Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen

Political science professor Joanne Kilbourn is looking forward to her retirement. But she finds herself embroiled in a firestorm when one of her husband Zack's clients, Leland Hunter, tries to redevelop an area of Regina that's seen better days. The project manager recently died on site and his death looks suspicious. Then, Joanne's house is almost completely destroyed in an explosion. Her usually-safe world is shaken and her relationship with her daughter, Mieka, is strained when Mieka reveals that she's in a relationship with Riel Delorme, a local activist who opposes Leland Hunter's project. Joanne attempts to keep her family safe and solid while the ugliness of society tries to engulf her. Kaliedoscope is the latest book in the long-running Joanne Kilbourn series and it's always a pleasure to catch up with Joanne and her family.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Megan Pierce has put her wild past behind her and lives life as a suburban wife and mother. Ray Levine drinks away his demons from that time and is embarassed of his job as a fake paparazzi. Police detective Broome still thinks about Stewart Green, who disappeared seventeen years ago, and wonders if he'll ever solve the case. Megan, Ray, and Broome find themselves confronted with their pasts when a man named Carlton Flynn goes missing. Flynn's disappearance sets in motion a violent, possibly deadly uncovering of the truth for everyone. In Stay Close, Coben has filled his book with likable characters and non-stop action that makes it hard to stop turning the pages.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson

A young girl disappears on a train travelling from Gothenburg to Stockholm. It appears her mother was distracted by a woman with a sick dog, allowing a man to kidnap the girl. No one in the train station, however, saw anything out of the ordinary. Police detectives Alex Recht, Peder Rydh, and Fredrika Bergman work together to find out what happened to the girl, despite the two male detectives' dislike of Fredrika. She, however, is able to look at the case differently than her colleagues, which proves to be an asset. Unwanted is the first in a new series with Fredrika as the main character. Readers who like Swedish mystery by Hakan Nesser and Kjell Eriksson will be glad to have a new author to read.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Cathy Bailey was in a relationship with an undercover cop named Lee, who almost killed her. Moving to London from Lancaster and trying to put her past behind her (despite near-crippling OCD) is a struggle--even three years later. Her new upstairs neighbor, Stuart Richardson, a clinical psychologist, has tremendous understanding of Cathy's condition. Their friendship gives Cathy the courage to get professional help for her problems. However, when Cathy receives a phone call that Lee is being released from prison, her anxiety level goes to an all-time high and she's convinced that she sees him everywhere. Cathy does, though, have the support of Stuart, who's now become more than a friend in her life. Alternating with Cathy's story in London is that of her harrowing past with Lee, up until the day that she gets free--which heightens the reader's fear that yes, Lee is someone who is unpredictable and violent and there's a very good chance that he will come for her again... Into the Darkest Corner is a debut novel that you'll want to gobble up in one sitting. Yes, it's that good. For people who enjoy Nicci French and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. It will be published in June.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks

Newspaper reporter Carter Ross decides to write a story about Nancy Marino, a woman who's killed in a hit-and-run while delivering the newspaper that Carter works for. At Nancy's wake, Carter meets her family and then later gets a phone call from Marino's sister, Jeanne, who believes Nancy was murdered and aludes to problems at work. Nancy was also employed at a local diner, so Carter delves into Nancy's jobs at both workplaces. The fact that he and Nancy worked for the same paper becomes a problem when he starts looking at Gary Jackman, the publisher, as a possible suspect. Working to uncover more reasons that Nancy's death wasn't an accident soon becomes Carter's focus, even as he finds his career in jeopardy. The Girl Next Door is the third book in the Carter Ross mystery series and was enjoyable, even though most readers will figure out the identity of the killer early on. Readers who like David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter mysteries should give this series a try.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

Thirtysomething Aaron Woolcott is in deep mourning after his wife, Dorothy, is killed by a falling tree at their home. Even though there's significant damage to the house, Aaron stays there until it becomes uninhabitable. He is somewhat comforted by still seeing Dorothy appear around town and he tries to find some type of pattern to her sightings. Through seeing her, he slowly starts to heal. The Beginner's Goodbye is a short novel that, for me, lacked the depth of some of Anne Tyler's great earlier works that I enjoyed, like Breathing Lessons and Saint Maybe. It will be published next month.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Dead of Summer by Mari Jungstedt

When construction company owner Peter Bovide is found dead on the beach (shot repeatedly), the police have few clues. DS Karin Jacobsson is in charge because her boss, DS Anders Knutas, is on vacation. They discover that Bovide felt that he was being watched and had been receiving anonymous silent phone calls. This leads them to believe that he was specifically targeted, rather than a random victim. Meanwhile, journalist Johan Berg is reporting on the case and interviewing people on his own--sometimes he even seems more on the trail of the killer than the police. The Dead of Summer is the fifth book in the Anders Knutas series and is one of the weaker ones. The reader knows where the story is going and who murdered Bovide pretty early on. The book serves more to further the lives of characters Karin Jacobsson and Johan Berg.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blue Monday by Nicci French

London psychotherapist Frieda Klein agrees to take on patient Alan Dekker from her mentor Reuben McGill, whose personal problems are affecting his work. Alan hasn't been feeling like himself and he's having a recurring dream about a fictitious son--around five years old with red hair. When a boy named Matthew Faraday who matches that description goes missing, Frieda wonders if she should contact the police. Frieda does end up speaking to DCI Malcolm Karlsson about her concerns. When he hears all she has to say, he feels that the police need to look closely at Alan. Karlsson, himself, has discovered a connection between Matthew's disappearance and that of Joanna Vine, who went missing over twenty years ago. What follows is a nail biting ride, following Frieda and Karlsson as they attempt to find both Matthew and Joanna. With this first book in a new series, French has created an interesting main character in Frieda and a story with lots of twists and turns. A hard one not to devour in one sitting...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Night Rounds by Helene Tursten

When the power goes out at Lowander Hospital, the staff is concerned with saving a patient's life. The patient dies and Nurse Siv then sees the roaming ghost of Nurse Tekla, who died sixty years ago. The body of another nurse, Marianne, is found in the hospital's electrical room, leading Siv to believe that the murderer was Tekla. DI Irene Huss is called to the hospital, with her colleague Superintendent Sven Andersson, to try and make sense of what happened. When another nurse and a homeless woman who possibly saw the killer also disappear, Irene realizes the past might hold clues to the present. Night Rounds is the second book in the Irene Huss series, but the fourth to be published in the U.S. It's been five years since the last book was published, far too long for readers who enjoy spending time with Irene--a fortysomething mother of teenage twins who's married to a chef.