The Visitor review

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My name is Amelia Gray. I’m the Graveyard Queen.

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

Well, at last the long awaited book arrived.  Completely devoured it today and immediately felt the impatience for the next installment in the series.  Will Devlin and Amelia survive the turmoil?

The book is well written and true to the Graveyard Queen series.  I will say that I kind of wish each book was its own mystery so one felt a sense of closure at the end instead of this having to wait for the next book – and then the next one.  I suppose this is how authors keep readers but I find I lose my enthusiasm towards a series the longer I have to wait for it.  Then I find I’m too many books behind to even bother catching up – this is what happened to the Lucas Davenport series, just got tired of waiting so checked out for several years.  Now who wants to go back to start again where I left off? Not me.

But this series is intriguing enough at the moment to be willing to wait for the next book as long as I don’t have to wait years again.

This is one series I can read that is written in the first person but I also have a feeling she is going off in a direction I probably won’t be open to in the next few books.  I don’t care for demons and devils and all that stuff.  Keep it simple.

Great story, great friction and lovely descriptions of the area.  I recommend the series – it is quite good.  I give it an A.

 

Ghost Story review revisited

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For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

Peter Straub’s classic bestseller is a work of “superb horror” (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time — and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

Wow, I can finally cross this book off my list.  Last time I know I didn’t get past the first two hundred pages but, after three days, I finally closed it out.  I hate books this long – 566 pages – and won’t read another if I can help it but felt like I should finish this one because I like ghost stories and people kept saying this one was so great.

I’m sorry, I can not concur.  This story seemed long, drawn out and not the least bit scary.  It drug and I was close to quitting several times before I finally managed to push through.  When it ended, I felt nothing but relief.

A great ghost story was The Shining.  That was one I was so disappointed to finish – I wanted it to go on and on.  No, I wouldn’t dream of reading the sequel – you can’t improve on The Shining.

OK, this book is alright.  There was werewolves and the like – I’m sorry…I’m trying to think of good things to say about it.  OK, I liked Sears and Ricky – they were genteel, refined male characters that I enjoyed and I liked young Peter once his character developed beyond the childish.  I did like Stella in the end – didn’t care much for her in the beginning but she redeemed herself.

As I read, I imagined that he writer had written himself in as Don.  Not a bad character but not a hero either.  OK, yes, in the end he was the “hero” of sorts.  I’m sorry, that was probably a spoiler.  Sigh.

I do like some of Peter Straub’s work – this just wasn’t one of my favorites.  I give it a B- for the couple characters I actually cared about.

Playing with Fire review

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A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

Ah, what to say about this book.  You know, I am kind of at a loss.  This was far from my favorite book of hers and not a topic I read.  Why? Because it is depressing and disturbs me.  Oh, screw the people who say “that is the point”.  I worked 911, I have enough memories of the horrors people do to each other, I don’t need to read more on the subject.

The book is well written and brings out the horror of the death camps.  It may give me nightmares.  I admire the author’s reasons for writing the book and the heroes she highlights.  It highlights the fight between good and evil – a tale as old as the earth itself.

But anyway, the book is haunting and historical – worth the read if you like that kind of story.

Pacific Vortex

361081Dirk Pitt, death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert, is out to the ultimate test as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex — a fog-shrouded sea zone where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome superb Starbuck, America’s deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss poses an unthinkable threat to national defense. Pitt’s job is to find it, salvage it, before the sea explodes. In a furious race against time, Pitt’s mission swirls him into a battle with underwater assassins-and traps him in the arms of Summer Moran, the most stunningly exotic and dangerous toward disaster, Clive Cussler plummets his hero onto an ancient sunken island-the astonishing setting for the explosive climax of Pacific Vortex!

OK, this is more my style – a sunken sub in a zone of the Pacific that is akin to the Devil’s Triangle in the Atlantic.  How could that not be fun? What could possibly be causing this? The difference between the two aquatic dead zones is the fact that the Pacific Vortex never affected planes – only ships.  Ah, yes, an important clue.

The book is 179 pages – I thought it started off slowly and I find it hard to believe Dirk could have fallen for Summer when I think he encounters her two times throughout the whole book – the last time in the “explosive climax”.  Once he smells her perfume but she doesn’t make an appearance.

However, who am I to judge love?

Pretty quick read and while I found the ending a tad bit farfetched rather than explosive – that is just me.  I love sea mysteries.  The writing is gripping most of the time with only a few times where it lags but not enough to lose my attention.

I give the book an A.

Bonechiller Review

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WELCOME TO NOWHERE.

Danny’s dad takes a job as caretaker at a marina on the shore of a vast, frozen lake in Harvest Cove, a tiny town tucked away in Canada’s Big Empty. If you’re looking for somewhere to hide, this is it.

It’s the worst winter in years. One night, running in the dark, Danny is attacked by a creature so strange and terrifying he tries to convince himself he was hallucinating. Then he learns about Native American legends of a monster that’s haunted the lake for a thousand years. And that every generation, in the coldest winters, kids have disappeared into the night. People think they ran away.

Danny knows better. Because now the beast is after him.

Really don’t know what to say about this YA book.  I thought it was going somewhere good and it ended up going somewhere different.  It just didn’t click with me but I’m not a young adult so that could be why.

Writing is good, monster is creepy but it just fell flat for me.  Maybe it was because it was written in the first person and I find those books hard to digest – I always feel like someone is telling me a story rather than engaging me in the story…know what I mean?

 

Under the Dome review

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Goodreads: On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.

I’m not going to lie – books like this make me wonder why King was ever one of my favorites.  I found it bulky, boring, and ended up not caring in the least who lived or died under the dome.  It was not what I expected from King.  I guess they can’t all be “The Shining” but really, this book didn’t do it for me at all.

The end seemed rushed and anticlimactic – rather The Cell.  Like King suddenly said “screw it” and put on any ending just to quit writing on it.  Just a bummer.

Sorry King, I give it a C-.

 

Death of a Nurse review

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Goodreads: James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer’s behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner. On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits. Gloria never shows up. Four days later, Gloria’s body washes up on the beach near Braikie. Now without a date and without his former policeman Dick Fraser (who left the force to buy a bakery), Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again….

Well, I had to wait months for this book but it was worth it in the end.  I enjoyed reconnecting with Hamish and the Highlands.  Does anything new happen? Does Hamish finally get the girl?

The story moves along quickly – I read it in five hours.  Of course, now I will have months before the next one comes out – maybe a year.  That is a rather irritating thought.

Priscilla does make an appearance in the book more as a side story.  There is more hints about her past and why she has become such a frigid woman but nothing was all that revealing.

Hamish makes mistakes along the way but comes to the correct collusion eventually.  I thought it was rather easy to solve but most of them are.  It really doesn’t matter – the author successfully transported me back to the Highlands and made Hamish real again, even if for only five hours.  I give it an A.