Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Black Box by Michael Connelly

Twenty years ago Danish journalist Anneke Jespersen was gunned down in an alley during the riots in Los Angeles.  Harry Bosch, as part of the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, is in charge of the case and asked for it specifically because he was one of the policeman called to the murder scene--but he couldn't spend time on the case because the city was in chaos.  Bosch wonders what Anneke was doing in Los Angeles--was she on vacation or working, or a bit of both?  As Bosch delves into the case, his boss makes it clear that he feels its going nowhere and Bosch should spend his time elsewhere, but then it goes in an unexpected, forward direction and Bosch finds himself following it to the end, despite the cost.  The Black Box is the latest novel in the Harry Bosch series and is hard to put down.  As usual, Connelly creates a story that's engaging and, in Bosch, a main character that you always want to come out on top.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Claire Roth has become a pariah in the East Coast art world because of her association with scandal-tainted artist Isaac Cullion.  She makes a meager iving creating reproductions of famous works for sale online.  When Isaac's former art dealer, Aiden Markel, approaches Claire about painting a forgery of Degas' "After the Bath," which was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in 1990, she agrees, because he promises her a one woman show at his gallery and $50,000.  Aiden also says that the Degas original will go back to the museum with Claire's forgery going to a collector.  But as Claire begins her research into Degas' technique and the work itself, she discovers that what Aiden gave her as the original is actually a forgery.  Claire decides not to tell Aidan what's she learned, but her revelation plunges her into her own investigation of Degas' and Gardner's relationship and makes her participation in Aidan's scheme even more murky.  The Art Forger is a fascinating introduction into the world of art forgery, including details about famous forgers and the process one goes through in painting a forgery.  The novel reminded me of the author Dani Shapiro. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

Genevieve has ditched her stressful job in London to live on and remodel a houseboat in Kent.  The reader soon learns that, to quickly raise the money she needed to buy the boat, Genevieve also danced in an exclusive gentlemen's club.  While there, she met a man named Dylan, who asked Genevieve to hold a package for him on her boat for a few months.  She anxiously awaits his call and it's obvious that she has feelings for him.  But when Caddy, a friend from the club, turns up murdered outside her boat after a party, Genevieve begins to worry. Throughout the book, the reader gradually discovers Genevieve's encounters as a dancer and, as her past collides with the present, one wonders if she will find out who's watching her and why they want to do her harm.  While I enjoyed Dark Tide, the book did not have as an engaging a plot as Haynes' first novel, Into the Darkest Corner which was unputdownable.  It will be published in March (its U.K. title is Revenge of the Tide).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Boyfriend by Thomas Perry

P.I. Jack Till is hired by the parents of Catherine Hamilton to find out who murdered her.  After some preliminary investigating, Till discovers that several women, who (like Catherine) were escorts with strawberry blond hair, were killed in different cities around the country.  Till nicknames the perpetrator "The Boyfriend" and attempts to find him before he claims another victim...  The Boyfriend is the second novel to feature Jack Till (after Silence) and is a compact page turner focusing on Till's hunt for a killer.  After reading numerous Thomas Perry books, I am flummoxed why he is not as well-known as Lee Child or Robert Crais. It will be published in March.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Small Hill to Die On by Elizabeth J. Duncan

Penny and her friend Victoria, worry about a new nail and tanning salon opening up in their Welsh village and taking business away from their own Llanelen Spa.  Mai Grimstead, the owner of Nailz, has just moved to town with her husband and two teenage children into Ty Brith Hall, a beautiful old property. When Penny discovers Mai's daughter Ashlee murdered near a waterfall, she is stunned.  She's warned not to do any investigating of her own by her boyfriend, DCI Gareth Davies, but Penny ignores him, unwittingly putting herself in danger.  A Small Hill to Die On is the fourth book in the Penny Brannigan series.  Perfect for readers who enjoy the Lois Meade series by Ann Purser and other British cozy mysteries.