Friday, March 27, 2009

Whiteout by Ken Follett

A high security lab in Scotland looses one of it's testing animals and an employee disappears. He is later found, carry the virus the animal was carrying, and tells the head of security, "there is no cure". On the heels of this a team of thieves is planning on robbing the high security facility and not stealing the cure, but the virus itself, which is to be used as a weapon of mass destruction. Will the thieves be caught in time? Or will thousands die for someone else's greed?

A lot more side stories going on throughout the book. This started off like a bullet from a gun and never slowed down. Any amount of free time I had I was reading it. Very interesting, fast pace, good subplots, and everything tied up in a neat package by the end. my first book by Follett, but definitely not my last.

5 stars

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Season of the Snake by Claire Davis

Nance is married and has everything she has ever wished for; a happy marriage, burgeoning career, etc. Her sister Meridith keeps ending up in abused relationships, the last of which landed her in the hospital. Nance receives a call from their father telling them that Meridith went back to the apartment she shared with the boyfriend to pick up a few things and now he can't get in contact with her. Nance gets her husband Joe, who is going out for a run, to swing by the place and see what's going on. While Joe is running in the park with a Walkman on he doesn't hear the three teenage boys with the baseball bat coming up behind him.

Flash forward 5 years. Nance has now moved to Idaho where she conducts field research on rattlesnakes. She is now remarried to Ned, and everything is going well. Meridith shows up out of the blue and goes on a trip with Nance. She and Ned have never gotten along, because he makes her nervous. Meridith decodes to move to Idaho also, since there is nothing holding her back with the passing of their father. She and Nance become closer than they ever were before in their lives and when things start to really start going right, Ned starts behaving strangely. Leaves in the middle of the night for hours at a time, disappears from work, where he is a school principle. He is hiding something, but Nance refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with her idyllic life. Until one night of passion turns violent and she sees a side of her husband she never knew existed.

Good plot, keeps the pace going well, and ends with a major confrontation between the 3 main characters. The only down side was all the details about snakes - they are my biggest fear.

3 stars

Friday, March 20, 2009

Disguise by Hugo Hamilton

This book jumps from the past to the present so often, with no hint that's it is moving time, I became completely confused as to what was happening. Couldn't even finish it.
Story about a man in his 60's who reflects back on his life during WWII. As a child, he was taken from a train and grew up with a man and woman who lost their child due to a bomb. When he was taken from the train he was the exact same age as the child they lost, and was raised with that child's name. The father, who was fighting in the war, even thought it was his own son. The book is about Gregor, the son, finding out where he really came from.

1 star

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

A woman and mother of a pre-teen girl awakes in the middle of the night to find the ghost of her daughter's friend by her bed. She follows her only to discover the girl has drowned in her family pool. Her daughter knows something but won't tell, and the appearance of this ghost reopens a lot of old wounds from the mother's childhood and what really happened to her Uncle in the woods when he, her father, her and her sister went hunting in the woods when the were around her daughters age.

The main theme is sisters, their connections, their rivalry, and how far one would go to protect the other. A lot of story lines going on throughout, but not so it's hard to follow.

4 stars

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Virgin Lies by Rodrick Anscomb

A young girl disappears on her way for coffee for the social services office she volunteers at and the only witness is a homeless woman with multiple personality disorder and paranoia. One of the workers husband is a profiler and is called into consult. The husband and wife lost their son in a car accident years prior and this reopens new wounds. Since they couldn't save there own son, they feel they must save this girl, at any cost to their personal and professional lives.
Psychological thriller I guess but I have never read the words "facial tic" more in my life. Goes into a lot of what the husband sees in his interviews with people regarding the case. There is past history between him and the lead detective on the case, the doctor was suspected of killing her partner. The end leads up to the 2 suspects in the psych hospital where the husband works and the lines he and the guards cross to get the location of the girl were pretty disturbing.
Not that great of a book, but it has it's moments.

2 stars

Monday, March 9, 2009

First, There is a River by Kathy Steffen

Emma lives day by day with her two children and her abusive husband Jared. When Jared sends her children away to work on another farm with no regards to them continuing their education, Emma flees during the night to go work on her uncle's riverboat, The Spirit. There she has a happy existence as the boats cook and earns the love of the boats Captain and first engineer, the latter of who was burned severely in a boat explosion and was rescued by her uncle years ago. She fights with her feelings for both men, with no idea that the boat is being trailed and watched by her abusive husband, who is setting the engineer up for murder in the riverside towns, and planning his vengeance against all on board she has become close to. After an accident during a boat race the Spirit is in with the Ironwood, a rival riverboat, Jared comes aboard the Spirit to no one's knowledge and begins his revenge. Will Emma be able to stand up to him and save those she loves? Will she get her children back?

Not something I would usually read, but I was drawn into life on a riverboat and all of it's characters. The story left somethings unresolved, but all in all was a good book.

3.5 stars

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors

Story about the French Revolution told from the point of view of a young woman who was married off at the age of 15, denied her true love, widowed by 17 and made a kept woman by the age of 20. Goes into detail in the regards to the Court, the trials of King Louis and Marie Antoinette, as to her own fate and if she will ever meet her true love again and if he will forgive her for the aristocratic life she has led when everything is stripped from her.

4 stars