Monthly Archives: January 2018

Micro

While it may not be obvious from my reviews, I’ve lately been enjoying dipping my toes into different kinds of science books (ok, maybe more enjoying the thought of it). Between nonfiction and fiction, I’ve been touching in several branches. The latest was a combination of several in Michael Crichton’s Micro.

Lured to Hawaii with the promise of jobs and secret technology, seven graduate students find themselves in the middle of intrigue and business politics, while fighting for their very lives. Armed with only their wits and the knowledge of their respective fields, the students realize just how big the world is.

Notwithstanding that my book was missing 10 pages near the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Only the first I’ve ready by Crichton, it seemed in keeping with his style, based on the Jurassic Park moves, full of action. To be honest, as I read, I kept thinking the story was going to take a different turn. Instead, it kept heading toward the logical conclusion, but I didn’t mind. Crichton, it seems, is an excellent author when you want an action-packed story that’s just a little different than the rest of the stuff on the shelves.

The Third Twin

I’m familiar with Ken Follett as a historical fiction author, but The Third Twin was my first taste of him as a thriller author.

Jeanie Ferrami has been doing research into the nature versus nurture question in regards to crime by studying twins, specifically those who were raised separately. But when a normal day on the university campus turns into a nightmare, Jeanie finds herself knee deep in conspiracy and cover-ups– Jeanie has uncovered identical twins born to two separate mothers.

Refusing to give up on uncovering the truth, and finding it difficult to know who she can trust, Jeannie must bring the secrets to light quickly, before she becomes another fatality to maintain the secret.

In the whole, the premise was excellent, and the story was engaging. The story moved quickly and Follett dropped enough hints to lead you along while reserving some secrets for the ending.

However, I confess I’m getting a little tired of thrillers being chock full of romance, or of relying on sexual crimes as the catalyst for the storyline. I suppose it makes sense, for the romance, because intense situations tend to create a strong bond of intimacy, but, many stories lately seem to be romance stories tucked into intense situations.

All in all, Follett didn’t disappoint. And I certainly wouldn’t pass up any of his other works on just this premise. So when you need a good, fast-paced story with romance as the underlying theme, try out one of Follett’s thrillers. You won’t be sorry you did.

Sometimes I Lie

The latest in psychological thrillers, Sometimes I Lie is a successful debut by Alice Feeney.

Amber Reynolds is in a coma. She remembers the days leading up to the accident that put her there, but some of the other details are hazy.

Though she’s able to hear most of what people are saying around her, Amber isn’t sure whether to believe everything in her mind or not. She knows she’s in danger, but she’s not sure who from, or why.

Slowly, all the pieces fall into place, and everything that seemed random makes sense. Everything you think you know is shaken up, because sometimes, Amber Reynolds lies.

When I started this book, I was afraid it was going to be another thriller story about a mentally ill woman, along the lines for Girl on the Train or The Woman in Cabin 10. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both of those books, but all the misleading came down to the illnesses the women were fighting. In Sometimes I Lie, though Amber does have some illnesses she struggles with, we actually get to see the root causes, and see how it led her to where she is now. And in the end, it was a lot more misleading than the others I’ve read.

Sometimes I Lie plays a lot on assumptions. The story leads you along, but when the truth is revealed, you realize there was really no evidence for your assumptions.

The last few chapters will stop you in your tracks. And the very last pages will keep you mind engaged, even after you put the book down.

So when you need a psychological thriller fix, and you’re looking for something different, check out Sometimes I Lie, coming in March.

A fresh beginning

So, obviously December didn’t really go as planned, as far as writing was concerned.

Work got in the way, and I was tired and desperate to watch as many Christmas movies as I could. January has been off to a slow start too. I hardly feel like I know what I’ve done with the last week, and get it’s gone, just the same.

But a slow start is better than nothing, and I will be intentional about returning to my editing, wrapping up the project I’ve been working on most of 2017 and choosing one of my other projects to return to.

While I’ve enjoyed a break to carelessly watch tv and soak in reading, I’m excited, too, to return to the creative process.

In the book review department, I’m hoping to meet at least the goal I met in 2017. My goal was to read 52 book, one per week. I think I had review blogs posted every week, but after counting, I know I read at least 55 books, because that’s how many I reviewed. Not bad, I’d say. (Some of the reviews won’t be posted on my blog until later in January, though.)

So, here’s to a new year full of creative opportunities. Join me in creating this year, and tell me what your project is going to be.

The Room on Rue Amelie

I’ve always enjoyed World War II fiction, so when I read the synopsis of Kristin Harmel’s Room on Rue Amelie, it caught my attention right away.

It follows American Ruby Benoit as she follows her husband to Paris. But soon after, war comes and the Nazis invade and take over.

Ruby befriends her young neighbor girl, Charlotte, who is Jewish, and when the police begin rounding up Jewish families, their lives become inextricably linked.

Finally, RAF pilot Thomas Clarke enters the picture when he is shot down over France. In saving his life, Ruby and Charlotte are drawn down a dangerous, but purposeful new path.

While it was an enjoyable story of family, friendship and love, this book read more like a Hallmark story than I had expected, or wanted. With the potential to be a moving drama, I feel like it fell a little flat, written very simply and without the depth of character I look for in this kind of book.

The ending, however, was very different thank I would have expected.

While I wouldn’t recommend it as historical fiction, for those looking for an easy read or a romance story, this would certainly fit the bill.

Keep an eye out for it when it hits the shelves in March.