Monday, March 29, 2010

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

Lawyer Bennie Rosato is kidnapped and buried alive by her identical twin sister, Alice. Alice's aim is to impersonate Bennie at her law firm for a few days while she's waiting for Bennie's millions to be transferred to a bank in the Bahamas. Bennie, however, won't give up her life easily. Will Bennie's colleagues catch on that Alice has taken the place of their boss? Think Twice is the latest book in Scottoline's Rosato and Associates series. The last book in the series, Lady Killer, wasn't that good and suffered from the same problem as this one--a very slight plot. I wonder if Scottoline has run out of good storylines for Bennie, Mary, Judy, and Anne (who isn't in this book at all).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caught by Harlan Coben

TV Reporter Wendy Tynes has built her career on exposing online sexual predators. Dan Mercer is the subject of her newest expose. When Dan tells Wendy he was set up and then he's murdered, she wonders if she was correct in her belief that he was a pedophile. Around the time that Dan was outed, a local teenage girl named Haley Mc Waid disappeared. Did Dan have anything to do with her going missing? Coben intertwines the lives and possible crimes of Wendy, Dan, Haley, and their loved ones into another novel that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch hasn't seen his father, Jack, in two years. Now, however, Jack is suspected of shooting a local policeman and an executive from a timber company. Jack has disappeared, but leaves a message on Mike's answering machine. Believing his dad is innocent, Mike puts his job and life in jeopardy to help a man who's alcoholism and outsider ways stood in the way of being a good father. The Poacher's Son takes the reader through the terrain of northern Maine in this mystery that's similar to C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series. It will be published in May.

Monday, March 8, 2010

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A diverse group of nine individuals is trapped in an Indian visa office during an earthquake. As it begins to flood and they realize they're trapped, a college student named Uma suggests that everyone tell a story from their lives to take their minds off the gravity of the situation. There are Mangalam and Malathi (employees of the office who have entertained the thought of an affair), Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett (a couple who's marriage is in tatters), Cameron (an African-American man who takes on the role of leader, since he's been in the army), Tariq (a young Muslim man who's life is changed in America after 9/11), and Jiang and Lily, (grandmother and granddaughter). The reader, through the eyes of the characters, gets to see a pivotal moment in each life. All the while, the central question remains--will they be rescued?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Widower Major Ernest Pettigrew, 68, suffers a shock when his younger brother, Bertie, dies of a heart attack. Seeing that he is thrown off-balance, Mrs. Ali, a local shopkeeper, provides tea and sympathy. He finds himself charmed. In their small village of Edgecombe St. Mary, there are, of course, objections to their relationship, since Jasmina is Pakistani and working class. In addition, the Major is somewhat preoccupied with his son, Roger, who lives in London and is a heartless businessman. One further complication is the Major's desire to reunite his father's antique shotguns that were separated--one was given to him and the other went to Bertie. But with Bertie's passing, the Major feels both guns should be in his possession. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a delightful and cozy novel in the tradition of A Guide to the Birds of East Africa and A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

Ann and Peter Brooks have been separated for a year when the virus H5N1 arrives in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In fact, the bird flu has traveled to the United States from Asia and has a mortality rate near 50%. Soon, the schools are closed and everyone is encouraged to stay in their homes and not make contact with anyone outside of their immediate family in order to stop the spread of the flu. Peter, a professor specializing in avian viruses, and his graduate assistant, Shazia, move in with Ann and their two daughters aged 8 and 13. Their primary concerns are food, staying healthy and keeping warm in the winter weather after the power goes out. It becomes clear that the government is not able to provide help and that everyone is on their own. Tensions are high because of the situation, but Ann and Peter's impending divorce and the need to keep the girls busy (and shielding them from the gravity of what's occurring) lead Ann to become stronger and resourceful. The Things That Keep Us Here is a different kind of page turner--focusing on family issues and relationships, but impossible to put down because of the event the family has to face. For readers of Jodi Picoult.