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141. Monday Mourning:A Novel
$17.13 list($25.95)
142. The Motive
$6.99 $4.19
143. Dime Store Magic : Women of the
$6.39 $1.99 list($7.99)
144. The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross Novels)
$6.75 $4.89 list($7.50)
145. Deep Fathom
146. Pillars of the Earth
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147. The Bourne Identity
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148. Full House (Janet Evanovich's
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149. Tears of Autumn
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150. The Cabinet of Curiosities
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151. Still Life with Crows
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152. Oblivion : A Novel
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153. The Queen of the South
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154. The Alienist
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155. The Winner
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156. A Time to Kill
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157. Shadow Prey
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158. The Romanov Prophecy : A Novel
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159. Blind Alley
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160. Roses Are Red (Alex Cross Novels)

141. Monday Mourning:A Novel
by Kathy Reichs
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743233476
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 2900
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A riveting new Temperance Brennan forensic thriller from Kathy Reichs, the internationally acclaimed forensic anthropologist and New York Times bestselling author...

Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for both North Carolina and Quebec, has come from Charlotte to Montreal during the bleak days of December to testify as an expert witness at a murder trial.

She should be going over her notes, but instead she's digging in the basement of a pizza parlor. Not fun. Freezing cold. Crawling rats. And now, the skeletonized remains of three young women. How did they get there? When did they die?

Homicide detective Luc Claudel, never Tempe's greatest fan, believes the bones are historic. Not his case, not his concern. The pizza parlor owner found nineteenth-century buttons in the cellar with the skeletons. Claudel takes them as an indicator of the bones' antiquity.

But something doesn't make sense. Tempe examines the bones in her lab and establishes approximate age with Carbon 14. Further study of tooth enamel tells her where the women were born. If she's right, Claudel has three recent murders on his hands. Definitely his case.

Detective Andrew Ryan, meanwhile, is acting mysteriously. What are those private phone calls he takes in the other room, and why does he suddenly disappear just when Tempe is beginning to hope he might be a permanent part of her life? Looks like more lonely nights for Tempe and Birdie, her cat.

As Tempe searches for answers in both her personal and professional lives, she finds herself drawn deep into a web of evil from which there may be no escape. Women have disappeared, never to return....Tempe may be next.

With its powerful mix of nail-biting suspense and cutting-edge forensic science, Monday Mourning is the best yet from this superbly gifted, megastar author who, as New York Newsday says, is "the real thing." ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wondefully complex story!
Another gripping story from Ms. Reichs, plenty of twists in the tale! and the paceing is perfect, leading the reader steadily onwards, but never at the cost of those all-important passages or chapters which show the struggle to get to grips with the problems faced by Tempe Brennan, the Forensic Anthropologist for the province of Quebec. Explanations of the more complex scientific examinations are neatly woven into the on-going story, and Ms Reichs pays the reader the compliment of not feeling duty bound to lead them by the hand. Tempe Brennan is a character one actually cares about, so read on, and discover, not only how she and the detectives of the Province solve this case, but also how her relationship with the gorgeous Ryan is developing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reichs heads back to the formula that works
There are some authors whose books you buy just because you've read the rest in the series and you can't help but keep buying them, as bad as they sometimes get (Cornwell's Scarpetta books are a perfect example). Reichs' Tempe Brennan series is like that for me and I'm relieved that while she didn't knock my socks off with this one, she didn't disappoint like the last couple of books either.

Tempe is back in Quebec for this installment, thank heavens. The interplay between Tempe and her Canadian colleagues always seems to sizzle, while the American connections drag and bore. The usual players are all back in action, including the oddball Chardonneau, cranky Claudel and of course, on again/off again love interest Andrew Ryan.

The story is tightly packed into what seems like not as many pages as usual. The forensic details are exquisitely presented, apart from three yawn-inducing lectures about carbon dating, among other things. While there are a whole lot of implausible plot lines I can swallow in the genre, I have a hard time believing Tempe's boss LaManche has never heard of carbon dating. The basic plot line is interesting, the crime being solved is, sadly, easy to believe happened. The solving of the crime itself moves along at a relatively believable pace, although with others, I think the decision to have Tempe and her girlfriend investigate the crime themselves a la CSI was a poor decision on Reichs' part.

Where this book fails is exactly where the past few have failed. The "romance" between Ryan and Tempe is not particularly interesting, no matter how blue Reichs wants to make his eyes. He's inattentive and secretive, she's snotty and throws tantrums. I don't know what on earth these two see in each other, unless it's all physical (Reichs makes sure we know Tempe is a gorgeous size 4 and Ryan is a tall hunk). The reason for Ryan's distraction is offered up on a silver platter right around page 120 or so, although we the readers aren't supposed to get it until the jarring end of the book.

I can easily recommend Monday Mourning to any Reichs fan and to fans who've been turned off of the Scarpetta books because she lost focus on the forensics. Reichs is well-credentialed in forensic anthropology and it shows without reading like a textbook (apart from those three preachy parts). The Ryan romance angle could be dropped and I think both characters would be better for it. If Reichs really has to have some kind of sexual tension between her leading lady and someone, I would rather see her explore the odd hate/hate relationship Tempe has with the prickly but sexy Claudel. There was a glimmer of something hinted at in the final pages of this book, one that had more heat than all the scenes between Tempe and Ryan combined.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Reichs
I have been a fan of Kathy Reichs since I read her first book, Deja Dead in 1997. Her stories have gotten better in the intervening years....more depth to her characters, including Tempe, more depth to her stories, great plot lines, and a steady pace that keeps the reader hanging on. I agree with other reviewers that Monday Mourning is her strongest work yet....but all of her books are worth reading.

Tempe is in Montreal to testify in a murder case (what else). While she is there, she is called to investigate three skeletons discovered in the basement of a small pizza parlor. Upon first impressions there is some thought that the bodies are "historical", and this is supported when 19th century evidence is discovered near the remains. However, Tempe isn't convinced. She carbon dates the remains and discovers that they day to the 1980's confirming her fears.

As background we discover that Tempe's love life isn't going well. Her significant other isn't giving her the attention she needs. Further, her male co-workers continue to take her and her contributions to police work lightly.

Suffice it to say that the reader is in store for another wonderful ride through fictional police work. A tight story with great characters, Monday Mourning is sure to make you a Reichs fan if you're not already there.

