Sunday, July 31, 2011

Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre Ward

When Lauren Mahdian was a child, her father, Izaan, was imprisoned for murdering her mother. Lauren stopped speaking to him, but her brother, Alex, always believed that Izaan was innocent. As an adult, Lauren is unable to move forward from this family tragedy. When Alex goes missing in Iraq, she realizes that she must delve into the past in order to have a future. In Colorado, meanwhile, Sylvia Hall, forty and pregnant, decides to leave her boyfriend and go back to New York City. In Close Your Eyes, the lives of Lauren and Sylvia intersect in an unsuspected way that allows both women to find some closure. A book that explores the bonds of family relationships and friendship that is similar to Caroline Leavitt's novels.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Gallows Bird by Camilla Lackberg

A reality show has begun filming in the town of Tanumshede with six self-absorbed contestants. The police, meanwhile, are stumped by a road accident death that seems, at first, to be a DUI, but soon looks like it could be murder. Patrik Hedstrom and his team struggle to uncover who wanted shop owner Marit Kasperen dead. Then, when one of the contestants is killed, the cops are overwhelmed by the workload and unprepared for the media spotlight. Will they be able to handle both cases? On a personal note, the investigations leave Patrik little time to prepare for his upcoming wedding to Erica, while she struggles to bring her sister, Anna, out of her depression. The Gallows Bird is the fourth book in the Patrik Hedstrom/Erica Falck series and has been published in the U.K., but not yet in the U.S.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

Jules Strauss, a senior at Princeton, is desperate to get her father the help he needs to treat his addiction, so she decides to donate her eggs to a local fertility clinic. Annie Barrow, meanwhile, has a load of debt, two young children and a husband, Frank, who is continuing his schooling so he can get a better job. Thus, she decides to be a surrogate. India Bishop and her older husband, Marcus, really would like a child of their own--although Marcus has three grown children, including his daughter, Bettina. In Then Came You, the lives of Jules, Annie, India, and Bettina intersect along the path to having a baby and all four women learn that the path can have a few bumps...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde

Single mum Sian Bishop decides to move out of London to the countryside to give her young son, Rory, a better life. After settling in to her rented house, she strikes up a friendship with her fiftyish next-door-neighbor, Fiona Matcham. Fiona introduces her to another mother, Jody, and includes Sian as a guest for a dinner party she's giving. The party is going smashingly well until Fiona's adult son, Angus, unexpectedly arrives. Sian is stunned to discover that Angus is actually Gus, the man she had a steamy one night stand with six years ago that resulted in Rory. Sian and Gus agreed that their encounter was a one-off because Gus was leaving on a long journey the next day. Afterwards, Sian had no way to contact him. Now, Sian still has strong feelings for Gus and wonders how she'll tell him and Fiona the truth. Complicating matters are Richard who's waiting in the wings for Sian to say yes to be with him and obnoxious Melissa, Gus' childhood friend who would like to be something more. Summer of Love is light, enjoyable English romance.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Dog Night by David Rosenfelt

Defense attorney Andy Carpenter would love nothing more than to spend time with his girlfriend Laurie and his golden retriever Tara--rather than take on a new client. But when Noah Galloway asks Andy to defend him against the charge that, six years ago, he set a fire that killed twenty-six people, he agrees...but only because Noah owned Tara before Andy. Noah believes he's guilty of the crime even though he has no memory of commiting it (he was a heavy drug user at the time). Now clean, he feels he should go to prison. But Andy and his team of investigators begin to find evidence that Noah was set up to take the fall. Will Andy persuade the jury to find Noah not guilty? One Dog Night is the latest mystery in the Andy Carpenter series. People who enjoy lighter mysteries--especially ones featuring dogs--should give the book a try.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Boston cop Jane Rizzoli and her partner, Barry Frost are called to Chinatown, where they find a woman's severed hand, with her body nearby. The next morning, while performing the autopsy, medical examiner Maura Isles finds two gray hairs on the deceased, which turn out not to be human hair. The murder seems to be connected to the Red Phoenix massacre of almost twenty years ago, named after the restaurant that once occupied the site where the new body was found. The cook at the restaurant, Wu Weimin, killed four people before committing suicide. Jane and Frost decide to take another look at the old case to try and find a possible link. What they find is a connection to the mob, missing children, glimpses of a mysterious creature, and the possibility that Wu Weimin was innocent. In The Silent Girl, Gerritsen combines Chinese mysticism along with a fast-paced story.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Betrayal of Trust by J.A. Jance

