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    $18.95 $17.99
    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel
    $15.99 $10.90 list($27.95)
    2. 4th of July
    $13.57 list($19.95)
    3. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
    $17.79 $13.99 list($26.95)
    4. Rage (Alex Delaware)
    $17.13 $13.74 list($25.95)
    5. The Hot Kid : A Novel
    $31.01 $25.99 list($46.98)
    6. The Closers (Harry Bosch (Audio))
    $17.79 $11.99 list($26.95)
    7. Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
    8. Eleven on Top
    $16.32 $15.12 list($24.00)
    9. Bangkok Tattoo
    $16.47 list($24.95)
    10. The Forgotten Man : A Novel (Crais,
    $23.10 $17.50 list($35.00)
    11. Angels & Demons : Special
    $16.29 $15.75 list($23.95)
    12. A Gladiator Dies Only Once : The
    $17.13 $17.08 list($25.95)
    13. The Twelfth Card : ALincoln Rhyme
    $17.79 list($26.95)
    14. With No One As Witness (Thomas
    $16.47 $15.25 list($24.95)
    15. Watch Your Back! (Dortmunder Novels
    $16.47 $15.18 list($24.95)
    16. The Third Secret : A Novel of
    $8.96 $3.95 list($11.95)
    17. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
    $16.97 list($24.95)
    18. Cold Service: A Spenser Novel
    $16.29 list($23.95)
    19. A Slight Trick of the Mind
    $16.47 $14.98 list($24.95)
    20. The Torment of Others : A Novel

    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
    by Anthony Cancelliere
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0595346782
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 3968
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Following takes place 9am

    June 9th 2002

    Events Are Read In Real Time.

    Detective Jim Clark is a cop on the edge and still nursing the loss of his wife and daughter three years ago. Detective Clark has been deep undercover for the past three months working a Snuff Film case. Jim gets a phone call that his best friend and partner Detective Peter Brown is the suspect of killing his wife late last night. Suddenly Clark is tossed into a frantic search to clear his partners name before Internal Affairs can formally charge Peter with murder.

    When Detective Clark uncovers the truth, about what happened to Detective Brown’s wife the truth it is more horrifying then Detective Clark could have ever thought possible. The deeper the truth goes the more shocking it becomes. Shaking New York City to the bone with one of the most horrible crimes ever committed.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing book
    This book is filled with plot twists and curve balls out of no where. The story takes you on a roller coaster of events that tie into one great ending. Detective Clark is one of the great cops of our time and really makes you care about him and how he is going to save his partner. A few spelling errors and what not, but I didn't even notice since the story, and the action is just so great.
    Anthony Cancelliere is such a great story teller that he is able to take horror and thriller and action mix it with drama and heart break all into once story. He is able to take all these great aspects that I love so much and mix it into one really good story. When the story takes off it really takes off and me as the reader had to buckle my seat belt and really hang on for the ride of my life.
    The side plots are so good and the undertones of friendship and love really make this novel good. The book is about how this detective is going to save his best friend, while dealing with his demons. One part of the novel the main detective is walking back and forth talking to himself trying to talk his way to having a drink. It is really a good look at how booze and drugs really can ruin your life. The messages that the author puts in this novel really make it so much more then just a cop and robber novel.
    What makes this novel really amazing is that it all happens with in 24 hours. By the time the novel is over it feels like the story took place over weeks or months. This book really shows the dark side of the police force and the dark side of what the political world is like. But it also shows what good cops are willing to do to make sure that justice is served.
    This book is really worth the price I paid and if the editor did his job a little better it might be a simply out of this world novel. This book is just really a rare book that is able to mix so many different tones into one 24 plot line. I have so rarely read a book that can do so many things and yet has a solid plot line and works really good. For my money nothing beats this young voice of a talent that is going to making waves in the world of thrillers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hear stopping terror and blood rushing action
    This book is a great novel from a first time author although the book could have used some grammer work. Aside from the editing problems this book was great and it did not appear slow to me. Jim Clark is undercover as Jim Ryder and is trying to uncover a killer making Snuff Films. His partner is a suspect in the murder of his partner's wife. When Jim is called back into duty he is tossed into a whirlwind of action and terror to find the killer. As Detective Clark starts to go down a dark road he finds that the real killer is much worse then he could have ever dreamed. The book really gave a sense of dread as well as taking me on a one hell of a thrill ride.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A little too reel for me
    The book starts out after events that had already changed Detective Clark leaving him a troubled man. He is a former drunk and battling the loss of his wife and little girl. You get the sense right away he is a good man who just needs to keep his head on straight. His partner is charged with murdering his own wife the night before. So Jim is undercover and comes out of it to help find the killer of his parnter's wife.

    While the book is not perfect no one is saying that it is but I found it did not keep me from enjoying it. The story keeps moving quickly kept me guessing as to what was coming next. There were times I was shocked when someone was killed off. If this book had a better editor it would have been simply amazing. Here is a small bi of everyone in the book.

    Detective Jim Clark: A cop on the edge still dealing with the loss of his wife and a drinking problem. We know that Jim can do his job from mentioning cases he had worked in the past. We also know that Jim is a good cop when everyone thinks he should be brought out from under cover.

    Detective Peter Brown: A former football player turned detective is still pretty much a rookie. We know that he is a good man and that he and Jim are like brothers.

    Captain Tyler Anderson: The head of the entire sector Captain Anderson has his own problems. The stress of having a new baby might be getting to him as well as his own drinking problem.

    Captain Patrick McCabe: An evil IAB Captain who is turning the precinct upside down and inside out. Once McCabe gets his gook into the 24th he is going to bring everyone down.

    Detective Allen Hill: A rookie night watch cop called into duty when an office goes down. A good cop who is still just learning the ropes of the police force.

    Charlton Prescott: City Councilman and running for Mayor in New York. Is mixed up in what could be one of the biggest scandals in New York City. Is an old school man and a former detective from the NYPD.

    Halo: One of the most evil and sadistic killers I have ever read in my entire life. This man kills so coldy with no emotion of regard for human life. The torture he brings others is nothing short of evil and I wonder how the author could ever think up this stuff.

    In short the book is good despit the few pimples it has here and there. The story was good and I enhjoyed reading this book very much. The author talks about the evils of drinking and how it could ruin a person as well as how to be true to a friend. Like I said if you need a pure polished novel then this is not for you. If you like to sit back and enjoy the thrill ride then buckle up. This book will take you and drag you along twenty four great hours of action and suspense.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best
    Although a good first novel, I found this book to be slow and difficult to read due to the absence of an editor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You have to ask.........
    What in the world this author was on when he wrote this novel. Granted there were a few spelling mistakes this was a great book. As far as thrillers go this was a fast paced novel that kept me guessing what was going to happen next. I loved how there were all these different things happening all at the same time. Also the real time aspect was really cool giving a new meaning to tension. I thought as far as making twenty fours fit into one novel this author really did a good job and makes "Time" one of the villians. This was an orignal novel that stood on the line of horror and action. ... Read more

    2. 4th of July
    by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316710601
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    After losing one of its own, Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club make a courageous return for their fourth and most chilling case ever--one that could easily be their last. A young girl is killed in crossfire after a routine arrest goes terribly wrong, and Lt. Lindsay Boxer has to defend herself against a charge of police brutality. In a landmark trial that transfixes the nation, Lindsay fights to save her career and her sanity.While awaiting trial, Lindsay escapes to the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, but the peaceful community there is reeling from a string of unspeakable murders. Working with her friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay finds a link between these killings and a case she worked on years before--an unsolved murder that has haunted her ever since. As summer comes into full swing, Lindsay battles for her life on two fronts: before a judge and jury as her trial comes to a climax, and facing unknown adversaries who will do anything to keep her from the truth about the killings--including killing again. It all comes to a head before the big annual 4th of July celebration on the waterfront at Half Moon Bay.Patterson fine-tunes the tension like never before in this heart-racing new novel in the bestselling detective series to debut in years. ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read the first page!!!!
    Fourth of July is a great read, and I think it's the BEST of the series so far.Alex Cross, watch out.Lindsay Boxer is on your tail.

    The writing in Fourth of July is crisp and powerful. Don't take my word for it, just read the first page!If you love James Patterson books, this one really delivers the rush we've come to expect.Short, action-packed chapters, and it's over too soon.

    This story focuses on Lindsay, but that's okay.Time to get to know this great cop a littlebetter.The opening chapters are riveting.The death of a sad-sack kid leads to a traffic stop where Lindsay and Jacobi are gunned down - and the action never stops.

    The other girls in the Women's Murder Club are largely absent here, and I admit to missing them, but I loved getting a deeper involvement with Lindsay - plus a new member of the Women's Murder Club is a promising addition.

