Saturday, February 24, 2007

Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich

Evanovich has started a new series that stars Alexa Barnaby, Barney. If you are a fan of NASCAR, the story holds its own. Barney has a degree in engineering and loves tinkering with race cars. She belongs to the racing team as a spotter for Sam Hooker, the driver. Barney and Hooker had a relationship but after Hooker was caught cheating, things cool down. At the final race, Hooker was second and the winner was suspected of cheating electronically by Barney, but the NASCAR inspection team found no wrong doing on the Huevo car. Barney gets a call from Gobbles, a spotter for Huevo, who was locked in the Huevo 18 wheel hauler. He suspected wrong doing also. In trying to rescue him, Hooker and Barney end up stealing the hauler to get Gobbles free only to find a dead plastic wrapped Oscar Huevo. This leads to a humorous journey with Felicia and Rosia, friends of Barney, coming to the rescue. Beans, Hooker's St. Bernard, is a humorous addition to the story, along with Hooker's attempts to get Barney back in the sack. With several dead and the bad guys after Hooker and Barney, the journey leads them to the Carolina's and back to Miami. Humor is Evanovich's strong point,the mystery is weak, but Evanovich has produced a good story that keeps the pages turning.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Echo Park, Michael Connelly

"Echo Park" by Michael Connelly is the latest novel of Harry Bosch. It holds its own as a very good mystery and shows the quality writing of Connelly. In 1993 Bosch is given a case of a 22 year old equestrian who had disappeared at a local stables. Her car was found but no body was ever recovered. Bosch was able to come up with a suspect, the son of a wealthy oil tycoon, but had insufficient evidence to prosecute. Thirteen years later a serial killer was caught with body parts in his vehicle and to avoid the death penalty he pleas guilty to several murders including the Gesto case, the equestrian death. For many years Bosch looked at the file and wanted a closure of the case so her parents could have peace and the body for a decent burial. The confession was hard for Bosch to accept, it did not seem right. With the help of an old flame, an FBI profiler Rachael Waller, they come up with some angles that don't quite fit. The DA, Rich O'Shea, is seeking re-election and tries to use this case as publicity. Raynard Waits, the serial killer, leads a group of lawmen to the burial site of Gesto but escapes after killing two officers and disappears in the city. Bosch blames O'Shea for this, but the truth comes out and leads Bosch and Waller on a journey that proves to be a very exciting adventure. Connelly writes a great story that is a page turner and easy to read. Glad to see Bosch still active in these stories!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Frequent Flyer, Kinky Friedman

" Frequent Flyer" by Kinky Friedman is a mystery with humorous overtones. Kinky stars himself as an amateur detective in New York who smokes a cigar, loves cats and drinks espresso. Kinky gets a phone call to attend the funeral of an old buddy from the peace corp only to notice the dead man was not his friend. In NY, his sidekicks Ratso and Rambam help him uncover the mystery of his friend disappearing and get mixed up with a Nazi regime. It appears that the friend knew something that the Nazis did not want known. Kinky holds his own as a detective but ends up disclosing a lot about his past. The mystery gets solved, some what, and the off the wall statements throughout the story keep one interested to the end.

Kinky was a country western performer and a possible future governor of Texas, but took to writing novels instead. His one-liners and the humor give this author credence as a good writer.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Die Trying, Lee Child

"Die Trying" by Lee Child is a thriller that keeps you going throughout the book. Jack Reacher is walking down the sidewalk in Chicago when he helps a lovely lady who struggles to keep her balance when exiting a dry cleaners, only to have a gun pointed in his gut and ordered into the back of a car along with the lady. They were kidnapped! Holly Johnson is an FBI agent and the daughter of an Army General and the Joint Chief of Staff for the government, a likely candidate for a extremist militia group in Montana. Reacher was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but accepts the incident as fate. The two are handcuffed together and placed in a van which is the start of a journey filled with murder and violence. Reacher is an ex-military police with all the skills and knowledge to make him a very dangerous man to the enemy, and a friend to the good guys. After arriving in Montana, the leader of the militia, Beau Borken who was a psychotic villain, was going to use Holley as a barter to achieve his ways. But Reacher was there and proved to be more than Beau could handle. Child writes a very good thriller that lets the reader see how the FBI and the government let politics get in the way of right and wrong. This book is full of adventure and even some tender moments. I found the book interesting to say the least..