Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Fall

John Lescroart

Late one night, a teenage African American foster child named Tanya Morgan plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco’s Stockton tunnel. But did she fall…or was she pushed?

Rushing to produce a convictable suspect in the glare of the media spotlight, homicide inspectors focus their attention on a na├»ve young man named Greg Treadway. Greg is a middle school teacher and he volunteers as a Special Advocate for foster children. At first, the only thing connecting him to Tanya’s death is the fact that they shared a meal earlier that night. But soon enough, elements of that story seem to fall apart…and Hardy’s daughter, Rebecca, finds herself drawn into the young man’s defense.

By the time Greg’s murder trial gets underway, Dismas and Rebecca have unearthed several other theories about the crime: a missing stepfather who’d sexually assaulted her; a roommate who ran a call girl service; a psychologically unstable birth mother; and a mysterious homeless man who may have had dealings with Tanya. Or Greg Treadway himself, who is perhaps not all that he first appeared. But how will they get these theories in front of a jury? And if they can, what price will they have to pay?

With signature suspense and intricate plotting, The Fall puts Dismas Hardy and his only daughter in the middle of one of John Lescroart’s most complex and thrilling cases yet.

My Thoughts

Dismas Hardy and his daughter Rebecca are both lawyers. This is Rebecca’s first big murder trial, and with her father’s help, the work to defend a young man accused of murder.

Hot dog! This was good. Some courtroom thrillers go a little too heavy on the legalese, but not this one. I like the way the author incorporated the legal process into this story. Dismas has an opportunity to share his wisdom with his daughter, while still allowing her to take lead on the case.

I’m going to share this little tidbit. The court case was settled with about 10% of the book left to read. I remember thinking - what could be left to tell? Hold on to your hats - because the ending will blow you away.

I have not read all the books in this series (my bad). But, the ones I have read do well as a standalone. I like Dismas Hardy and the Beck. I’. looking forward to seeing what’s up next in the series.

My thanks to Atria Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kingdom of Darkness

Andy McDermott

For fans of James Rollins and Matthew Reilly comes the new gripping, globe-spanning adventure in Andy McDermott’s thrilling series featuring American archaeologist Nina Wilde and ex–SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase.

History’s most sought after treasure is now mankind’s worst fear.

In Los Angeles, a desperate man seeks out renowned archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, ex–SAS soldier Eddie Chase—only to be gunned down in front of them. The assassin is soon identified as a ninety-year-old Nazi war criminal—with the body of a healthy forty-year-old.

Following the victim’s final warnings, Nina and Eddie travel to Cairo to inspect the newly discovered tomb of Alexander the Great. But the real find is hidden in one of its treasures—a mechanical guide leading to one of antiquity’s most tantalizing myths: a spring of water said to give eternal life to those who drink it.

Nina, Eddie, and a team of Mossad agents realize that the myth is real, and that a group of former SS men who have tasted this water are now hunting for its source. But before she and her alliance can act, Nina is kidnapped and spirited away to a secret Nazi enclave in Argentina, igniting a fierce, fateful, globe-spanning struggle in which her life hangs in the balance. All the while a terrifying possibility emerges—that the world’s darkest evil could live on forever (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts
In this episode of the Nina Chase and Eddie Wilde series, we find these two trying to beat the Nazis (yes - the Nazis) from finding Alexander the Great’s Spring of Immortality.

I absolutely adore Nina and Eddie! Eddie has that delightfully dry British wit and Nina brings the brains to the team. Because Nina is an archaeologist, these stories teach me something about history. The two of them together always seem to get caught up in some dark escapade that involves action, action, action!

I find these stories to be fast paced and entertaining. I’m always looking forward to the next book just to see what I will learn and what craziness Nina and Eddie will be involved in next.

My thanks to Random House - Bantam Dell, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Inside the O’Briens

Lisa Genova

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?

As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

Praised for writing that “explores the resilience of the human spirit” (The San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Genova has once again delivered a novel as powerful and unforgettable as the human insights at its core. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Joe O’Brien is diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. There is a fifty-fifty chance his four children will also be diagnosed with the disease. Their story is told in the alternating voice of Joe and his youngest daughter Katie.

What a journey! Lisa Genova has created such likeable characters. Joe is like any Dad who loves and protects his family. His diagnosis is not only heartbreaking for him, but knowing that his children might also have the disease adds to his struggles. Youngest daughter Katie is just starting to come into her own and has to decide whether or not to do the genetic testing to see if she has the disease.

I quickly got lost in this story. I couldn’t wait to read how Joe and Katie dealt with this life changing situation. Both of them used a mix of love, faith and hope. I thought this was inspiring. My first book to read by Ms. Genova, but it won’t be my last.

Many thanks to Gallery Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.