    To those reviewers who don't like James Patterson books, I don't understand why you people bother to review him.For the rest of us, The Fourth of July is an exciting and very satisfying book.The master of the genre is still on top of his form.And I'm looking forward to reading number Five.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lindsay's story
    Having read the 3 previous novels of this series, I have to say I was disappointed with the 4th.I forgot about Claire and Cindy and when they would resurface along the storyline, I was like "oh yeah, you're part of the story too".It was just about Lindsay, her trial, and trying to solve a 10 year old crime.It was a true JP book:short chapters, twists and turns in the plot, with an unexpected killer in the end.I would definitely recommend it, especially if you've read the previous novels and are planning to continue reading the series.I see some "paths" that could be explored in future novels.

    1-0 out of 5 stars not worth buying
    I read the first three books and this book fell flat.It was so boring I skipped many parts just to finally get to the end.I read the advanced copy and told many of my customers not to buy this book.I recommended The Innocent by Harlan Coben

    3-0 out of 5 stars Gory and Sadistic....Why do I love it?
    As the previous reviewer mentioned Patterson is a love him or hate him type of author.I fall in the latter category.I find most his books to be by an almost nonsensical level of violence and other less specific types of mayhem.I keep reading them because in spite of the lack of character development in his books he is just one of those authors who's work is hopelessly addictive.

    Overall-I have to grudgingly admit that this book is better then Big Bad Wolf.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I can't help it, I like this stuff
    As with all of Patterson's works, 4TH OF JULY is on the same level as ROSES ARE RED and KISS THE GIRLS----all equally good books, especially for the beach. In JULY, Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is called away from a get-together with her friends Claire and Cindy to follow-up on a crime-scene investigation. Lindsay and her partner Warren Jacobi trail a stolen black Mercedes, seen at two other crime scenes. The plot careens from there in logical but suspenseful twists and turns. The chapters are only a few pages each, so the action shifts all over the place. The one unrealistic aspect of this book that I did not care for was the trial. She had this trial hanging over her head the whole book and yet she never really seemed to worry about it, at least not in the way that most normal people would.All-in-all I found this to be an excellent beach read, the way McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER is or perhaps another fun book, A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING.But a word of warning:You'll either love Patterson or you won't.At any rate, JULY is a great place to start----especially this summer. ... Read more

    3. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies : The New Novel in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375422714
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
    Publisher: Pantheon
    Sales Rank: 17945
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    4. Rage (Alex Delaware)
    by Jonathan Kellerman
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 034546706X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 30
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars his best in a while
    I look forward to all the alex delaware books, but some are better than others, and this one is very good. Other reviewers have described the plot; I will just say that it was pleasurably twisty.About a third of the way through the book I thought the solution was obvious, and I was disappointed, but I was wrong!
    A minor flaw is that the book ended too abruptly.It needed a little more of a wind-down.
    There is a hint toward the end of the book that Alex and Allison may be heading for a split and Robin may reappear...Mr Kellerman, if you read these reviews, DON'T DO IT.While one criticism I would level at all of the Alex D. books is that the two female love interests do not have very well-developed characters, as far as they go, Allison is preferable.Robin is kind on whiney.

    5-0 out of 5 stars terrific Dr. Delaware thriller
    In Los Angeles, the call surprises Dr. Alex Delaware because he had no idea that Rand Duchay was God forbid free; a frantic Rand pleads with Alex to see him immediately.Alex agrees thinking back eight years when then thirteen years old Randolph and his friend almost fourteen years old Troy Turner abduct and killed twenty-five months old Kristal Malley.Alex was the psychologist who dealt with the teen murders.Not long afterward someone at the Chino CYA camp for juvenile defenders killed Troy.

    Alex arrives at the meeting place, but Duchay fails to show up.Surprised, Alex, who is to meet his beloved in New York tomorrow, informs Police Lieutenant Milo Sturges about what happened.The cop mentions a murder victim who turns out to be Rand.Is this a revenge killing perhaps the baby's father whose rage was obvious when the state cut a deal with the defense, an idle act, or someone insuring the truth of the infanticide never surfaces?

    RAGE is a terrific Dr. Delaware thriller that grips the audience when Alex recalls (in a flashback) the heinous crime and the reactions of the two teens who committed the murder.Alex is super in this novel especially his asides such as fearing Rand will find another dominant personality to coax him along for a deadly ride.The who-done-it is well designed so that readers know that everyone involved just about believe Duchay deserved death including to a degree Milo and Alex, but they overcome their personal disgust while seeking the killer.Fans of the series will be elated with Jonathan Kellerman's latest tale.

    Harriet Klausner
    ... Read more

    5. The Hot Kid : A Novel
    by Elmore Leonard
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060724226
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 118
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humor and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who's attempting to shake him down, says all there is to say about both men:

    "I don’t know what's wrong with you. You're a nice-looking boy, wear a clean shirt every day, keep your hair combed ... where'd you get your ugly disposition? Your mama blames me for not being around, so then I give you things .. you get in trouble, I get you out. Well, now you've moved on to extortion in your life of crime ... I pay you what you want or you're telling everybody I have a girlfriend?"

    Jack Belmont's blackmail scheme doesn't work, but after destroying his father's property, forging checks in his name, kidnapping his mistress, and joining a gang of notorious bank robbers after his release from prison, he encounters another man trying to get out from under his father's large shadow and create his own, bigger one.Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, who at age 15 shot a man trying to steal his cows and six years later dispenses equal justice to Emmet Long, the leader of Belmont's gang, now has Jack Belmont in his sights. Webster's exploits have earned him even more celebrity than Jack, who dreams of rivaling Pretty Boy Floyd as public enemy number one.

    We’re in the early 30's here, just as a dust cloud is rolling across the Oklahoma plains--the days of Bonnie and Clyde, when gangsters captured the public attention, and Leonard makes good use of place and time. His minor characters are much more interesting than his protagonists, especially the women, and the writing shows occasional flashes of his trademarked ironic humor. But it's not as cool--or as hot--as even his most dedicated readers are used to, and there's barely a trace of the bizarre plot twists and unlikely coincidences that define his most recent caper novels in this one. --Jane Adams ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars
    Elmore Leonard has written many a novel in a variety of settings. This one came as somewhat a surprise. 1930's of Oklahoma. Prohibition, gangsters, bank-robbers. What Leonard has done is write a novel that will bring you back and relive life in this era. An entertaining novel that you'll likely read through in a day or two. Great characters and a good plot that will please most Elmore Leonard fans.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Hot book
    My first Leonard book was GET SHORTY.Most people know the movie, but you really have to READ Mr. Leonard to get his style (very Hemingwayesque) with its short sentences and pared-down style. As usual, an excellent cast of characters is at hand, and Mr. Leonard's great handling of situations and plot devices is matter-of-fact and right on. If you enjoyed the writings of Jackson McCrae, think his BARK OF THE DOGWOOD or possibly some of Hiassen's works such as SKINNY DIP, then this one will work for you.I know it did for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling story of crime and punishment
    Carlos (Carl) Webster sees his first murder at fifteen. A year later, he kills his first man--a cattle rustler trying to steal his herd. When he turns eighteen, he joins the marshall's service. Carl gains a reputation as a man who keeps his cool, but who shoots to kill. Jack Belmont is just a bad guy. When he was a kid, he let his sister nearly drown. Later, he tried to blackmail his father, kidnapped his father's girlfriend, and blew up one of his father's oil storage tanks. Louly Brown had a crush on Pretty Boy Floyd, but he never paid much attention to her. Her brief career as a gun moll doesn't last long when the police, led by Carl Webster, track down the man she's running with.

    Set in prohibition America and the depression, THE HOT KID explores a period of American history when Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and Pretty Boy Floyd were active, when gangsters were romantic, and when mobs ruled cities. Author Elmore Leonard spins a deceptively involving story about men who don't say much, who live larger than life, and who keep their cool.

    In Leonard's stories, no one is completely good and conventional morality is badly bent. While no one is good, there are those who are completely bad. It is a compelling and disturbing world. Leonard ups the emotional intensity as Jack increasingly disorganizes in his attempt to carve out a place for himself in a world where criminals glory in becoming America's Most Wanted.

    Warning: THE HOT KID is hard to put down. I sat down to read it and pretty much didn't do anything else all day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not a western, masterful crime fiction
    I'm not into westerns so I was a little worried when I heard Mr. Leonard's new novel was set in Oklahoma, especially when I knew that Mr. Leonard starting in the writing biz writting hack westerns.Have no fear, this is a crime novel just set in 1930's Oklahoma -- think "Oh Brother where art thou" mixed with "Mixed with Get Shorty"well, not exactly but lets just say the book still has a certain hipness even though it is set 70 years ago.Mr Leonards trademark is his ability to develop real characters that jump from the page, and this is the case in the HOT KID.Both ends, and the middle, of the good/evil spectrum are explored here against the rough and tumble times of depression era Oklahoma.This and a "Tourist in the Yucatan" have been been my favorite thriller reads of 2005!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful tale told by The Master
    I have come to the conclusion that there is no reliable measure by which the magnitude of Elmore Leonard's ability can be gauged. He was at one point referred to, with some accuracy, as America's most popular unknown author. He is no longer unknown; he has, in fact, created his own subgenre of sorts, inhabited by tough guys, clever guys, and tender and tougher women. One can never predict what is going to happen in an Elmore Leonard novel, or even what he will pick as subject matter from one work to the next. At a point when an author of his stature, of his talent, could phone in a reliably entertaining work, Leonard continues to test, and stretch, the boundaries that he previously marked off.

