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review 2017-10-30 16:11
Strangers on a Train
Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith

Two men randomly meet on a train. They are both fighting boredom and somehow Charles is very easy to talk to. Guy Haines ends up telling him all about his wife who cheated on him and is pregnant with another man´s child. With a little prodding from Charlie, Guy admits that he hates his wife. Charlie tells him he hates his father and begins to tell Guy about his plan for the perfect murder. His idea is that they kill for each other and no one would suspect either of them because they had no reason to kill people they didn´t know. Guy is horrified and quickly leaves thinking Charlie is just drunk. He was serious though as Guy finds out when he gets the call that his wife has been murdered. Charlie starts to call him and Guy realizes why.... Charlie wants him to finish the plan he had dreamed up.


When I first started reading this book I was intrigued by the story but not even half way I started to lose interest. The whole thing seemed so improbable. The more it went on the more outlandish it seemed. I made myself finish it to know how it ended but I found the discussion of murder in the first person very disturbing. Not my thing I guess.



Guy was not really much of a character.  He seemed like the perfect man in one sense with a great career but he had no backbone.  It seemed unreal that he had letters in his hand that would prove the other guy planned the murder of his own father and expected him to carry it out but he burned them.  Most of the time he acts like he hates Charlie but then he tells the police that he likes him and they are friends.  Oh, and even though Charlie gives him a gun to use he uses his own gun and then doesn´t want to throw it away.  How could this guy have made it through school to be an architect? Charlie, on the other hand is a spoiled rich kid that never grew up and always drunk.  I don´t understand how he is expected to come up with these clever plans to commit crimes and murder but then afterwards is so dumb to start wanting to spend time with the other guy.  


(spoiler show)




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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-27 02:05
The Fleet Street Murders
The Fleet Street Murders - Charles Finch

I´m giving this book 2.5 stars because it isn´t so bad if you don´t expect it to be very accurate to the time or real life in general. It also finishes up a mystery started in the first book. I decided it was a nice place to stop reading the series since there isn´t anything left dangling that will leave me wondering. 

In this book Lenox is interested in a double murder he read about in the papers. Two journalists were killed within 5 minutes of each other. When they arrest a man Lenox is certain they have arrested the wrong man but he can´t look into it seriously because he is suddenly whisked off to Stirrington to campaign for a seat for Parliament. He was planning to run after the current seat holder retired but when he suddenly passes away Lenox only has a few weeks to campaign. A lot is going on in London and he yearns to be back but he has to do his best to convince the people of Stirrington that he would look out for their bests interests.


At some point while reading the last couple books I started picturing Lenox in my mind as Mr. Magoo and I can just picture him bumbling around with his eyes clamped shut but somehow figuring out everything.



The part about him campaigning was really boring and lost my interest.  Then, when it is over and.... 

Lenox lost he heads home to look into the murders.  The police chief had been shot and killed and Lenox wants to figure out who killed him and if or how that is connected to the other murders.  I find it odd that while this police chief was considered a blundering idiot in the other book he is suddenly a good and respected man.  So Lenox finally figures out that the man (well respected and wealthy George Barnard) from the first book where his maid was killed is the one responsible for killing the police chief but can´t quite figure out how that relates to the other murders.  Lenox goes to bed mulling over everything he has learned and his big brain finally puts the pieces in place and he wakes up knowing all the answers.  He suddenly knows that this dude is going to clean out the mint that night and Lenox has to stop him.  So he jumps up and gets dressed and goes to break into the mint himself.  I especially love the part where he is wondering if he would have to break the window in the door to get in but realizes the lock is old fashioned as easy to pick.  FACEPALM  It´s the freaking MINT!  Inside there is only one crooked guard and he is helping the other dude robe the place.  Bad dude could have just called the police and said Lenox was robbing the mint since he broke in but no........  the police come and they chase down the robbers and arrest the guy and all is well in London again.

(spoiler show)




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review 2015-02-07 01:11
Wasted potential, which is a crying shame
Tibetan Cross - Mike Bond

"Big business, war. The biggest. You know, one of the poorest kept secrets about Nam was we got into it to protect the CIA–their drug smuggling rings out of the Golden Triangle.”

“No, I don't believe that.”

"You ask any guy who worked in Air America, the CIA freight line, in the sixties, and he'll tell you about the tons of heroin they shipped out every month, out of Laos and Cambodia and South Vietnam–Hell, on river patrols we'd sometimes bring a boatful (spl) of the shit right down the Mekong. The CIA put it on planes and sent it Stateside, kept the locals high and mellow and made the CIA billions of bucks they spent on actions Congress or the generals wouldn't go for.” Alex kicked a stone from the trail. "When we split Nam, the CIA lost its major source of funding, baby.” – Conversation between Alex and Cohen, Tibetan Cross – Mike Bond


"For me that was the final turnoff, about the States ...”


"That we're a society based on war, that we can't exist economically or psychologically without someone to hate.”

