Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Few Reviews

Not too much going on right now. Here are some more reviews from Harriet. Got an email from Parke Godwin. He has started on the third volume in his Galactic Bus series. The main characters are Barion and Coyul - brothers who helped seed the Earth millions of years ago. It would be nice to see a re-issue of the first two volumes.

Second Skin, Caitlin Kittridge, St. Martin’s, Mar 3 2009, $6.99, ISBN: 031294831X, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

Although Nocturne City werewolf police officer Luna Wilder has been transferred to SWAT to allegedly better use her aggressive behavior, her former partner in homicide Detective David Bryson pleads with her to assist him on a weird case. He is investigating the execution style deaths of four weres from the oldest most powerful packs.

Luna quickly finds a link to the legendary Wendigo shapeshifters who drink the blood of their victims. Neither she nor the coroner is prepared for the four dead weres to reanimate into something deadlier. Luna survives their assault, but knows her unknown adversary is becoming increasingly powerful and soon will be invincible; what she also does not know is that their leader, Lucas, has special plans for her.

The latest Nocturne City police procedural fantasy (see NIGHT LIFE and PURE BLOOD) is an exiting homicide investigation in which the legend proves lethally real. The brass still thinks Luna is a lunatic with her obstinate independence, but also knows she gets results. However, this time failure may prove even worse than death as Lucas has chosen Luna for a chosen role in his Wendigo pack. Fans will relish this action-packed thriller from the opening execution to the final graveyard visit.

Look Again, Lisa Scottoline, St. Martin’s, Apr 14 2009, $26.95, ISBN: 0312380720, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

Since she laid eyes on him when he was only a year old, Ellen Gleason fell in love with the baby. The infant’s mother did not want him and could not pay his bills; his father signed away his “parental” rights. Ellen adopted him changing his name to Will. They are happy together until she receives a flyer for missing children; one of them is Tim Braverman who was accidentally abducted during a car-jacking. The computer age processing of the picture is an exact likeness of her Will.

The more the picture haunts her the more she wonders if her Will is Tim. Unable to resist, Ellen makes inquiries only to learn the woman who facilitated the adoption committed suicide. Persistent, she still gets the adoption records where she learns the name of the mother. Ellen tracks her family down, but they do not know where Amy is. Still unable to ignore the picture, she obtains DNA of the mother and father of Tim to determine whether they are her Will’s biological parents. If yes, she considers then what.

Lisa Scottoline has written a well crafted absorbing drama that will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult. Ellen is a brave person who refuses to let sleeping dogs lie regardless of the cost of losing her beloved son as she goes to extraordinary measures to learn the truth. Her efforts have unintended consequences as she places herself and her child in danger from someone who wants the truth to remain buried. Although that suspense adds suspense and tension, it detracts from a strong family drama starring a woman who fears what the truth will bring, but needs to know.

Loitering with Intent, Stuart Woods, Putnam, Apr 2009, $25.95, ISBN: 9780399155789, reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

After being publicly dumped by his girlfriend at Elaine’s in NYC, Stone Barrington, attorney at large for a big firm, is delighted with an assignment that takes him out of the Big Apple. He heads to Key West to obtain the signature of Evan Keating on a document that will enable his father Warren to sell the family business; Evan will receive twenty million. Accompanying Stone to Florida is his friend NYPD Captain Dino Bachetti.

When they arrive at the Conch Republic they have a difficult time finding Evan. When Stone finally corners the elusive man, someone hits him on the head knocking out the visiting New Yorker. A beautiful Swedish doctor helps Stone’s two heads recover; he is drained and happy when he meets up with Evan again. However, Stone learns Evan is getting a tiny percentage of the worth of the business and that his father committed his paternal grandfather to an institution to get him out of the way. A hit on Evan fails, but someone else is killed. Father and son are in danger through events set in motion by the father. Stone and Dino protect Evan while hoping to bring the killers out into the open.

Stuart Woods has written another exciting Stone thriller filled with plenty of action on top of more action. Evan is naively innocent so people take advantage of him including the go between, the hit men and his father. Putting aside the heady doctor tryst that is an enjoyable and funny sidebar, Stone is at his sardonic best as he keeps LOITERING WITH INTENT focused on Key West.

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