Book 42 – Track of the Cat – Nevada Barr

WooHoo! So after a month plus of slugging through Michael Koryta’s So Cold the River and only getting half through it, although I was enjoying it, I just haven’t had the time to finish it! I did finish a shorter book Track the Cat by Nevada Barr is book 42 for the year. The book is the first Anna Pigeon novel. Anna is a national park ranger and here’s what it says about her on the back cover of the book:

“The fascinating hero of Nevada Barr’s award-winning series , park ranger Anna Pigeon has brought an unyielding love of nature and sense of fair play to the mystery game. Track of the Cat is the acclaimed  novel that first introduced readers to Anna, as a woman looking for peace in the wilderness – and finding mystery instead…..

The murder in this case is a fellow park ranger and when the murder is blamed on a rouge mountain lion and Ana’s investigation proves that that was not the case, Anna sets out to find out what really happened! Althoug I didn’t think that the plot was all that great I did like the character and didn’t guess the murderer! I will probably continue with the series and already have a few more books on my Mount to Be Read!!


Book 41 – Moonlight Mile – Dennis Lehane

In the world of Dennis Lehane‘s Kenzie and Gennero, 12 years have past since Patrick found Amanda McCready and returned her to unfit mother (see Gone Baby Gone). Patrick and Angie are now married and the proud parents of a four year four year old daughter. Patrick is hoping to get a full time job at a very affluent security company. One night he gets a call the caller says “You found her before, find her again”. The next morning Patrick runs into Amanda’s Aunt Beatrice who apologizes for the previous night’s late call and then tells Patrick that Amanda, now a straight A student at a Boston prep school and a chance to go to Harvard or Yale, has been missing for three weeks and no one cares! Soon Patrick is sucked back into the world he hoped he’d left behind including drugs and the Russian Mafia. But Patrick has to find Amanda to put the past behind him, the past that haunts him everyday because he did the legally right thing that was actually the wrong thing. Finding Amanda now could help to set things right!

I really enjoy the characters of this series and Lehane’s writing overall. The pages of this book just flew by last night and like most of his stories there are enough twists to keep you guessing as to what’s going on! As with every Lehane book. It’s a great read! So read it now and then compare it to the movie sequel which is bound to come!


Book 40 – Fragment – Warren Fahy

Book number 40 for 2010 is Warren Fahy’s debut novel Fragment A reality series SeaLife staring a group of scientists exploring the world’s oceans is floundering in the ratings. Nell Duckworth a botanist on the show knows they are passing a little know island in the Pacific Henders Island and hopes they will visit! Nell gets her wish when an emergency signal is received from a boat that had run aground on the island, so Nell got her wish and as they say be careful what you wish for. What they find on this island is evolution gone wild….species of animals the likes of which have never been seen in the world! It’s a world full of fast and furious species that kill just about everything….. It’s a wild ride based on sound science facts that make it truly believable and scary! The pages just flew by especially the last 100 pages!!

The cover says that the book is: “A rollicking tale [that] will enthrall readers of a Jurassic Park and The Ruins. from USA Today

And James Rollins (one of my favorite authors) says:

Few debuts are a explosive as Warren Fahy’s Fragment, a story of evolutionary horror that leaps off the page and grabs your throat. Think Jurassic Park on steriods. This is one hell of a ride

I agree and can’t wait for the sequel that Mr. Fahy is working on!! Now it’s on to the new Dennis Lehane! Oh remember I said that I’d be reading two books at once well since I couldn’t put Fragment down that ain’t happening!


Dennis Lehane – New Kenzie and Gennaro – Moonlight Mile

So it’s been a great fall for reading! I’ve gone through the new books by William Kent Krueger, Cork O’ConnorVermilion Drift, Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles Ice Cold, Alex Kava’s latest Maggie O’Dell Damaged and Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Sizzling Sixteen and now Dennis Lehane brings back Kenzie and Gennero for another adventure! After the success of Mystic River and Shutter Island Lehane had left the Kenzie and Gennaro series behind, but I guess a successful movie like “Gone Baby Gone” can make you do things you may not want to do! Anyway I’m glad he did and tonight I picked up the book, Moonlight Mileat the library and can’t wait to start it!

But alas I am almost in the middle of Fragment but that book has 500 pages! I don’t think I can wait that long to start the Lehane book. It looks like on of those times that two books will be read at the same time!!


