Monday, December 17, 2007

Playmates, Robert Parker Book Review

"Playmates" by Robert Parker is a Spenser PI mystery that Parker is famous for. Parker writes a humorous, sexy and thrilling story that holds ones interest from start to finish. Spenser has been called to investigate point shaving at the University of Taft. Taft is a top basketball college with some teammates being drafted by the NBA, if they are good enough. Rumor has it that point shaving is present on the team. The coach does not believe it and forbids his players to talk with Spenser. Through investigating and viewing videos of games, Spenser finds this rumor true. He tells the coach, Dunham and gets a green light to solve the problem. Dwayne Woodcock is the star player on the team with future drafting of the NBA quite possible, but he is the one doing the shaving. The Mob from NY has their hook in Dwayne and are able to control him with ease. Money and lies keep the Mob on top of the situation until Spenser finds the connection of the university to the Mob. Spenser did not want to bring Dwayne down because he new basketball and not much else, he could not even read. A senior at a university and illiterate, not good. Spenser is a compassionate and understanding man who spends a night in jail for with holding information, but does his own thing and comes forward with good results. Parker has combined a true fact of shaving for gambling reasons with a suspenseful story. Spenser is a tough guy, stays in shape but is a loving man who cares.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fatal Tide, Iris Johansen Book review

"Fatal Tide" by Iris Johansen is a great romantic thriller that Johansen is well known for. She captures an idealistic romantic atmosphere with a story that is very suspenseful. Johansen has brought her characters through guilty pasts and how they overcome these problems with good results.

Melis and her step father Phil are well known oceanographers. Phil had a quest to discover the lost city of Marinth, a wealthy and rich city that was lost to the sea in a natural disaster thousands of years ago. Melis refused to help Phil find the city and lived on a remote island in the Caribbean. She adopted two dolphins, Pete and Susie. She studied their habits and life style. They were her life. Phil was blown up on his ship and the secret of Marinth was lost. Jed Kelby, an ex- SEAL, had dreams of finding Marinth and befriended Phil, his disappearance led Kelby to Melis.

Archer was an illegal arms dealer and was after the plans of a sonic gun, with great destructive power, that Phil had developed. With Phil not around, Melis was the only one with the plans and the secrets of Marinth. Kelby meets up with Melis and protects her from Archer, who wants the plans and goes to extremes with Melis and holds her hostage to her past. Melis made a deal with Kelby, she would help him find Marinth for his protection from Archer. Archer is a ruthless killer and a determined man who torments Melis to the end.

Johansen has her romantic roots exposed in this story, but the love of the dolphins and how human they really are, puts the story into a realm of realism. A quick and easy read that is a very thrilling and suspenseful novel.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dead Watch, John Sandford Book Review

"Dead Watch" by John Sandford is his first political thriller. Sandford is a master in story telling which makes this page turning book very suspenseful with non-stop action. His characters are believable and the plot is riveting! A very talented author.

Jake Winter, a democratic research assistant, and ex-Army Intelligence who was wounded in Afghanistan, is called in by the Democratic President to investigate a political scandal that might include their party. A republican senator turns up missing, several day later his body is found in Virginia, burnt beyond recognition and decapitated. The governor of Virginia, Goodman, has a "Watchman" group like a gestapo, that was blamed for this atrocity. Jake has much to do. He meets up with the widow of the senator, Madison, to receive information about the senator and his ways. He finds much, that takes him on a journey that leaves two dead, and the truth of the death of the senator. There are many twists and turns in this plot, but Jake does his best.

With a Political thriller, Sandford puts several ideas in the plot, kind of the way bureaucracy and government run. We never know what is right. After reading this novel, one does not know what really goes on with the politicians. We can only hope for the best.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Lonesome Gods, Louis L'Amour Book Review

"The Lonesome Gods" by Louis L'Amour is a great historical fiction around 1820 of the southwestern part of California. L'Amour is very graphic in his stories, with a map of the area of that time. Included in this story is the desert around Palm Springs and Los Angeles. The realism of the area is put into a fictional story that holds one until the book is finished.

