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21 October 2016 @ 07:50 am

Abomination by Colleen Coble.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 11, 2008)
ISBN-10: 159554478X



A beautiful woman stands by the side of the road, barefoot and bleeding, a child in her arms. Someone just tried to kill her, but she wouldn't recognize him if she saw his face. She doesn't even remember her own name.
A suburban cop surveys a kitchen in disarray--a woman and child missing, a chilling note. This crime scene is unlike any he has ever seen.
The man who calls himself Gideon waits and plans. He sees himself as a destroyer of evil, one who rids the world of abominations. He has already killed five. He will kill again.
And somewhere in the wilderness, in a secret geocache near where the wild swans gather, lies the unspeakable clue that links them all together.
Michigan's rugged and beautiful Upper Peninsula is the setting for this absorbing tale of love and loss, beauty and terror, grievous sins and second chances. A deftly woven thriller from the popular author of the Rock Harbor novels.

I enjoyed this book.  There were a few back stories along with the search for the serial killer. 

The writing was quite good and easily followed.  With the woman having amnesia it gave me a feeling that any moment she would remember...   I can't even imagine not remembering your whole life!  There is the back story of her X-husband and why they divorced.  And surprises along the way. 

She hid the killer really well.  I had no idea until it was obvious.

Like I said, it was a good read. I had never heard of this author before (and found out she has LOTS of books out and many happen in the same place that this one occurs, so if you like the book.. there are many more!

Onward to my next read!.................

14 October 2016 @ 01:45 pm

Book 7 (and the last) book for RIP..........

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0743298039

Amazon.com Review
Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.

There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."

She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."

"I am a biographer, I work with facts."

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told.

This is the fourth time that I have read The Thirteenth Tale for the RIP challenge.  And since I do not write reviews well anymore.... this is what I wrote about it the last time I read it in 2008...............

Although this is a mystery.. and I do know the outcome, I still enjoyed reading this book.  Maybe it's because I am older and forget more, and forget it more quickly, I'm not sure.  But I do know that as I began the book, it did not take long to grab hold of me to begin me on the journey that Margaret was about to begin when she decided to write Vida Winter's biography.

For anyone who loves books this is a good book to read.  In the beginning of the book, when Margaret was not sure she wanted to do the biography, while in her apartment  I came across this passage of Margarets behavior:

It was nearly time.  I moved swiftly.  In the bathroom I soaped my face and brushed my teeth.  By three minutes  to eight I was in my nightdress and slippers, waiting for the kettle to boil. Quickly, quickly.  A minute to eight my hot water bottle was ready, and I filled a glass with water from the tap.  Time was of the essence.  For at eight o'clock the world came to an end.  It was reading time.

I can't tell you how many times I have come close to this exact statement! At about seven each night I shut down my computer, turn off the living room television and fan and get ready to pile up my pillows on my bed to lean against and to grab my current read and "hit the bed to read"! Nearly ALL the time.. same routine!

This book, as it has done three other times, just takes a hold of me and I read way more hours than I normally do. I don't seem to get as tired as quickly and one chapter leads to another and another as that's how this story goes..I just could not put it down.

You find yourself wondering if you missed a clue to anything. (and more than likely you have, but that's ok you will remember them when the time is right.) And other times you find yourself trying to figure out a piece of the story before it is revealed by Vida Winter. 

This is such a fantastic book.  The writing just refuses to let you go and do anything but continue reading, and once you are sucked into the mystery (which doesn't take long!) you just have to know those untold secrets !

It's so much fun when the secrets begin to emerge and you find yourself asking why you missed the clues!  So subtle.  But they are all there!

I finally let it go knowing I would come back to it some day.... I am shocked that I let it go this long, but I did enjoy it as much as the first time I read it..........Yeah.. in my opinion.. The Thirteenth Tale is that good!

09 October 2016 @ 09:24 am

Book 6 for RIP...

Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL; First Edition(March 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0451417569

London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends.
Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen.
But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, that dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything—and everyone—Sebastian holds most dear.

This is the 4th book I have read by C.S. Harris in the Sebastian St. Cyr series.

I liked this book very much.  Sebastian St. Cyr is a good character. He's not a police officer nor a detective so he reports to no one but his wife and father-in-law.

Harris is very descriptive of many scenes and you can feel the atmosphere in which the story takes place.

Through this series the secondary story is of  Sebastian who went from  being single to falling in love and marrying his wife Hero and having a son.  Other than the back story the St Cyr  stories are based on the History of the time in England.

Very good read but I might want to read a few of the older books first. The other 3 I've read are: Where Serpents Sleep, When Maidens Mourn and What  Angels Fear.  All enjoyable books.

