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review 2017-07-26 00:47
The Fallen Angel
The Fallen Angel - Daniel Silva

The Fallen Angel is a mid-series entry (#12) in Daniel Silva’s long-running series about Israeli spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon. At the beginning of The Fallen Angel, Gabriel is retired from the intrigue business and at the Vatican to restore a painting by Caravaggio. He is drawn into an investigation of the death of a female curator who was investigating malfeasance in the Vatican collection by his friend and occasional ally, private secretary to his Holiness Pope Paul VII, Monsignor Luigi Donati. Of course, Donati knows more than he initially reveals and soon Gabriel is off to the Italian countryside followed by St. Moritz to investigate. It being a Gabriel Allon story, there can’t be just one villain, just one plot, and soon enough the story circles back to events in Israel and the clock is ticking as Gabriel races to save the world in the nick of time.

 

Read by iconic narrator George Guidall, The Fallen Angel, like many thrillers made an excellent audiobook. While The Fallen Angel can stand alone, I would have benefitted from a more recent memory of the previous volume in the series (which I somehow appear to have missed). Gabriel has been aging in real time and would be in his late 50s at the time of The Fallen Angel. He is still, barely, young enough for the high jinx to be plausible. While Daniel Silva continues to turn out one well researched Gabriel story a year (#17 was published earlier in July 2017), the stories since The Fallen Angel just haven’t been quite as compelling.

 

Read for  Fantasyland 6: Read a book set in a Western European Country or with a wintry scene on the cover

 

 

  

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review 2017-07-22 02:18
Death in Japan.
Fallen Idol: A Kyoko Nakamura Mystery (Nakamura Detective Agency) (Volume 1) - Percival Constantine

Fallen Idol was a crime mystery set in Japan, and I was hoping for a bit more of a feel for Japanese life. There was a fair bit of bowing and reference to items like tatami mats, but otherwise it could have happened pretty much anywhere. The low-life and hostess bars were certainly not unique.

 

I was offered this as an audiobook for review from Audiobook Boom and I enjoyed the narration by Andrea Harbin, though it could have been a little faster. 

I struggled with the Japanese names at first and I have to admit that they are going to make this review difficult as I have no idea how to spell them.

 

Arkanay Suzuki is a former pop idol who falls from her balcony in the first scene. The police label her death as suicide and prepare to close the case, but Kyoko Nakamura is approached by Arkanay's parents to look into the circumstances of their daughter's death. Kyoko was a police officer until she left the force in disgrace and she is now running a detective agency with her two colleagues.

Together they follow clues, chase suspects and generally put themselves in danger, to solve the mystery of Arkanay's death.

 

The ending was disappointing and I think I was all set to give 4 stars until the last few minutes; the mystery is solved but is justice served?

3 1/2 stars.

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review 2017-07-09 07:15
great story and characters
Fallen Star - Allison Morse Fallen Star - Allison Morse

Kate had just got through her mother's funeral. Her mother -Audrey had succumbed to cancer. The doorbell rang and Kate opened the door to her great Aunt Lillian who had been a commanding stage actress. But now Kate’s great aunt just looked old when did that happen? Lillian’s sister Gloria had become a star in the 1940’s.Kate had been fascinated with her grandmother. Gloria had been brutally murdered and her killer had not been brought to justice.  While going through Glory’s things  in the garage Kate found a missing film of her grandmother’s- Gloria that was believed to show the fight and possibly the murder of Gloria. Everyone had believed the film had been destroyed. Kate let her Aunt Lillian take the film even though she hadn’t  been in Kate’s life much. But her great aunt Lillian had a plan Natalie was Kate’s friend . Kate had entered a film and in an hour the winner of the Herbert Collier Prize would be announced and Natalie was going with Kate to the announcing of the award. Kate was one of the five finalists. Natalie is the only person Kate had told that she had almost been raped at thirteen by a so called director. That was when Kate changed from wanting to be an actress to doing films. Then Kate bumped into a man who turned out to be a judge of the films from the graduate students. Kate didn’t win and placed third she was really disappointed. In a week Kate met up with her aunt about the film as she is determined to be a part of the team that restores it the film had been sent to her mother and when her mother passed it became hers so Kate felt. Then Dylan the man who Kate had bumped into and had been a judge was there he was a friend of her Aunt Lillian’s  and had worked on restoring films and the one Kate found was very fragile and the work needed to be carefully done so as not to destroy the old film.Dylan had some secrets of his own and someone or thing seemed to be haunting Kate.Kate had frequent  nightmares that seem to be telling her to leave.  Kate wants to unravel the mystery of her grandmother’s murder. Gloria’s presence was still felt by many people who had known and cared for her and were still alive. Kate seems to be the killer's next target.