4-0 out of 5 stars Forensic Anthropology At Its Best
Tempe Brennan has left the sunny, warm clime of the Carolines for the freezing sleet and snow of Montreal. She has been called back to Montreal to testify in a trial. Tempe is a forensic anthropologist and has license to work in the US and Montreal. She speaks French fluently and has a CV to be admired. She is an enigma: an intelligent, professional woman who wears a surgeon's suit and robe while completing her delicate work in a morgue, and then a warm, womanly persona, dressed in the latest fashion with scent to match, cooking a gourmet meal for the man she loves. She is my kind of woman!

Kathy Reich's, the author is also a forensic anthropologist and works for the US and Canada. She knows of what she speaks, and she has a marvelous eye for detail and an explicit imagination.

Tempe Brennan is reading her notes for the trial when she is called by, Luc Claudel, Chief of Montreal Detectives in Homicide to a murder scene in a basement of a pizza parlor. Luc Claudel, I believe is very attracted to Tempe, and to hide his rude and crude behavior towards her tends to turn her off and get her blood boiling! At the scene Tempe ropes off the area, digs patiently and after many hours finds the skeletons of what she believes are young woman- three in fact. Because an old button found at the scene Luc Claudel believes that this is a murder scene from the early 1900's. Tempe is certain that this murder scene is from the 1980's So, begins the battle for what is correct and true. Tempe is drawn into this murder scene, her life is threatened, and she must work diligently for what she believes is right.

Tempe has had an off and on romance with Andy Ryan, a Montreal detective in the Homicide Division. She and Andy became closer when he visited her in the Carolinas, but since she has arrived in Montreal something is off. He has distanced himself and is called away frequently without any explanation. Tempe is concerned and hurt. How will this romance survive, if they cannot discuss what is going on?

Kathy Reich's book "Mourning" is a page turner. She is able to introduce the human element so well that we care about her characters. We want them to be happy, to win their cases, to battle for justice and above all for truth and love. Tempe Brennan fulfills the role of a modern, professional woman- brilliant in her job and warm and caring as a woman in love. She will outwit Luc Claudel in the coming series, I predict, and she will win him over. After all, she is my kind of woman! prisrob

4-0 out of 5 stars A vastly improved writer with a cracking novel.
I admit that I have struggled with Kathy Reichs in the past. I know others have rated her highly and compared her to Patricia Cornwell, but I failed to see any comparison.
Reichs' failings, I felt, lay in her plotting and dialogue. Her characters always seemed very one-dimensional and uninviting, even though she had come up with some promising storylines. Reichs' previous efforts have, to me at least, been very artificial and amateur, clunky and awkward.

However, with Monday Mourning Reichs has transformed herself. Her characters suddenly have depth and believability; better, their dialogue has become life-like as the author has discovered (or uncovered) her ability to write funny, sardonic, sarcastic and sometimes ironic lines for her characters to deliver. Suddenly, I found that I laughed out loud at odd points when reading. Not real belly laughs as you get with Tom Sharrpe, but nonetheless some very witty moments to be enjoyed.

The plot is good. It is almost beleivable (I'm still not totally convinced about forensic anthropologists being called in so early in investigations) and we can see why the heroine, Brennan, has been involved. We see her struggle with the sheer evil that confronts her in this book. Indeed, the evil that is the main story in the book will take your breath away when it's uncovered.

So, all in all, a much improved writer showing some real skill at last. ... Read more

142. The Motive
by John Lescroart
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525948449
Catlog: Book (2004-12)
Publisher: Dutton Books
Sales Rank: 1569
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Book Description

Hardy and Glitsky are embroiled in a murder that begins in the upper echelons of SanFrancisco society, where money and political influence collide. . . .

It starts with a double homicide. Because of the high profiles of the victims—a politicallyconnected socialite and his glamorous fiancée—the mayor of San Francisco herselfdemands that a high-ranking detective be put on the case. And so Abe Glitsky is thrustinto the controversial investigation.

Dan Cuneo, the officer already working the case, is immediately wary of Glitsky anddoesn’t hide his distrust. Matters are made worse when Cuneo starts to focus on hisprimary suspect—who also happens to be an old girlfriend of Dismas Hardy. For Hardyand Glitsky, this is an awkward and uncomfortable coincidence. But for Cuneo, it’s proofpositive of collusion, and yet another instance of Glitsky cheating with his insider friendsand cronies.

Convinced that Hardy’s client is the wrong suspect, Glitsky breaks ranks within thepolice department to continue his own investigation. As Hardy’s murder trial builds to itsstunning conclusion, Glitsky’s search for the truth does more than fuel suspicion againstthe two men. It reveals a trail of deception that leads beyond San Francisco, whereexposing desperate secrets can be the most deadly offense. ... Read more

143. Dime Store Magic : Women of the Otherworld
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587064
Catlog: Book (2004-04-27)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 2775
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From Canada’s new queen of suspense, another hugely entertaining supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Prepare to be enchanted . . .

Forget the cackling green hag in The Wizard of Oz, forget Samantha from Bewitched. Real witches are nothing, NOTHING like this. For years real witches have hidden their powers, afraid of being persecuted. They have integrated so well into the community, you could have a witch living right next door and never know about it. Take Paige, for instance, whom we first met in Kelley Armstrong’s novel Stolen. Just an ordinary twenty-something who runs her own website design company, worries about her weight and wonders if she’ll ever find a boyfriend. Okay, so she’s leader of the American Coven and guardian of Savannah, the teenage daughter of a black witch. Really, life is ordinary. But then a telekinetic half-demon, Leah O’Donnell, shows up to fight for custody of Savannah. And although Paige is ready for her, she’s not quite so prepared for the team of supernaturals that Leah brings with her, including a powerful sorcerer who claims to be Savannah’s father.

When all hell breaks loose -- literally -- and Paige is accused of witchcraft, Satanism and murder, the Coven, fearing exposure, abandons her. Cut off from her friends, Paige is forced against her better judgment to accept the help of a young sorcerer lawyer. And she quickly comes to realize that keeping Savannah could mean losing everything else.

Breathtakingly thrilling, hip and funny, this new novel is another page-turning triumph from an author who is going from strength to strength.

“I had a feeding frenzy on my front lawn, an unconscious paranormal investigator on my stairs, and, somewhere out there, an entire Cabal special projects team devoted to ruining my life.” -- from Dime Store Magic

From the Trade Paperback edition.
... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book
Dime Store Magic is the third installment in author Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. This novel switches course a little and follows the adventures of Paige Winterbourne, a young-adult witch, and her 13 year-old ward Savannah Levine. The two previous novels in the series dealt primarily with the world of werewolves which the author portrayed as revelling in the physical, yet possessing sensitive and passionate tendencies as well. The world of witches and sorcerers presented in this novel is far more subtle and cerebral.