03 October 2016 @ 08:23 am


Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow(January 24, 2006)
ISBN-10: 006075981X


Amazon Review:

On the campus of the University of Tennessee lies a patch of ground unlike any in the world. The "Body Farm" is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored -- for the sake of science and the cause of justice. The scientist who created the Body Farm has broken cold cases and revolutionized forensics, and now, in this heart-stopping novel, he spins an astonishing tale inspired by his own experiences.

A woman's corpse lies hidden in a cave in the mountains of East Tennessee. Undiscovered for thirty years, her body has been transformed by the cave's chemistry into a near-perfect mummy -- one that discloses an explosive secret to renowned anthropologist Bill Brockton. Dr. Brockton has spent his career surrounded by death and decay at the Body Farm, but even he is baffled by this case unfolding in a unique environment where nothing is quite what it seems.

The surreal setting is Cooke County, a remote mountain community that's clannish, insular, and distrustful of outsiders. The heartbreaking discovery of the young woman's corpse reopens old wounds and rekindles feuds dating back decades. The county's powerful and uncooperative sheriff and his inept deputy threaten to derail Brockton's investigation altogether. So do Brockton's other nemeses: his lingering guilt over the death of his wife, and the fury of a medical examiner whom Brockton dares to oppose in court.

Carved in Bone is a richly atmospheric, superbly suspenseful, and magnificently rendered trip into the world of forensic science, the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and the dark passageways of the human psyche. Full of vivid characters and startling twists and turns, this thrilling novel heralds the debut of a major new voice in crime fiction -- and an unforgettable work from the hand of a scientific legend.

This is the second most favorite book I've read for RIP.  (the winner still being The Life we Bury)  Loved the writing and short chapters!  I love when an author includes some reality, such as "the body farm".  Also love short chapters .. it makes me read more at a time.  

It's amazing when one realizes how much can be learned about bones and what happens to a body after death .  It's nothing I could do, but it's a bit fascinating.  I will most likely read at least one or two other books by this author as he has quite a series labeled, "A body farm novel". 

I guess it helped my enjoyment that it takes place in the Smoky Mts. , a place where I was just 2 yrs ago. (happily I did not see the body farm!) and love the area and mts and trees so much that it made me feel like I was back there.

I would definitely recommend this book!

24 September 2016 @ 03:57 pm

Book 4 for RIP....

Every Dead Thing by John Connelly.

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books(June 16, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1501122622


Amazon Review.

Former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker is on the verge of madness. Tortured by the unsolved slayings of his wife and young daughter, he is a man consumed by guilt, regret, and the desire for revenge. When his former partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker finds himself drawn into a world beyond his imagining: a world where thirty-year-old killings remain shrouded in fear and lies, a world where the ghosts of the dead torment the living, a world haunted by the murderer responsible for the deaths in his family—a serial killer who uses the human body to create works of art and takes faces as his prize. But the search awakens buried instincts in Parker: instincts for survival, for compassion, for love, and, ultimately, for killing.
Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and a pair of bickering career criminals, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the humid bayous of Louisiana, a trap that threatens the lives of everyone in its reach. Driven by visions of the dead and the voice of an old black psychic who met a terrible end, Parker must seek a final, brutal confrontation with a murderer who has moved beyond all notions of humanity, who has set out to create a hell on earth: the serial killer known only as the Traveling Man.
In the tradition of classic American detective fiction, Every Dead Thing is a tense, richly plotted thriller, filled with memorable characters and gripping action. It is also a profoundly moving novel, concerned with the nature of loyalty, love, and forgiveness. Lyrical and terrifying, it is an ambitious debut, triumphantly realized.

I have read 2 other books by John Connolly and liked them both.  This one was another good book.  "Bird" was on the search for the cold case in which his wife and child were killed.... but not "just" killed.

At times he almost lost me by having so many people involved that I'd start wondering what the heck was going on.  But eventually it cleared up and I once again knew what it was all about.   I am a bit brain dead when I get too many characters to keep track of lol.

I enjoyed this book enough to order yet another book by the same author.  Which surprises me since  "detectives" are getting to be the "norm" when in truth my favorite books are still more to the "family secrets" when solving a crime.

14 September 2016 @ 10:55 am

Book 3 for RIP...


The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.

Paperback: 303 pages
Publisher: Seventh Street Books(October 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1616149981



College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.
Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. 
Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Ok... best book I've read in a long time!! I hated this book to end!  Loved the characters, loved the story (stories)..nothing I didn't like about this book!.. well, except that I didn't want it to end but couldn't stop reading it!