    So now Leonard favors us with THE HOT KID, a work set in the Oklahoma of the 1930s. It is Leonard's most ambitious, and arguably best, work to date, rich in dialogue, characters, and subtle contrasts. Leonard focuses primarily on Carl Webster and Jack Belmont, two men of not-dissimilar backgrounds with divergent career paths. Webster's father is a career Oklahoma pecan farmer who became wealthy quite by accident when oil was discovered on his land. Belmont's father deliberately sought oil and found it, becoming a millionaire by arduous and dangerous trial and error.

    Both men seem to have their respective courses set in their teen years --- Webster's through a chance encounter with an outlaw, Belmont's through a family tragedy that he precipitates out of misfeasance at best and malfeasance at worst. They each fashion a rebellion of sorts against their fathers. Webster rejects his father's gentle entreaties to continue the family pecan farm business by becoming a U.S. Marshal. He quickly grows famous for his killing of a notorious bank robber, as well as his code of honor. Belmont, for his part, also rejects his father but in a more heinous manner. He blows up one of his father's oil derricks, then by turns attempting to blackmail him and kidnapping his paramour, before embarking on a bankrobbing spree throughout Oklahoma and Kansas.

    It isn't long before Webster is on Belmont's trail. Belmont, however, wants to be Public Enemy Number One, and the quickest way for him to acquire that title is to hunt Webster.

    Part of Leonard's appeal always has been his ability to breathe characters upon the printed page, and he never has done so more sharply than on the pages of THE HOT KID, etching good and evil in bas relief and highlighting where the boundaries meet and blur. Leonard also subtly paints the rise and fall of fortunes in Oklahoma --- a trajectory that played itself out over the course of a decade --- against the backdrop of a tale of easy money, easier women, and rough justice. This is a masterful tale, told by The Master.

    --- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
    ... Read more

    6. The Closers (Harry Bosch (Audio))
    by Michael Connelly
    list price: $46.98
    our price: $31.01
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594830207
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books
    Sales Rank: 3415
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The death of a teenage girl almost two decades ago comes back to haunt all of L.A. - and detective Harry Bosch in this spellbinding new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

    In Los Angeles in 1998, a 16 year old girl who had disappeared from her home was later found dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest.The death appeared at first to be a suicide, and although detectives on the case found clues that pointed toward murder, no one was ever charged.Detective Larry Bosch, newly returned to the LAPD with the job of closing unsolved cases, gets the report of a new DNA match that makes the case very much alive again.A white supremacist with close ties to the LAPD becomes a suspect but Bosch and his partner, Kizmin Rider, can't take a step without threatening higher ups in the department.

    And the case turns out to be anything but cold.Everywhere he probes, Bosch finds hot grief, hot rage, and a bottomless well of treachery and danger.Enemies inside the department make Bosch wonder if he's been allowed to rejoin the LAPD only because they needed a fresh victim. ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the last
    A return to form is welcome. Bosch is back on the job. The bad guy is not much of a poker player. One hopes this continues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In a word, spectacular!
    Harry Bosch has become one of crime fiction's most fleshed-out characters...and he keeps improving with each novel Michael Connelly writes. Mr. Connelly is a modern master.

    Harry has returned to the LAPD, repartnered with Kiz Rider in the recently created Open Unsolved Unit. He remains a relentless, smart, hard working, compassionate, fundamentally decent detective. He is a complicated character---still seeking justice.

    Harry and Kiz draw a case from 1988...the murder of an eighteen year biracial girl. DNA is available from the murder weapon...and they get an immediate match.

    They both feel there are enough inconsistencies in the match's history to question whether he is the perp.

    As they work the case they uncover the crime's heartbreaking effects for the victim's family. These unsolved mysteries can haunt a department...often defining the police force that cannot resolve them.

    Even with the tools unavailable in 1988, it still takes dogged legwork, cop's instinct and long grinding hours to decipher the case. This is where Michael Connelly excels...the calculated progress of Police Procedure 101.

    The suspense is constant; surprises appear at every turn, the entire cast vibrant in this taut crime thriller. "The Closers" is well executed and well envisioned.

    The plot builds in a deceptive manner...accelerating geometrically as the novel progresses. It ignites in a hushed manner...propelling you to the resolution.

    Mr. Connelly is most adept at setting the hook in a most subtle manner...he hides the clues in plain sight as well as any writer. He makes discovering the solution completely satisfying.

    It is easy to immerse oneself in "The Closers."

    3-0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
    I've been a Connelly fan for a long time. In this book, Connelly has jumped on the bandwagon that's typified by such TV fare as "Cold Case" on CBS and "Cold Case Files" on A&E.

    As a straight procedural, this novel works fine. But in my opinion it's missing the essential elements that distinguished the Bosch series in the past, the complexity of character and noir LA that Connelly so ably presented as such a rich tapestry. In this work, the issues that have driven Harry previously are only at best alluded to - his troubled youth and relationship with his young daughter, among others. As a matter of fact, I found the most moving part of the book to be a one or two paragraph passage relating a phone conversation he had with his little daughter. The victim in the piece is simply a cipher with no persona, a plot device to further the story. I had no feel for her as a person. Even the resolution of the long-running conflict with his nemesis Irving Irving is accomplished in a basically throw-away fashion, and was clever but unsatisfying.

    This is the least fulfilling Bosch novel I've read in a long time - maybe ever, I'll have to think about that. I certainly miss the complexity of Harry's character that we've grown used to; in this work he suffers none of his usual doubts or ambivalence (the traits that make him such a riveting character). However, as a straight procedural it earns three stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book!
    I love Connelly's books and this is another great one.Unlike a previous reviewer, I found it a very smooth read.He captures the feeling of LA and the Valley very well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but.........
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with the starred reviews.Mr. Connelly's plot and characters are very interesting, but has anyone actually read his dialogue out loud?People simply do not talk this way--and real people use contractions!!I became so annoyed with the stilted conversations that I simply could not finish the book, and I was 2/3 of the way through it.Not nearly up to the standards of his earlier works. ... Read more

    7. Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
    by JohnSandford
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399152725
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Putnam Adult
    Sales Rank: 27
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Lucas Davenport confronts a living nightmare, in one of the scariest Prey novels yet from the number-one bestselling author.

    The "Big Three" are a trio of inmates locked up in the Minnesota Security Hospital over the years, each a particularly vicious serial killer, each with his own distinct style and propensities. Everybody feels much safer knowing that they're behind bars. Except . . . there's a new killer on the loose. And his handiwork bears a disturbing resemblance to some of the finer points practiced by the Big Three, details that never even made the papers.

    Davenport and his team quickly home in on a possible suspect, a man named Charlie Pope, who was released from the same hospital prison a few weeks earlier, and who now seems to have cut himself free from his court-imposed ankle bracelet and disappeared. But is he really the one? And why do the Big Three look so agitated?

    Brilliantly suspenseful, consistently surprising-once again, Sandford has outdone himself.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Lucas Davenport Winner!
    Lucas Davenport is once again on the trail of another vicious and twisted serial killer.And John Sandford once again makes it a fascinating tale, despite his usual serial killer formula.The story is full of red herrings, misdirection, and an over-the-top amount of blood and gore.Nevertheless, I couldn't put it down until the last page.Fortunately, Lucas' wife and kids are out of the country, leaving Lucas free to risk his life once again.The Davenport series suffers when Lucas is too domesticated!Bonus:Lucas' list of the top 100 rock songs of all time; and a very complete list it is!
    Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best of Prey
    I enjoyed this novel very much. It was suspenseful and exciting. it was everything that the last novel wasn't. just when you thought you knew who the killer a rug was pull under you. I highly recommended this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Clever intricate plot &suspense, but tons of violence & gore
    We just finished racing through Sandford's latest Lucas Davenport novel, "Broken Prey", 17th in the "Prey" series.As in most, there is a horrible serial killer on the loose; Davenport tears himself away from the increasingly political duties he has in his newest position; and he and sidekick Sloan really are engaged throughout the whole battle to find the perp.The plot is so complicated it is not easily summarized.The story involves the hunt for someone with connections to the St. Johns' institution for the criminally insane; and first one perp then another is the sure suspect.Finally it becomes clear a sick but clever brain lies behind the masterminding of the crimes and their cover-ups and red herrings.

    As with all these tales, Sandford writes compelling stories that keep the pages flying - suspense is taut throughout, and a couple of major mis-directions provided unusual interest and entertainment.However, it seemed that the language and graphic violence, gobs of it, in this book were really over the top - which in the final analysis was a distraction for us.We feel obliged to warn potential readers of the extreme blood and guts all over this work.Nonetheless, we have no doubt from some of the early returns that Broken Prey will be another Sandford hit, best seller, and popular entry in this long running set.We did enjoy immensely the intricate plot, but wish we could have escaped much of the gore.

