Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

Mother of three Lisa Kallisto is finding it hard to balance her home and work life. When Lucinda, a friend of Lisa's teenage daughter, goes missing while she's supposed to be in Lisa's care, she feels tremendous guilt. Lucinda's mother, Kate is Lisa's good friend. Faced with going to Kate's house and offering support, Lisa feels like a pariah. She then vows to find Lucinda herself. DC Joanne Aspinall is put in charge of Lucinda's disappearance and wonders if this case is connected to that of another girl that's gone missing recently. In Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, Daly goes beyond the search for Lucinda to explore the subjects of marriage and friendship. With a compelling storyline, it's definitely worth a read. It will be published in September.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lethal Treasure by Jane Cleland

Josie Prescott and her boyfriend, Ty, have become friends with Leigh Ann and her husband, Henri, who are new to Rocky Point, New Hampshire.  Leigh Ann and Henri have an interior design business in town and their paths frequently intersect with Josie's.  Josie owns an auction house and is always looking for antiques and collectibles to sell, while Leigh Ann and Henry often hunt for items for their jobs.  Then Henri disappears and Leigh Ann is frantic with worry, hoping that he's OK. Ultimately, he is discovered murdered in a storage unit he had just bought for its contents.  Josie wonders who would want Henri dead and if the items in the locker have anything to do with his death. Given Josie's expertise with antiques, she is asked to assist the police with their investigation--but will her help put her in harm's way? An enjoyable entry in the Josie Prescott series.

Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron

Someone has slaughtered numerous moose on the land of wealthy Elizabeth Morse.  Morse has made a lot of enemies in Maine by buying up real estate in the hope of turning it into a national park. Game warden Mike Bowditch is called first to the scene then quickly dismissed and given a time-wasting job by his superior, Lt. Marc Rivard.  But Morse has taken a liking to Mike and gets him assigned as her go-between with the authorities.  Mike's position puts him close to the action, which all but assures he'll be involved in the violence that ensues and finding who's responsible.  In this fourth book of the Mike Bowditch series, Doiron writes a superb mystery filled with a great sense of place, a likable, yet flawed main character, who develops more with each book, and a "wow" ending--making the reader wish that the next book in the series was available to read right now. If you haven't read Doiron and enjoy authors such as C.J. Box, William Kent Krueger, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro series, you're missing out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay

Cal Weaver is a private investigator in upstate New York, whose life and marriage are in disarray because of his teenage son Scott's recent death.  When a local girl named Claire asks Cal for a ride, he starts to say no, but relents when she mentions that she knew Scott. Cal has no idea that his simple act of kindness will plunge him into the middle of a murder investigation, put himself in danger, and maybe even help him find out what really happened to Scott.  A Tap on the Window is a classic Barclay thriller, since it's centered around domestic issues and has a main character that the reader really feels compassion for.  It is, however, more leisurely-paced, than Barclay's last book, Trust Your Eyes, which is one of the best books I read last year.  Still worth a read...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Siege by Simon Kernick

Terrorists descend on the Stanhope Hotel in London, taking hostages and killing several hotel employees.  In the novel, the reader is introduced to manager Elena, a Polish immigrant just recently engaged.  We also meet hotel guests, Martin Dalston, who has inoperable cancer and has come to the Stanhope to commit suicide, Floridian vacationer Abby Levinson, her son Ethan, and the mysterious Scope whose presence at the hotel might be unwelcome to the terrorists--Fox,Wolf and their colleagues. Will the authorities be able to rescue the hostages and keep the bad guys from blowing up the hotel?  In Siege, Kernick has written a suspenseful book with a cast of likable characters and pretty much non-stop action, since the book takes place in less than a day.  A superb thriller that's a great read-alike for Lee Child.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Twenty-something Leila is socially awkward and friendless.  She is even more alone when her mother dies. After moving to a new flat in another part of London, she gets involved in a website called Red Pill, where the members debate philosophical issues.  The creator of the site, a man named Adrian, approaches Leila, asking her if she would be interested in helping a woman named Tess who wants to commit suicide. Leila's job would be to impersonate Tess online to her family and friends to make them believe that she still is alive, in order to cause them the least amount of pain.  Leila agrees and spends hours getting to know Tess, her background, and the way she behaves, so she can be successful at her task.  Leila and Tess, however, never meet in person.  After Tess leaves on her journey and Leila's job begins, she finds it's hard to separate her life from Tess' and not be curious about how Tess took her own life.  Leila's character is not that sympathetic, but the overall plot really keeps you engaged.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews

Grace Stanton has built a successful career online with her home-living blog, Gracenotes.  But when she catches her husband, Ben, in a compromising position with her assistant, J'Aimee, she impulsively drives his Audi into their swimming pool. Grace then moves in with her mother, Rochelle, upstairs from the Sandbox, a bar that she's owned since Grace was a girl.  As part of the judge granting Grace and Ben a divorce, he requires that Grace attend group therapy sessions. Furious at the judge's decision and without any money (since Ben has cancelled her credit cards and frozen their bank accounts) Grace tries to stay positive--even after Ben has shut her out of Gracenotes.  With the support of Rochelle, her fellow members in her therapy group, and maybe a possible romance with Wyatt, the owner of Jungle Jerry's (a dying family fun park), she just might turn her life around for the better.  Ladies' Night is a humorous, breezy read with an interesting setting on the gulf coast of Florida, combined with lively characters and a bit of romance.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

The Carmichael and Graham families are gathering on Nantucket for the wedding of Jenna and Stuart.  Following the events over a summer weekend, the story is told through the eyes of three characters.  Jenna's father, Doug, realizes that he doesn't love his second wife, Pauline, and misses the love he felt for his late wife, Beth, who died of cancer.  Jenna's older sister, Margot, is obsessing over the secret relationship she's having with her father's law partner, Edge.  Stuart's mother, Ann, a state senator from North Carolina is finding it hard to stomach the presence at the festivities of her husband's second wife, Helen, even though she was the one who invited her.  With Hilderbrand's trademark of the interpersonal relationships of the wealthy set against the backdrop of Nantucket, Beautiful Day is an engaging beach read.