Teenager Savannah Levine is on the cusp of puberty, a special and vulnerable time among witches. A cabal, roughly a combination of a corporation and a Mafia family run by sorcerers, covets young Savannah in order to harness her budding power for their own benefit. As her guardian, Paige Winterbourne tries to protect Savannah despite challenges from supernaturals of different talents, and betrayal from her fellow witches. Along the way, they are assisted by the young sorcerer lawyer, Lucas Cortez who develops a warm love-interest with Paige.

The author crafts her characters so skillfully that the reader will easily flow into the world she has created. As in her previous novels, the reader will enjoy how plausible the characters are despite their supernatural abilities. The only downside is that readers of her series will quickly become addicted to her well-crafted work, counting the days until the next book is published. Top ratings are well-deserved.

5-0 out of 5 stars great writing and a great story
Kelley Armstrong is a believable writer. Not only that, she's an excellent writer. Her three novels (Bitten, Stolen, and Dime Store Magic) all exist within the same supernatural world, yet nothing is cliche or over-dramatic in her story or her prose. Armstrong's brilliance is her ability to write believable characters in an "otherworld" plot. Not many writers these days can claim the same.
Like some of the other reviewers, I was wary of an entire book on Paige, since she wasn't exactly my favorite character in Stolen. But I devoured this book in four hours, and am waiting with bated breath (pun intended!) for Industrial Magic, the next installment.
Give her a whirl. You won't be sorry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Springboard for the Continuation of the Series
I liked Stolen but I thought that it lacked a bit because I wanted more about Elena and it didn't give enough about her. Then again, it didn't give enough about the witches and half demons to grab me completely either. I started this book a bit wary having been so invested in the werewolves but I was pleasantly surprised by the content.

Paige Winterbourne is 23, she's lost her mother and is the guardian of 13 year old Savannah, who we meet in Stolen. Savannah is the daughter of a good witch gone bad and as it turns out, her father is a sorceror and next in line for leadership of a very powerful Cabal.

The Cabal, aided by the wicked Leah (who we also met and grew to loathe in Stolen), decides they want Savannah and sets out to sabotage Paige's life to get her.

Paige has to face a whole lot of stuff at once in this book. I hate weak women characters and so when I read a few reviewers complaining that Paige was weak, I had to see for myself. I totally disagree that she is weak. First of all, she's 23 years old and has just lost her mother and is trying to raise a 13 year old who is more powerful than she is. The Coven that she is the leader of doesn't respect her authority, she wants to change things for the better but is stopped at every turn. Then these sorcerors come in and frame her for a whole host of things. Her once solid life has turned totally upside down, everyone wants her to give the child up but if she does, the child will go evil and she also promised her mother to take care of her. So despite her fears, despite the fact that she faces losing everything she's ever thought was important, she holds to her promises and fights. That's not weak, that's incredibly brave. She's not a demon slayer, she's not a superhero, she's a witch and not an incredibly powerful one at that but she keeps on fighting.

I won't do any specific spoilers but we meet some new characters with potential to be the mainstay of the next book, Lucas Cortez being the main one, another rebel against the strict class based system of their supernatural world.

The book is well written, the characters are nicely fleshed out and have interesting interactions with each other. The story is definitely unfolding into something much larger and I will be anxiously awaiting Industrial Magic when it comes out this fall.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but weak at some parts...
Paige Winterbourne is a 23-year old witch and is the leader of the American Coven of Witches, a very conservative group of witches whose main concern is keeping their existence a secret from the rest of the world. In the process, they have let their powers diminish and have become a rather ineffective part of the supernatural society. Ironically, Paige is not the perfect person for the job as this covens' leader: she is very conservative, she won't let the Elders tell her what to do, and, more importantly, she wants to explore her full potential in magic. This was a hereditary position that she received when her mother died. Also, at her mother's dying request, Paige also acquired the care of a very rambunctious and rebellious 13-year old orphan, Savannah, who reminds Paige of a lot of herself when she was younger. Savannah's mother had also been a witch, but followed a much darker path of magic; the predisposition to practice such magic was found in her daughter as well. Paige wondered why her mother had put Savannah into her care, especially since Savannah had the potential of being a very powerful witch. It was this potential, however, that also attracted very powerful evil to claim her and manipulate her power. Included in this group is her supposed long-lost father, a very powerful and very evil sorcerer, who now wants custody of his daughter to use for his own deeds.

The author had been recommended to me since I was a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton. I did enjoyed how Armstrong was able to tie in this world of magic, hidden in our world. I also enjoyed the cast of characters and the little twists through the book. However, I wouldn't put this book in the same category as Hamilton. The characters are not nearly as well written and the plot was not nearly as gripping. Even still, I would recommend this book for an easy summer reading list.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
First off, let me say that the cover to this book is quite ridiculous. It has absolutely zero to do with the inside and the cover blurb of 'sexy' is way misleading. You would think this is a cheesy sex romp book but it really only has 3-4 pages, out of 400+, of that material, and it goes along with the story. And whatever witch is on the cover is definitely NOT in this book.

On to the book...

I thought this novel was extremely well paced, exciting, and was a gripping read. I finished it in two sittings quite easily. And what is with people saying Paige has no backbone? Sure she doesnt have the killer instinct and she doesnt like killing, and never has. Whats wrong with that? Sounds believable to me because not everyone has zero conscience and can kill bad guys at will.

I loved Paige and Savanna and all of their little troubles in the book. However, i did not care much for Lucas. He seemed like the perfect guy and everything out of his mouth was flawless and the right thing to say. He sounded like a robot. I also wanted to see Adam show up, and take names, but that was not to be.

The main villainess, Leah, was also pretty scary and had a high intimidation factor, which starts 5 pages into the book. She seemed to be scarier the more she wasnt around because you keep thinking what she is up to next. I also dont think we have seen the last of her...

Over all, i greatly enjoyed this book and plan on picking up every book by Armstrong in the future. Armstrong is way above present Hamilton and the other up and comers like Harrison. Pick up the book. You wont be sorry. ... Read more

144. The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross Novels)
by James Patterson
list price: $7.99
our price: $6.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446610224
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 1132
Average Customer Review: 3.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Alex Cross' family is in terrible danger--at the same time that his new job with the FBI brings him the scariest case of his career. A team of kidnappers has been snatching successful, upstanding men and women right before their families' eyes--possibly to sell them into slavery. Alex's knowledge of the D.C. streets, together with his unique insights into criminal psychology, make this mindbending case one that only he can solve--if he can just get his colleagues to set aside their staid and outdated methods. With unexpected twists and whiplash surprises, this is another brilliantly irresistible novel from America's bestselling suspense writer. ... Read more

Reviews (199)

4-0 out of 5 stars First Time Patterson Reader
This was my first James Patterson book. But, since I liked the "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider" movies, I thought I'd give it a try. Especially since the books are usually better than the movies.