Excellent mystery of a "cold case" pulled up due to and English project for Joe.  Toss in Joe's background and a small love story and you have it all in a very good, too short, book.  I had this book on my wish list for some time and sorry now that I waited so long to send for the used copy!!

It's a keeper!  Ya'll  might want to read this one!

13 September 2016 @ 08:37 am

Book 2 for RIP...


The Woman who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sandstone Press (November 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1908737328

Amazon Review:

Cal McGill watches the young woman through the dirty windshield of his Toyota. There's something compelling about her stillness, about the length of time she has been standing, staring out to sea. What has brought her to this remote beach, he asks himself. Is she a kindred spirit who finds refuge by the shore? Idle curiosity soon turns into another investigation for oceanographer and loner McGill as he embarks on a quest to discover why, 26 years earlier, another young woman walked into these same waves. According to the police, she killed herself and her unborn baby. McGill, the Sea Detective, questions this version of events and confronts the jealousies, tensions, and threats of a coastal community determined to hold on to its secrets.

Hooray! A real mystery!!  Of course it includes a dead body or two..  but the mystery is finding out ones past.  I liked the writing style in this book and found I looked forward to picking it up each time.

The only strange thing about the book is that Cal McGill did not really seem like a "detective" but more of a person wanting to help in the situation.  However I did like that it wasn't a detective constantly going to his office and reporting to others.   I enjoyed the book and all the mysteries surrounding the story!

09 September 2016 @ 03:10 pm

First book for RIP!

The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (January 27, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062351540

Amazon Review:

With the dead of a bitter Vermont winter closing in, evil is alive and well . . .

Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective's badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an '89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Soon Rath's investigation brings him face-to-face with the darkest abominations of the human soul.

With the consequences of his violent and painful past plaguing him, and young women with secrets vanishing one by one, he discovers once again that even in the smallest towns on the map, evil lurks everywhere—and no one is safe.

Morally complex, seething with wickedness and mystery, and rich in gritty atmosphere and electrifying plot turns, The Silent Girls marks the return of critically acclaimed author Eric Rickstad. Readers of Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbø, and Greg Iles will love this book and find themselves breathless at the incendiary, ambitious, and unforgettable story.

A good mystery right up to the end!  A new missing person case connects to some old cold cases, and if that's not bed enough Rath's daughter turns up missing!  It began like most detective stories but it got better and better as it went along. 

I still prefer mysteries with lots of family secrets in them but it seems more and more books are detective books.  If you get a really good and interesting main character then it's good when more books come out using the protagonist that you have come to find so interesting.

This is my first book by Eric Rickstad  so I don't know if he uses Frank Rath in other books yet.

31 August 2016 @ 02:27 pm

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (February 9, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0399174125



Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate, where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, of course, it does.
More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, half-buried memories of her mother begin to surface and Lorna soon finds herself ensnared within the manor’s labyrinthine history, overcome with an insatiable need for answers about her own past and that of the once-happy family whose memory still haunts the estate.
Stunning and atmospheric, this debut novel is a thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but inescapably linked by the dark and tangled secrets of Black Rabbit Hall.


This was quite a good read.  The books goes back and fourth between 2 generations.  It was easy to follow, and kept me reading as it was mostly "family secrets". (love that sort of book)

A woman named Lorna finds the home and wants to be married in it.  She doesn't know why she is so drawn to this particular place that was so far out of the way.  After spending some time in the home with the owner, Mrs Alton, she becomes fearful of the hidden secrets, but winds up staying and discovering why she is so drawn to this mansion.

The best of the last few books I've read recently.

25 August 2016 @ 02:40 pm

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage (January 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0307455793



In post-Arthurian Britain, the wars that once raged between the Saxons and the Britons have finally ceased. Axl and Beatrice, an elderly British couple, set off to visit their son, whom they haven’t seen in years. And, because a strange mist has caused mass amnesia throughout the land, they can scarcely remember anything about him.
As they are joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and an illustrious knight, Axl and Beatrice slowly begin to remember the dark and troubled past they all share. By turns savage, suspenseful, and intensely moving, The Buried Giant is a luminous meditation on the act of forgetting and the power of memory, an extraordinary tale of love, vengeance, and war.

Strangely enough, I really had no idea what this book was actually about when I found it in a box of books for .50.

For me, it was hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote Remains of the Day (movie by the same name).

Familiar names are drawn into this "story telling" book, such as Merlin and Arthur. I found the book to be quit different in the writing I am used to. But it did intrigue me enough to keep reading until the end.  I think that because I have been reading mysteries and murders and such that this was so far out in left base that I was lost part of the time. lol. 

It was an ok book.  Not really my type of writing, but yet interesting enough to let me read it all.  I am sure others would enjoy it more.