Monthly Archives: August 2014

Echoes of the Night by B.J. Betts

Echoes of the Night

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Twin brothers, Mathew and Marcus Manning grew up as each other’s shadow in their home town of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Being the neighborhood football heroes, they were naturally popular with dreams of college until they received their draft notices. In 1967 the draft was active. Even with the prospect of college, if your birthday was on one of the first chosen days of the federal lottery, then you were to be in service to your country in the army.

The brothers realized that their senior prom was their last teenaged celebration without parental supervision.. They were to report to active duty training immediately after graduation. For most eighteen-year-olds, the destination was Viet Nam.

Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark

Under the Cajun Moon

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“You know all the etiquette in the world, cher, but if you use it to make a person feel small, then I hate to tell you, that’s not good manners. Not at all. That’s just ugly.

Chloe is an expert in the field of international business etiquette can make a person appear a little “stuffy”. Emily Post was well-respected years ago, but was she a popular person that people would want to be around? More than likely, probably not.

While being interviewed for a local television program, a phone call from home is answered by Chloe’s assistant. As soon as she is off camera, she is informed that her father is hospitalized and in has been shot. Who would shoot her father? Is he alive?

The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse

Reviewed by Elizabeth Sheehan

A horrible murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis, which is off the north western shore of Scotland.

Fin Macleod is a detective in the city of Edinburgh and has been on leave since the death of his son. He is asked to go to the Isle of Lewis as the victim has been killed in the same way as a past murder in Edinburgh. Fin is from The Isle of Lewis and knows many of the residents although he’s only been back once in many years. We then begin to learn about Fin’s rather tragic childhood and his relationship with his old friends.

The Quick by Lauren Owen

The Quick

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Surprisingly, most people have some knowledge about vampires. For being fictional characters, in general, we have common “facts” about their existence such as their aversion to silver and holy water and that they must be “invited” into a residence. For creatures that do not exist, we certainly do have quite a bit of knowledge.

What if there is some truth to their existence? Wouldn’t that be more sensible? Is the idea of a vampire all legend, or is there some small grain of truth?

In the last part of the nineteenth century much of England was beginning to change. Many families who had inherited grand estates were beginning to feel the financial pinch of daily upkeep for appearances of grandeur.

The Eye of God (Sigma Force) by James Rollins

The Eye of God

Reviewed by Teri Davis

A research satellite crashes into a remote area of Mongolia, a comet on a collision path with the east coast of the United States, a package from the Vatican with a skull and a book covered in human skin, what do all of these have in common? James Rollins’ newest book, The Eye of God.

With the world possibly ending in the next four days, Sigma Force is catapulted into danger combining Attila the Hun’s death to Christianity to a comet wiping out the planet into the fast-paced action adventure of the Sigma Force team in this newest James Rollins’ novel.

With characters established in previous novels, this ninth book in the series is riveting and requires the reader to be fairly well-acquainted with Painter Crowe, Vigor, Rachel, Monk, Kat, Seichan, and Gray along with the new members of Jada and Duncan who form this extreme team saving the world yet again.

Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura

Reviewed by Book Bug

Would you ever want to write a book about a cold blooded killer?

A young and aspiring Japanese author wants to do just that.

Photographer Yudai Kiharazaka is on death row. He’s accused of burning two women to death. On top of killing them, He snapped photographs of their burning bodies. Pretty brutal.

He tells anyone who will listen that he’s the guilty one.

Did he really do it? Is the real killer behind those steel bars?

I was so excited to begin reading this book. It sounds so dark and twisted.

It was dark and twisted. But, there is ALWAYS a but, right?

Oh, Bury Me Not (A Conan Flagg Mystery) by M.K. Wren

Oh, Bury Me Not

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“Desperation makes strange alliances.”

Most of us hope to never feel the need to hire a private investigator. If you know someone who has worked as a P. I., would you hire someone you know or a stranger? Who would be the best?

George McFalls has made this decision. His family has been feuding with a neighboring family and he wants it to end. With both families living in the ranching areas of Oregon, cattle is dependent on a plentiful water supply as well as a trained staff. No one has the time or the patience for this feud where cattle is poisoned and fences cut.

George contacts his old-time friend and private investigator, Conan Flagg to hopefully stop the feud. The local law enforcement seems disinterested. George even arranges to fly Conan to the ranch.

Dalí & I: The Surreal Story by Stan Lauryssens

Dali & I

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

If you are curious to discover the surreal human colors of Dalí, take a look at Stan Lauryssens book, Dalí & I: The Surreal Story. And indeed the story he tells has a lot of elements which push the boundaries of reality and truth and most of them are painted there by the master himself. This is a non-fiction novel, partly an autobiography, partly a biography of one of the most famous artists in the world, Salvador Dalí.

As Stan Lauryssens says numerous times in his work, Dalí sells, so this book about him was no exception. The author also believes that the world of art is a world of illusions. So, I cannot help but wonder what is real in this novel and what is merely an illusion. After all, some of the stories about Dalí are eccentric to say the least. So, just how similar are the stories about him to his paintings? Are there more fakes out there than originals?

The Bloodletter’s Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) by Linda Lafferty

The Bloodletter's Daughter

Reviewed by Teri Davis

When the true story of insanity by an illegitimate child of a Hapsburg caused his father to lose his crown to his brother, Linda Lafferty retells the tale in a haunting page-tuner, The Bloodletter’s Daughter.

The Hapsburg dynasty was legendary as rulers of The Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Sicily, Naples, Spain, Portugal, Hungary-Croatia, Bohemia which became the Czech Republic, and numerous principalities controlling much of Europe.

Whatever power the family possessed also created a situation for scandal. With a male heir being a concern for all rulers in early 1600s, an illegitimate son could be just as valued as one born into royalty. However, no one at that time had any idea about how to handle a mental illness.

Ghost Month by Ed Lin

Ghost Month

Reviewed by Book Bug

It’s Ghost Month in Taiwan.

Beginning in August each year, Ghost Month honors deceased ancestors.
Incense and money are burned. People visit shrines and temples. Large purchases are scarce. Bodies of water are avoided.

Jing-nan runs a night market food stall. Unknown Pleasures sells hot fried food and steaming soups. It’s a family owned business. It has stood the test of time for decades.

Julia, Jing-nan’s long time love and high school sweetheart, is found murdered.
She was working as a scantily-clad betel nut beauty.
Why was this educated wholesome good girl working as a lowly servant selling betel nuts to dirty old men?