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review 2017-08-21 04:32
Night Shield by Nora Roberts
Night Shield - Nora Roberts

Jonah Blackhawk is a former juvenile delinquent whose life got on the right track with the help of Boyd Fletcher, the man who eventually became Denver’s police commissioner. He loves Boyd like a father and feels like he owes him a debt he’ll never be able to repay, which is why he agrees to Boyd’s latest request: work with the investigating team looking into a string of robberies committed by people who seem to be using Jonah’s clubs to scope out their victims. Specifically, he’d like Jonah to allow the detective in charge to work undercover at his newest place.

What Boyd doesn’t immediately mention is that the detective in charge is Ally Fletcher, his daughter. There’s an immediate spark between the two of them, but Ally’s a professional and Jonah isn’t really a fan of cops (other than Boyd) and secretly feels that his past makes him unworthy of someone like Boyd’s daughter. Still, Ally’s undercover work puts her and Jonah in frequent contact, and it isn’t long before Jonah’s employees put two and two together and decide they must be dating.

Funny story: I bought this book thinking it was Night Shadow, the one with the hero who’s a superhero. I didn’t realize my mistake until much later, even after reading the description on the back. I still need to track that book down.

Every time I read a Nora Roberts book with a cop heroine I find myself looking for hints of her In Death series. I could see some of that here, in the way Jonah and Ally interacted, but there were a lot of differences too.

Ally had a good childhood and a huge and happy family. If she wasn’t wealthy she was at least really well off. As a result, although parts of the way she lived her life reminded me of Eve Dallas, she tended to be a lot better at self-care and letting Jonah help her. She also didn’t seem to have nearly as much of a chip on her shoulder where Jonah was concerned. Jonah, meanwhile, has a lot of Roarke’s confidence and arrogance, but also moments of insecurity. Whereas it was Roarke who primarily pursued Eve at first, here Jonah started things off but then Ally had to do more of the pursuing, because Jonah didn’t feel he should date or sleep with Boyd’s daughter.

Although I enjoyed the romance overall, things progressed a little quickly for my tastes. I snickered a bit when Jonah said he liked Ally for more than just her looks. He barely knew her! And I laughed when Jonah lamented that it was “over for him” - apparently just sleeping with Ally was enough to push Jonah past being attracted to Ally and straight to being head over heels in love with her. The bit where Jonah met Ally’s family was cute, though.

One thing that bothered me: both characters did things that might be considered sexual assault. The reader knew that both of them were saying “no” when they really wanted to say “yes,” but it wasn’t like the characters themselves were mind readers. Jonah kissed Ally right after she told him to back off. “He felt her body jerk against his. Protest or invitation, he didn’t care.” (74) Yeah, he should care. And later Ally came onto him strong and licked the side of his neck while he kept trying to turn her down. Both scenes were relatively mild - the second one, for sure, was probably supposed to be sexy, with the heroine taking charge - but I still found myself wishing they’d been written differently or removed.

The suspense aspect wasn’t very good, little more than a device to put Ally and Jonah in close contact long enough for them to fall in love.

All in all, this was okay. Not great, but not bad either. My favorite aspects were the way Ally’s family interacted and Boyd’s fatherly discussion with Jonah (so sweet!). Best line: "Don't grin at me when I'm having a paternal crisis." (170)

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-08-02 17:11
Hit Man, Lawrence Block
Hit Man (Keller #1) - Lawrence Block

Keller is a stone cold killer (as discussed at length when he goes to therapy). So why is he a sympathetic character? I think it must be his amusingly hapless attempts to try to connect with the rest of humanity by fantasising about small-town life, getting a dog, even taking up stamp collecting! Whatever the reason, Keller is an interesting enigma who makes murder look easy (suspiciously easy, I'm pretty sure the author is giving him a big break) in this sequential set of shorts, originally published in Playboy.

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text 2017-08-01 18:44
Reading progress update: I've read 262 out of 342 pages.
Hit Man (Keller #1) - Lawrence Block

One of those fake novels that's really a series of sequential short stories.