    2-0 out of 5 stars No Mystery
    For anyone who has read the Prey series, you will know who the killer is long before he is "revealed." A bit formulaic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Davenport does it again !
    In this thriller,Davenport&comp. are hunting an especially vicious prey-a serial killer of monstrous brutality-and a sick but perfectly smart mind.
    As soon as you jump on their wagon,you will be taken for a ride you'll not soon forget-literally scratching the pages as you hope and pray with the team that they shall be in time,save the victim,get the killer....
    If there were 10 points for suspense,this would be the book. ... Read more

    8. Eleven on Top
    by Janet Evanovich
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $26.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312306261
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-21)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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    9. Bangkok Tattoo
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400040450
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 515
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    Killing customers just isn’t good for business.”

    My mother Nong’s tone reflects the disappointment we all feel when a star employee starts to go wrong. Is there nothing to be done? Will we have to let dear Chanya go? The question can only be decided by Police Colonel Vikorn, who owns most of the shares inthe Old Man’s Club and who is on his way in his Bentley.

    “No,” I agree. Like my mother’s, my eyes cannot stop flicking across the empty bar to the stool where Chanya’s flimsy silver dress (just enough silk to cover nipples and butt) drapes and drips. Well, the dripping was slight and is more or less finished (a rusty stain on the floor turning black as it dries), but in more than a decade as a detective inthe Royal Thai Police, I have never seen a garment so blood-soaked. Chanya’s bra, also hideously splattered, lies halfway up the stairs, and her panties—her only other garment—lie abandoned on the floor outside the upstairs room where, eccentrically even for a Thai whore, she has taken refuge with an opium pipe.

    “She didn’t say anything at all? Like why?”

    “No, I told you. She dashed in through the door in a bit of a state holding an opium pipe, glared at me, said, ‘I’ve done him in,’ rippedoff her dress, and disappeared upstairs. Fortunately, there were only a couple of farang in the bar at the time, and the girls were fantastic. They merely said, ‘Oh, Chanya, she goes like that sometimes,’ and gently ushered them out. I had to play the whole thing down, of course, and by the time I got to her room, she was already stoned.”

    “What did she say again?”

    “She was tripping on the opium, totally delirious. When she started talking to the Buddha, I left to call you and the Colonel. At that stage I didn’t know if she’d really done him in or was freaking out on yaa baa or something.”

    But she’d snuffed him all right. I walked to the farang’s hotel, which is just a couple of streets away from Soi Cowboy, and flashed my police ID to get the key to his room. There he was, a big muscular naked American farang in his early thirties, minus a penis and a lot of blood from a huge knife wound that began in his lower gut and finished just short of his rib cage. Chanya, a basically decent and very tidy Thai, had placed his penis on the bedside table. At the other end of the table, a single rose stood in a plastic mug of water.

    There was nothing for it but to secure the room for the purposes of forensic investigation, leave a hefty bribe for the hotel receptionist—who is now more or less obliged to say whatever I tell him to say (standard procedure under my Colonel Vikorn in District 8)—and await further orders. Vikorn, of course, was in one of his clubs carousing, probably surrounded by naked young women who adored him, or knew how to look as if they did, and in no mood to be dragged to the scene of a crime until I penetrated his drunken skull enough to explain that the business at hand was not an investigation per se but the infinitely more challenging forensic task so lightly spoken of as a “cover-up.” Even then he showed no inclination to shift himself until he realized it was Chanya (the perp, not the victim).

    “Where the hell did she get the opium?” my mother wants to know. “There hasn’t been opium in Krung Thep since I was a teenager.”

    I know from her eyes that she is thinking fondly of the Vietnam War, when she was herself a working girl in Bangkok and a lot of the GIs brought small balls of opium from the war zone (one of them being my almost-anonymous father, of whom more later). An opiated man is more or less impotent—which reduces much of the wear and tear on a professional’s assets—and not inclined to argue about fee str
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Are you up for this, farang?
    "Cynical" seems a wan description of the world of Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Many readers will have a hard time with Sonchai, who advocates prostitution as a worthwhile way for poor Thai girls to get rich quick, and who doesn't bother to conceal his utter contempt for post-911 America and Americans. If you hold your Western morality dearly, better skip this one.

    On the other hand, if you're up for a stylish, sexy, rollicking good read with oodles and oodles of plot, dripping with exotica of every description, then welcome to Sonchai's world. Sonchai's mom, an ex-hooker turned clubowner, and the ever-inventive Colonel Vikorn (with his limo blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" through its sound system at all times) are characters who will make you laugh out loud--that is, when you're not squirming over the moral dilemmas they pose (and then leap past, with the greatest of ease). You may think you've read it all on the moral ambiguity front, but Burdett takes all those wised-up detective stories and raises the stakes to another level entirely. When you find yourself rooting for a young male cop to be successful in his sex-change operation, you'll know Burdett has gotten into your head. It's a great ride! Enjoy!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Bite Me Farong !!
    Don't waste your time, the author uses the word Farong about every other sentence. I think it is supposed to be funny. There is little here to capture the readers interest. Unless you like being called or referred to as a Farong, save your money. There is a somewhat interesting description of Bangkok and it's seamier side, in fact I think that is the only side of Bangkok you will read about in this book.There is supposed to be a mystery here somewhere, but I didn't think it was worth my time to keep looking for it. Finally after about half way through I gave up. I was luckily able to sell my copy on Amazon at a small loss.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully twisted!
    Picked Bangkok 8 and Tattoo up before a recent three day weekend getaway and am I glad I did!What great Irony, cynicism, mystery, all wrapped up in the twisted world of Bangkok's District 8.This book is the sequel to Bangkok 8 so read that first.

    Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is investigating the murder of a CIA operative found guttedand mutilated. the number one suspect is a hot little number Chanya who works the local saloon--and Sanchai thinks he is in love love Chanya, or is it lust?The murder of course turns out to be more complicated then it first appears.Sanchi must deal with the rages of his hard nose police captain Vikorn, as he trys to unravel the case, with Chanya slowly giving out her secrets.Mix in CIA agents, Thia army generals, Thai gangsters, Muslim terrorests, all against the funky world of district 8 in Bagkok and you have a wonderful stew of a story!

    What I really enjoyed about this Burdetts writting were his characterazation, you can tell he knows Bangkok and its people, at leaste the seamy side of Bangkok.The Dialog is bitting and witty, and the author adds his own great commentary.For a good thriller read in an exotic Local you can't go wrong here or with "Bangkok 8."I also higly recommend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for another cool thriller in an exotic location.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A slice of Thai life in an ironic and cynical thriller!
    Picked Bangkok 8 and Tattoo up before a recent three day weekend getaway and am I glad I did!What great Irony, cynicism, mystery, all wrapped up in the twisted world of Bangkok's District 8.This book is the sequel to Bangkok 8 so read that first.

    Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is investigating the murder of a CIA operative found guttedand mutilated. the number one suspect is a hot little number Chanya who works the local saloon--and Sanchai thinks he is in love love Chanya, or is it lust?The murder of course turns out to be more complicated then it first appears.Sanchi must deal with the rages of his hard nose police captain Vikorn, as he trys to unravel the case, with Chanya slowly giving out her secrets.Mix in CIA agents, Thia army generals, Thai gangsters, Muslim terrorests, all against the funky world of district 8 in Bagkok and you have a wonderful stew of a story!

    What I really enjoyed about this Burdetts writting were his characterazation, you can tell he knows Bangkok and its people, at leaste the seamy side of Bangkok.The Dialog is bitting and witty, and the author adds his own great commentary.For a good thriller read in an exotic Local you can't go wrong here or with "Bangkok 8."I also higly recommend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for another cool thriller in an exotic location.

    5-0 out of 5 stars terrificThai police procedural
    In Bangkok, Nong, part owner of the Old Man's Club, calls her son Royal Thai police detective Chai Jipleecheep and her partner, Chai's superior Colonel Vikorn to inform them that one of their ladies, Chanya killed a visiting American.While Nong thinks killing customers is bad for business, Vikorn informs Chai that the homicide was an act of self defense without visiting the crime scene or interviewing the woman who has confessed.Chai persuades his boss to come to the hotel room where the murder occurred.The victim not only had his penis removed, but possessed an interesting Visa that allowed multiple reentries over the next two years.In other words Mitch Turner was from the CIA.

    Vikorn knows self defense or homicide means the CIA, the FBI, and the Thai government will be all over them from head to toes.Instead Vikorn, needing to protect his investment decides to throw the blame on Al Qaeda, which will make the Americans happy.While Vikorn tries to con the Yanks and his superiors, Chai conducts inquiries into the homicide because he has problems accepting that even an opium dazed Chanya would commit mutilation.

    This Thai police procedural is a wonderful tale starring an interesting detective trying to remain honest when surrounded by corrupt individuals including his mother.The secondary cast provides insight into the society as well as set an amoral tone to the tale that only seemingly Chai counters.The official inquiries are cleverly designed to occur below the radar screen of the Americans seeking the Al Qaeda connection.Fans of exotic locale who-done-its will enjoy this fine tale and seek Chai's previous solid investigative tale (see BANGKOK 8).

