Friday, September 30, 2016

Short Reviews of September Reads

From a psychological thriller to Jody Hedlund's Historical Newton & Polly (which I reviewed here) to a bedtime novel followed by a crime drama, I read a wide variety of books in September.


Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers Book 1)
 by Alexandra Sokoloff


FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke watches from across the street as a mysterious out-of-place woman catches his eye. Moments later, than same woman appears to be eyeing Roarke’s undercover agent as the agent steps out into the street and is killed. Soon Roarke discovers it might have been no accident.

His investigation leads him to find the mysterious woman fits the description of a woman present at other mysterious accidents, and a murder. Roarke’s hunt takes him from San Fransisco across three states and back. He is searching for the connection between the seemingly unrelated crimes. He is soon convinced that he is on the trail of a female serial killer—the rarest of all killers.

This tale was gripping! I enjoyed the pace and the writing. The story was believable and the MC likeable. This book has all the elements of a great thriller. I want to know more about what’s inside this woman, so I will likely read another from this four book series—perhaps all of them.
 


Take Me With You 
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

After reading a couple of heavy suspense novels back-to-back, I needed something lighter. I chose Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It is a very sweet bedtime story.

A science teacher spends his summers traveling the western states. On this journey, his RV breaks down, and it looks like it will cost him an important destination, until the mechanic makes him an unlikely deal.

In many places, the writing style reminded me of a children’s book, and a few places were redundant. Still, this book was a delight to read.

We’re planning on traveling those same places next year, so that made the locations of keen interest. It seemed the author had first-hand knowledge of some nice hiking trails. I’m planning to research the spots mentioned in the book.

The characters were more than likeable—they were lovable and hateable. This story of the developing relationship between a divorced man grieving the loss of a son and two neglected sons of an alcoholic, is a great bedtime read. It will likely not win an award for writing, but it is nonetheless a good story.

If you're looking for a great literary work, skip this one. But if you want simply sweet, this is it.
 


The Drop
From the Harry Bosch crime series
by Michael Connelly


Working old unsolved cases, Harry is given a ‘hit’—DNA from a 1989 rape/murder case matches a convicted rapist. The only problem is the 29-year-old convict would have been eight years old at the time of the murder.


Before Harry can make any real headway into the case, he is baffled to be assigned to a current case, and told it takes priority over everything. Why did his long-time enemy request his involvement in the investigation of his son’s death—an apparent suicide?


I had previously read The Black Echo, so was familiar with the Harry Bosch series. I had particularly liked the true-to-life feel of Connelly’s writing. This book was just as realistic.

The characters have well-developed strengths and flaws, giving them great depth. Connelly’s story flows easily, making the pace enjoyable to read. He includes just enough technical jargon to give the story an insider’s feel. Descriptions are detailed, but not flowery. There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I plan to read more books in this series.

Do you tend to read mostly the same genre, or do you also like to switch it up?