compared to it’s predecessor and as I gave that last one an 8, that isn’t too bad!

Plot

We open this book, not with any of the WMC girls but with a victim. A priest in fact. Who has just led his young choir out of practice. Next thing, we hear gun shots as what appears to be a drive by occurs. Girls screaming, Priests saving lives and flashbacks of clearly a war are had and then the gunshots stop. Miraculously no one was hurt (a very bad drive by it seems). Then. We get crying. We all know crying after a drive by never symbolises something good. And it isn’t good. I fact, it’s worse than isn’t good. It’s tragic. A girl of 11, never knowing her teenage years, is dead. Shot through the chest. To make it worse (if that’s possible) it’s her best friend of 12 who has seen her die. As soon as children are involved or die you know the main story line is going to be quite a somber one.

We find out next that Lindsey is still pining after her dead partner Chris Raleigh (being only a few weeks later) and that she is going to work to just do something. Jill is pregnant and Cindy becomes involved with a character we meet in this book. Claire also has a bit of a torrid time as she becomes the target of this seemingly drive by shooter.

People we have met in the previous book die and others become targets for this revenge seeking villain. It ends in quite a columbine fashion and perhaps was Patterson’s reflection on the situation in our own world, where students can kill fellow students in a school, making that much more real.

Of course, Lindsey saves the day and seems to have come over the hill that we saw in the first chapter of book 1 that nearly destroyed her. We get more insight into the lives of Cindy, Jill and Claire and the characters are cemented closer to our hearts with every chapter.

Opinion

This book is good. Were it not part of a series it would be extremely good. The characters develop, the plot thickens and then forms full circles and dialogue is witty and engaging. Unlike many serial books, the characters don’t just forget what happened to them in the previous books. Lindsey is quite obviously hurting from the previous one and this is shown to be how she copes with that and moves on, allowing us to accept any future developments with her. Jill’s pregnancy must touch many people’s hearts, being quite a common situation, and her distress and coping mechanisms is a common sight meaning empathy is not hard to find. Like I said previously, Claire is the girl/boy next doors mum and as such, anything happening to her gets your heart racing. Cindy, well is just Cindy. Her situation with the priest is again, one we can understand (more if you have read Rizzoli and Isles!!!) I give this book a 7.75/10. Not quite as good as the last but pretty darn near!

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Filed under Book Review, Christmas, Crime, Women's Murder Club

1st to Die – James Patterson

As I have said before, this blog will be about books, or TV shows that star Angie Harmon. As we can see, Rizzoli and Isles does both of these, and so does this book. 1st to Die is the first in the Women’s Murder Club series. Angie Harmon starred as the lead detective in the TV show, the Women’s Murder Club (see Jaivomis post about Rizzoli and Isles for more information on that TV show!) The books are great. Each character is close to your heart (so be aware of the 3rd book!) and bring their own unique areas of specialities.

Lindsey Boxer: 1st female Homicide Detective for San Francisco PD

Claire Washburn: Medical Examiner

Cindy Thomas: Crime Reporter

Jill Bernhardt: Assistant DA

Plot

We open with an emotional Lindsey. It starts in the 1st person and something bad has clearly happened as she is contemplating suicide. It’s a good introduction to the main character as we see how emotional and caring she is. We also find out about the WMC and find the name given to the series of murders we will follow in the book (The Honeymoon Murders).

The murders in this book are horrific. Women are defiled in the worst possible ways. And to make it worse, it happens on their honeymoons, the happiest few weeks of their lives end in rape, torture and murder.

Due to the severity of the murders, the FBI are called in and we once again have a PD and FBI tug of war. However, it does help when Lindsey Boxer falls for the FBI Agent (sound like Rizzoli and Isles? I think so!) Chris Raleigh.

The introduction of Cindy has probably got to be one of my favourite introductions for a character EVER. She is tenacious, cheeky and most of all, loveable with her thirst for the knowledge the police aren’t giving her. Her smarts are shown as she is the only press person able to enter the first murder scene undetected and go into the room of the murder and then make friends with the lead detective, enabling her to get the lead story on the case.

Claire Washburn is the girl next door’s mum. She is Lindsey’s best friend and we see that she is the smartest Medical Examiner this side of Dr. Maura Isles and Dr. Temperance Brennan. The only reason for no Chief Medical Examiner status is due to the male hierarchy of the PD department.

Jill Bernhardt is the last main character to be added to the crew and the least well known. She is an Assistant DA, again not the DA due to the male hierarchy of law enforcement. She becomes an asset as she can help try and push through warrants, though her and Lindsey do argue over the legality of some police action.

Thus the Women’s Murder Club was born to help try and solve the horrendous murders shocking the city of San Francisco. The killer is pieced together by the four and Lindsey heads off to arrest the culprit. Of course, the take down doesn’t go smoothly and allows us to see what pushes Lindsey to the situation we found her in the Prologue.

Opinion

This is an amazing first book. In fact, I struggle to find much wrong with it. The characters are witty and engaging, and the chemistry between the four leaps out of the pages. The bounds in the investigation to eventually finding the killer are believable and the love story that develops tugs at the heart strings. The writing is descriptive, informative and vivid enough without overblowing your mind with the grave seriousness of the crimes and making this book as depressing as it could be. Lighter moments break up the dark (usually involving Cindy) and the end is heart breaking but just enough that you do want to read on and pick up the 2nd novel. In fact my only major flaw is that it is so good that it almost sets the other books to fail in comparison as it seems unimaginable for them to surpass this one (though one does for me :P). Due to this fact alone (and this isn’t really fair as I am not being unbiased but meh) I shall give this a very solid 8/10.

Definitely worth a read either as the first in the series or as a standalone (though I defy anyone to not want to read the next one to find out what happens to the characters).

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