Getting caught up on some book reviews, as I am almost back on schedule for my goal of 50 books this year.The Lock Artist: A Novel by Steve Hamilton
My rating: ★★★★✩
The Lock Artist was a very intriguing novel about a mute safecracker. After a traumatic childhood experience, Michael never talks again. Through a series of incidents, he uncovers a real talent, even a gift, for cracking safes. Told in an interesting first person fashion, written as an autobiography, with alternating childhood and later chapters, I enjoyed it very much. Not a whole bunch really happened, but the story was told with real style. Micheal's experiences became yours and you really pulled for him to get on the straight and narrow.
The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley
My rating: ★★✩✩✩
Sorry, but I just couldn't get into The Tricking Of Freya. Telling what could be an interesting story of Icelanders transplanted to Canada, trying to hold on to their heritage, it just wasn't all the interesting in the end. I gave up.
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
My rating: ★★★★✩
The Expiration Date tells the amazing story of a guy down on his luck and some time traveling pills. Can he go back in time and solve his father's murder without tearing up the fabric of time? Seems unlikely, but in a typically brash fashion, Swierczynski manages to pull it off. The story hurtles along to a very wild conclusion, again trademarks of Swierczynski novels. While not as crackling as The Wheelman or especially The Blonde, it's still a tremendously fun ride.
The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn
My rating: ★★★★✩
I listened to The News Where You Are as a book on tape and found it an excellent slice of life book. Not really much of a mystery, despite its nomination for an Edgar this year, it tells the story of a news anchor trying to figure out the somewhat puzzling death of a former co-worker who has gone on to bigger and better things. I really enjoyed the repartee, laughing out loud a few times. Frank, the protagonist, is just trying to figure things out. His 8 year old daughter is very precocious and his mother, in an old age home, is truly a curmudgeon. O'Flynn's descriptions of BBC newsroom politics, old age, and time marching on, really hit home. While more of a 3.5 star book, it's worth while enough for 4. The narrator did a very nice job.
Gone Wild by James W. Hall
My rating: ★★★✩✩
Gone Wild is another entry in Hall's long running Thorn series, although Thorn himself doesn't show up for quite a number of pages. Told mostly from Allison Farleigh's point of view, this wild thriller about exotic animals, poachers and wildlife preservation has plenty of memorable characters. Maybe too memorable in some cases, as the bad guys in this book are quite over the top, both in craziness and money. Like all too many recent thrillers, it depends too much on stupid police. In one case, Allison is shot at while in a zoo at night, and the night watchman is killed, but the police don't believe her story at all, pinning the killing on a random robbery. And no one in power seems willing to lift a hand to help out, despite the mounting evidence. And the two main antagonists, Orlon and Rayon (I kid you not), just don't seem bright enough to have survived this long. So it was a fun read, but nothing too believable or deep. Maybe a good beach or airplane paperback.
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