Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

Rosamund tells her grandfather that she would gladly sell her soul to Satan for a chance at freedom from the house where she lives with him and no sooner are the words out of her mouth than a stranger shows up at the home. Philip Tempest, a long time student of Rosamund's grandfather, hears these words and starts beguiling her with tales of his travels. When he asks her if she will go with him, where he lives on his yacht and travels at his own freedom, she readily agrees having no idea what she is getting in to. The two sail off, and when Philip's true self becomes clear, Rose does everything she can to escape him, going from Paris to England, convents to insane asylums, with Philip following her every move. The story culminates in an ending that I didn't even see coming. I usually have a hard time reading books written in the 1800's but had no trouble with this one. The story is fast paced, interesting, and its easy to see why it was too sensational to be published at its time. The lengths Philip goes to in order to get back Rose are disturbing in the least. Rose's character got on my nerves a little in the beginning, but as the story moved on I liked her. This is the truest stalker/obsession/domestic story I have ever read. It was describe in such detail as to be creepy. Good book. 4 stars

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty

I can't even begin to describe my love for this book. I can't really give a plot summary, as there is no definite beginning, middle and end. It is the story of a group of ex-Texas Rangers who decide to run cattle up to Montana and be the first to settle there. The book follows their journey from Texas to Montana, everything they endured, those they lost upon the way, and those they gained. I have never been a fan of westerns, but this book was amazing. I have seen reviews that call it epic, and I don't think I have ever used that word to describe any book, but this truly is epic. There are characters you love, characters yo hate, and characters you love to hate. It made me laugh, made me cry, and made me slow down my reading because I didn't want it to end. I have the next one in the series but I am afraid it won't be as good so I am going to put off reading it for awhile. I recommend this to everyone though. All day at work I looked forward to getting home and losing myself in the journey with Captain Call and his unlikely group of cowboys. 5 stars

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Angel Time by Anne Rice

Lucky was born and raised in New Orleans by 2 alcoholic parents, one who was a crooked cop that ended up going to jail and being killed when he was very young. Lucky's mother never got off the booze, so he was left to bring in all the money and take care of his 2 younger siblings. The only comfort he finds is when he plays his lute. After a shocking tragedy, Lucky goes to New York to start over. There he finds company with an unlikely man, and ends up becoming what we meet him as, a hit man. He calls his boss, The Right Man, finds out the particulars, and kills with frightening accuracy. He has record with Interpol, the CIA and the FBI but no one knows who he really is. He's a ghost, and he likes it that way. The next job he gets he has to kill a Russian banker in the hotel room in California that Lucky himself always stays in when he needs to get away. He is himself whenever he's there; no disguises, no false names.

"There were omens from the beginning"

Lucky didn't feel good about this assignment. It was a part of his life that he kept away from The Right Man, so he had no idea that this was Lucky's personal place to go and be himself, but it was still a job and had to be done, whether he liked it or not. After completing the job, Lucky is approached in the room by Malchiah. Malchiah is an angel, not a guardian angel, but one of the Seraph, who took an interest in Lucky's life early on. He takes Lucky back to his past, to the tragedy that still haunts him to this day, shows him how he became what he is now, and asks for his help. He wants Lucky to start working for him, using his skills for good instead of bad. With Lucky's consent, they travel back in time and Lucky tries to complete the task given to him. But his past continues to haunt him, the things he has done and seen continue to haunt him, and he wonders if anything he does will make a difference to anything. What happens if he completes this great task given to him? And what happens if he fails?

I was never an Anne Rice fan. I didn't get into the vampire books or the witch books, in fact the only 2 books of hers I really enjoyed were Memnoch the Devil and The Mummy. I fell in love with this book. Her writing is beautiful, the characters are engaging, and as we went back in time with Lucky to see what tragedy befell him when he was 18, the angel Malchiah turned and wept, and I found myself weeping as well. I am thoroughly looking forward to the second book in this series, and can only hope for more wonderful things.

5 stars

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

Private investigator Tess Monaghan is on bed rest due to her pregnancy. With nothing to do during her long hours sitting on her back porch, she has taken to watching all of the dog walkers in the park. One in particular catches her attention, a girl in a green raincoat walking an Italian Greyhound in a matching green rain coat. They are there every day at the same time, except for the Sunday Tess sees the little dog running through the park in his coat, leash attached, and the girl is nowhere to be found. She enlists the help of friends to try to find out what happened to the woman, getting involved in something that she never expected.

Yes, it is Rear Window basically. Its a nice short read, and there is a bit of a twist at the end, but nothing spectacular. Still, if you are looking for an enjoyable quick read, I would check it out.

3 stars

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Eliza has been happily living her life with her husband and two children, not thinking about her past, when she receives a letter in the mail. It is from the man who kidnapped her when she was 15 and held her for 6 weeks, eventually raping her before letting her go. He is on death row for the murder of another girl, and is believed to have killed others, but it could never be proven. His letter tells her that he saw her and her husband's picture in a newspaper and though she had grown up, he'd know her anywhere. This starts a series of correspondence with the man, Walter Bowman, phone calls and an eventual visit. Eliza doesn't want her children to know yet what happened to her that summer, and she knows Walter wants something. She wants something herself; she wants to know about the other girls he never admitted to killing and she wants to know why he let her go.

Going back and forth from the present to the time she was being held captive by Walter, this was pretty interesting, disturbing and creepy to say the least. The game of cat and mouse, and the true reason Walter is contacting Eliza will keep you reading long into the night.

4 stars

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Ann Rule was working at a crisis hotline when she met and became friends with her coworker, Ted Bundy. They became very close friends and as his murders started coming to light, with no suspect in sight, but a slight description, she was working with police on the case, never knowing that it was Bundy who they were looking for. As a few of the women he tried to kidnap and later kill got away and gave descriptions, she realized that the person sounded more and more like Ted.
This was audio book and read by the author. I had never really read about Bundy because he is pretty notorious and I like reading about crimes that most people hadn't heard of. This book wasn't bad, I didn't like the authors narration. The fact that he escaped from custody 3 times is astounding to me. I work for prosecutors and I can't imagine that ever happening, but things were different back then. The brutal killing spree he went on in Florida, beating, strangling, and raping 5 women in a college dorm in 15 minutes time with no one hearing anything was more than disturbing. The thing that I didn't like about this most of all was how the author goes on and on about the women who had become blind to the things they suspected Ted of doing and the things they knew, when she herself was one of them. I would think if it was me, a time would come when I would say to myself, "OK, it is him" and stop taking his freaking calls! I don't care how close of friends we were, some things you can't ignore.

2 stars