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review 2018-12-10 00:48
Before the Fall
Before the Fall - Noah Hawley,Robert Petkoff

Disclaimer:  I am giving this book a "Goodreads" two stars; not an "Amazon" two stars.  This is a "this was fair" two stars.

 

Seven passengers, one bodyguard, and three airline crew members are on a private flight from Martha's Vineyard to New York City, when the airplane crashes into the ocean.  Somehow two of the people on the airplane survive:  an artist named Scott Burroughs, and JJ, the four-year-old son of David Bateman, who runs ALC News, a cable station that appears to be a thinly veiled version of Fox News.  Against the odds, Scott is able to swim about ten miles to the shore of Montauk, Long Island, with JJ on his back, rescuing both of them.

 

Scott immediately becomes part of the 24-hour news cycle, with most reporters wishing to know more about the "hero" story.  Going against the grain is one of the talking heads at Bateman's network, Bill Cunningham.  Cunningham has recently come under fire for obtaining illegal recordings of various high-profile people's phone conversations, and he is not chastened.  Cunningham goes into tinfoil hat mode, insisting that his friend David was most definitely probably murdered as part of an elaborate conspiracy, and who was this Scott guy anyway, and who cares if he saved JJ Bateman's life, even dogs can be trained to save lives.  Or maybe it's because Ben Kipling, David Bateman's friend and a fellow passenger on the flight, was about to be indicted for laundering money from "non-friendly" nations.

 

The narrative moves back and forth in time, filling in the backstories of the various people on the plane, which also include David's wife Maggie; a former preschool teacher; their nine-year-old daughter Rachel (who had been kidnapped at age two, hence the bodyguard); Ben Kipling's wife Sarah; the Israeli bodyguard, Gil Baruch; the pilot James Melody; co-pilot Charles Busch; and flight attendant Emma Lightner.

 

The plot held my interest, and I wanted to find out why the airplane went down.  But once it wrapped up, it seemed the author was rushing.  When the book ended, I said out loud, "that's IT?"  It felt as though it should have had at least one more chapter.

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review 2018-12-09 01:26
EMBRACE THE GRIM REAPER by JUDY CLEMENS
Embrace the Grim Reaper - Judy Clemens

Audiobook

I'm not sure why the main character is running because what can they actually do to her. Is it because she doesn't want to talk to them? 

I did like that she might be the hands and feet for the (view spoiler)which makes future books more interesting. I just wish she wasn't so afraid of the big confrontation that is inevitably going to happen. 

3-1/2 stars

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review 2018-12-09 01:17
CAT AMONG PIGEONS by AGATHA CHRISTIE
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

Audiobook

The story reminded me a lot of a Josephine Tey book. I wonder who wrote it first. I enjoyed it. Hugh Fraser was the narrator. He did his normal wonderful job.

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review 2018-12-08 19:08
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
Kingdom of the Blind - Louise Penny

My birthday present to me. It's so very rare for me to pay $15 for an ebook, but this is one of my very favourite of favourite authors and it was my birthday the week it came out, so...  I gave myself a gift!

Anyway...

It was like coming home.

I came to a realisation about myself and the Gamache books when I was about halfway through this one.  They are perfect for people watchers.  Perfect for people who love to watch TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother because they want to see how the people will react and what they will become in different situations.  There is a lot of people watching in these books, and speculating and looking for the 'why' of things.  I love it!

All of our friends are back in Three Pines, but this time the focus is more on the Sureté side of the family than the civilians. There are parallel storylines here - the case of the will, the murder of one of the heirs in said will, and the fallout from the previous book with the drugs Armand was forced to let slip through his hands in order to catch the bigger fish. 

I wish I was better at writing these things so that I could explain why they're so good, but suffice it to say that Armand Gamache, is a wonderfully flawed hero and the family that he makes around him is also filled with real people who are alternately flawed and heroic in their times. 

I don't know that I'm completely thrilled with the way this book ended.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the ending was perfect and filled with surprises and sadness and feel good moments, but I'm going to be really annoyed if Jean-Guy's fate is permanent!  (Although the whole theme of the student taking the place of the mentor by his actions was pretty cool.)

So, I am thinking positively that there are more Gamache tales to come and that we will be returning to Three Pines in the future.  :) 

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review 2018-12-08 16:34
Tombland
Tombland - C.J. Sansom

by C. J. Sansom

 

Book 7 of the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series.

 

Set in the rebellions of 1549 during the reign of Edward VI, two years after the death of Henry VIII. The nominal king is eleven years old and his uncle, Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Edward's regent and Protector. Catholics and Protestants are at odds and the Lady Elizabeth has a personal interest in a murder of the wife of one of her distant relatives that she sends Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer in her service, to investigate.

 

Medieval intrigue and mystery mostly keep attention through over 800 pages that cover among other things, Kett's Rebellion in the Tombland area of historic Norwich. These are real places and the history has been well researched. I did, however, think it was overly long. The books in this series contain a lot of detail of every move and I think it was asking a bit much to carry on with so much scrutiny for so long.

 

On one hand it's a good Historical Fiction, but it's also a murder mystery. I'll admit I'm not a big fan of murder mysteries in general and making me wait so long to find out who did it was torment! It is well done in the end though.

 

Those who do enjoy murder mysteries will have a great time trying to sift through the plentiful suspects and possible motives, both political and personal. The author leads us through a merry chase through all the possibilities. I did think that the final reveal was a little forced and not quite realistic, but by then I was just glad to have answers.

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