    Harriet Klausner
    ... Read more

    10. The Forgotten Man : A Novel (Crais, Robert)
    by Robert Crais
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385504284
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 20780
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    11. Angels & Demons : Special Illustrated Collector's Edition
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743275063
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 450
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

    Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn ... Read more

    Reviews (1490)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Angels & Demons - The Best Book Ever
    The story starts with a mysterious murder of a famous Scientific Researcher at CERN. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and an ancient anti-Christian cult's symbol branded upon his chest. Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the scene of crime. He is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati which was dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and deviating from the blind religious faith of the Vatican, is alive and dangerously active! Leonardo Vetra's final discovery- the antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared, only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new Pope. Langdon and Leonardo's adopted daughter, Vittoria, start on an impossible journey and a frantic search throughout Rome's catacombs, secret archives, churches, to stop the dangerous game played by the illuminati. Read this amazing book by Dan Brown to find out more!

    3-0 out of 5 stars An Unfair Depiction of Everyone
    This book is an unfair depiction of Arabs, Catholics, scientists, security officers and anyone else open to naming.The Oriental assassin (wow, that's new) r*pes all his victims, the Catholic camerlengo leaves Langdon to almost certain death, scientists are referred to as creators of demonic horrors like nuclear weapons, and other characters are simply so blatantly stupid it's offensive.Of course, Dan Brown is a master of unfair depictions--the NSA in Digital Fortress is made to seem like a deceptive entity rather than an agency devoted to the safety of human life in America, and in a similar case victimizes the Delta Force in Deception Point.This book is exciting and fast-paced, and all the architecture mentioned in Rome exists, but being a Dan Brown book, it might make you a bit angry at times, at least as long as you live on Earth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
    This book is an amazig architectural and historical romp through Rome.If you love travel or Rome, pick this up today!Ironically,the author gives a full and rich account of the Catholic church and it's inner workings including the selection pf Popes.Very timely stuff!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new look at the Vatican
    This book gave me another point of view about the relationship between science and religion. I have always thought that science doesn't need religion, and that to religion, science is just a nuisance.This book taught me otherwise. There could be circumstances in which science proves an aspect of religion. This book made me want to go to the Vatican City and see all the churches mentioned in the book. It would be interesting to see how much of the book is accurate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Copacetic Book
    I recommend reading William Bramley's "The Gods of Eden" before taking on this book.It gives you some background for a lot of the things that pop up in there.The general themes of the books have nothing to do with each other, but the information is related. ... Read more

    12. A Gladiator Dies Only Once : The Further Investigations of Gordianus the Finder (Gordianus the Finder)
    by Steven Saylor
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312271204
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
    Sales Rank: 1370
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Second compilation of short pieces featuring Gordianus the Finder, filling in the gaps between the novels Roman Blood and Catilina's Riddle.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars fine anthology
    These nine tales all written in the past decade take place in Ancient Rome in the middle of the first century BC and star Gordianus the finder whose clients provides him with plenty of work (payment is a different story).The cases vary and those "hiring" Gordianus are as wild a group as any detective (make that a finder) might imagine working for.The stories are fun mostly because they provide a deep look at Ancient Rome and the eccentricity of the support characters.Gordianus is his usual witty self, matching and trumping opponents with his intelligence and humor especially the asides.Though not quite as strong as the novels (see THE JUDGMENT OF CAESAR), readers will find each contribution is well written and fun to read.

    Harriet Klausner
    ... Read more

    13. The Twelfth Card : ALincoln Rhyme Novel (Lincoln Rhyme Novels (Hardcover))
    by Jeffery Deaver
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743260929
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-07)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 128
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    Book Description

    Bestselling master of suspense Jeffery Deaver is back with a brand-new Lincoln Rhyme thriller. To save the life of a young girl who's being stalked by a ruthless hit man, Lincoln and his protégé, Amelia Sachs, are called upon to do the impossible: solve a truly "cold case" -- one that's 140 years old.

    The Twelfth Card is a two-day cat-and-mouse chase through the streets of uptown Manhattan as quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs try to outguess Thompson Boyd -- by all appearances a nondescript, innocuous man, but one whose past has turned him into a killing machine as unfeeling and cunning as a wolf. Boyd is after Geneva Settle, a high school girl from Harlem, and it's up to Lincoln and Amelia to figure out why.

    The motive may have to do with a term paper that Geneva is writing about her ancestor, Charles Singleton, a former slave. A teacher and farmer in New York State, Charles was active in the early civil rights movement but was arrested for theft and disgraced. Assisted by their team, Fred Dellray, Mel Cooper and Lon Sellitto (suffering badly from a case of nerves due to a near miss by the killer), Lincoln and Amelia work frantically to figure out where the hired gun will strike next and stop him, all the while trying to determine what actually happened on that hot July night in 1868 when Charles was arrested. What went on at the mysterious meetings he attended in Gallows Heights, a neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that was a tense mix of wealthy financiers, political crooks like Boss Tweed and working-class laborers and thugs? And, most important for Geneva Settle's fate, what was the "secret" that tormented Charles's every waking hour?

    Deaver's inimitable plotting keeps all these stories -- the past and the present -- racing at a lightning-fast clip as we learn stunning revelations that strike at the very heart of the U.S. Constitution and that could have disastrous consequences for today's human and civil rights in America. With breathtaking twists and multiple surprises that will keep readers on tenterhooks until the last page, this is Deaver's most compelling Lincoln Rhyme book to date.

    ... Read more

    14. With No One As Witness (Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers Novels)
    by Elizabeth George
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060545607
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 80494
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    Book Description

    Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
    takes on the case of his career.

    When it comes to spellbinding suspense and page-turning excitement, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George always delivers. As the Wall Street Journal raves, "Ms. George can do it all, with style to spare."

    In With No One as Witness, Elizabeth George has crafted an intricate, meticulously researched, and absorbing story sure to enthrall her readers. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is back, along with his longtime partner, the fiery Barbara Havers, and newly promoted Detective Sergeant Winston Nkata. They are on the hunt for a sinister killer.

    When an adolescent boy's nude body is found mutilated and artfully arranged on the top of a tomb, it takes no large leap for the police to recognize this as the work of a serial killer. This is the fourth victim in three months but the first to be white.

    Hoping to avoid charges of institutionalized racism in its failure to pursue the earlier crimes to their conclusion, New Scotland Yard hands the case over to Lynley and his colleagues. The killer is a psychopath who does not intend to be stopped. Worse, a devastating tragedy within the police ranks causes them to fumble in their pursuit of him.

    ... Read more

    15. Watch Your Back! (Dortmunder Novels (Hardcover))
    by Donald E. Westlake
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0892968028
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
    Publisher: Mysterious Press
    Sales Rank: 4551
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Even thieves can be good guys...kinda
    Watch Your Back is the first John Dortmunder book I've ever read.If this is any indication of Donald Westlake's ability, then I will be reading some more soon.He has shown that he is one of the masters of the "caper" novel.I have no idea how Watch Your Back compares to Westlake's other books, but I found it greatly enjoyable, if a bit uneven at times.There's no mystery involved, but there's a lot of fun, along with the coincidences that make novels like this enjoyable.

    The back room of the O.J. Bar & Grill is the usual meeting place for John Dortmunder and his gang of thieves make their plans.When their usual fence, Arnie Albright, comes back from Club Med with information about an apartment loaded with riches but empty of anybody else, they try and get together there to finalize everything.Unfortunately, it looks like the Mob is moving in on the bar, and Dortmunder can't have that.Preston Fareweather is a filthy rich man on the run from a pack of ex-wives, staying down at Club Med and cruelly toying with women and everybody else who comes near him.His apartment lies empty most of the time, and makes a perfect target.But Dortmunder can't get his mind off of the O.J, and works to rid it of the Mob as they get the heist ready too.Everything comes together as both the Mob and Fareweather learn that you don't mess with John Dortmunder.

    This book would probably be shelved in the mystery section of the book store, but it certainly isn't that.This is a classic caper novel, and Westlake does it with style.Dortmunder is a fun character, though he isn't exactly the main character.Watch Your Back (and, perhaps, Westlake's other novels?) is more of an ensemble piece, with Dortmunder just being the lead guy.He is the one who insists that something needs to be done with the O.J, but otherwise Westlake treats him as just one of the many colourful characters in this novel.And there are quite a few of them.

    Probably the funniest for me was Tiny, the big man who orders a limo when he needs to go places because taxis are too small for him.He can be rough when he needs to be or when he's irritated (which is why the others don't want him to find out about the bar until he is safely away from there). He's also quite matter of fact with a hint of menace behind his tone.When he speaks calmly, that's when you'd better watch out.He has a cute relationship with Judson, the new kid on the block.He sort of takes Judson under his wing with some advice, especially about not volunteering too often.He was probably my favourite character in the book.

