Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child --- 368 pages

The Midnight Line is the 22nd Jack Reacher thriller from Lee Child, and it may well be the best one he's written to date.  As one reviewer says, this is the one that breaks your heart, as Reacher confronts the true cost of war intersecting with the opioid epidemic.

The new story begins where Make Me (2015) left off. Reacher and Michelle Chang spend three days together in Milwaukee.  On the fourth morning, when he returns to the room with coffee, she's gone. Just a note left on the pillow. And he understands why.

So he gets on a bus and heads west. At a rest stop in a small sad town in Minnesota, Reacher takes a stroll to stretch his legs, He passes a pawn shop and in the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It's tiny; a woman cadet's class ring. Why would she give it up? Reacher's a West Point graduate himself. He knows how hard she worked to earn the right to wear that ring. It's not something you'd let go of easily.

Reacher decides to trace the ring back to its owner. Not just to return the ring, but to make sure she's all right. If she's okay, he'll just walk away.

But the trail he finds leads, step by step, into a web of lies, and violence, and desperation. Eventually it leads Reacher to the desolate wilds of Wyoming and a ghost of a town called Mule Crossing. Where he crosses paths with a retired FBI agent turned private investigator from Chicago. Who knows all about this woman and what might have gone wrong. Reacher has his own kind of honor.  If she's OK, he'll walk away. If she's not - he'll stop at nothing to set things right.

Reacher's on a quest for justice. Don't get in his way.

Click HERE to read the review from Kirkus Reviews.

Click HERE to read the review from the New York Times. 

Click HERE to read the review from the Washington Post.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne

Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne-111 pages

Jack and Annie are taken back to Ireland in 1862 to inspire Miss Augusta (who later becomes Lady Gregory) to learn the Old Language (Irish Gaelic) and write Irish stories and folklore. I really enjoyed reading this because I have long had an affinity for Ireland and Irish (I want to visit someday and I have already been to Scotland and I enjoy watching The Quiet Man, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, and reading other stories of Ireland). The only small, wee issue I have is that some of the Irish characters use Aye instead of yes and, to my knowledge, Irish don't say Aye. Scottish use the word Aye in place of yes sometimes, but not Irish. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book.

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer - 320 pages

13 year old Ruby has long felt unloved and unwelcome in her home.  Her only solace is her "friend" Shadow and the time she spends out in the forest.  Ruby's world is turned upside down by a revelation and she soon discovers the truth behind her family and that what she sees isn't always there for everyone else.  She finds out that true family isn't necessarily blood, rather it's the people who see you for who you truly are and still love you for it. 

Hamer's books are very lyrical and the countryside is almost another character.  This book is a meditation on the nature of family and what it really means to belong with a side chaser of the supernatural. 

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole- 356 pages

Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Good Night for Ghosts by Mary Pope Osborne

A Good Night for Ghosts by Mary Pope Osborne-112 pages

While reading this, I remembered reading this before and liking it a lot then. I like it just as much now. Jack and Annie are taken back to New Orleans on All Saints' Eve/Day in this Magic Tree House adventure. Their mission from Merlin, given by Teddy and Kathleen, is to persuade Louis Armstrong ("Dipper") to get on the path of playing jazz music so he can go on to become the "King of Jazz," like he does in reality. Along the way, Jack and Annie learn the value of hard work and learn a thing or two about racism in the Old South. Also, they have a run-in with the ghost of Jean Lafitte. It is a fun read, even now as an adult!

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott
(Sam Capra #1)
416 pages / 14 hrs, 38 mins

"Sam Capra is living the life of his dreams.  He's a brilliant young CIA agent, stationed in London.  His wife, Lucy, is seven months pregnant with their first child.  They have a wonderful home, and are deeply in love.  They have everything they could hope for...until they lose it all in one horrifying moment.

"On a bright, sunny day, Sam receives a call from Lucy while he's at work.  She tells him to leave the building immediately.  He does...just before it explodes, killing everyone inside.  Lucy vanishes, and Sam wakes up in a prison cell.  As the lone survivor of the attack, he is branded by the CIA as a murderer and a traitor.

"Escaping from the agency, Sam launches into a desperate hunt to save his kidnapped wife and child, and to reveal the unknown enemy who has set him up and stolen his family.  But the destruction of Sam's life was only a step in an extraordinary plot - and now Sam must become a new kind of hero."  --from the publisher

This was a great mystery/thriller, but the descriptions of torture were a little too much for me.  There is plenty of action, lots of secrets, and I especially enjoyed the variety of locations.


The World of Chas Addams

The World of Chas Addams by Charles Addams - 305 pages

This is a collection of Chas Addams comics as selected by Wilfred Sheed.  It is meant to be a timeline of his work from his earliest cartoons published by the New Yorker to his final comics. 

I enjoyed the collection of comics as well as the forward written by Wilfred Sheed.  I've always liked the Addams Family comics.  However, I think the book would have been better if it had printed the publication dates of the comics next to them rather than on a single page at the back of the book.