I have to say I really enjoyed his style of writing. I unfortunately already had the character of Alex Cross pictured as Morgan Freeman, but that's okay, there wasn't any detail to describe him in this book anyway. Smooth read, easy to follow, not too much detail to bore you. I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read some of the early Alex Cross novels.

My only complaint, like everyone else, the ending. I read this thing religiously and towards the time the back pages started thinning out, I began to realize the end was going to disappoint me. Just seemed like he ran out things to write or lost his storyline. I'm not giving up, though. I still loved reading it and he has the right to end his books however he wants. They are his books, we just love to read them! 4 Stars ****

4-0 out of 5 stars Good thriller!
I enjoyed the heck out of this, probably more so cause I just finished "Sam's letters to Jennifer" and it did nothing for me. While this is not the best Alex Cross novel it was still nice to be back in familar territory! If you like the Cross novels you should enjoy this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Top two
My all-time favorite Patterson is KISS THE GIRLS. I loved this book up until the end. There was no conclusion. Hopefully Patterson is continuing this book and the battle between Alex and the Wolf. It was a page turner from the start. I would rate it as one of my top 2 Patterson books aside from Kiss the Girls, of course. Also try a book called "Bark of the Dogwood" for a really good read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent audio book
First, let me praise the audio recording of this book.
Both actors were fantastic. The first-person reading of agent Alex Cross was phenomenal and the other characters were also skillful and convincing. Audiobooks have come a long way. This was full-fledged theater.

Now, the book itself. Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, it was a bit dopey. But did you expect otherwise?
It kept my interest, it was fast-paced, it was everything I expected it to be.
Was it filled with cliches? Yes. Did the descriptions of Cross's family life grow tiresome? Yes. Was the ending contrived? Sure.
But it's not like you pick up James Patterson to read great literature.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a happy ending
I agree with most of the reviewers that this is not the best of JP's books , but even so, this book will keep you reading, it is a very fast read and you will be interested in each page, the story about the Red Mafia could be real; anything in these days could be real.The book has some unsolved murders that I think is just to give the Wolf more power. Why didn't they use Elizabeth to know exactly who the Wolf was?
The end is kind of sad with his son and very sad about what happened to the Wolf, but remember not all the endigs are happy. ... Read more

145. Deep Fathom
by James Rollins
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380818809
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: HarperTorch
Sales Rank: 13612
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On The Day Everything Changed Forever...

The millennium's first eclipse of the sun cast a shroud over the Earth. And then catastrophe struck...

On The Day The End Began...

Solar flares have triggered a series of gargantuan natural disasters. Earthquakes and hellfire rock the globe. The death toll rises at an unimaginable rate. And in the midst of chaos, Air Force One and America's president have vanished from the skies.

The Sea Revealed A Mystery

Ex-Navy Seal Jack Kirkland surfaces from an aborted underwater salvage mission to find the Earth burning -- and the U.S. on the narrow brink of a nuclear apocalypse. Now, aboard his oceangoing exploration ship, Deep Fathom, Kirkland is on a desperate mission that is leading him to an earth-shattering discovery miles below the ocean's surface. For devastating secrets and a power an ancient civilization could not contain have been cast out into a modern day -- and they will forever alter a world racing toward its own destruction.

... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent summer read! Don't miss it!
Without giving anything away, this book likely has something for everyone who enjoys the action/adventure genre. Natural disasters, world chaos, a missing Air Force One and the president, ancient civilizations, romance, name it and you'll find it in this novel - even including a Canadian! This third novel by Rollins has more refined character development than his previous novels while at the same time, keeping the mystery and the adventure on an even keel. If you enjoyed his previous novels, you won't be disappointed with this one. In my opinion, Rollins easily ranks up there with the likes of Preston and Childs, DuBrul and other action/adventure writers. In fact, so far, he's demonstrating consistancy in his writing unlike some of the other writers who seem to lose momentum after their first success and is in fact in the process of surpassing some of the other household name action/adventure authors. Anxiously awaiting the next novel! Monsieur Rollins, you make reading a pleasure as always... ;-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rollins is on a Roll
Having read Rollins other books, with their alternate realities, I was eager to read this one. I was not disappointed. The plot is straight forward and the action fast-paced. The characters are standard without too much depth to them but enjoyable.

The use of disparate bits of info, like rongorongo, a real undecipherable language found in Micronesia, the Devel Sea, a region of the pacific similar to the Bermuda Triangle and the mysterious megalithic buildings scattered throughout Micronesia and the legend of MU is interesting. Rollins weaves them together into an very enjoyable, entertaining book.

But why does every modern hero have to be a ex-Seal? Why not Marine Recon or Ranger, both of whom have beat Seals in Armed Forces competition. But, since I am former Marine Recon, I'm biased.

Anyway, get the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Slow Beginning, But Great Read
As another reviewer noted, this is the least action packed of Rollin's books. The beginning was a little slow, by page 250 I was wondering when something exciting was going to happen. However, not long after, I was very satisfied.

Overall, this is a great book. His choice of locales was interesting, not many people are familiar with the Micronesian region, and I happen to have family living there which made the book even more special.

His characters, like usual, are interesting and have a good backstory. Rollins is an amazing author and he always makes things like archaeology and anthropology extremely interesting and exciting. If you like this try his other books, Excavation and Subterranean!

5-0 out of 5 stars DEEP FATHOM. Dark-ocean depths fun.
This is the least-exciting or Rollins books but I gave it 5 stars anyway. This book is alot like the Bible says about the end of the world. the Aurora Borealis people like to see causes earthquakes and hellfire to rock the globe. The president and Air Force One vanish in the Bermuda Triangle area. A Navy-SEAl member named Jack along with his team trys to uncover the mysterious crystal that's supposedly caused the garangtun disasters around the globe. A Bermuda Triangle type book. Also, I like how it follows the theory that the Bermuda Triangle is the exact place where the city of Atlantis sank. 450 pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars ESCAPIST FUN
This is probably Rollins' most "accessible" book; granted, it's ending is preposterous and way out there, but in the realm of scifi/fantasy, it works. Although a little wordy, I found myself intrigued with the various plots and subplots. Jack Kirkland is an amiable, brooding hero; Karen Grace is a feisty, intelligent, if somewhat obsessive feminine hero; her friend, Miyuki, exudes some charm and intelligence; Gabriel, the computer, is a viable nonhuman member of the cast; and David Spangler, as the villainous rival of Kirkland's is despicable and meets an approprirately "delicious" end.
DEEP FATHOM pours it on and Rollins, while no rival of the incomparable Matt Reilly, does pack in more action scenes than usual. If you're looking for believable action, this is not your book, but if you're in the mood for some derring do, this one fits the bill! ... Read more

146. Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688046592
Catlog: Book (1989-08-01)
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
Sales Rank: 53624
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ken Follett had long been a staple of the bestseller lists for his novels of intrigue and espionage. Then came The Pillars of the Earth, a grand novel of epic storytelling that readers and critics quickly hailed as his crowning achievement. Now, The Pillars of the Earth is available for the first time to a new audience of readers, in this attractive new trade paperback edition.