    That's not to say he was the only good one, though.The rest of the gang definitely have their moments too.They all speak in a distinctive way which makes them identifiable and they reek of New York City (which is a good thing, since the series is set there).Westlake manages to catch all of their voices perfectly.Especially fun is when they're talking on cell phones and have to talk around what they mean because they don't want anything incriminating going out on a wireless.

    Where the book falls down slightly is in the bad guy department.The situation with Preston down at Club Med is amusing for a while, but I found the book dragging a little bit when he was around, which is hard to do with chapters this short.The character was supposed to be annoying, but Westlake didn't quite walk that fine line between annoying and fun to read about and just annoying.The whole Florida sequence with Preston just sat there on the page.On the other hand, there are the Mob characters, who aren't really shown much.Unfortunately, when they are around, they are bad Sopranos imitations.Granted, the comparison is slightly intentional (the back cover blurb actually says that the main Mob character is a "would-be Tony Soprano"), but Westlake takes the parody a bit too far.There is not a lot of bad language in the book, but whenever the Mob characters are on the page, the f-word is featured almost twice a sentence.I found that the parody fell flat.

    Other than the Mob, Westlake's prose fits the genre perfectly.It serves its purpose, moves the story along, and occasionally comes out with a zinger (the old woman minding her own business in the airplane is a perfect example that I won't spoil, but look for it if you read the book).The story is told in a breezy way that moves quickly.You won't be spending a lot of time on this book.However, I think that's the point.The chapters are short, the type is big, and the book is only 320 pages.Light and breezy can be fun too, and Watch Your Back is definitely that.

    The only other minor problem could just be a symptom of the genre itself, and thus won't bother fans.The storylines tie together with a massive series of coincidences that, while fun, strain the disbelief a little bit.I laughed when they happened, but in hindsight, the ending suffered from too much happenstance.Check your brain at the door when you get to the ending, and you will enjoy it too.It would have meant more and been even funnier if we had gotten to know the Mob guys a bit better (and if they hadn't been bad parodies instead of real characters).

    All in all, Watch Your Back is a really good book.Enjoyable in all the right places and with a few not very annoying faults, you'll have an entertaining time reading this book.

    David Roy

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious.
    This is a very funny book. It's the latest installment in the series about John Dortmunder, who's misadventures in crime never cease to amuse.

    Summary, no spoilers:

    Arnie Albright is New York fence who comes up with the plan for the perfect crime. Whileat a Club Med, he meetsbillionaire and jerk extraordinaire, Preston Fareweather. He is mistreated by Fareweather (who isn't?), and decides to get revenge.

    Fareweather is hiding out from process servers who are trying to contact him at the behest of four angry ex-wives. He has not been to his New York apartment in over two years, and doesn't plan to return anytime soon.

    Arnie contacts his buddy, Dortmunder, and they decide to round up the usual gang, and burglarize Fareweather's apartment and steal his BMW....since he isn't around.

    As usual, with any Dortmunder scheme, anything and everything goes wrong. Enter New Jersey mobsters, mishaps at the OJ (Dortmunder's favorite bar), and the newest member of the gang, a naive but enthusiastic 19 year old named Justin. And of course the important lesson that timing is everything.

    This book is highly recommended. It's funny and satisfying, and you are left with a big smile on your face when you finish the last page. Westlake at his best.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Watch Your Back!" becuase no one else is....
    Watch Your Back!A Dortmunder Novel
    By Donald E. Westlake
    Mysterious Press
    April 2005
    ISBN # 0-89296-802-8
    310 Pages
    $24.95 US
    $33.95 Canada

    John Dortmunder and crew are not happy they can't meet in the backroom of the O.J. Bar & Grill as usual. Everyone around knows they meet there to plan their jobs, but they can't because outsiders have taken over. Outsiders that, beyond their strange taste in clothes, have the regulars quaking in fear and the barman, Rollo, scanning the want ads. The outsiders have to be dealt with and Dortmunder has to figure out a way.

    He also has to figure out a way to deal with a proposition from Arnie Albright. Arnie is their usual fence and has just returned from having his attitude adjusted on an island resort. While it could be questioned whether the intervention worked, there is no mistaking the genius of Arnie's proposed target.

    While on the island resort, he met an incredibly rich and obnoxious man by the name of Preston Fareweather. Mr. Fareweather, beyond being obscenely rich and a pitiful human being (even Arnie thinks he is a jerk) is hiding from his five angry ex-wives and their process servers. Instead of being at home in New York in his penthouse apartment dealing with the problems he has created, he is on the island laying waste to the various gold digging trollops who decide to spend time with him. Arnie proposes Dortmunder and crew should take down Fareweather's penthouse and for steering them the work, he wants thirty percent.

    It's a great deal and despite being almost too good to be true, one that Dortmunder and crew can't resist. So, they split their time with planning the job and working on how to handle the problem at the O. J. While Dortmunder may feel that everything is under control, before long it is very clear that things aren't, if they ever really were. Madcap hijinks ensue as both storylines gradually weave together with a definite sense of poetic justice.

    Fans of Donald E. Westlake no doubt know and appreciate what is in store in this entertaining read. For those who don't care for a strong amount of humor, to the point of madcap variety at times, this read is definitely not appropriate. For everyone else, this is an enjoyable and entertaining novel that will have you chuckling from start to finish.

    A big thank you to Renee Supriano of the Time Warner Book Group for providing a review copy. It is appreciated!

    Kevin R. Tipple © 2005

    5-0 out of 5 stars ironic crime caper
    The family of New York fence Arnie Albright is so fed up with his obnoxious nasty personality that they stage an intervention and send him to the resort island of Club Med in the Caribbean to get a personality transplant.There he meets Preston Fareweather.The wealthy venture capitalist has been living on the island for three years to avoid being served the subpoenas, injunctions and other legal papers from his four ex-wives who have banded together to get even with Preston and take him for all he is worth.

    While on the island, he treats Arnie so terribly that when he returns to New York he decides to have his revenge on the man who made him feel worthless.He contacts Dortmunder and explains that Preston has a penthouse with exclusive art and antiques easy to rob because nobody lives there.Dortmunder and his crew accept the job but they get sidetracked when the mob takes over the O.J. Bar and Grill, their meeting place.While Dortmunder is fixing that problem, his ex-wives lure Preston off the island and he is heading to his penthouse at the same time Dortmunder and his crew plan to rob the place.

    Donald E. Westlake scores again with another deliciously ironic crime caper where criminals are trying to steal from one another.Preston, a white collar crook, is no different than his mob counterparts or Dortmunder and his misfits.The screw-ups outwit both the mob and the venture capitalist through some hilarious maneuvers.WATCH YOUR BACK is a crime thriller that will have readers chuckling out loud.

    Harriet Klausner

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Westlake, Be Prepared to Laugh
    You have to wonder how John Dortmunder manages to get through life without stepping in front of a truck or something else. On the other hand we have to be glad that he hasn't (so far at least) because it's nice to see someone whose life is more screwed up than ours. It's probably also a good thing that he's a crook. If he were just the standard hourly worker or whatever it is that would suit his mental capabilities, reading wouldn't be nearly as much fun. We can only hope that the real crooks out there are in the same class.

    In this, the 12th Dortmunder novel, he's collected the usual misfits to go out after an art collection. Then it turns out that their favorite watering hole, where they plan their capers has mob trouble.

    So the task is simple, rob the art while throwing the mob out of the bar. I'll leave it to you to find out how they do this, well, how they plan to go about doing it, well, never mind, just be prepared to laugh a lot. ... Read more

    16. The Third Secret : A Novel of Suspense
    by Steve Berry
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345476131
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 209
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    For Steve Berry, it's a fortuitous coincidence that his third novel, a Vatican-centered conspiracy thriller titled The Third Secret, was published in the immediate aftermath of Pope Benedict XVI's anointment in Rome. While this exuberantly contrived yarn would likely have drawn an audience at any time, it benefits from coming before readers just after they've been primed with news reports about papal succession, the relative influence and legacy of pontiffs, and the increasing tug-of-war between Roman Catholic progressives and conservative traditionalists.

    Set in the near future, Secret introduces Jakob Volkner--Pope Clement XV--a German "caretaker pope" who, nearing the age of 80, was elected as John Paul II's successor. But three years into his papacy, the thoughtful Clement has begun to quietly express skepticism about papal infallibility and the Church's restrictive dogma, and to make odd requests of his longtime secretary, Monsignor Colin Michener, an Irish-born but American-reared priest whose vows of celibacy have been tested--and found wanting. Clement has also made repeated visits to a guarded sanctum within the Vatican archives, where sacred and historic documents are stored. And he's dispatched Michener to Romania to locate an elderly cleric who, in the 1950s, translated three cryptic prophecies, purportedly offered by the Virgin Mary in 1917 to a trio of children in Fatima, Portugal. Those secrets have since been fully disclosed to the world. Or have they? That’s the question facing Michener in the wake of Clement's shocking suicide, as he pursues a twisted trail of clues, crimes, and religious forecasts from Rome to Bosnia to Germany, accompanied by his former lover, journalist Katerina Lew. But making any additional secrets known to the world will put Michener in confrontation with doctrinal reactionaries, led by Cardinal Alberto Valendrea, the Vatican's Italian secretary of state, who's determined to follow Clement as the Vicar of Christ--even if that requires inventing a few new sins and flouting a 900-year-old prediction of doom for the next pope.

