April's Reading Roundup
- I wish April had been a little more productive, though the month had some good reads...
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: July, 2006
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Description: Working as a lifeguard at a luxurious Florida resort, Ned Kelly meets the woman of his dreams. It feels perfect in every way-except that she's used to caviar and Manolo Blahniks, and he's used to burgers and flip-flops.
So when Ned's cousin offers to cut him in on a fast break-and-enter job, Ned can't turn it down. The risk is high, and the reward is even greater-$5 million. But the robbery goes devastatingly wrong. Forced to run away from his town and the woman he's fallen in love with, Ned knows that only distance and secrecy can save his life. But who is pursuing him? The FBI? Whoever sabotaged the heist? Or is it all somehow tied in to his new love and his oldest enemies?
My Thoughts: I love Patterson. Even when his books aren’t his usual nail-biting, edge of my seat, have no food in the house or clean underwear because I’m ignoring my domestic chores books. Sadly, Lifeguard is one of those books. It was just OK for me. Ned Kelly is a likeable character and I felt a lot of empathy for him and what he goes through in this story. Unfortunately, Ned doesn’t seem capable of making smart choices. Not when he falls in love, not when he agrees to help his cousin with a burglary, not when he goes on the run, not when he kidnaps an FBI agent, and not when he nearly gets himself killed on more than one occasion.
I was very disappointed with the FBI agent, Ellie. She came across as a little flaky at times, though she could be quite tenacious at times. Her area of expertise is stolen and forged artwork but she jumps into a murder investigation with both feet, despite repeated admonitions from her supervisor to stay out of it. What I didn’t find believable is how she willingly went with Ned when he kidnaps her and then is helping him until he lets her go. OK, so she isn’t trained in violent crimes, but she is still an FBI agent, so why wasn’t she putting up a tiny bit of resistance?
Thrown into this story are a lot of supporting characters that I had a very hard time keeping track of and how relevant they were to the story. So, instead of the heart-pumping suspense I have come to anticipate and expect when I pick up a Patterson book, I got a mostly mediocre story that is just OK.
If you are looking for depth and substance when you pick up a book, give this one a pass. If you are looking for a fluff mystery to read on the beach or during your lunch break, this will fit the bill.
Title: Possession in Death (In Death, #31.5)
Author: J.D. Robb
Publication Date: November, 2010
Genre: Mystery / Thriller Rating: 10/10
Description: “The devil killed my body. I cannot fight, I cannot find. I cannot free her. You must. You are the one. We speak to the dead.”
Immediately after hearing these words, uttered to her by an old Romanian woman bleeding to death in the street, detective Eve Dallas begins to notice that her latest case has come with a number of interesting side-effects: visions of the deceased, instant familiarity with rooms she’s never seen before, and fluency in Russian. Likewise, there appears to be a force inside of her, a spirit other than her own, that won’t let her rest until she’s found Beata, the old woman’s great-granddaughter, whose disappearance two months prior remains a mystery.
Desperate to be free of her new “gifts”, Eve pursues the facts until she discovers a link between Beata’s disappearance and the disappearance of eight other young women, all of whom attended the same dance classes, none of whom were ever heard from again.
My Thoughts: Possession In Death is a novella originally released in the anthology “The Other Side” and is the only story in the anthology I read. I love this series so much that I have to read the in-between stories that are released in the anthologies. With Possession, I am glad I did because it picks right up where Indulgence in Death ends so it felt like a continuation of the story instead of a new one.
Though Possession in Death is a short story, it packs a huge punch with non-stop action when Eve inadvertently becomes possessed by the spirit of a Romanian woman after she dies at Eve’s feet. I enjoyed seeing how Eve dealt with her new gifts of being able to see the deceased souls and her ability to speak and understand Russian as well as knowing the recipe for goulash from memory. Eve handles it as only as Eve can. She gets pissed off and becomes determined to get to the bottom of the mystery so she can get her life back.
Eve’s stellar investigative skills and the assistance of her crack-shot team prove invaluable as the clues provide more than Eve imagined when she uncovers multiple victims of a sadistic killer. As no surprise to me as usual, I was way off-base on the killer’s identity. Lucky for me that I don’t mind being wrong. The biggest joy I get from this series is how I continue to be surprised and thoroughly entertained with each book.
Title: Millie’s Fling
Author: Jill Mansell
Publication Date: September, 2009
Description: He's the best thing that ever happened to her. He's also the worst. He's Millie's Fling. Bestselling novelist Orla Hart owes her life to her friend Millie Brady, whose rotten boyfriend has just left her. So Orla invites Millie to Cornwall, where Millie looks forward to a summer without any dating whatsoever. But Orla envisions Millie as the heroine of her next novel and decides to find Millie the man of her dreams. Except the two women have drastically different ideas about what kind of guy that should be.
With Orla and Millie working at cross-purposes, and a dashing but bewildered hero stuck in the middle, the summer will turn out to be unforgettable for all concerned...
My Thoughts: Millie’s Fling by new to me author Jill Mansell delivers a fresh, funny and enjoyable story about a very likeable girl looking for love and finding it in the most unexpected way. This story is set in England, which pleases the anglophile in me. When an author writes a great lead character that the reader can relate to and empathize with, it forms a bond with the story. When an author writes great supporting characters, it enhances the story all the more with flavor and detail and takes the reader on a journey that they don’t want to come back from. I felt that way while reading Millie’s Fling. I didn’t want it to end and was cheering for a happy ending for Hester, Orla, Lucas, Con and Millie’s parents.
The only thing that didn’t work for me is the book ended a little too abruptly for me with many loose ends for a lot of the characters. After connecting with so many of them throughout the story, not having the closure on them at the end left me with a feeling of unfinished business.
I will be looking for more of Jill Mansell’s books to add to my Nook. As a long time fan of the chick-lit genre, I wish I had found her sooner. If you are looking for some light reading that tickles your funny bone while entertaining you, look no further and pick up Millie’s Fling.
Currently reading FIRE BURN & CAULDRON BUBBLE by H.P. Mallory & listening to R IS FOR RICOCHET by Sue Grafton
Up Next: TREACHERY IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
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