Scarlet Nights by Jude Devereaux I listened to this one on audiobook. I learned later that it is part of a series of books. I'm not sure where it was in the sequence. Which, I guess is a good thing that I wasn't able to notice that I had missed on previous installments. A big city detective has to go back to his home town to uncover a fraud/murder plot. Reluctant to go back and face his past, the detective finds himself more emotionally entangled in the case and the town than he had planned. The problem with reading the middle book in a series, now I don't need to read the previous ones because I know how it ends up.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson .
After limping through the first 75-100 pages the book got much more interesting. The first half of the book was full of long descriptions of small town life in a Pacific Northwest Island town. (I forget exactly where it was set). There were too many men names that began with the letter "A" so that I had trouble keeping them all straight. The book is set in a post- WWII time. An untimely death of a fisherman is being investigated. Prejudices and loyalties are put to the test as a Japanese-American and long time resident of the town is accused of the crime. Throw in some pride and a love triangle, unrequited love and a test of whether or not to help someone you have a grudge with... it turned into a very good book. Of course, if you can't slog through the first boring part, you'd miss out on the rest.
Bonnie by Iris Johansen, I didn't know, when I chose this book, that it is either the 2nd or 3rd book in a fictioin trilogy. So, I was a little lost, but not completely. This book picks up with Eve, the mother of a little girl, Bonnie, who had been abducted and murdered. The mom, with the help of her, CIA friends and the soldier father of the daughter go and hunt for the killer. I listened to the audiobook version. The transitions between scenes or sections weren't always clear, so sometimes I was like, "huh, did she finish that section or did I miss something?" It did have some interesting twists.
Books 10 thru 14 of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series 'nuff said. She's so funny. Book 1, "One for the Money" is a movie out this month. I am looking forward to going to see it.
Virals by Cathy Reichs, A teen book from the writer of the Bones tv series. Amazon said it is for kids "9 and up", but I wouldn't agree. There is a murder, guns, conspiracy, animal testing, and a veiled reference to a teen having a girlfriend spend the night. For older kids, 13-14, ok, maybe. Tory, a 13 year old misfit, living on an island off the coast of South Carolina is a friend to other geeky-smart science loving kids who stumble upon a shady research project funded by the University where her father works. The kids use science and logic to uncover the evidence and follow the clues. In the midst of their research they are exposed to a virus which gives them into wolf-like characteristics (hence they call themselves "Virals".) It should be a new series and it's nice to see a smart, science loving female lead character.
Modelland by Tyra Banks Oh my goodness, I gave it an honest shot. I made it to about page 25 and thought "What IS this?" It's a teen book, maybe teens will like it. It's fantasy so all the places and names are made up and funky. I moved on. Tyra should stick to show business and leave the writing to writers. I guess in a nutshell it is an ugly-duckling story.
Divergent by Veronica Roth If you liked the Hunger Games, teen series, you'd like this one. Again it is a sci-fi fantasy with a female teen protagonist. Set in the future, Beatrice is introduced as she has to choose which segment of society she wants to live in. The society is separated basically by personality, Candor (honest), Abegnation (self-lessness), Dauntless (Brave), Erudite (the intelligent), and Amity (the peaceful). Beatrice comes from an Abegnation family and the story is about which segment she chose, the training she received and how no one fits neatly into just one category. There is violence. It is a fascinating book though and I enjoyed it.
Embrace the Grim Reaper by Judy Clemens I had to read this one, because I had lunch with Judy at the Books by the Banks event back in October. First, the book is not nearly as scary as the title and cover might make you think. It's not a horror book. It is the story of drifter, Casey Maldonado, who's husband and son died tragically, suddenly. The book starts with Casey wandering from town to town evading the circumstances of her family's death. She happens upon a small town in Ohio where she finds some lovely people who are mourning the suspicious death of town favorite. Casey tries not to put down roots but finds herself helping the town residents in their investigation as the past threatens to catch up with her.