Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review: The Last Refuge

The Last Refuge The Last Refuge by Chris Knopf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sam Acquillo is a fifty something engineer who is living, more or less, as a recluse in the cottage that belonged to his parents. He has his dog Eddie with him and the two of them seem to be having their lives without the aid of any human contact. That is with the exception of the elderly lady who lives next door. He does odd jobs for her from time to time because his father took care of her also.

This was his life for about four years until one day as he was out walking he noticed a terrible smell coming from her house.

I am not going to say anything else, but this is a very interesting story. It goes to places that you really don't expect at all.

A good read.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Review: Curious Minds

Curious Minds Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another mad cap chase novel with a cast of very colourful characters. There appears to be gold missing from the reserves where it is all stored and an eccentric millionaire is determined to see for himself his own gold.

Had some good laughs.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: The Nightingale

The Nightingale The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this previously but didn't record it but I am so happy that I re-read it now. I know that for awhile I avoided the book thinking that I just can't read more sad war stories. But this book is perfect and extremely well done. Two quite different sisters during the war in France, that is what the blurb tells us. But in my mind I ask the question "were they really so different?"

This no frills story is about war and the horrible ugliness and about the bravery of the women who tried to save others.

My short review here can never give the praise that this book deserves so I struggle with words of praise for it. I am in the generation still whose fathers and grandfathers fought in WWII and close relatives were in some of the camps to help the people and I heard about some of it first hand. In general the returning men found it too difficult and can never speak about it; its completely unspeakable.

An excellent read.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: The Hanging Judge

The Hanging Judge The Hanging Judge by Michael Ponsor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story, written by a real life judge, has enough court room drama to satisfy John Grisham fans and enough story for the rest of us.

Two people were killed in a drive by shooting in Massachusetts, one a Hispanic drug dealer and the other a nurse at a nearby clinic. The state of Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty and since they want to pursue this line, the trial is shifted into the federal court.

The story has a very authentic feel and you find yourself turning pages quickly and hanging onto every word. As an aside throughout, we hear the story of two men who were executed in the early 1800's and in 1984 were exonerated. This really does make you think and wonder how many innocent people have been executed.

An excellent read and I am looking forward to another book from this author.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jamie Ford can take a snippet from a true event from over a hundred years ago and make it come to life and read like a true story.

Little Ernest was born in China. We are not sure about his earliest life other than he was the illegitimate son of a Chinese woman and a white missionary. His mother, living in the poorest conditions made a decision to send Ernest to America, hoping that he could find a better life.

He kept a hatpin that belonged to his mother and always had it with him. This hatpin saved his life as many of the children were sewn into sacks and thrown overboard by the sailors in order to avoid capture, Ernest was able to use the large pin to cut himself out and was seen by a man on the shore and rescued.

The true event in the early 1900's was that a little boy was auctioned off at the Seattle World's Fair and this is the issue that the story may have been built around.

As usual Jamie Ford is one of my very favourite authors. His stories have a "feel" that is hard to describe. It could be that as I am elderly now myself I can recognize the atmospheres that he presents in his writing.

An excellent read.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Review: The Nest

The Nest The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The basic idea of the book is simply that four siblings are set to inherit a sum of money from their deceased father when the youngest of them reaches forty. The father set this up because he wanted them to have a "little something" for their middle age, or mid life crisis'. What their father hadn't counted on was that the inheritance would grow in leaps and bounds after he first invested it.

Before the youngest turned forty, one of the siblings was in an horrific accident and their mother turned over most of the money in order to keep him out of the courts and out of trouble since his passenger was a young girl who lost her foot in the accident.

We learned about each of the siblings, their families and friends and lifestyles quite in detail plus all the reasons why they had been waiting for their inheritance. I thought the writer did a brilliant job of bringing them all to life and giving them all very human traits.

The reviews of this book are varied and when a lot of my goodreads friends were a bit negative of the story I was thinking that I am probably not going to like this. That has not been the case. There were a few times during my reading that I felt that it might have been a bit too much information, but all in all I thought the writer did an excellent job with such a simple topic.

I look forward to read more from this author.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: W is for Wasted

W is for Wasted W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great Kinsey Millhone story with the whole cast of characters. I love the audio and I have especially grown very attached to the narrator, Judy Kay.

In this installment Kinsey is named as the sole beneficiary of a fellow who she has never met but apparently he is related to her as a distant cousin. Its time for her to dig in and figure out who her relatives are from her father's side.

An excellent read.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Review: The Visitor

The Visitor The Visitor by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holly has returned to her home town. It seems that she wants to start a new life and she luckily finds shelter with Cora, a widow who feels sorry for her and takes her in. Cora has a neighbour, David, who has his own problems but also befriends Holly.

She is able to find a job that she likes and seems to excell at and things begin to settle down. That is until odd things begin to happen.

Holly's new neighbours and friends have no idea about her past and what she is running from.

This story was hard to put down as a new secret revealed itself at every turn and each one more perplexing that the last.

An excellent read.

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Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn My rating: 5 of 5 stars In an enthralling new historical novel from nati...