    Attorney-author Berry, praised previously for The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, enriches The Third Secret with glimpses behind the locked doors of a papal selection process and knowledge of centuries-old Catholic prognostications that, while employed judiciously in these pages, nonetheless suggest a prodigious amount of research. He's less successful with his casting. Valendrea is a wincingly unnuanced scoundrel, and Ms. Lew achieves scarce definition beyond being a raven-tressed temptress to powerful prelates. Thankfully, Berry does better by Michener, who finds himself at a crossroads, carrying on in Clement's name even as he searches for confirmation that his own life of devotion and service has been meaningful. Although the secrets "revealed" in this tale seem more controversial than plausible, and a potentially intriguing subplot about the excommunication of a maverick priest ends up as a throwaway device, The Third Secret builds to a conclusion that is as suspenseful and stunning as it is inevitable. Have faith. --J. Kingston Pierce ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great timing
    With the recent papal election, this book could not have come out at a better time.It is a fun read which ties itself up nicely in the end.I find myself so many times getting bogged down with writers for the first 300 pages, they then wrap things up in the final 50 with a style that illustrates they ran out of juice.This is not that way.Great history lesson and full of facts.I love the intrigue of what the Vatican library holds and this gives some insight although only a smidgen of what must be there behind locked doors. Characters are interesting and if you have a weak stomach when it comes to Popes, be careful.They are portrayed as human here folks, same drives, desires and hiccups like you and I.Who woulda thunk these guys act like this? Anyway, fun read, like the Dan Brown books.A nice addition to my evergrowing library of fiction based on fact.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Complex and Exciting Work
    Before one starts reading THE THIRD SECRET, it would be a good idea to take a nice deep breath and accept the fact that this is one book that will raise some controversy. The Catholic Church is considered fair game right now, and some of the wounds it has suffered in recent years have been self-inflicted. Accordingly, this tale of entrenched interests versus the humble servants trying to do the right thing seeks, ultimately, to turn faith and logic --- they're not necessarily mutually exclusive --- on their respective ears. So the conclusion of Steve Berry's latest novel inevitably will upset some folks. Fair enough. The thing to remember is that THE THIRD SECRET is a story, a work of fiction, and does not pretend to be anything more, or less. It also is excitingly and brilliantly told, and a terrific read.

    The backstory of THE THIRD SECRET is in some ways almost as interesting as the novel itself. Berry wrote this religion-tinged manuscript in 1998, and garnered a ton of rejection slips before ultimately selling it as part of a well-deserved three-book deal in 2002. One finds it difficult to understand why this novel wasn't snapped up years ago. Dealing as it does with one of the more interesting controversies of the twentieth century, THE THIRD SECRET is an intricate, well-written tale that undoubtedly will generate discussion and controversy.

    The title refers to the revelation bestowed upon three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 during a series of appearances by the Virgin Mary. Three messages were purported to be given to the children: the first two were revealed almost immediately, while the revelation of the third was to be delayed. A number of popes read the secret but refused to reveal it. One apocryphal story concerned John XXIII reading it and crying, in seclusion, for three weeks. John Paul II ultimately revealed the secret in 2000, the official explanation being that it prophesied the assassination attempt upon his own life that had taken place some years previously. The thrust of the novel is that the third secret of Fatima is, in fact, something else entirely; that the true secret is known only to each pope (and, as it turns out, to a number of others); and that the successor popes have declined to reveal the third secret because it would shake the beliefs that the modern church holds dear and true.

    As THE THIRD SECRET begins, Pope Clement XV is deeply troubled by a matter of conscience concerning the secret that brings him repeatedly into the Vatican's private archives where the Fatima papers are kept. Clement sends his trusted secretary and friend, Father Colin Michener, into Romania to seek out one of the only individuals who may know the true meaning behind the third secret. There are, however, malevolent forces within The Vatican who know what the third secret really is and what its revelation will mean not only to the Church but also to its inherent power --- and who will stop at nothing to keep the secret from being uncovered.

    Michener, meanwhile, is distracted by his own passions, which his vow of celibacy forbids him from satisfying. In addition to his mission, Michener must resolve the issue of why his vocation and his God seem to leave him unfulfilled. Berry balances these issues nicely, keeping his story running along a number of parallel tracks while never dwelling for too long on one scenario while switching to another. The result is a complex, exciting work that is almost impossible to put down.

    The ultimate revelation presented in THE THIRD SECRET may well spoil the work for some; one wonders if Berry might have been better served to leave the foundation of the secret unanswered for the reader to sort out. But again, THE THIRD SECRET is a work of fiction, well-written and well-told. It ultimately is well worth reading, whether or not the concluding revelations as presented are to one's liking.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, suspenseful case of possibilities
    Having just witnessed the death of Pope John Paul II, the Third Secret gives us an inside look at what could take place within the church.Having written that a German pope would hold the seat of Saint Peter for a short length of time; and that a African cardinal would be in the running at a future conclave, leads us on in thinking could this have taken place?Many of the characters were complex in nature, strong, and yet very vulnerable. The story excels when the focus is on Colin Michener and Katerina Lew. Eyewitness accounts of the appearances of the Virgin Mary at Fatima and Medjugorje, Bosnia are intertwined with the love story of Colin and Kate, and Cardinal Valendrea's murderous rise to power. Great entertainment, destined for the movies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Greatreligious fiction
    This book is a great read for anyone, but even better with a background in religion.It has great factual basis yet spins a great fiction book that readers will enjoy.<>great timing too due to a new pope taking office, as well as Catholic issues with marriage, children, etc in the news.I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Dan Browns books, and would encourage readers to check out Steve Berry's other novels.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than DaVinci code.
    I have never before placed a review. But this time I just had to. Personally, I am an avid reader of historical fiction novels and thrillers. I read the DaVinci code and I loved it. The comparison between the two books cannot be avoided. And in my opinion The Third Secret is superior. This is definitely this year's big book. And maybe for the years to come. It has the power of a modern text, but reads and stays with you like a classic. Absolutely exquisite.

    ... Read more

    17. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Today Show Book Club #8)
    by Alexander McCall Smith
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400034779
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-06)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 218
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.”Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter.But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

    The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two Booker Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (206)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic title has delightful writing
    I read this book, then the second one (Tears of the Giraffe), and can't wait for the next one. Alexander McCall Smith has captured a character who stands not alone, but who represents womanhood and hopefully those of modern Botswana. Having never been to Africa it was a delightful opportunity to read of someone else's descriptive manner at detailing a storyline around a whole of their people. Since I do not have any experience to this observation, let it suffice to say that it intrigued me and kept me reading. The main character was just that, a character. Her life and that of the simple life around her was developed in such a manner that I wanted to find out more of how she thought, lived, and developed her detective agency in such a place. Her main male interest was charming as well. He had pride, depth, and honesty when often we think of those we don't know in far away places as perhaps not being as morale as we believe ourselves to be. It was eye-opening, interesting, and worth the read.

    The sad part was reading some viewpoints from readers who found the book not a "great" detective novel. They missed the point entirely. Her neighbors and clients were charming folks with lives that had simple fears, hopes, and dreams. What more could a reader ask than to have a glimpse into their lives.

    Read on folks, the second book is as delightful as the first.
    Thank you.

    Reader in California

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
    The dry, endless land of Botswana is the unlikely backdrop of Alexander McCall Smith's detective novel (the first in a series) and the beloved home of his creative, unorthodox P.I. Precious Ramotswe. The resilient Mma Ramotswe, having survived a brief, abusive marriage, the loss of her child, and the death of her father, sells the cattle she inherits to start the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency (wryly noted as the only one of its kind in the country) and proceeds to deftly handle a string of seemingly disparate domestic cases before getting caught up in the sinister circumstances surrounding an abducted boy. Smith crafts more than a detective in the character of Precious, however, as Precious defies cultural expectations by being a one- woman community service, a confidante for those who need somehow to reclaim their own lives. The novel subtly presents a landscape of changing cultural and gender roles as well as the tensions that arise between those citizens who honor the traditional African family bonds and those parasites that would give the old traditions a bad name. But Smith's hand isn't heavy, and his humor is like a warm desert breeze. Finally, his work is a vibrant celebration of Africa and those Africans who strive for a good, peaceful life. The heart of the book is contained in the epigrammatic shape:
    africa africa
    africa africa africa
    africa africa

