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review 2017-08-30 15:52
Domino by Phyllis Whitney
Domino - Phyllis A. Whitney

This book had a whisper of familiarity about it. I'm not sure if that is because I've previously read it, or because it shared so many plot points with The Trembling Hills and The Window on the Square. Either way, I absolutely loved this one.


Whitney has such a way with setting. I know that I've said this before, but I have to say it again. I have family in Colorado, where this book is set, and so much of this book rang true for me. I really don't know exactly how she does it, but she takes the tiniest details and inserts them into the story in a way that is both effective and familiar. Reading this was like returning to the Estes Park of my childhood. 


I'm also reminded by reading these older books that authors hadn't yet stumbled onto the money grab of writing series with narratives that extend across books. It is so refreshing, really, to read a book that is a complete story all on its own, without having to worry that there will be a cliff-hanger at the end, leaving me to drop $11.99 on a new release in a year. I miss the days of the stand-alone.


This one is just vintage Whitney, with all of the recurring dreams, mysterious deaths, decrepit and fading mansions, and attempted murders that go along with her contemporary gothics. If I have quibbles, she relies way too much on her heroines meeting an older boy to whom she was emotionally attached as a child and somehow turning emotional resonance that into adult passion. I grow a bit weary of that trope.


With Halloween bingo approaching, my Phyllis Whitney binge is likely over for a time. And, they do all have a sameness to them that becomes more obvious reading multiple books in a short time period. This is true of a lot of authors and genres, so this isn't so much a criticism as it is an observation.


It has occurred to me several times that a Netflix or an Amazon could make a wonderful series by adapting these books for television, in the vein of the series adapting Christie's Hercule Poirot canon. They are so deliciously atmospheric.

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text 2017-08-28 21:58
Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
Domino - Phyllis A. Whitney

Obviously, I decided to go with Domino for my next "vintage ladies" read. I was feeling more Colorado than Arizona, although I'm sure I will read The Turquoise Mask at some point quite soon.


Whitney seems to love sinister flashbacks from repressed childhood events. Laurie, our heroine, experiences debilitating panic attacks under certain circumstances. Her psychiatrist husband is dead after having exploited her condition for his own gain. Sounds like an ass, to tell the truth.


She's now met a dashing actor, Hillary Lange (this is a man, in spite of the name) and he's become her lover. I do admire Whitney's open acknowledgment that Laurie is a sexual being, even if she does seem a bit drippy at this point. 


The summons back to her childhood has come from her grandmother. This is another feature of the Whitney gothic - along with the sinister flashbacks, Whitney likes to take her heroines back to the place that it all began, so that they can confront the demons.


Contrived. But entertaining.

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review 2017-08-12 21:37
Domino (2003) #1 (of 4) - Joe Pruett,Brian Stelfreeze,Brian Stelfreeze

Got this for free, and it's still free.   An uninspired start to a mini-series about Domino.  I feel like so much could have been done with her, and so little was that by the time they get to the reveal that she might be able to find her long-lost mother, I was just glad this issue was done.  


Not the worst I've read, but far from the best comic I've read. 

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review 2016-11-16 19:37
Big Little Lies Review
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

Lies generally serve a purpose.

To save someone from harm. To make one look better to their peers. To get out of a jam.

When we were children, we were always told to NEVER tell a lie. You would get into so much trouble if you told a lie as a child. I for one remember the punishments for lying.

As you got a little older you found out there others have lied to you before...but it's okay. It was just a white lie...which to our understanding THAT lie was to save us from harm.

Then we grew up. One lie after another. But it's okay. We are now adults, so we can tell big lies. We just tell the kids it's a white lie and that they shouldn't lie at all. (And we get away with it.)

Well, sometimes we can get away with them.

A group of parents are getting ready to take their kids to school. A few moms stick together like before; a few new mothers are in town needing guidance. First day of school can be hectic, but once you deal with the cliques; getting the kids ready the rest of the day should go easy as baking a pie.

Apparently someone forgot to set the timer on that pie for it just burned!!

A child is accusing another child of bullying; teachers get worried, want it solved right away so saying your sorry is in order. But, the child in question says it wasn't him. As any parent would do they stick up for their child. Of course other Mom's don't agree with that policy and name calling gets thrown out into the air, and people start having opinions of others (especially if they are new to the town) and start gathering in their cliques to force others to choose: Truth, or power.

It isn't easy for Jane to be new in town and trying to understand the small town antidotes but when her son is accused of bullying and she fully well knows he didn't do it, it just takes the cake. Good thing she became good friends with a woman wouldn't shouldn't be reckoned with. Madeline has been there, done all that even had a divorce. She knows the in's and out's of the small town and knows everyone and everyone knows her. Even though she used to part (or known) the cliques, she sides with the new girl. Helps her out of jams once in a while. Of course she doesn't do this alone, she has help from her friend Celeste.

A woman who has everything: wonderful, handsome husband and two loving boys. She has a wonderful house, beautiful looks, great clothes. Everyone marvels on how she can handle twin boys and always being there for the school/church activities. But we must ask ourselves...do we really know our neighbors? Or do we see what we are supposed to see?

Lies are like a domino effect: once one gets going, it gets tough to stop them from growing. But also like in domino's, somehow, somewhere the domino's stop falling. How would you like the domino's to stop thought is the question? Towards you? Or something more sinister?

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486412-big-little-lies
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-20 11:25
Dead Man (Domino Finn)
Dead Man (Black Magic Outlaw Book 1) - Domino Finn

I took a chance with this new-to-me author because I always crave for urban fantasy with male protagonist. While it took me quite a whole to finish it but I guess I liked it enough. I wasn't completely invested with the voodoo ritual part of the book -- I mean, I enjoy urban fantasy stories with magic, but voodoo (with their rituals and their gods) is something different altogether. Which was why I was keep being distracted with romance books instead.

However, I liked Cisco's 'voice'. I also found his backstory and what happened to him with the losing memories to be quite appealing. To think that he killed his own family because he was turned into a killing machine zombie!!. Think of the atonement he could make *lol*. So yeah, I thought this could be a potential for good urban fantasy series.

So I probably check the second book.

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