In 12th-century England, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral signals the dawn of a new age. This majestic creation will bond clergy and kings, knights and peasants together in a story of toil, faith, ambition and rivalry. A sweeping tale of the turbulent middle ages, The Pillars of the Earth is a masterpiece from one of the world's most popular authors.

"A novel of majesty and power...Will hold you, fascinate you, surround you." --Chicago Sun-Times

"A towering tale...There's murder, arson, treachery, torture, love, and lust...A good time can be had by all." --New York Daily News

"Touches all human emotions...truly a novel to get lost in." --Cosmopolitan
... Read more

Reviews (567)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tapestry of medieval cathedrals centered around a drama
Ken Follet actually wanted to write this book years before it was published. But his agent told him to build up his base of fans by writing several more thrillers. His EYE OF THE NEEDLE pushed him up to the best seller list.
At a later point, after writing those novels and studying medieval cathedral architecture, Follet got to write his 900 page novel centering around the British dispute of the crown between Queen Maude and King Stephen; these were the contestants who preceded Henry II, who is best known for his colorful History with Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lion Hearted and the gray King John.
Story centers around several commoner types, with a few exceptions, whose lives intertwine in the eventual struggle to build a glorious cathedral. Without revealing too much and generalizing this story has: lurid scenes of lust, violence, intrigue, political disputes, wars, loves gained, loves lost, main characters dying, a child abandoned at birth and much more. And, to Historian lovers, it even teaches readers of the period.
Highly advised reading, even if the dialogue is a bit informal and the structure sometimes isn't as focused as it could be. If those two points don't bother you, this is a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best historical novel I've read in 10 years
I've never been a fan of Follett, and picked this book up with some misgivings - anyone these days can try to do an "historical" novel with some quick sex, some fake archaic new-speak, and a TV-movie-miniseries concept of history. While there are some minor flaws in this book, its sweep, characterization, tensions, and love of its subject are simply riveting. I could not put the darned thing down and have lost sleep for a week compulsively page-turning. Follett, unbelievably, seems to have made little splash with this book when it first came out - more shame to the critics who missed a "Gone With the Wind" from a conventional thriller author.

His primary strength in the book is his magnificent characters. By the end, Prior Phillip, Aliena, Jack, Richard, "Witch" Ellen, William of Hamleigh, Waleran Bigod, and a host of supporting characters are as real as people you know. Their strengths and weaknesses feel as sound as earth. I've just reached the part where the Cathedral is finished, and its magnificent image, built in love, hardship, and devotion, colors the whole book like light through stained glass. And I suspect the ending will be as immensely "right" as the entire rest of the book in its proportion in spinning out complicated human lives and emotions.

Follett manages to write of an age of religious devotion without tumbling into the two pits - making fun of medieval Christian faith, or uncritically adopting it. An IMMENSELY satisfying read.

I could quibble with what I feel is some gratuitous sex, some slightly contrived plot twists, but that's like complaining about some flotsam in the river as you're going over Niagara.

DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK if you love wonderful story-spinning and history.

Well done, Mr. Follett!

2-0 out of 5 stars Plodding plotting
A disappointment. Slow, plodding, uninteresting and just boring. No real mystery, no deep character development and minimal insight into the thoughts of 12th century folks. Try something else for historical fiction. This one doesn't do much.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not the worst book in the world . . . but close.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the majority on this one... this book was not worthy of the bestseller list. In the world of book editing I know that authors often sell their ideas to the publisher based on a sketchy outline and a sample chapter or two, so I can understand how Mr. Follett managed to get a contract for this book. The idea is marvelous--a sweeping plot culminating in the building of a cathedral with an intriguing cast of characters whose lives intertwine in surprising ways. But the actual execution is miserable. Not a hundred pages in I had already tired of the plodding repetition and the dull prose. It's one of those books in which the author is all too present, making sure the readers don't miss how clever he is by drilling the themes and making his research painfully obvious. As an example of the latter, when a character drinks posset early in the book, the author felt it necessary to tell us how the beverage was made, which I found annoying enough since it disrupted the flow of the story. But then, several hundred pages later I was treated to the exact same description of posset and its ingredients. The book is full of such moments when you just have to sit back and wonder what the editors were smoking when they were preparing this book for publication. But as I mentioned, it's not the worst book I've ever read, and it was intriguing enough to keep me reading to the end, so I give it two stars and a recommendation to those of you who are looking for an easy-to-digest read rather than a rich feast for the mind.

3-0 out of 5 stars I tried, I really tried
Perhaps it's not fair to write a review for a book you have not finished reading, so my apologies to Mr. Follett. I have always enjoyed Medieval history and the architecture of cathedrals has always fascinated me. I picked this book up with the expectation that I would be enthralled from the first page. But I wasn't. The story just didn't work for me and one of the primary reasons was one already mentioned here by another reviewer: The characters are just too modern, especially in their speech.

Would individuals during the Middle Ages have actually used the expression "go to hell" or "thanks, anyhow?" These aspects of the dialogue made it difficult for me to get through the remainder of the book. Mr. Follett does a good job of recreating the atmosphere of the Medieval period but it's as if his characters have time-traveled from a later date. It just didn't work for me at all. ... Read more

147. The Bourne Identity
list price: $7.99
our price: $6.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553260111
Catlog: Book (1984-03-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 249
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jason Bourne.

He has no past. And he may have no future. His memory is blank. He only knows that he was flushed out of the Mediterranean Sea, his body riddled with bullets.

There are a few clues. A frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the flesh of his hip. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face. Strange things that he says in his delirium -- maybe code words. Initial: "J.B." And a number on the film negative that leads to a Swiss bank account, a fortune of four million dollars, and, at last, a name: Jason Bourne.

