Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

This is a fictional account of the girl who inspired one of Vermeer's most famous paintings. I don't really have much to say about it because I'm not too sure what the point of this book was. I read the whole thing, I made time so I could finish it, but it left me thinking "OK, what was the whole point of that?" Engaging story, but I just didn't get it.

2 stars

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Long Walk by Stephen King

Ray Garraty is participating in this year's Long Walk. One hundred men under the age of 30 participate every year. You walk, without stopping, hundreds and hundreds of miles, until there are only 2 people left, and the winner wins the big Prize. Everyone knows the rules, you get 3 warnings, and after that you get your ticket. But what does getting your ticket really mean? Ray and the friends he makes along the walk are about to find out the hard way.

King is extremely hit or miss for me, more misses than hits. I picked this up at a yard sale Saturday and finished it last night. It was so hard to read, and so disturbing, but I couldn't put it down, I had to see the outcome. Sometimes I had to stop for a few minutes it was so disturbing and sad. But I loved it. The whole story reminded me of several other books like Lord of the Flies and the Hunger Games. Almost in tears as the fate of Ray's friends are handed down on the last leg of the Long Walk, this is one that will stay with me.

4 stars

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Machiavelli Covenant by Allan Folsom

Expatriate and former LAPD detective Nicholas Marten returns to the United States at a long time friend's request who is in the hospital dying. What she tells him when he gets there, that her illness is no accident, but was purposefully injected into her and is in relation to the death of their son and husband a few months earlier, leads Marten to take a closer look at the deaths of all 3 of them. What he ends up uncovering is a plan for mass genocide in the Middle East, the assassination of 2 leading political leaders, and a centuries old group, based on the lost writings of Machiavelli, who practice blood sacrifice and human torture to further their place in the world. His digging leads him to Europe, where he pairs up with journalist Demi Picard, who is on a very private search of her own, and President John Henry Harris, who uncovers a plot so horrendous he doesn't know who his enemies are and forces him to escape from his political advisers and Secret Service detail and team up with Marten and Picard. While trying to stop a massive plot against the human race, and save their own lives, all 3 are faced with a force far greater than any of them believed possible.

My mom has told me for years that I need to read Folsom. It was the weekend and the books I brought home sucked, so I picked this one up - and had to force myself to go to bed. Great characters, true heroes and villains, reading this book was like watching an episode of 24 when it was still exciting. Secret government plots, cults, cover ups, betrayal, murder, suicide, and high treason make for an excellent book. I cannot wait to read more by Folsom. Just have to make sure its when I am on vacation and it doesn't matter if I stay up all night reading.

5 stars

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell

When the naked, mutilated body of a man is discovered in a Notting Hill graveyard, the police, led by Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster are forced to call upon the help of genealogist Nigel Barnes for help. Two more bodies show up, also mutilated, and to solve the case Barnes, along with the help of Detective Superintendent Heather Jenkins, must figure out what the mysterious clue left on the bodies means. Their research brings to light a serial killer from 1897, and the man who was falsely accused and executed for the crimes. As the clock keeps ticking, the police try to stay one step ahead of the killer to prevent another killing, while using the victim's family trees to figure out why they are the chosen victim's and who will be next. History is beginning to repeat itself.

Great book. A true mystery, fast read, likable characters and an interesting take on the thriller genre. Really piqued my interest in genealogy and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

5 stars