Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt

Having returned from Iraq after losing his leg, ex-cop Billy Zimmerman has become a thief and has found a good partner in his dog, Milo. One day, Billy is caught in the crossfire of a murder and ends up being arrested for the crime, while Milo runs away with the envelope that the victim was carrying. Paterson, NJ lawyer Andy Carpenter, a dog lover himself, wants to make sure that Milo is taken care of and finds himself protecting Milo and then representing Billy when he's charged with murder. Andy and his team of friends and investigators become embroiled in a case that possibly involves the military and the FBI. They are also putting their own lives in danger... Dog Tags is the latest book in the Andy Carpenter series. While I always like the characters in these books, I found the story didn't hold my attention. Play Dead for me remains the book in the series that all the others will be measured against. Dog Tags will be released in August.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall

When Guru Buster Suresh Jra is murdered by what looks like an apparition of the goddess Kali during a Laughing Club meeting, Delhi private investigator Vish Puri is asked by Inspector Singh to lend a hand. Puri is concentrating on figuring out how someone would pull off this elaborate death scene, as well as hoping to debunk the public's belief that an actual goddess was involved. With help from two of his employees, Facecream and Tubelight, Puri treads lightly, since Jra's enemy, Maharaj Swami holds favor with the government and is considered a prime suspect. With humor and realism, Hall transports the reader to India in the second book of this cozy mystery series.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Reversal by Michael Connelly

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is asked to be the lead prosecutor in the retrial of Jason Jessup. Over twenty years ago, Jessup was convicted of kidnapping and murdering twelve-year-old Melissa Landy. With recent DNA testing, it was discovered that someone else's DNA was on Melissa's dress. This new information was enough to warrant Jessup's release. Haller with the assistance of his ex-wife, lawyer Maggie McPherson, and his half-brother Harry Bosch as the lead investigator, agrees to take the case. All three are convinced that Jessup is guilty and want to put him back in prison for good. The novel is told from two points of view (Haller's and Bosch's) and explores both the courtroom and the behind-the-scenes preparations for trial. It will be published in October.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman

A day of celebration ends in tragedy when just-married Becca Copaken and John Tetherly are killed in a car accident on the way to their wedding reception. Becca's family have summered in Maine for generations, while the Tetherlys are year-long residents. Another notable difference between the families is that the Copakens are upper-class while John's mother, Jane, is in charge of her own cleaning business. The deaths of the couple deeply affect their immediate families: Becca's parents Iris and Daniel, her younger sister, Ruthie, John's mother, Jane and his younger brother, Matt. Becca's grandfather, Mr. Kimmelbrod, a famous violinist suffering from Parkinson's, has already known lots of suffering in his life, having lost many family members in the Holocaust. The novel takes place over the four summers following the accident, exploring all the survivors subsequent lives. While I have enjoyed Waldman's previous novels, the main characters were, at times, not that likable. Red Hook Road does not suffer from the same problem. It's her best book, by far. For readers who like books about family relationships. It will be published next month.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Sylvie Woodruff has been the perfect politician's wife for many years, putting her husband's needs before her own and those of her two daughters, Diana and Lizzie. When news breaks that Richard, Sylvie's spouse, has been having an affair, Sylvie is devastated. Even before the announcement, the now-grown daughters' lives hadn't been going well either. Diana, a doctor, is having a sizzling affair with one of her interns and is in a loveless marriage. Lizzie, always considered the underachiever, is back on her feet after battling a drug problem for years. Could Richard's public scandal cause the three women to re-evaluate their lives and reconnect with themselves and each other? Fly Away Home is another winner from Jennifer Weiner. While the plot may seem tired with all the political scandals in the news, she puts her own spin on the story with her well-drawn characters and touches of humor. It will be published next month.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee

It's an emotional morning as Dr. Lena Trainor sends her daughter, Sarah, off to summer camp for two weeks. The camp is picking up Sarah and her best friend, Linda, at their homes. But after Sarah leaves in what Lena believes is the camp van with a man named J.D., Lena discovers that she's been kidnapped along with Linda and two other boys who were going to the same camp. Soon, a million dollar ransom is demanded from the parents with the FBI being called in. The parents, though, don't entirely trust one another or the FBI and wonder who's behind the kidnappings (they even suspect each other). Told from the point of view of the parents, children, and kidnappers, Never Wave Goodbye is a page turner with an interesting twist and story that makes it a good read. Read-alikes would be C.J. Box's Three Weeks to Say Goodbye and Fear the Worst and Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sylvan Street by Deborah Schupack

What would you do if you found a million dollars in your backyard? Well, Billy Cane finds that large amount of money in his shed during a pool party with his neighbors on the cul de sac of Sylvan Street in Ashley-on-Hudson, New York. He decides to share his secret and the money with each family. There's retired couple Sally and Janic Levlovic, Jen and Keith Margolis and their brood of five, single painter Ash Flemming, and the newcomers, the Yaniv-Hansens. Some have reservations about keeping the money. Soon, though, everyone agrees to take it, even though they all agree not to go spending beyond their original means. But the cash is a great temptation and lives begin to change. There's also the fact that someone hid the money there in the first place and might come back for it...