Special state investigator J.P. Beaumont and his partner (and wife) Mel Soames are asked to look into a disturbing video that was sent to the Washington governor's teenage step-grandson, Josh Deeson. They believe the girl being strangled in the video is dead and they are tasked with keeping their investigation secret until they can find out if Josh was involved. After interviewing Josh, Beaumont believes that Josh wasn't involved in the incident, but isn't being entirely truthful about not knowing her. Then Josh is found dead of a suicide and Beaumont and Mel are plunged deeper into the mystery of Josh and the girl. In Betrayal of Trust, Jance writes a mystery that's hard to put down because of the combination of a compelling story and Beaumont's likeability. It's been four years since Beaumont has had a book all to himself (the last Beaumont book also featured Jance's other long-running series character, Joanna Brady). More please...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trespasser by Paul Doiron

Young Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is called to a car/deer accident, but when he arrives the female driver has disappeared. Despite having a bad feeling about the situation, Bowditch hands the case over to state trooper Curt Hutchins. The next morning, though, he decides to try and find the driver, Ashley Kim. That evening, Bowditch and his friend, retired warden Charley Stevens, discover her dead. The manner in which Ashley was murdered is eerily similar to the death of another woman, Nikki Donnatelli, who died seven years ago. Her killer, Erland Jefferts, is in prison. But some believe Jefferts is innocent and have been petitioning for his release. With a myriad of suspects and questions about whether there is one killer or two, Bowditch cannot stop trying to uncover the truth-- even though it's not his job and despite the toll it takes on him. In Trespasser, Doiron has succeeded in writing a mystery that's even better than the first (I was definitely lukewarm about The Poacher's Son). I'm anxious to continue with Bowditch on his journey through rugged Maine. For people who enjoy C.J. Box, Steve Hamilton, and William Kent Krueger.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

The Kellehers have been spending their summers in Maine for over sixty years. Beloved patriarch Daniel won land in a bet and built a cottage, which his widow, Alice, still enjoys. Their daughter, Kathleen, now living in California, intensely dislikes her mother and rarely visits. Kathleen's daughter, Maggie, though, plans on spending time in June there with her boyfriend, Gabe. July belongs to Kathleen's brother Patrick's family--headed by his wife, Ann Marie. This summer the lives of all four women (Alice, Kathleen, Maggie, and Ann Marie) collide at the Maine property and the reader gets to know each woman intimately, focusing in on how she feels about being a member of the Kelleher family. For readers who enjoy novels about family relationships. A minor gripe: the cover of the book resembles none of the characters...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Meredith Delinn has nowhere to turn when her husband, Freddy, is imprisoned for defrauding investors out of billions of dollars. Even though they've been estranged for a few years, Meredith's childhood best friend Connie agrees to let Meredith accompany her to Nantucket. Connie is having problems in her own life--she misses her husband, Wolf, desperately since he died of cancer and wishes she could mend the rift between her and Ashlyn, her only child. Meredith's sojourn proves difficult, since she's afraid she'll be recognized and be hounded by the press and angry people that believe she was an active participant in Freddy's misdeeds (even though she was in the dark). It becomes a waiting game to see if she'll be cleared of any wrongdoing and be able to move on. Luckily, a widower and an old flame come along to help lift Connie's and Meredith's spirits. In revisiting both women's lifelong friendship and marriages along with their daily summer routine, Hilderbrand has written another beach read that's hard to put down.