The Neon Rain review

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Goodreads: Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux Dave Robicheaux that he’s on somebody’s hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead. found dead in the Bayou swamp – a case no one seems keen for him to investigate. But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.

This is an old book from 1987 – set in the very much pre-Katrina days when New Orleans was in its hay day.  I know that by book 6 in the series, it is post-Katrina so I imagine I have that to look forward to as I move through this series.

Written in such lovely language like “the mist still clung like torn cotton” and “the streets were lined with oaks, and the yards themselves seemed to explode with every type of Southern elephant ears, hibiscus, tangles or red and yell roses.”  It made New Orleans and the South come alive for me.  I’ve never had the urge to visit that area but it makes me rethink that.

I have to mention that the only reason I started reading this book was due to watching the movie “In The Electric Mist” which was book six.  As much as I want to read that one, I figured I couldn’t in good conscience start a series in the middle when the first books were available.  I didn’t expect to like the book – I’m not big on crime dramas these days and this series is never-ending but I have to read the first five to get to number six.

Steeped in history, the story progresses quickly and while the main character does some rather stupid things – which he admits to himself – I ended up liking him quite a bit.  Tommy Lee Jones plays him in the movie so that is who I had in my head when reading the book.

So anyway, I do plan on reading the entire first six books of the series – I know it has over 20 in all but I’ll commit to the first six anyway.  :-)  I give the book an A+.  If you’d like an old crime drama story that comes together quite well in the end, I recommend it.  :-)

Joni and Ken review

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This book is about an amazing love story that most of society would have deemed improbable.  Who would marry a quadriplegic? If someone did marry her, surely it was for the fame and money associated with Joni Eareckson.  Well, anyone who had such thoughts would be wrong.

This story is about a love that goes beyond anything I have ever read.  It was amazing and is an amazing love they have not only for each other but for God as well.  Their marriage has been through the fires of hell itself, yet they have come out as great role models for the rest of us.

No, I’m not married but I have benefited from this story anyway.  Who could read a Harlequin romance and think that life would be more wonderful with a man or woman like that after reading this?

I give the book an A.  They are an amazing couple who have been married over 30 years.  I hope they have many more together.

Last Seen Alive review

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Goodreads: Chyna Greer was sixteen when her best friend, Zoey, disappeared. Though very different in looks and temperament, the two girls shared a bond that was stronger than blood. But even Chyna’s urgent warnings couldn’t prevent a love-struck Zoey from sneaking out to the lake to meet her secret crush–and being swallowed up into the warm summer night forever….

Now Chyna has come back to her West Virginia hometown of Black Willow to lay her mother to rest. But memories of Zoey are everywhere…and then, out of nowhere, Chyna hears a voice–Zoey’s voice–begging for her help. As Chyna delves into Black Willow’s past, she learns that two other teenagers also went missing. Soon Chyna’s search for answers becomes a desperate race to uncover a chilling secret that strikes at the heart of everything she holds dear–and reveal the remorseless evil that has been hiding in plain sight….

This book I read today while at work.  Yes, sometimes it is quite nice to have a job that pays me to do whatever I want as long as I stay in my booth.  I was hoping I’d be busy enough at work to not get the whole book read today – I don’t know what I will do for 7 hours tomorrow now but suppose I will pick another book.

This one has been on my list for quite a while and it finally came up on top when I sorted my books on my Nook.  I was afraid the book would be too easy to figure out and that I’d be disappointed in it.  OK, I was a little disappointed because the killer was, to me, obvious from the get go.  However, the book is interesting with action that keeps moving along at a decent clip.

Someone said in a review about the parents were young (52) but yet seemed ancient and I would have to agree with that.  I was surprised how young they were in age – I will be 52 on Sunday – yet in the story I pictured them more my grandmother’s age at her death – 85.