    The shape of the continent--Precious--Mother Africa--- a good, fat woman!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not so much of a detective as a loving description of Africa
    After the death of her father Precious Ramotswe uses the inheritance to buy herself a house and an office from which she starts the first detective agency in Botswana. Business starts slowly, but she gets a number of clients with problems ranging from missing husbands to fraudulent employees and she starts to build up a reputation leading to new clients. The book describes some of the cases that Mma Ramotswe solves, but the real star of the book is Africa: there are long, loving descriptions of the nature, the people, the culture and the life in Africa and anybody who has been to Africa (and subsequently loves the continent despite all its problems) can use this book to refresh their memories and long back to those real African nights. Don't read this as a detective but as a book about Africa.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A somewhat laborious read
    I wanted to read this book because of the positive reviews it had received. The book was hard for me to get into. I wanted the mystery to present itself sooner than it did. Too much time was spent on the main character's history, which I suppose was to set up the series. When she finally got a case, it was resolved very quickly. I realized that this book would describe several simple, quick cases she had worked on rather than having a main mystery that would serve as a plot. It was interesting to have Africa as a backdrop, but that is not enough to make me want to read other books in this series, the first book of which disappointed me.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not so much of a detective as a loving description of Africa
    After the death of her father, Precious Ramotswe uses the inheritance to buy herself a house and an office from which she starts the first detective agency in Botswana. Business starts slowly, but she gets a number of clients with problems ranging from missing husbands to fraudulent employees and she starts to build up a reputation leading to new clients. The book describes some of the cases that Mma Ramotswe solves, but the real star of the book is Africa: there are long, loving descriptions of the nature, the people, the culture and the life in Africa and anybody who has been to Africa (and subsequently loves the continent despite all its problems) can use this book to refresh their memories and long back to those real African nights. Don't read this as a detective but as a book about Africa. ... Read more

    18. Cold Service: A Spenser Novel (Spenser Mysteries (Hardcover))
    by Robert B. Parker
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399152407
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-03)
    Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
    Sales Rank: 41099
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    Book Description

    When Spenser's closest ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting bookie Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to accept the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.

    Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption-it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.
    ... Read more

    19. A Slight Trick of the Mind
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385513283
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: Nan A. Talese
    Sales Rank: 647736
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    20. The Torment of Others : A Novel
    by Val McDermid
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312339194
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-23)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
    Sales Rank: 3769
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Dr. Tony Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan return in the award-winning series that is the basis for the hit show on BBC America.

    In a small grim room, the body of a woman is discovered, panic and pain etched in her face. The scene matches in every detail a series of murders two years ago-murders that ended when irrefutable forensic evidence secured the conviction of a deeply disturbed young man named Derek Tyler.

    But there's no way Tyler could have killed the latest victim. He's been locked up in a mental institution since his trial, barely speaking a word.So is there a copycat?

    All his years of experience tell top criminal psychologist Dr. Tony Hill that there isn't-but that would make the murders literally impossible.While Hill tries to crack Tyler, DCI Carol Jordan and her team must mount a desperate undercover operation to trap the murderer-a decision that will have terrible consequences.

    As the tension mounts, a mixture of psychological insight and dogged detective work leads inexorably to a terrifying climax where Tony faces one of the most perverse killers he has ever encountered.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not Her Best
    I am a big fan of Val McDermid but this outing is not her best.A battered and traumatized Carole Jordan is tapped to head an elite squad of ambitious and not completely trustworthy detectives while Dr. Tony Hill leaves the world of academia to renter clinical practice at a mental hospital near Carole.Let the murders begin.Someone is killing prostitutes in a particuarly vicious fashion, mirroring exactly crimes for which an inmate at the mental hospital was convicted years before. Simultaneously, the squad is challenged to solve the disappearances of two young boys.

    McDermid is an effective writer however, the serial killer bit was a bit stale.The evil duo bit has been done before and prostitute murders are not all that challenging for the devious criminal mind.The lost boy storywasactually more engaging.

    The narration by killer device used in some of her earlier novels was somewhat flat and uninspired here.Additionally, how the brains of the murdering pairs was able to select and manipulate the dumber partners was not explained to my satisfaction.

    One of the more fascinating aspects of her earlier novels was the symbiosis of good police work and keen psychological insight.In this book, Tony Hill almost automatically has the answer and has become annoyingly reckless professionally. I actually find the platonic relationship between Carole and Tony believable, in view of their many issues.Hopping into bed would be the worst thing for either of them, personally and professionally, and the tension makes for interesting interaction.Additionally, the author should lighten up on the hot lesbo thing. Okay, okay, everyone with good looks and brains is gay, we get it! It is unneccessary and boring.

    All in all, this book is worth the read, but definitely not her best.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC READ

    4-0 out of 5 stars A twisted tale of corruption, sadism, and murder.
    DCI Carol Jordan and Dr. Tony Hill are once again working together in "The Torment of Others," a dark and depressing police procedural in which a sadist is kidnapping, torturing and murdering prostitutes.In addition, Jordan and her colleagues are still looking for the perp who abducted and presumably killed two young boys whose bodies have never been found.

    Jordan and Hill have plenty of personal demons to exorcise.Jordan was raped during an undercover sting that went wrong, and she has been gun shy about returning to police work since that horrible event left her in shock.Hill feels guilty since he failed to protect Carol, whom he secretly loves.Their friendship has been strained ever since, and they are uncertain about how to behave in one other's presence.

    Jordan in now back heading an elite Major Incident Squad.She knows that everyone is waiting to see if she is still up to the job intellectually and emotionally, and she is determined to prove her mettle.The two high-profile cases that she is investigating will test her powers of concentration, her patience, and her ability to command.To make matters worse, there is very little forensic evidence in either case that might lead to quick arrests.

    Val McDermid is one of the undisputed masters of the British police procedural.She puts us in the incident room with the detectives, and she makes us feel the pressure that the detectives experience as they fan out to conduct endless interviews, most of which end up giving them "no joy."As the bodies of victims pile up with no suspects in sight, Carol and her team begin to believe that their adversary, the unknown serial killer, is too smart and/or too lucky to get caught.When her boss suggests putting one of Carol's officers on the street posing as a prostitute to attract the killer, Carol is reluctant to go along; after all, she was once asked to act as a decoy by her superiors, with tragic results.Can she, in good conscience, allow one of her own officers to take such a chance?

    "The Torment of Others" is also a powerful story of psychological terror. Carol's fears, Tony Hill's weird empathy with the "nutters" whom he treats, and the perverse forces that plague each individual, whether cop or criminal, are depicted with depth, insight, and frightening detail.The novel is genuinely scary at times, and the ending is both tense and brutal.Val McDermid pulls no punches; she is not afraid to go over to the dark side in her fiction.On a more romantic note, McDermid explores Carol's tentative efforts to have a relationship with a man.She starts dating a hunky geologist who may have information that might help her with a case, leaving Tony Hill almost mad with jealousy.

    My quibbles about this book are few, but they are worth mentioning.The serial killer who preys on prostitutes has been done to death, and although this time there is a new twist that changes the scenario somewhat, it still is a stale plot element that has been overused.In addition, I found the solution to the crime to be exciting and enthralling, but completely unrealistic.Most readers will need a huge suspension of disbelief to buy what McDermid is selling.Still, McDermid is one of the best salespersons around, and "The Torment of Others" is an eerie, creepy, daring, and shocking story that is as mesmerizing as it is gruesome.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fading a Bit
    McDermid enters another solid story into the series.Our characters are at their finest-Tony Hill with all his quirks and insights, and Carol with all her bossiness and desire to prove how tough she is.As a writer, McDermid is excellent!I have no reservations on that score.Her plotting is solid, believable, and always just a bit frightening (even to a police-procedural aficionado like me).

    Unfortunately, I am beginning to tire of the series.There are a few reasons for this.First of all, Tony Hill is the only one with any talent on the Jordan-Hill team.Carol bosses everyone around and enjoys being in authority, but she never seems to have any ideas to make breakthroughs in a case.Tony is the one who does the thinking and makes the penetrating discoveries that lead to capture and rescue of criminal and victim.Second, the idea that these two are in love with each other has become incredible since so many novels in which their feelings for each other are clear finish with them in exactly the same platonic position in which we found them in Mermaid Singing.Third, Ms. McDermid seems determined for her readers to believe every third person or so is homosexual-she consistently seems to push her agenda just a little too much for my taste.

    I really can't believe two reasonable adults would not have pursued their relationship past step one.The series can be rescued, but the characters must have realistic emotional interaction with each other.Until that occurs, the series will slip into the trite.Her stand-alone works continue to be outstanding, so I will keep the McDermid flame burning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An aching, gripping, fetal-position read
    This is one tough book!! Really dark, really gruesome, really creepy, really good!Carol Jordan is far from recovered from the last book and Tony Hill is really at a loss as to how to help her, but decides that proximity is the first step.That's the good news.The bad news is that Carol is put in charge of a new investigative squad whose members haven't gelled yet and who can't necessarily be trusted to act as a team vs. in each individual's own interest.AND they have a horrible and relentless serial criminal on their hands.This is one breathless read.You do need to stop sometimes just to escape the cruelty and darkness, though.I don't even want to think of how and where McDermid came up with this one.It smacks a lot of her first ("Mermaids Singing") but the similar crimes seem so much worse when they are visited on women.This is just heavy with the shock of insanity and yet it has a glowing, redemptive quality as well.It is hard to see how McDermid's writing could improve and yet she manages it over and over again.Now the long wait begins for her next outing. ... Read more

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