Book 38 – Damaged – Alex Kava

Book 38 Damaged by Alex Kava – Damaged is the eighth Kava novel featuring FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell and it was a fast and interesting read. Like many of her novels Kava weaves few truths amidst the fiction. In this book Maggie is literally sent into the eye of a hurricane, as she is sent to Pensacola Florida after a sea chest of bodies parts is rescued from the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile Dr. Benjamin Platt is called to Pensacola assist in discovering why young soldiers are dying after successful surgery to repair war injuries. Maggie met Platt, and they now have a quasi-relationship, while being treated for exposure to the Ebloa virus in the book Exposed. Added to all this is the threat of a Catagory 5 hurricane bearing down on Pensacola!!

The characters in this book are very good particularly Liz Bailey the Coast Guard rescue swimmer, who rescued the chest and her dad Walter Bailey whose Coney Island canteen is a fixture on Pensacola Beach.

I’ve been an Alex Kava fan since the first Maggie O’ Dell novel  A Perfect Evil, which I thought was a great book, Through out the series the books all have been good. The last three Exposed, Black Friday and now Damaged have all dealt with issues like the threat of biologic terrorism, the threat of suicide bombers, and now damaged body parts. While It would be helpful in understanding Maggie’s psyche the books do not have to be read in order to be enjoyed.  So go find a Kava novel and enjoy!


Book 37 – Ice Cold – Tess Gerritsen

So I finished Book 37 for the year like I wrote early between naps and then staying up until 12:25! The book was Tess Gerritsen’s new novel Ice Cold. This is the eighth Rizzoli and Isles book and the first that appeared after the debut of the TV show that has been one of the biggest hits this summer! This book is a little different from some of the others in that there are no murders to solve, or serial killers to chase and it focuses on Maura. The novel opens with Maura attending a pathologist conference in Wyoming where she meets a colleague who went to college with and lusted for Maura from afar. Soon Maura is impulsively (not at all like her) on her way with the doctor and his friends and daughter. An accident on a mountain road leads them to a cult village Kingdom Come, where they find shelter and also find that all of the residents have vanished! Soon events transpire that will test Maura’s mettle and change her life forever! What happened to the residents and soon it becomes why are people trying to kill me!!

As always the characters are great, the pace of the book is fast and it keeps you guessing to the end what really happened! While the full development of the characters isn’t know until you read all of the books but you can probably pick this one up and read and enjoy it with having read the others.

One thing I noticed in the book that Maura’s hair is black not the color of Sasha Alexander’s hair in the TV series! But overall I think the TV series does a good job of translating the book to TV. Has anyone watched it?


Book 36 – True Evil – Greg Iles

Greg Iles is one of those authors that when I read one of his books I have one of those “What was I thinking?” moments for not reading his books as soon as they come out!! (Can you say too many books, too little time!) Anyway True Evil has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read for a long while and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it and at 637 pages it should count as two books! But like all of Iles’ books those pages just flew by!

In this book FBI agent Alexandra (Alex) Morse is called to her home of Mississippi when her sister Grace is struck down by brain hemorrhage. On her death bed she tells Alex that she was murdered by her husband and asks Alex to save her son from his father. Soon Alex, who is having one of those when it goes bad it goes bad all at the same time periods as her father was killed in a robbery attempt gone bad (Dad the ex-cop and now PI), her mother’s dying of ovarian cancer, and she has been demoted at the FBI from her position as a top hostage negotiator when a hostage situation went bad leaving her face scared and a fellow FBI agent dead, sets out to find out how her brother-in-law killed her.She soon finds that Bill Fennel had visited a divorce attorney in Jackson, who seems to be providing a service whereby clients seeking a divorce are saved losing their money, or children by having their spouses mysterious die of cancer! Alex enlists the aid of Dr. Chris Sheppard whose wife Thora has visited the same attorney and Alex is convinced Sheppard is the next victim!

Iles writes good thrillers with believable characters that keep the action moving until the last pages of the book are turned!

