Tuesday, April 25, 2006

18 to life

I absolutely loved my read over the weekend!

The book was George Shuman's 18 SECONDS (Simon & Schuster, c2006, ISBN 0-7432-7716-3)and boy, was it fun!

Set in Wildwood, New Jersey, a boardwalk-by-the-sea town, Kelly O'Shaughnessy is a newly appointed Lieutenant in the police force and is faced with the disappearances of several young girls.
Across the way in Pennsylvania is Sherry Moore. Blind since a young child, she works with police departments utilizing her gift: the ability to see the last 18 seconds in life of a dead person. Too many inconsistencies within several open cases bring Kelly and Sherry together. But will the sights that Sherry see be enough to help or hinder the case.
The book also has a really good bad guy and some great description within. I will definitely be looking for his next book.

It begins:

Sherry stepped off the courtesy cart near the hotel kiosk in the ground transportation level of the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Now reading FULL SCOOP by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How much is that kidney in the window?

As I posted a few posts back, I've been on a medical thriller kick lately.

This book may have stopped my run.

This week's read was ISOLATION WARD by Joshua Spanogle (Bantam Dell, c2006, ISBN 0-385-33853-8). I liked the main character, Dr. Nate McCormick with the CDC and his dry humor, oftentimes getting him into trouble. I liked the relationship he had with all of the supporting characters whether it was his buddy at the CDC, or his ex-girlfriend. The pacing was enough to keep me reading but there were some issues that had me looking towards the next book in my TBR pile.
For example, I constantly found myself looking for a Merck manual, a copy of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body or a computer to hop on PubMed just to understand what was going on most of the time. Xenotransplantation and porcine PERVs. A stinker of a first sentence. And my least favorite thing: first person.

The first sentence:

This is how it started.

Despite all of these, it was an okay first novel and I'll take a look at his second. I just don't know if I'll read it yet.

Free yourself

In THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING by K.L. Going (GP Putnam's Sons, c2005, ISBN 0-399-23991-X) Gabriel King and his best friend, Frita Wilson, are living their lives after graduating 4th Grade from Hollowell Elementary.

Both of them have things they are scared of, like spiders and rollerskating on the yellow line of the highway, and Frita thinks this summer is the time for liberation. However, with it being the summer of 1976 and the KKK looming large in Georgia, Frita, the only black girl in Gabriel's class, may have some real fears to face.

It starts out:

My best friend, Frita Wilson, once told me that some people were born chicken.

I really enjoy K.L.'s books for young adults. The characters pop real for me, whether they are the fat, unliked 17-year-olds or the scaredy-pants 4th graders. Her next book, SAINT IGGY, is scheduled to be released in September 2006.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hell is for children

My most recent read was THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult (Atria Books, c2006, ISBN 0-7434-9670-1), my favorite read so far this year!

The family Stone, including 14-year-old Trixie, father Daniel and mother Laura, are each fighting their own versions of Hell throughout the story, set in corresponding Bethel, Maine and Bethel, Alaska.

First sentence:

This is how it feels when you realize your child is missing: The pit of your stomach freezes fast, while your legs go to jelly.

I've had many library patrons ask me why this has been my favorite read this year and I've not been able to nail down a specific answer. Could it be the graphic novel that is written within the novel? Is it the theme of Dante's Inferno, a story I've never read but always desired to? Could it be the engrossing plot? Or maybe it was just reading about the K300, the Alaskan dog race featured, because I'm a sucker for Iditarod and other dog stories.

I'm almost finished with ISOLATION WARD by Joshua Spanogle and up next is 18 SECONDSby George Shuman.(Play the game at the website!)

Then I have to go back and get caught up on the two Jodi Picoult books I haven't read yet: VANISHING ACTS and SECOND GLANCE.

So many books...I'm off to sneak a chapter at my desk!

Saturday, April 8, 2006

The bone remembers

CARVED IN BONE by Jefferson Bass (William Morrow, c2006, 0-06-075981-X) is my most recent read and my first finished book of this month.
First things first:
I picked up the hunting knife with my left hand and tested its heft, then shifted it to my right hand to compare.

The main character is Dr. Bill Brockton, a forensic anthropologist, instructor at the University of Tennesee and the keeper of the Body Farm.

The author, Jefferson Bass is actually two people: Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, co-authors of the non-fiction book DEATH'S ACRE: INSIDE THE BODY FARM. While I didn't find the writing challenging, I did find the character's engaging and well developed. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I knew each and every one of them personally which doesn't happen all too often in books. And most of them I liked.
The most intriguing aspect of the book for me was the idea of children's fingerprints. In the book, Arthur Bohanan, a police officer both in the book and real life, is working the disappearance of a missing child. Although they had witnesses to the child being in a car and placing her with the suspect, the find no evidence of her fingerprints in the vehicle. Interestingly, scientific studies have shown that a child who has not yet reached puberty age has water-based fingerprints which will evaporate as compared to someone having reaching the age of puberty with oil-based fingerprints. This is something I hope to learn more about since my SO is in law enforcement, he was unfamiliar with the idea and I think this information will be beneficial if not crucial.

Next up, THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult and ISOLATION WARD by Joshua Spanogle.

Pair of docks

For whatever reason, I've been on a medical thriller kick and I don't know why. I hope it isn't some internal warning bell that is ringing subconsciously because after the books I've been reading and/or buying of late, I'm not sure that a hospital is where I want to be!

In PARADOX by Echo Heron (Ivy Books, c1998, ISBN 0-8041-1459-5), a patient with amnesia has Adele Monsarrat, RN feeling a little on edge. This is the third book in this series. The other books are PULSE, PANIC and FATAL DIAGNOSIS.

It starts out:

The three-year-old sucked her thumb and stared out the car window.

Set in San Francisco, these medical thrillers are among my favorites. Adele is a fun character, atypical from the stereotypical nurse and I love her dog, Nelson, a veggie-eatin', Mickey Mouse rug-adoring, gas-passin' lovable creature!

Prey on me

THE PREY by Allison Brennan (Ballantine Books, c2006, ISBN 0-345-48023-6) is the exciting debut book of a new trilogy by this author including THE HUNT and THE KILL (both still on my to-be-read pile at home. Those will be posted soon.)

I imagine these books will be as popular in my library as the series by Mariah Stewart.

In this book, Rowan Smith, a former FBI agent turned author is being terrorized by someone who has taken the fictional deaths from her books and implemented them in real life, one by one. Set in Malibu, this is a fast-paced romantic suspense book that left me breathless.

The first sentence didn't, but I kept reading anyways.

He studied her from afar.

Dead as a doornail

In this fifth installment of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, DEAD AS A DOORNAIL (Ace Books, c2005, ISBN 0-441-01279-5), someone is out to kill the Werewolves and other shifters...and succeeding.
The gang is all here including Sookie and her brother Jason, Vampires Bill Compton and Eric Northman, her boss Sam Merlotte, her Were friend Alcide and a bunch of others.

These books have really grown on me and I look forward to each new one that comes out.

The first sentence:

I knew my brother would turn into a panther before he did.

With a first sentence like that, how can you resist?!?

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: Dan Brown cleared of copyright infringement charges with regards to THE DA VINCI CODE. Bring on the movie!