"That's why we invented the good old Commies. Those folks I was fighting in Nam had never even heard of Communism. They were defending their homeland from aggression, same as any American would.” – Alex, Tibetan Cross – Mike Bond


It seems like I would learn. I really don’t like Mike Bond’s writing style. It is too choppy, too terse, for my tastes. And then there is the “comic book” brutality – the hero takes damage that is, literally, too much to be survived – and then jumps up and runs away like nothing has happened. Clive Cussler, James Rollins and others write ‘kick-ass’ heroes – but even they wouldn’t find this amount of brutality against their heroes survivable. Bond is one of the most testosterone driven thriller writers out there, which is fine in and of itself, but come on, Mike. Can we have a little realism at some point?


This is the third Mike Bond book I have reviewed and, again, it seems like I would learn. I am never happy with them, but I get sucked in, because his overall story concepts are exceptional, and his research on the actual political and military history and up-to-date happenings is beyond reproach. It is terribly frustrating! I want to enjoy the intrigue, but the bad case of testosterone poisoning means that I wind up skimming the story instead of enjoying it.


Beginning in Nepal, this book resurrects the war between China and Tibet just after the Vietnam War. Our heroes are leading a photographer/journalist and several Sherpa to Mustang - the former Kingdom of Lo, hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalaya in one of the most remote corners of Nepal. Only, things are not really what they seem, of course, in this shattered land, where starvation, murder, and incredible brutality is carried out by the Chinese against the poor and defenseless lands of Nepal and Tibet. And the Tibetans and Nepalese fight back in any way they can - with a little help from the "friendly" CIA. . .


"It is difficult to fight tanks and planes with stones.”


When Cohen escapes from the slaughter of his friends and traveling companions, including his best friend Alex, he treks alone cross-country in a desperate attempt to reach Katmandu (also Kathmandu) before he is captured and killed by the same weapons runners who killed his friends. The trip is brutal and harsh, but his arrival brings yet more death to those he knows and loves.


I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. - J. Robert Oppenheimer


Drugs, guns, human trafficking, and rivers of blood all wend their way through Bond’s work. As I stated previously, l am always left disappointed in Bond’s books, and still I come back for more, skimming for the realities of the story and trying to dismiss the ridiculous “heroes”. Be that as it may, it calls for a strong stomach as well as an ability to retain an open mind about just how twisted and sick the US, and their CIA lapdogs, really are – the misery they have wrought across the world. Would that Bond could see his way to dropping the testosterone levels – it would certainly make his books more approachable by a larger reading audience.


I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. Five stars for the military and political research. Minus a star for bad writing. Minus another star for sheer testosterone poisoning and unrealistic character development.
Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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text 2014-12-11 23:35
End of Year Goals

I decided back in November that I WILL write a review of everything I have read from the end of October through the end of the year. I have barely made a dent in my list and my motivation is lacking. So I decided to share a list of the books (so far) that I intend to review. Putting it out where an audience can see it might push me a little harder to get something done.


Soulless by Gail Carriger (done)

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman (done)

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (done)

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, et al (done)

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman (done)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Changleless by Gail Carriger

Blameless by Gail Carriger

The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg (done)

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Timeless by Gail Carriger

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins



Whew, I'm tired just looking at the list.

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review 2014-05-27 14:38
[REVIEW] Stockholm Syndrome (Stockholm Syndrome #1) by Richard Rider
Stockholm Syndrome - Richard Rider

Stockholm Syndrome by Richard Rider
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Recommended to Kynthos-the-Archer by: Aimee
Recommended for: Not able to recommend this.
Read from May 22 to 27, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

DNF at 11%. I've tried. I had actually wanted to go beyond 20% to see if things would work out for me and if the writing would improve, but unfortunately it kept grating on my nerves ever since page one. I might try again if I have nothing better to do.





What didn't work for me:

1) Writing Style - it sucks!
- The narrative structure is a mangled piece of framework. To sum up, it was inarticulate.
- Spent half of the time trying to figure out who is talking, who said what. It's a major distraction, a story flow breaker.

2) Characterization - also sucks!
- Absence/lack of motivations in the characters makes it hard to understand them or make sense of their action and rationality. They are so daft it's a pain to read on. I felt like putting a bullet into Lindsay and Pip's empty heads.
- They have zero common sense and the things they do is utterly unreasonable. Brainless bunch really.
- Exaggerated reactions like wanting to pass out just from someone licking cum off his fingers. One would think the poor guy was locked in chastity for eons.

3) Far-Fetched Storyline
- Just too many unrealistic situations to recount. Conflicts was resolved so sloppily that it does not make any sense.
- I am SO not buying the attraction between Lindsay and Pip. This is not even instant-attraction it's sudden-attraction.

Okay so these are the reasons I couldn't go on reading. Besides that the so called sexy scene in the car at the beach gave me goosebumps. Not in a good way kind. Ugh! Pip is just so slutty and Lindsay was behaving like an overexcited fumbling teenager.

I would have to have the willpower of a saint to re-attempt this book again. I am still puzzling over all those 5 stars ratings. What really happened? Why all the rave and hype? Damnit! I am still curious bout this and I am dying to find out for myself. If only I could push on.

* Reviewed on May 27th, 2014


View all my reviews

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/538494526
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