But now he is marked for death, caught in a maddening puzzle, racing for survival through the deep layers of his buried past into a bizarre world of murderous conspirators -- led by Carlos, the world's most dangerous assassin. And no one can help Jason Bourne but the woman who once wanted to escape him.

"Mr. Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combines." -- The New York Times ... Read more

Reviews (200)

4-0 out of 5 stars Exciting story
Ludlum is one of the best at creating the super spy and writing action sequences. Sometimes he can create a spy story to back them up. This one is pretty good throughout. He isn't that good with the emotional development of his characters or writing love stories (but he isn't nearly as bad as Tom Clancey in these areas). The hero agonizing over what his identity might be gets to be tedious and the love story is awkward as in all of his books. But, mostly the book moved at a good enough pace to make me want to read more.

This is the first book in a three part series. I didn't know that when I read the book, and was frustrated and disappointed as I neared the end of the book and realized the story wouldn't be concluded. The second book in the series (Bourne Supremacy) is pretty bad and doesn't really build on the first book. It isn't necessary to read it before jumping on to the third book (Bourne Ultimatum) and the conclusion of the story. The third book isn't as good as the first, but is worth reading for the conclusion.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Bournr Identity
Critical Review: The Bourne Identity
In my opinion, after reading this book, I feel that Robert Ludlum is the proverbial father of suspense, holding his own with such writers as Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. The book, the first of a trilogy is written magnificently leaving endless opportunities to expand on future sequels. Ludlum has an uncanny way of grabbing the reader's attention and keeping him eager to continue. The plot thickens early, wasting no time to express deep thought. The author leaves much to decipher, not spoon-feeding information; done commonly in less quality works of literature, boring the reader to exhaustion.
Jason Bourne the protagonist has a very disguised role in the novel. Although struck with amnesia, Bourne has a very smooth and calm way of executing his actions. Bourne's ability to stay mild mannered is a perfect counter balance to all the far-fetched and extravagant plots that arise throughout the course of the novel.
Throughout the novel uncertainty keeps the reader intrigued. Bourne is constantly fighting a battle; not always physically with other characters, rather mentally against himself. The never-ending dilemma between good and evil is a major factor in this book. Slowly learning more about his past, Bourne is realizing the life he led is not the one he wants to lead. From this point on in the book, Bourne is fighting to get out of the line of work that made him into what he is. "Jason Bourne had been paid to kill, and the police in several countries had sent funds through Interpol to convert reluctant informers, to broaden the base of his capture (Ludlum, 94)." With the help of Marie St. Jacques Bourne starts his transformation. In reality, The Bourne Identity is an incredible suspense thriller, but if you take a closer look, its really just your basic stereotypical love story with many obstacles and twists, boy meets a girl, boy has four million dollars, boy asks girl to drive him to Paris, and they fall in love.
Bourne, right off the bat, is portrayed as a superhero, almost immortal, having the ability to endure the icy wrath of the ocean and the lead that is temporarily residing in his head. "The boat rolled violently leeward and the and the man whose skull was ripped open plugged over the over the side into the madness of the darkness below (Ludlum, 1)." Bourne's flawless execution is a little overdone at times and casts a shadow of artificiality on the storyline. The novel is quite unrealistic at times though, for example, Bourne's amnesia was in a sense limited, his name, age, identity were all lost in his accident, but his ability to combat was in tact as well as his illusive clever nature. "Jason dropped to a crouch, spun to his left and lunged out of the aisle between two adjacent cars, breaking his fall with the palms of his hands, the maneuver made in silence (Ludlum, 426)."
To conclude, The Bourne Identity is a literary masterpiece, setting a mold for all future suspense thrillers to come. The book is directed towards more of an intellectual audience, with gaps in the story that only your imagination can fill. Each person will take his or her own individual thoughts and opinions from this book. I stand strong behind this book, and would recommend it to all readers with interest in deep thought and suspense.

5-0 out of 5 stars The one that started it all!
Ludlum surpasses not only himself but all other spy thriller writers for all times to come. I started in 1977 with Scarlatti Inheritance and have ever since been hooked to Ludlum. But Bourne Identity exploded on me like no other book or experience I had. It is more than a spy story or about a person called Bourne trying to fight tremendous odds with a total memory loss with bursts of memory flashes of the violent past with layers of different personalities. It is about human mind itself discovering its way using the ultimate training of the past to protect it and achieve the objective imprinted in the psyche. The events will linger forever in the mind and you will be hungry to read another book which can match this book. Yes! Read it ,Enjoy it and be haunted by it.

I also recommend: all the other Bourne books along with most of the early Ludlum (I'm not crazy about his later stuff). Also check out "A TOURIST IN THE YUCATAN" a cool thriller!

5-0 out of 5 stars Just darn fun
While I'm usually one for a bestseller or Oprah pick like "Da Vinci Code" or "Bark of the Dogwood," I do veer off my chosen path and read a mystery or thriller such as those produced by Clancy or Robert Ludlum. Enter "The Bourne Identity." If you want an action story with all the surprise bells and whistles then here you go. The Bourne Identity is a good story as a book. The Bourne Identity is a good story as a movie; don't confuse the two, they are very different. That said, check 'em out but don't bash one because it's unlike the other; movies and books will never run on the same tracks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good film, great book!
The Matt Damon film was one of my favourite films until I read this book.

Simply put, it's awsome, it wrecks a great film by being better than a movie can ever be. I have lent this to my dad, my sister and my 2 best friends and they all rate it as the best book of all time!

It develops the plot in such a way as you never want to put it down, from the moment the unnamed man is washed up on a shore to Jason Bourne............. read it and you'll appreciate it, but do read it. A great Movie is a shadow of an amazing book! ... Read more

148. Full House (Janet Evanovich's Full Series)
by Janet Evanovich, Steffie Hall, Charlotte Hughes
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312983271
Catlog: Book (2002-09-16)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 5796
Average Customer Review: 2.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Filled with Evanovich's trademark style and wit, Full House is romantic suspense with a twist...

Her life was pleasant, proper, and predictable-- until he showed up and trouble moved in...

Polo instructor Nicholas Kaharchek senses danger the minute he sees Billie Pearce. She represents everything he's so artfully avoided. Happy in her home life, a divorced mother of two, Billie is the epitome of stability. They have nothing in common.

To his horror, Nick is fascinated-- and irresistibly attracted. When Billie generously offers to share her home with Nick's crazy cousin Deedee for a while, Nick finds himself visiting-- often. And while each is slowly seduced by the other's charms, and both are wildly encouraged by devious Deedee, Billie and Nick find out that what they have in common is most important of all. But neither one knows that danger is lurking where they least expect it and a killer is closing in on them.

