Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cody McFadyen-- "Shadow Man"

Special Agent Smoky Barrett was once one of the FBI's best profilers--until a madman killed her husband and daughter. Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again ... and turning it on herself. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose? She's about to find out.
No one had ever encountered anyone like him--a new and fascinating breed of killer who defies profilers attempts to understand or identify him. And he's coaxed Smoky back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live: a challenge, and an innocent child. As this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky comes alive again to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother ... and a killer's next victim.

***the synopsis doesn't even to begin to describe the rollercoaster that is this book. It occasionally gets slowed down in the detailed dialogue, but for the most part the detail puts you right there in the room, in the moment, in her mind. You can visualize exactly what is happening as if you were really there. It is "full frontal" suprises, and page turning action. I thought i had read it all, but this book suprised me in the way the dark in humanity surfaces. McFadyen has great character development and i look forward to the continued series of Smoky Barrett.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Karin Slaughter--"Undone"

Someone had spent time with her -- someone well-practiced in the art of pain... Three years ago former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton moved to Atlanta hoping to leave her tragic past behind her. Now working as a doctor in Atlanta's Grady Hospital she is starting to piece her life together. But when a severely wounded young woman is brought in to the emergency room, she finds herself drawn back into a world of violence and terror. The woman has been hit by a car but, naked and brutalized, it's clear that she has been the prey of a twisted mind. When Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Investigation Team returns to the scene of the accident, he stumbles on a torture chamber buried deep beneath the earth. And this hidden house of horror reveals a ghastly truth - Sara's patient is just the first victim of a sick, sadistic killer. Wrestling the case away from the local police chief, Will and his partner Faith Mitchell find themselves at the center of a grisly murder hunt. And Sara, Will and Faith - each with their own wounds and their own secrets - are the only thing that stands between a madman and his next crime.....

***(spoiler alert) This is just the latest installment in her series. Recently Slaughter started a new series (Atlanta w/ Will Trent). While, it seems, she was bringing the Grant County series to a close w/ the death of Jeffrey Tolliver (one of my favorite characters). I was very disappointed in his death, but Slaughter ties both series together by bringing Sara to Atlanta. As always, she doesn't reveal the killer until the end, keeping everyone in agonizing suspense. And shows us the darkest side of humanity. Her character development is great, and i have become quite attached to Will and Sara (and even Lena). Slaughter can't write fast enough for me! Before starting this book, go back and read the whole series, you will become hooked i'm sure.

Amanda Stevens-- "The Whispering Room"

Work is a welcome refuge for New Orleans homicide detective Evangeline Theroux. Feeling suffocated by her new baby, in whose eyes she sees only her dead husband, she throws herself into a high-profile case.
Reclusive writer Lena Saunders offers Evangeline a provocation theory about the crime: it is the work of a lunatic vigilante. Lena spins the sordid story of Ruth and Rebecca Lemay, whose mother brutally murdered her male children in an insane effort to root out an "evil" gene. The girls survived and grew to adulthood--but one is carrying on her mother's grisly work.
When the case takes a terrifying personal turn, Evangeline's whole life will depend on a crucial, impossible choice: the lesser of two evils.

**This book has multiple layers, with a story about the murder of her cop husband underlying the story of a lawyer being murdered and the eventual story of the Lemay sisters. Along the way you understand her as a driven woman, and mother. Everything ties in nicely. I was hooked in the first 5 pages and had to make myself put it down to go to sleep. This would make a nice series, but Stevens writes in individual novels. So this is all there is to this story, but it is very much worth the read!

Karin Slaughter's newletter....

(I love this author, and as you read, many of you will understand why, this is an excerpt from her newsletter)

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off to tour I go………I know many of you have heard me beg before and it will come as no surprise to long-time receivers of the Karin Slaughter Newsletter (hey-hey-hey!) that I am again putting myself at your mercy, but, seriously...Y'all come see me.

I mean, how hard is it to get into your car and drive to the bookstore to give me a shout out? Not as hard as getting on a plane, which requires taking off your shoes, showing your ID, letting some husky lady with a mustache pat you down...all so you can climb aboard a thin metal tube that is propelled by squirrel monkeys on a spinning wheel into the thin blue sky and I am not a physicist, but I am pretty sure if more than 2.9 people on board the plane figure out that there is no mathematical explanation for why said metal tube is able to fly in the air that airflight as we know it will cease to exist and we will all plummet from the sky in a fiery ball of jet fuel and I will be screaming the entire time, "OH, THE HUMANITY!!! WHY DID I BOTHER TO BRUSH MY HAIR?!?!"

But I take this risk for you because I care. And because my publisher has agreed to upgrade me to first class on some of the flights and I like watching all those people making their way back to coach and giving me the evil eye as I drink my pre-flight cocktail.

(Please read Karin Slaughter’s latest book “Undone”, I finished it in 3 days...i will write a complete review of the book soon)