Daily Archives: March 25, 2011

Heat Lightning by John Sandford

Heat LightningReviewed by Allen Hott

An interesting cop novel again starring Virgil Flowers, one of John Sandford’s favorite characters. With these stories by Sandford there is not a lot of mystery as normally the killer is known fairly early on but Virgil’s job is to not only catch him but to catch him before being killed by him. If and when he finds him, that is!

Virgil normally works in the northern Midwest as a freelance operator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Heat Lightning is set in Minnesota and in the midst of a hot, humid summer with plenty of heat lightning. Virgil is called into a case where victims are turning up shot to death and placed at various Veterans’ Memorial sites. Also they all have had a piece of lemon stuck in their mouths.

Shortly into the investigation Virgil finds a tie-in with veterans’ organizations and the fact that several of the victims attended these together on various occasions. There appears to have been an incident in Viet Nam many years ago when a group of American mercenary type soldiers were involved in a terrible killing and rape.

The first two victims that were killed in the attacks that Virgil is investigating were part of that crew of soldiers. He has to find who and where are the rest of the gang and who is responsible for chasing them down in the states. Before he can get too far along however several others are killed and all links again appear to point back to Viet Nam.

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman

Leaving YesterdayReviewed by Jane Quires

This is a power packed book. I highly recommend it to all. I found myself weeping for joy at the end. This is a story that grips you and causes you to want to be there for others. It also shows that sometimes one may not understand what a person is going through or why they do the things they do.

Alisa loses one son to death, which sets off many problems in the home. I know first hand how young people trying to find themselves can affect the whole family. A God of second chances is revealed. There is a mother who loves her son unconditionally and will do whatever it takes to protect him but finally has to come to grips with having to make a hard choice. Forgiveness, renewal, pretension by Christians who wear masks, and much more is revealed.

Tick Tock by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Review #2)

Tick TockReviewed by Patricia Reid

Mike Bennett, his ten children, his grandfather Seamus along with Mary Catherine the children’s Irish nanny head for Breezy Point in Queens to enjoy a two-week vacation. Mike’s wife is deceased and Seamus, who is a priest, and Mary Catherine do a wonderful job helping Mike hold the family together.

Meanwhile back in New York City a mad bomber has left a bomb at the main branch of the New York City Public library. Mike’s boss Inspector Miriam Schwartz calls Mike back to duty. Father Seamus and Mary Catherine remain at Breezy Point to continue the long planned vacation and Mike heads back to the city hoping to solve the crime immediately and return to his vacation.

However, the mastermind behind the bombing has much more devastation in mind. He seems to be copying killers from the past such as George Metesky, the Mad Bomber, Son of Sam and even the Brooklyn Vampire Albert Fish. FBI Agent Emily Parker comes to New York to help track down the person or persons behind the horrible crimes.

Mike tries to commute back and forth between the city and his vacationing family but finds that all is not well on the vacation front either. The Flaherty’s, a family with an Irish mafia background, are bullying Mike’s children. Mike and Father Seamus find it necessary to step in and settle the matter.

The Take by Mike Dennis

The TakeReviewed by Patricia Reid

Eddie Ryan is a small time bookie and not a very good one at that. Eddie violated the first rule for bookies and that is never let the betting get too one-sided. World Series betting got Eddie in a world of trouble with no way to pay off the bets.

Eddie takes his troubles to Raymond Cannetta, a loan shark, who agrees to lend Eddie the money he needs but Cannetta’s repayment plan is one that is very difficult to meet without missing a payment here and there. Cannetta’s repayment plan does not allow for missed payments.

Eddie’s buddy Val Borden devises a plan where the two will rob Chico Salazar, a local drug dealer. The two manage to pull off the robbery but it doesn’t go as planned. Chico is hurt very badly and now the gang’s after the robbers. The future isn’t looking good for Eddie or Val but Felina, the beautiful woman who lives with Val, decides that she is sick of Val and proposes that Eddie take her somewhere safe where they can enjoy the proceeds of the robbery.

The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass (Review #2)

The Bone ThiefReviewed by Patricia Reid

When Burton DeVreiss, Attorney, contacted Dr. Bill Brockton it was to inform Brockton that he had obtained an order to exhume the body of Trey Willoughby to obtain a DNA sample to be used as proof of paternity. Dr. Brockton and his assistant Miranda were shocked when the body was exhumed and the silk suit worn by the deceased was cut open. Trey Willoughby’s arms had been removed and the sleeves filled with white PVC pipe.

This is just one of the many puzzles presented by this fifth book in the series. Burton DeVreiss had been involved with Dr. Brockton in an earlier book in the series where a funeral home was negligent in handling the bodies that were entrusted to the home for proper burial or cremation. Now it looks as though another funeral home is going to be under investigation.

Dr. Brockton, founder of the Body Farm, is contacted by the FBI and requested to go undercover to investigate a black market operation that is selling body parts. The FBI feels that since Brockton has access to so many bodies that are donated to the Body Farm he is the perfect person to infiltrate the operation. This is particularly true since Brockton is facing many budget cuts in his department and the department is in need of funds. Although hesitant at first Brockton finally agrees to go undercover. Not only does the sting operation put Brockton’s reputation on the line Brockton’s life is placed in danger.