Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review - Bride of Recent Reads

Flipping Out
Marshall Karp

2009, 304 pages

Man, I wish Karp would write all of the books I read. I've read his first two novels and when I realized that Flipping Out was released, I immediately rented it from the library until I could buy my own copy. He's that much fun to read, guys. Flipping Out blends just the right amount of mystery, humor, thrills and suspense, wrapped around a plot that I'm sure some authors wish they'd thought of, but so that they could put it to use in real life! Detectives Lomax and Biggs, Karp's witty creations delve into the murders of a couple of cop's wives who were also involved in an ingenious scheme involving a murder book series and house flipping. As it becomes increasingly apparent that one of their wives may be next, they have to race against the clock to solve the mystery. Great book. A very serious contender for my favorite book of the year. The author is also a dog person, so he gets awarded extra points.


The Mansion In The Mist
John Bellairs

1992, 176 pages

My Bellairs rampage continues unabated. Anthony Monday ends up spending a fateful vacation on an island in a rustic house with a dark secret - a passage into a terrible world where the residents are planning to destroy our own! This book has one of my favorite Gorey covers, especially the back panel and I'm now obsessed with the idea of spending a vacation in a creepy old house in the middle of an otherwise abandoned island. Sadly, I'm not sure that those kinds of places really exist any more. The book was fun, though it seemed like the plot was a little rushed.


The Attorney
Steve Martini

2001, 448 pages

When lawyer Paul Madriani's rich friend approaches him to ask his help in finding his missing granddaughter, Paul thinks it will be a simple kidnapping case. When the woman suspected of orchestrating the kidnapping (By the granddaughter's own junkie mother) turns up dead and leads start getting twisty, he soon finds his hands full. Pretty decent read. I liked the idea and the main character has a lot of appeal, but for some reason I had trouble getting too into it.


Silent Prey
John Sandford

2008, 400 pages

Sandford's character Davenport (Which is a couch, according to my grandmother...) joins a Manhattan team to track down a serial killer that he had captured before. A couple of good twists, but pretty much your basic "Cop hunts serial killer" formula. I did like the addition of the vigilante police crew, killing deserving villains. It was a nice extra touch to the tale.


Dark Harbor
David Hosp

2006, 496 pages

A great find! I picked this up at a yard sale for a dime, I'd never heard of the author before, but it was a freakin' dime and I read a lot. Within a week, I'd seen the book in 4 other places. How odd. It was like it was haunting me. Dark Harbor, set in Boston, is a novel about a serial killer named Little Jack. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I thought the main characters were pretty engaging and the story had some nice surprises. I'll have to check out more by Hosp.


The Spell Of The Sorcerer's Skull
John Bellairs

1985, 176 pages

I really hadn't planned on reading two Bellairs books this update, but while visiting my friend, he showed me the copy of this book that he'd been forced to buy after his dog ate parts of it. I hadn't read The Spell Of The Sorcerers Skull in a very long time, so when he offered to loan it to me, I got suckered in. Eventually, I'll run out of his books and there will be an update without a book by Clive Cussler, Lemony Snickett or Bellairs... maybe. I do find a ton of Cussler books for very cheap at the thrift stores....

Anyway, fun book with haunted clocks, tiny skulls, snow, a priest, bushy beards and the word Phooey!


Sea Legs
Alex Shearer

2006, 320 pages

I liked this book almost instantly, but it took a me a while to really get into it, and then I kind of lost interest after certain visitors arrive for some reason.

Written from the point of view of the eldest of twins, Sea Legs is irreverent and funny. Boiled down, two brothers sneak onto their father's cruise ship to see what his job is like and spend some time on the ocean, being troublemakers. I really liked all of the characters in here, and some of Eric's comments are hilarious. Great book. Was planning to check out more by the author but I couldn't remember his name at the library.


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