Raves about the book:

“A pulse-pounder…… A fresh twist on the cat-and-mouse game between an FBI agent and a fiendishly clever serial killer…. Smooth prose, psychological depth and crafty plotting” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Fascinating…. The medicine and science at the heart of this book are chillngly real”

So if you’ve never read Greg Iles pick up one of his books and I bet you won’t be able to put it down, and maybe you won’t be like me and wait too long until you read the next one!! Where is that Devil’s Punchbowl hum, I think there’s a copy up on son Andrew’s bookshelf. But, oh wait, maybe Tess Gerrritsen’s latest is still waiting for me at the library, damn!


Book 35 – Vermilion Drift – William Kent Krueger

It’s been a busy day at the College of William and Mary a nice luncheon on the grounds near the Wren Building and the President’s House and then a rout of Villanova that turned into a nail biter that ended ok as W&M won 31-24! So there was not a lot of time for music, but I did finish Book 35 last night William Kent Krueger’s latest Vermilion Drift. This is one of my favorite series. The books all ways have much more than just a mystery in them as Krueger explores the complexities of life through Cork O’Connor. The story opens with Cork being hired by Max Cavanaugh the owner of  Vermilion One a mine that the government is considering as a nuclear waste deposit site, hiring Cork to find his missing sister Lauren. Cork has also been called in by the mine officials to investigate  threats against the owners of the mine. Soon forty year old bodies are found in the Vermilion Drift (horizontal mine shafts)and they lead back to The Vanishings that occurred on the reservation forty years ago and the solution to the murders leads Cork to explore his past!

Vermilion Drift is the tenth book in this series and while it may not be necessary to read all the books in order you may want to read Heaven’s Keep book 9 before this one to know what’s gone on in Cork’s life . But like all the books the characters and the stories are both great and I hope that Krueger keeps the series alive!


Blues Wednesday – not! – Book 34 – Virgin Heat

ok so I picked out some new names and listened to a couple of tracks from several albums but never got to listen that much to any of them. A slow connecting computer coupled with a good Phillies game and finishing Book 34 Virgin Heat kept me busy tonight! The artist that I started to listen to included: Mark Scott LaMountain and the Blue Thunder Band and their album Guitars, Gun and Southern Women, J.J Grey and Mofro’s album Georgia Warhorse, Jay Gaunt a blues harp player whose new album is on the Roots Music Blues Chart but Rhapsody only has some earlier albums and the one I was ready to listen to was Blown Away. The last thing that I previewed today was Charlie Musselwhite’s new album The Well which sounded pretty good. So I will listen to these albums tomorrow and we’ll celebrate Blues Wednesday on Thursday!

But tonight belonged to those Phils and Roy Oswalt as they extended their lead over my daughter’s team those Atlanta Braves and Book 34 Virgin Heat. This is the first book I’ve read by Lawrence Shames and it won’t be the last! Set in Key West the book tells the tale of Angie Amaro who for years has pined for her lost love Sal Martucci. The reason she pines is that Sal is now living as Ziggy Maxx in Key West after ratting Angie’s father a mob member Paul Amaro and sending him to prison. After Angie’s Uncle Louie visits Key West and returns with a video in which Angie recognizes Sal, she sets off for Florida to find her lover. Soon Uncle Louie takes off to find Angie and a good tale is told in the style of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Ann Helmuth of the Orlando Sentinel calls it The Birdcage meets the Godfather and that’s appropriate for this often funny and touching book, full of good characters and wit! I enjoyed it and will certainly be on the look out for more Shames and there appears to be seven other books set in Key West!


Book 33 – Me of Little Faith

Book 33 for the year is a collection Lewis Black’s thought about religion Me of Little Faith. The book is hilarious and at times makes me laugh out loud as Black takes on all religions including his own!  I’ve said before that Black is one comedian who consistently cracks me up and I can watch the same concert performance over and over and laugh all the time “If it wasn’t for that horse. I wouldn’t have spent that year in college”.  John Stewart and George Carlin’s praises on the back of the book cover are so true!

“Lewis Black is the only person I know who can actually yell in print” – Jon Stewart. (Whenever you read those statement in all  caps throughout the book you can hear him yell!)

Whenever I’m asked, “Who makes you laugh” or “Who would you pay to see?” I don’t hesitate for a moment. Lewis Black! Period. He’s got it all: brains, balls and chops.” – George Carlin

Book 34 is a book off the Mount to Be Read Laurence Shames Virgin Heat. Time for a quick easy fun read – a lot like Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiassen! Going quickly so far!