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Search tags: Andrew-Gross
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review 2019-01-06 01:45
A bit formulaic.
Judge & Jury - James Patterson,Andrew Gross

A friend kindly gave me her collection of audio CDs and so I promptly trundled my car down to the auto repair shop to get my CD player fixed. The first CD I chose had such low volume that I couldn't hear it in the car, but I'm glad to say my second choice was more successful. Most of the books were abridged, but this one was a complete novel, well narrated by Joe Mantegna, and although not earth shattering, it kept me entertained through several hours of driving.


The two main characters are Nick Pellisante, the detective responsible for bringing in mafia boss, Dominic Covello, and Andie, a member of the jury chosen to try him. Nick is an FBI agent who has been on Covello's heels for a large part of his career. Andie is a single mother and part-time actress, who really doesn't want to be on the jury at all.

Their paths cross at various times during the case, but their joint desire to see Covello brought to justice results in a satisfying denouement.


Initially this looked like being a court case-based fiction, but I'm glad to say that it broadened out into something a bit more interesting. My main problem with it was the structure of "build-up, emergency, solution", which seemed to be on repeat throughout the book. It got a bit irritating and predictable after a while.


I'd only read one Patterson book before, 1st To Die, but this felt similarly formulaic and I won't be rushing back to read another.

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review 2018-12-31 17:03
3rd Degree
3rd Degree (Women's Murder Club, #3) - Andrew Gross,James Patterson

Ehhh. This book showcases all that is wrong with the Women's Murder Club books. It had too much going on and we end up with a huge loss at the end of this one.


Lindsay is investigating what appears to be a murder and then arson to cover it up of a wealthy Internet millionaire. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but the people behind this and other murders are going to aim to wipe out capitalism. The murder case really isn't front and center until it impacts one of the ladies that is part of the Women's Murder Club.


Lindsay meets a new love interest in this one and honestly he has as much presence as her last lover did which was zero. 


Most of the other women are ignored in this one except for Jill. We get some history on her and her marriage and it just comes out of nowhere. Patterson didn't do a great job of setting things up.

Eventually the case and the personal collide and nothing made much sense to me. It felt like Patterson was racing to the end and not really making sure that things were developed in a logical way. 

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review 2018-12-28 07:46
2nd to Die by James Patterson
2nd Chance - Andrew Gross,James Patterson

This book was a bit more disturbing than the others I've read recently.  


It starts at a little church in a poor black community where a local pastor is leading the choir in rehearsal.  As all the kids filed outside the pastor, who had been a soldier, heard a noise he hadn't heard in a long time.  He yelled at everyone to get down as he dove to save two girls that were frozen with fear.  When it was over and he looked up at all the bewildered kid's huddled on the ground he thought everyone was okay...  until he saw the small body on the steps of the church.  The front of the church was scarred with bullets and the beautiful stained glass window and been blown out.  It was a sad day.  The girl that died was the youngest in the choir and it seemed impossible to the pastor that the spray of bullets missed all the kids except this young girl who would have been harder to hit from the angle of the shooting.  


Lindsay Boxer was recently promoted to lieutenant on the homicide squad and was determined to figure out who did this.  As she and her team looked into the shooting and into other recent crimes they found another murder that might be connected.  An elderly woman was found dead in her home.  A symbol of a hate breeding biker gang was found at both scenes and she was sure they were connected but she had to convince her boss.  As she looked into the murders she found that they were all related in some way to law enforcement and she found that very unsettling.  


She met with her friends (the reporter, Assistant district attorney, and the Medical Examiner) and tried to work out the details of this killer like they did the first time but then the killer went after one of her friends.  She knew she had to figure this thing out or any of them could be next.  

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review 2018-04-12 12:36
Women's Murder Club Book 2
2nd chance - Andrew Gross,James Patterson

When I originally read this book, I loved it. This time, I just wasn't able to get into the book and enjoy the women and the coming together to solve the crime using their expertise. A homicide detective, a coroner, an assistant DA and the crime beat reporter. This time, I just couldn't get into the story. I think it is time to go back to the fluff reading (aka cozy mysteries). 


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review 2018-01-15 00:47
The story lacks credibility!
The One Man: The Riveting and Intense Bestselling WWII Thriller - Andrew Gross

The One Man: A Novel-Andrew Gross, author; Edouardo Ballerini, narrator

A young Jewish man escapes from Nazi occupied Poland and resettles in America. He discovers that his entire family has been wiped out by Hitler and is consumed with guilt because he escaped, while they did not. When he is asked to volunteer for a very dangerous “top secret” mission, he believes it will be an opportunity to redeem himself, and he agrees. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has personally thanked him for accepting this assignment.

Nathan Blum is tasked with sneaking into Oswiecim, in Poland in order to secretly enter the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The Americans want him to extract a scientist, Alfred Mendl. He is a physicist who might be able to help them develop the atom bomb before the Germans succeed in the same effort. A qualified team has already been assembled, and he is the final missing piece. Essentially, it sounds like a suicide mission because no one who enters Auschwitz ever leaves alive, let alone

Blum is dropped into a forest in Poland and secretly joins a work force when it returns to the camp. He has three days to complete the mission. He witnessed, first hand, the terrible suffering of the prisoners and the almost impossibility of surviving in the brutal environment of the camp. Hitler’s minions were sadists who had no compunction about inflicting pain or death.

Into this mix came a romance that was difficult to believe, between the Commandant’s wife and a teenaged boy, Leo. Leo was a fabulous chess player and was gifted with a fantastic memory. He happened to be the camp chess champion. The Commandant’s wife was a lover of chess and soon had him brought to her home for afternoon matches. An unusual friendship developed. When Mendl discovered Leo’s ability to memorize everything, he decided to teach him his formulas. The Nazis had destroyed his work, not realizing its importance. He wanted Leo to commit all of his formulas on fusion to memory. They had destroyed his notes and this was his only way to preserve them.

When Blum found Mendl, which was difficult to believe since the inmates did not answer to a name, but instead to a number, he attempted to explain his mission to him. Mendl had some trepidation about the plan; he did not want to agree. When he finally did, he had one condition. He would only go if he could take Leo with him. The ensuing conversation turned the tide of the escape because when Nathan made a shocking discovery, he was reminded of Mendl’s words. He had asked Blum about what type of person would leave their flesh and blood behind while saving themselves. Blum was faced with a huge predicament.

The book took a bit too much melodrama. The excessive number of twists and turns made it tedious much of the time. The author seemed to be trying to create far too much tension. Every time the reader thought a turning point had been reached, something would happen to stall the momentum. An incredible tangent might be created or another near miss would occur that prevented the successful completion of the task. In the end, there were simply too many diversions in the book for the pace to remain steady. After awhile, it did not feel authentic because even a minor student of history would be aware of the horrors of the Holocaust and its eventual outcome. Creating a fiction around it that seemed implausible simply didn’t work that well. The reader would know that it could never happen the way it was presented. In addition, the plan seemed to be doomed to fail because no one could cheat death so many times during that period in history. It was luck that kept some people alive, but when would luck eventually run out? The only thing that really kept me interested was the question of Bloom’s success or failure, but it took too long to get there.

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