At the age of six, Johannes Verne and his father, Zackery, are journeying to LA from Santa Fe by a wagon with six other people. Zack has lunger disease and will die soon and he wants to go to LA where Johannes' grandfather lives. The grandfather felt betrayed for he wanted to keep the blood line of his Spanish heritage. His daughter ran off and married Zack, a common man of the US who was not Spanish. He wanted Zack dead, along with Johannes. Johannes' mother died from an illness, leaving Zack in charge of Johannes. With months to live, Zack heads west with the boy. Arriving at a natural hot spring at the foot of Mt. San Jacinto, Zack was told that his father-in-law was out to kill him, so he stayed in the Palm Springs local. Johannes is befriended by the Cahuilla Indians and learns the way of the Indian. Zack is killed and Johannes goes to LA to live with a lady, Miss Nesselrode, who he met on the wagon out of Santa Fe. Johannes becomes educated and lives a good life until his identity is discovered. His grandfather wants him dead, but Johannes is to smart to let that happen. A chase through out the south deserts, leaves many dead but Johannes prevails and gets to the Palm Springs area where he meets up with an old Indian friend. Now the hunted becomes the hunter and Johannes travels to LA to settle the dispute.

L'Amour has written a good historical account of this time. The development of LA and Palm Springs has brought us what we have today. The story puts it in an interesting and thrilling way! There is mystery through out the story and one does not know until the end.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hundred Dollar Baby, Robert Parker Book Review

"Hundred Dollar Baby" by Robert Parker is a Spenser detective thriller in Boston. Spenser is approached by April Kyle, an old friend who he saved from the streets and introduced her to a madam of a high class brothel in NY. Utley taught April the whore business. April started her own brothel and was faced with some strong armed men trying to ruin her business. April tells Spenser and he got involved ridding her of this problem, but he thought she was not telling the truth about things. Further probing proved him right. April was trying to develop a franchise of nation wide brothels, catering to the well to do man called "Dreamgirl". In order to do this, she needed funding. Her search led to several murders and the truth finally surfacing in the end.

Parker has produced a good suspenseful thriller where Spenser is in top form as a detective and a friend, but the friendship was not for real. Spenser learns the hard way but resumes his lifestyle as a good man, compassionate, carrying with humor and love.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Son of a Wanted Man, Louis L 'Amour Book Review

"Son of a Wanted Man" by L'Amour is a western story in the late 1800 that takes place in Utah and the 3 neighboring states.(Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado). L'Amour is great for the geographical realism and the facts about the development of law and order. The true facts are blended into the story, giving a real feeling of it happening that way.

Ben Curry was a big man, wise and intelligent. He was a wanted man! Ben was the brains behind an outlaw gang and by keeping a low profile, he was unknown with the law. Not having a son, he adopted a foster boy in hope that he may take over his gang. Mike Bastian learned scouting, tracking, the use of a gun and physical self defence,(fighting). Mike excelled in all and Ben decided the time was here for him to become the head man. Some gang members did not like the idea of Mike being in charge and captured him to use as leverage to get Ben. The gang was unsuccessful in capturing Ben and Mike was able to escape his bondage. There were two jobs, robing a train loaded with gold and a bank robbery at a small town bank. Bordan Chantry, the law, got wind of these activities and was waiting in ambush. Mike was off to another ranch that Ben owned to save Ben's daughters from some gang members that wanted the cattle. The confrontation of the gang and Mike, ended where one gang member was killed, but the other kidnapped Ben's daughter and fled into the wilderness. With Mike's tracking skill, he went after her with the other daughter at his side and was successful in finding her and killing her capture.

Louis L'Amour was French-Irish and at 15 he took off to explore the world. He did many things, but writing was his life long desire. He had 350 stories rejected before His writing was excepted. In 1984 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan. Louis L'Amour died in 1988 leaving a legacy of literary knowledge in the pages of his stories.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Simple Truth, David Baldacci

"Simple Truth" by David Baldacci is a good murder mystery that shows Baldacci is in perfect form. The mystery includes political members, the military and Supreme Court justices. Rufus Harms has been incarcerated for 25 years for a crime he did not do. He was in the Army during the Viet Nam war and could not follow orders and ended up in the stockade. That was the beginning of his trouble. Through the years and many appeals later, Rufus got an appeal out of Fort Jackson prison to the Supreme Court, the highest court available. The head man of the prison, Rayfield, intercepted the appeal and could not let the simple truth out. Conversing with his cohorts, Rayfield took matters in his hands which led to the murder of Mike Fisk, a lawyer in the Supreme Court. John Fisk, his brother and Chandler, homicide detective on the Washington DC police started a lengthily investigation. Harms was able to escape from Fort Jackson and helped Fisk uncover a scandal of the Army experimenting with LSD and PCP on unyielding soldiers. Rufus Harms was one!