Sneak peek of Visions of Sugar Plums inside!
... Read more

Reviews (117)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Since I'm a huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I eagerly picked up this book, expecting the snappy, witty voice I've come to expect. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. In fact, the style is so different, if I hadn't seen Evanovich on the cover I would never have identified it as one of hers. Although I understand this is a revised version of an earlier book, FULL HOUSE wasn't THAT much earlier (four or five years at the most) than the first Plum book, so I wouldn't have expected such vast differences between the two. While there are flashes of cleverness in some of the dialogue, the prose is often sluggish and predictable, the chemistry between the protagonists is flat, and the frequent, and unclear, point of view changes are exhausting. Compared with the Plum books, this one seems extremely amateurish in comparison.

I'm not sure I understand how the collaboration between Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes was supposed to "improve" this early work. For someone with such a wonderful, and well deserved, reputation to team up with another writer -- when this is the result -- makes little sense to me. I will anxiously await the next Evanovich book, whether a new Stephanie Plum or not, but will be steering clear of any future books written by this team.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wildly disappointing
I am a BIG fan of the Stephanie Plum novels. They are such fun to read, so I decided to try other books by Ms. Evanovich, starting with Full House.

The first half of the book was rather vanilla, but not intolerably so. There was little plot, the characters were uninteresting, and the viewpoint was a hodge-podge of omniscient and third person subjective which was so confusing at times, I had a hard time separating truth/fact from character opinion. For someone as well-published as Evanovich, this book was very poorly written. It reads like someone's first novel. When I learned it was one of her earlier works, I thought I could cut her some slack, but to find out this is a re-written version of it -- BLECH. She should have known enough about how to tell a story by now. This book should have been allowed to go quietly out of print.

I lost interest half-way through the book, and while I am struggling to force myself through it, I don't think I'm going to make it. The dialog is boring, the characters cardboardy, and the plot has simply died. There's nowhere for them to go. The conflict has just petered out, so it's more like looking in the window of an ordinary person, watching their ordinary daily lives. Yawn. Don't waste your money. Get a Stephanie Plum novel if you want a fun read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sugar but no Plum
Apparently Janet Evanovich wrote romances in an earlier incarnation and this is one of them. Macho men aren't supposed to read romances but there's only one new Stephanie Plum a year and my addiction is such that I had to scrape the barrel.
As regrards plot it has the one size fits all plot derived from "Pride and Prejudice". Elizabeth Bennett is played by Billy Pearce, a divorced 38 year old mother of two. Darcy is played by Nicholas Kaharchek,a millionaire newspaper owner and polo horse trainer There are some misunderstandings between them but then in the end you'll never guess what happens.
Are there any traces of the brilliance of the One, Two, Three ...Nine series? Occasionally - there's a good scene of buying a wedding dress with a salesperson whose previous job was IRS auditor. The writing is full of cliches. On one page we have"expert hands" "Thoughts into a tailspin""utterly confused""fresh-scrubbed look""simple nature""put on airs" and a man wonders "What was the power she had over him that made him desire her." I've read that romance writers deliberately stick to stereotyped plots and use cliches so maybe it's not all JE's fault. A lot of people like romances and many art forms use conventional formulas. (And Pride and Prejudice is a great novel.}
It's interesting from the point of view of Evanovichian scholarship and I'd love to know what the input of Charlotte Hughes was and to lay my hands on an unaltered early work.

1-0 out of 5 stars --This is a boring dud!--
FULL HOUSE does not deserve the time it takes to read it. It's not worth the money and I feel annoyed that I even paid for it. The story is stupid and has nothing amusing about it or the characters. I purchased it on a whim because while I was in the store someone mentioned to me that the book took place in my area of Virginia. That was a big mistake! Where it took place didn't really make much difference to the sorry plot. Janet Evanovich is trading on her success with the Stephanie Plum books, and this story has nothing redeeming about it.

This is the first time in years that I've purchased something without looking it up and reading the Amazon customer reviews. I apologize to my fellow reviewers.

1-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst book I ever read
I am still amazed I finished this book - just a sickness I guess - I never allow myself to NOT finish a book. What is even more amazing is that this piece of garbage ever got published. It is absolutely HORRIBLE - stupid drivel. STAY AWAY. ... Read more

149. Tears of Autumn
by CharlesMcCarry
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585676616
Catlog: Book (2005-03-03)
Publisher: Overlook Hardcover
Sales Rank: 10459
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Paul Christopher, at the height of his powers as a secret agent, believes he knows who arranged the assassination and why.His theory is so destructive of the legend of the dead president, though, and so dangerous to the survival of foreign policy that he is ordered to desist from investigating.But Christopher is a man who lives by and for the truth, and his internal compunctions force him to the heart of the matter.He resigns from the Agency and embarks on a tour of investigation that takes him from Paris to Rome, Zurich, the Congo, and Saigon.Threatened by Kennedy's assassins and by his own government, Christopher follows the scent of his suspicion - one breath behind the truth, one step ahead of discovery and death. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great way to spend some down time
Just finished reading the book more than 25 years after publication. Fast paced and well put toghether with just the right touch of detail. I read it a lot when I had some down time at work and it kept me focused and entertained. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book satisfies even a non-fiction lover
I rarely read fiction.Just don't seem to have enough time.I first heard about Charles McCarry because if his uncanny plot predictions, especially in Better Angels, his 1990 thriller about a disputed Presidential election and a subsequent Arab rich kid-turned terrorist's plot to slam fuel ladden jet liners into American buildings.McCarry is a former CIA man who has his history right and writes about it beautifully.
Tears of Autumn involves his main spy, Paul Christopher, in an entirely believable speculation about who shot Kennedy.
Since even today, the Warren Commission findings remain painfully inadequate, this overlooked book can be read and enjoyed by even the most avid non-fiction reader.It offers a great window into 20th century intrigue.A great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't pass this one by
I also stumbled across The Tears of Autumn a long time ago, and have never forgotten it. I went on to read and enjoy a number of McCarry's novels, particularly The Last Supper and The Better Angels. But no one I've talked books with in the fifteen or so years since then has ever brought up his name. Which I find sad and weird, because Charles McCarry is up there with LeCarre and Robert Stone (not Oliver, nor strictly a thriller writer, but nonetheless).

Not only is hero and narrative viewpoint Paul Christopher one of the few fictional spies as interesting as George Smiley, but the plot of Tears of Autumn is genuinely original, compelling, disturbing, thoroughly plausible--all you could ever ask from a thriller. Put it next to DeLillo's Libra and you have two utterly contradictory scenarios for what lay behind Dallas '63 that both feel true.

