Thursday, June 30, 2016

City of Liars and Thieves

by Eve Karlin

Interesting subject matter; a story of the first recorded murder trial in New York City. Elma Sand's body is found at the bottom of a well and the leading suspect is the brother of the town's bigwig who is starting a public water system company. In efforts to gain popularity, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr team up as defense council.

Unfortunately the book is poorly written. If you're interested in finding out about that murder, I'd suggest Google.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

by Diane Chamberlain

Oh the stupid things girls will do for love! Why is it that young women will surrender everything they profess whenever a guy gives them some attention? Can we blame the curse-- Gen 3:13b?

Anyway,  The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes is another story about a naive young girl who sacrifices her ethics for some handsome smooth-talker who cons her into believing he loves her just to manipulate her into helping him kidnap the governor's wife. (if you want to read this book, you have to overlook a lot of implausible scenarios). The governor's wife is pregnant, Tim and his brother coerce Ceecee into guarding her while they negotiate ransom. While they're away, a terrible accident happens and Ceecee has to go under cover for the rest of her life. But then, about 25 years later the boyfriend is apprehended and put on death row for murder and Ceecee has to decide whether or not to fess up.

This is one of those books that you could read on a trip because it doesn't require much thought and it's easy to set down and walk away from. If you're a Jodi Picoult fan you'd probably like it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Life We Bury

by Allen Eskens

Joe Talbert, a struggling college student is assigned a research project for his English class that he isn't too excited about. He has to interview a stranger and write their life story. Joe's stranger happens to be a Vietnam veteran who was convicted of rape and murder, but is living out his last days in a nursing facility. Carl, like most convicted murderers, claims innocence, but after 30 years in a high security prison, he has become hard and angry. However, Joe gets him to tell his story, and soon is on a mission to clear Carl's name. Besides this main plot The LIfe We Bury has a few sidelines going on, Joe's alcoholic mother, his autistic brother, and his cute but unapproachable neighbor.

If you like stories about life and relationships, where every loose end is carefully tied, then you'll like this book. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

For the last couple of years, whenever I'm searching for a new book to read, Ready Player One has come up. And when I'd read the description I'd always be intrigued but then pass for something else. Well, I finally buckled... and very glad I did! Although it's not in my typical genre, it was a fun, fast-paced adventure, full of action.

In a future world that is near destruction, people have turned to a cyber world where they can explore and learn and escape their reality. This virtual world was created by James Halliday, a long dead computer nerd who grew up in the 80's. In 2042, several stereotypical high school students discover some clues hidden by Halliday in the code that will lead to a treasure for the one who can solve all the clues. Thus begins the battle to win the prize! The story is fraught with references to 80's pop culture: music, movies, tv shows, arcade games and history.

I'm not sure this story can really be categorized into any genre, perhaps sci-fi? But gamers or children of the 80's would probably like it, even if it isn't what you'd generally go for. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Burning

by Jane Casey

Tough female detective stories seem to be all the rage right now, unfortunately I haven't found many that work for me. The main problem being, writers seem bent on adding a love interest, which generally seems to be really stupid choices for these supposedly strong women. It's either an unsupportive male at home or she's infatuated with one of her co-workers. In The Burning you get both.

There is a serial killer in London who is killing women and then setting them aflame. When a fifth victim is found, DC Maeve Kerrigan is put on the case. As she begins her investigation, she discovers inconsistencies that cause her to question whether these murders have all been done by the same killer. This plot could have worked if the obvious answer hadn't been exposed in the first few chapters, so the rest of the time you were reading unnecessary details and wondering why DC Kerrigan took so long to figure it out.

You might like this if you are a fan of Tana French.