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review 2017-07-28 01:48
No More Misdirections
The Steel Kiss (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) - Jeffery Deaver

Honestly Jeffrey Deaver is better than this book. He didn't follow up on events from the last one, he had Sachs and Rhyme at odds for "tension" and introduced one new character and someone we heard about just to make us readers think could Sachs and Rhyme be done. It was eyeroll inducing because it wasn't even believable. And to start off with Rhyme feeling guilty about a case so much he is done working for the NYPD wasn't to be believed. This book felt light on evidence and also Rhyme may need a body guard due to the constant criminals breaking into his home to off him.

 

The 12th book in the Lincoln Rhyme series rivals "The Empty Chair" for my least favorite at this point. Maybe because none of the characters were shown well in this one. 

 

The book starts off with Amelia Sachs being very angry, we don't find out why for a while, but when we do, we find it's because Lincoln Rhyme has decided that he will no longer consult on NYPD cases and he's going to go off and teach. Now it takes a long winding road to get there, but we find out on the last case that Rhyme worked on somebody who appeared to be innocent ended up going to jail for a case that he was working on. I don't know, I just didn't find it believable that Rhyme, who has been an a******* throughout this whole series decides he's just not going to do cases anymore. And don't even get me started on the fact that we just ignore how something that Rhyme did previously in this past (The Bone Collector) ended up affecting his present. Deaver doesn't even call that back to why Rhyme may be gun shy.

 

So Sachs is looking for an unsub who is suspected of a couple of violent crimes. That all gets thrown into the wind when a man on escalator gets trapped and killed due to the machinery malfunctioning.

 

So Sachs leaves that case to Rhyme with him pulling in one of his student's to assist. Cue tension, this student is smart, attractive, and also in a wheelchair. Cue plot point you start to have Rhyme thinking of her. I don't know, I think Deaver's thinks that we're too stupid to realize that these characters that we get introduced to in this book are red herrings. At no point was I concerned that Rhyme is going to fall in love with his student because they have a similar disability. Nor was it a concern when Sach's ex-boyfriend Nick finally gets out of jail coming to her to plead his innocent.

 

There were at least three, possibly four distinct plots in this one and none of them hung together very well. And then when things somehow loop together it was just a joke.

 

I feel like if Deaver really wanted to touch upon Sach's and her relationship with her ex maybe that would have made for a good short story. I just really don't buy that all the stuff that was going on. And per usual Deaver just pulls out of his butt something to just hinder Sach's in her career. I don't know just made me roll my eyes it was really dumb it didn't make any sense and just kind of just happens.

 

We get the usual suspects in this one Pulaski, Lon, and also our favorite FBI agent Delray.

 

I was happy though to see some call back to what Lon went through in the last book but other than that there's very little continuity besides a couple references here and there that you might not realize unless you're a longtime reader.

 

The setting in this New York feels artificial and sterile at times. I don't know, I  just really miss Deaver who used to go into the history of a thing, a city, a street, a chemical, etc. and it was very light on the foresnics in this one.

 

Even the criminal in this this one wasn't that very interesting and I was bored by all sections of the book that delved into his point of view. He just felt unnecessary considering everything else that was going on.

 

So in the book and we're giving I think what Deaver considers a startling revelation about a new change in Sach's and Rhyme's relationship. I just felt very annoyed and just cheated because I definitely think we should have gotten that scene and not heard about it told to us via them telling it to a third character.

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-27 02:57
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Steel Kiss (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) - Jeffery Deaver

I have to say that at this point Jeffery Deaver has become super repetitive. This entire book should have just been called misdirection because that's all that was going on. There are no new insights into Sachs or Rhyme, the overall mystery was pretty much ignored for some angsty crap that I as a reader didn't find believable, and everything is wrapped up a little bit too neatly for it to even have any type of repercussion to the series.

 

Readers are also provided information on something that should have been a great moment for a long time readers who have fallen in love with Rhyme and Sachs but even that was taken away from us.

 

I don't know what Deavers deal is when it comes to actually showing romance with his main characters but he's terrible at it. I do hope the next book in the series gets back to some of the other books that I really loved that were more focused on the procedural things that I found exciting.

 

But I think once again we just have some nonsense with random things happening with jobs and people quitting and not quitting and it's just a very frustrating read.

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