I really loved this story and I loved the plot.I love how it shows how women were and are treated in Hollywood . I loved Kate’s strength. I didn’t want to put this down. I felt it had great action. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I loved the behind the scenes look at movie making. I loved the characters and the twist in this story and I highly recommend.

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review 2017-07-07 00:39
Atkins' Colson is as gripping as ever, although I have a reservation or two.
The Fallen - Ace Atkins

Each of the Quinn Colson books has 3 or 4 things going on (it really depends how you want to break things down): There's a central crime story, a Quinn story, a wider Colson-family story (usually Caddy-centric -- by the way, try writing about Caddy right after listening to a novel featuring Walt Longmire's daughter, Cady, it'll bend your mind), a story about goings-on in the wider Tibbehah County and Jericho area (typically criminal, but not necessarily part of the other crime story). Now, these blend into each other all the time, and are hard to strictly delineate, but that's how I think about these books anyhow. Were a grade or degree on the line, I could define this better -- but we'll settle for this. Now, typically the central crime story is just that, central -- it's the driving force behind the novel and the other things happen around it. With The Fallen, however, it felt like the central crime story functioned mostly to give an excuse to tell the other stories -- sort of a time frame to hang the rest on.

 

Which is not necessarily a bad thing -- but it's not a good one.

 

There's a group of highly efficient, disciplined bank robbers on a spree through the south, and naturally they hit Jericho. They're out of town in a flash, with Quinn and Lillie not able to do much. Still, this is a challenge that Lillie sinks her teeth into (and Quinn, too -- to a lesser extent). The trio is not as amusing as the goofballs from The Redeemers, and thankfully, they aren't has horrifying as some of the others (see The Innocents, for example). I could easily have spent some more time with them, though. Their story is pretty compelling and rings true.

 

Quinn is settling back into his job as Sheriff, with Lillie as his Assistant Sheriff . There's a new county supervisor, Skinner, making life difficult for everyone, although Boom Kimbrough and Fannie Hathcock seem to be top of his list. But it doesn't seem like anyone who doesn't share his vision for Jericho -- a halcyon 50's vision -- will have much of a chance against him. You get the impression even Johnny Stagg prefers his incarceration to dealing with Skinner. We'll be seeing more of Skinner.

 

Caddy and Boom actually get the more interesting investigation in the novel -- with some help from Lillie. Caddy's looking for a couple of teen girls that she's afraid have fallen into Fannie's employment -- but it turns out to be more complicated than that. What they stumble on is disturbing, at the least, and will push Caddy's buttons in a way little else has. Once he learns about it, Quinn's not crazy about what she's up to -- but when is he?

There's a lot of movement in long-term arcs, and while it'd be wrong to say that nothing happens other than moving pieces around on the chessboard to set up for books #8 and on, it frequently feels like it. I'm not crazy about any of the things that did occur in this novel (matters of taste and how I want things to go for particular characters -- Atkins nailed it all, it's not on his execution) -- but man, what it means for the next couple of books has got me ready to fork over money right now.

 

Still, while I found the main crime story wanting, and wasn't crazy about the long-term arc developments, this was a good book. Atkins has infused -- and continues to do so -- this community and these characters with so much life, so much reality, that the reader gets sucked in and can't help but care about everyone. It's only when I stopped to think about and write about the book that I had these issues -- in the moment, I couldn't have cared less about what was going on in actual Idaho -- Jericho, Mississippi was what it was all about.

 

Solid crime fiction from one of the best working today.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Putnam Books via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this..

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/07/06/the-fallen-by-ace-atkins
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review 2017-07-03 23:33
SILENCE FALLEN by PATRICIA BRIGGS
Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs

Mercy is kidnapped and Adam plus friends come to get her. I thought there'd be more kicking ass of the guy that did it but no. One of Adam's attendants was a surprise at the end. It seemed like everyone was running on a treadmill, going nowhere fast. This is a great series and a really good book. 

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