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review 2018-06-24 21:09
The Stolen Canvas
The Stolen Canvas - Marlene Chase

I had to fly to Anchorage Friday, which is only about a 50 minute flight, for a doctor appointment.  I was really achy so I decided to take this book to read since I knew it would be light reading.  I  guess no one else on here has read it since I had to add it to the system.  

 

This story was pretty slow and not as interesting as others in the series. Tara is at her mother's apartment to gather anything she wanted before they throw out her things. Her mother has passed away and Tara is sad because she never knew her. Her mother was always distant. She finds some letters from an elderly lady in Stony Point that had been writing to her mother. When her boyfriend sees the letters her gets an idea for a way to make some money. He is originally from Stony Point and he remembers that lady named Mrs. Holden in the fancy big house. He and his brother used to do odd jobs for her to earn money.  He decided Tara will go to the house and befriend the women so they can steal some of the cross stitches the woman was famous for that are now fetching a lot of money at auction.  Tara finds that Mrs. Holden has passed away and her granddaughter, Annie Dawson, is living in the house. Tara had agreed to go along with her boyfriends plan but when she meets Annie and the other ladies at the Hook & Needle club, she doesn't want to go through with it anymore. She really just wants to learn more about her mother and hopes someone there will be someone that remembers her.

 

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review 2018-06-24 18:58
One Way
One Way - S.J. Morden

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

An enjoyable read—it has elements that reminded me of both “The Martian” (which I loved) and of investigation novels in general—, although I found myself able to predict the twists (the deal comes to mind, but it’s not the only one), so the mystery part wasn’t 100% a mystery for me.

I enjoyed the preparation parts: how Frank gets “recruited”; his training; meeting the other convicts/astronauts (as well as the crushing realisation that he wasn’t going to be “a real astronaut”, just a prisoner sent to Mars and not necessarily considered as a human being). I tend to enjoy the hard science/technical details in such novels, so I was glad that some was included here, and that it made sense. Then there’s the Mars ordeal itself, of course, with this little group of ragtags and misfits having to face unexpected shortages and various problems before their base can even start being built. I expected a story where things go wrong, where the planet itself will kill you at the first opportunity, and I wasn’t disappointed in that regard. Also, the XO company had been cutting corners, and it shows; and it makes more sense, in a twisted way, the further you keep reading.

The main character, Frank, was likeable enough. He’s a murdered, but he “only” killed once, to save his son, and his reasons were more born from despair than from any twisted desire to kill for the sake of killing. At times, I found him perhaps a little “passive”, in that I thought he’d get to wonder about the deaths of his fellow inmates sooner than he did; on the other hand, he’s an older man who’s spent several years in jail and learnt to keep out of trouble there, so it also made sense that he’d want to keep out of trouble on Mars, too, by putting on blindfolds and focusing on his building and maintenance jobs. I believe his lack of curiosity was more an instinct of self-preservation, an ingrained desire to keep his head low in order to survive, rather than get interested in things that could put him in danger much sooner.

I was less satisfied by the rest of the cast, though, mostly because we don’t get to know them very well. They were defined more by what had sent them to jail (the cyber criminal, the ex-Neo Nazi, the doctor who euthanised her patients, etc.), than by what made them as human beings. As a result, I didn’t feel invested in them, and when they started dropping, I founder myself not really caring; they were plot devices, rather than characters. I don’t approve of padding a novel just to sell more paper, but in this case, I’d have gladly taken some 100 extra pages to get to know the whole crew better.

Conclusion: 3/3.5 stars. Not a novel I loved, but I still enjoyed it, and would still recommend it to readers who don’t mind a bit of jargon, and are interested in the struggle on Mars as well as in the murder mystery aspect.

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review 2018-06-24 16:45
Review: “The Flesh Cartel #14: Independence Day (The Flesh Cartel Season 4: Liberation)” (The Flesh Cartel, #14) by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau
The Flesh Cartel #14: Independence Day (The Flesh Cartel Season 4: Liberation) - Heidi Belleau,Rachel Haimowitz

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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text 2018-06-24 16:13
Reading progress update: I've read 336 out of 336 pages.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

*sigh*

 

Agatha Christie is the perfect matchmaker. Poirot playing cupid, telling the good doctor that only he can make Elinor happy.

(spoiler show)

 

This was really, really good. I loved how Poirot got involved in the story and how he took on the task of finding out the truth. And may I just say that I loved the ending of this book. I´m so happy right now.

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review 2018-06-24 14:06
The Cypress House ★★★☆☆
The Cypress House - Michael Koryta

The Cypress House is my first Michael Koryta novel, but likely won’t be my last. I’m not even sure why this one was on my TBR list, as I added it years ago, long before I started keeping notes as to why I put books on the list for management/periodic TBR purges.

 

It was an odd mix of thriller and romance with supernatural elements, and I almost DNF’d it because it took the full (self-imposed) minimum 50 pages to engage my attention. Pacing-wise, it dragged in places with long chunks of exposition, and I felt emotionally disconnected from all the characters. The supernatural story elements served more as a convenient plot-device than interesting twist. However, the story was still interesting enough to keep me going and had a satisfying ending.

 

Hardcover, borrowed from my public library.

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