The author does try to throw in some red herrings to confuse the reader on who the killer might be so I could see how it left some people guessing – I’ve read so many like this and just finished one last month with the same sort of plot so this one didn’t surprise me.  I was hoping it wasn’t going to be like the other but oh well, the story was still entertaining and I do recommend the author.  I am sure I will be reading more of hers – I don’t remember why I bought this one, it was so long ago – but I’m not disappointed in the purchase.

I give the book an A. :-)

My Soul to Lose review

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Goodreads: It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities….

I read this book yesterday while at work.  Yes, it is a prequel and very short.  I enjoyed the book and was contemplating buying more in the series when I mistakenly read some of the reviews.  It kind of ruined the desire to read more, at least for now.

I liked Kaylee and the whole screaming thing because she sees shadows around people that she knows are going to die soon – kind of like in Dean Koontz’s book Odd Thomas.  I thought the psychiatric unit was well done and Lydia seemed interesting though she wasn’t really explained or developed as much as I would have liked.

Eventually I will probably get around to this series – The Soul Screamers – but it won’t be soon and I will probably get them from the library rather than blindly buy them based on the reviews I read.  I give this short story prequel a B+ – I think it could have been a little bit longer with just a smidgen more character development.

Stillwater review

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Goodreads: Life was good for Beth, once. Now a car crash has left her confined to a wheelchair. To help her recuperate and rebuild her life, she’s leased Stillwater, a house with a lake in the countryside. But her dreams of peace and quiet are thwarted when she realizes she’s not alone. A girl who once lived at Stillwater—until she drowned in the lake—has never left, and she does not seem pleased by Beth’s presence. Beth sets out to solve the mystery of Stillwater. But can she find a strength she doesn’t know she possesses as she fights the fury of the dead girl, and tries to establish herself as the true mistress and keeper of the Stillwater house and lake? 

I started this book at work today.  Always in the market for a good English ghost story, I ran across this one while perusing the B&N site.  I had not rad a book by Maynard Sims before but figured I would give it a try.

I have to say the house, lake and countryside made me envious.  Can’t tell you how often I have wished for a secluded place to spend a week or two writing.  The house sounded lovely – a place I would enjoy staying in.

Quick moving without being scary, the story develops with twists and turns along the way.  I will say the ending was disappointing to me but I’m not sure what would have made it better.  My reaction to the main character were mixed – I found myself liking her but yet also rolling my eyes at how little research into the mystery she did even though she was a renowned writer.

Still, the story was interesting and the action didn’t stop until the last page.  I give the book a B and recommend it to anyone who would like a light, quick read.

Dolly review

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Goodreads: The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward’s equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life destroying, consequences for everyone.

I’m afraid this book did not live up to my understanding of the above description.  I did not find the housekeeper to be cruel, and I did not see anything terrifying or life destroying about it.  The story was a let down.

I don’t want to say more about it as I wouldn’t give it a good review so better to not give it much of one at all.  I give the story a D-

The Small Hand review

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Goodreads: Returning home from a client visit late one evening, Adam Snow takes a wrong turn and stumbles across the derelict old White House. Compelled by curiousity he decides to enter, only to be repelled when he feels the unmistakeable sensation of a small hand creeping onto his own. This is just the beginning of a series of odd experiences. 

First off, let me say I did enjoy this story.  It is rather creepy and I have to admit, I didn’t see the ending coming.  I am usually so good at those things but this one has a little twist that I don’t think I would have seen coming even if the hints weren’t so subtle.  It just never occurred to me.

I wouldn’t say it is the best Susan Hill but it was worth the read.  She writes in the first person which I’m a bit leery of but she does pull it off leaving me wondering why I ever doubted.  There are stories I have tried to read like that and can’t get through the first chapter or two.

My only small complaint were the extreme descriptions she went into over every little thing.  Things that really had no bearing on the small hand but were more fluff in the life of the main character.  Still, this little complaint did not take away from the creepiness of the story.

I like a good ghost story.  I give it a B.