Oh, and did I mention he could write? I mean the pages turn themselves and the world around you fades until the story ends. Then it lingers with you. He can write.

Blah blah. I won't go on further because, like I say, it's been years. I only came here because I'd forgotten the exact title of "that Kennedy assassination book". But when I got here I found myself wanting to add my praise to that of the two previous reviewers and to wholeheartedly recommend it, along with the McCarry's other Paul Christopher novels, to anyone who's curious. It's well worth dipping into. Not to be missed, really, if you like good spy books (or well-constructed conspiracy theories).

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-reading The Tears of Autumn
I remember reading and enjoying Charles McCarry's "Tears of Autumn" many years ago. Re-reading it, I find that it quietly comes up with a very plausible theory for the Kennedy assasination. It is not the typical spy novel--nor is Paul Christopher the typical spy. There's an intelligence and sensitivity to Christopher that James Bond lacks. The evocation of various locales--Vietnam before the war, the Congo, France, and Italy--are amazing. Christopher's friends, the Websters and Patchen, are also well-drawn. A very rewarding read. Why has this excellent novel never been made into a film, Hollywood or otherwise?

4-0 out of 5 stars An overlooked masterpiece
This is a wonderful novel about Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination and other modern fascinations."The Tears of Autumn" is an early McCarry work that shows the seeds of his later greatness.Anyone who isnominally interested in historical fiction or spy novels will love thisbook. ... Read more

150. The Cabinet of Curiosities
by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446611239
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 5721
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In downtown Manhattan, a gruesome discovery has just been made-an underground charnel house containing the bones of dozens of murder victims. Research reveals that a serial killer was at work in New York's notorious Five Points neighborhood in the 1880s, bent on prolonging his lifespan by any means. When a newspaper story on the old murders appears to ignite a new series of horrifyingly similar killings, panic overtakes New York City. Now, FBI agent Pendergast, journalist Bill Smithback, and archaeologist Nora Kelly join forces to protect themselves from a vicious killer...before they become the next victims. ... Read more

Reviews (169)

5-0 out of 5 stars F*A*N*T*A*S*T*I*C
Preston & Child put their heads together again and come up with a real winner. Cabinet of Curiosities brings back characters (Prendergast; Kelly, and Smithback)and settings (NYC) from previous books and set them hunting for a serial killer who appears to be still active after over 100 years. After discovering 36 brutally murdered victims, walled up in an old coal tunnel for over 100 years, the search leads them from the dusty Archives of the Museum, to an abandoned mansion on the Hudson River, all brought to life in vivid detail. Even as their search progresses, a rash of "copycat" murders occur, terrorizing the city of New York and lending urgency to solving the case. Those who have read previous books by these authors will especially enjoy getting to know and understand the incredibly intelligent and mysterious Prendergast better.

The plot is fast moving and engaging through the first 3/4 of the story. But get ready for the end of the book, where the plot takes an unexpected turn. You won't be able to put it down once you reach this stage!

Be prepared to stay up all night with this book!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
I have read many of the Preston/Child books with this one being the least impressive. This book provides plenty of suspense, however I felt let down by the ending. If you would like to read a good book by these guys then read either Relic or Thunderhead(my favorite) you won't be dissappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read It!
Excellent thriller. A cross between Michael Crichton and Stephen King. I borrowed this book from my grandmother and was hooked from page 1. Just the right mix of horror, suspense, and mystery. If you love psychological thrillers, this book is for you. This was the first Preston-Child book I read, but it won't be the last!

2-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Ride to Tedium
A gangbusters beginning plot that carries the interest through most of the book, but then gets mired down in some pretty good writing that simply goes on, and on, and on, and on -- to no apparent purpose.

I'll not repeat the theme of the book. That's well handled by others. I like the story; I just wish the authors would tell it.

If you have found the formula for prolonging your life, you may wish to spend time with this novel. Otherwise, life's too short.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but ultimately disappointing
this book had a lot going for it: interesting characters, wonderful and vivid descriptions of victorian new york, and an intriguing look at the resources of museums...but ultimately it sinks under the weight of a few outlandish plot twists and an anticlimactic (and generally predictable) ending.

All in all, a good beach read (and a good jumping off point for learning more about history and new york). ... Read more

151. Still Life with Crows
by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446612766
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 21681
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New York Times bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child return with a suspenseful midwest Gothic thriller about a serial killer who terrorizes a small town. Medicine Creek, Kansas, has been slowly dying for the last century. A small, quiet place, the primary occupation is still farming, Main Street is a stretch of old and dusty businesses, and the nearest mall is 200 miles away. In a town where nothing changes, the community is terrified after a series of grisly murders takes place. Even more alarming, the bodies are displayed in bizarre tableaus. With the entire town in shock, FBI Agent Pendergast arrives from New Orleans to investigate. From the fields to the local caves, Pendergast discovers the remnants of a Prohibition-era moonshine operation and the truth behind one of the town's greatest mysteries: who was behind the Medicine Creek Massacre of 1865. Now, Pendergast must discover the twisted secret hiding within a four-generation Kansas family--before someone else is murdered. ... Read more

Reviews (92)

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Enthralling
This book, the new one by the brilliant duo of Douglas Preston and Licoln Child who've collaborated on such hits as "Reliquary", "Relic", and "The Cabinet of Curiosities", have done it again with the bestselling "Still Life With Crows".
"Still Life With Crows" is a thriller that pulls no stops. You will find yourself having a white-knuckled grip on the book while holding it (that is if you can stop reading long enough for your right brain to make this little discovery).

FBI Special Agent Pendergast makes another show in this novel, however without the sometimes dubious help of Bill Smithback. Pendergast mysteriously appears in Medicine Creek, Kansas (like he appears everywhere). There have been a series of grisly murders going on in this, small, dusty town. The victims are mutilated and arranged in nauseating tableaus in the cornfields of which Medicine Creek seems to be full. Pendergast is almost immediately cold-shouldered by the small town's constable, Sheriff Hazen. But, as always, Pendergast prevails, hiring a teenage misfit as an escort whom you grow to love throughout the novel's spine-snapping pace. The denouement, like always in the Douglas/Child novels is made up of near tediousness and maddening suspense deep under the town of Medicine Creek. Buy this book and do yourself a favor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another good story from team Preston and Child
I am a big fan of the books that Preston and Childs have written. I enjoy how they mix history and science to form an interesting story. They also create entertaining characters such as FBI agent Pendergast along with realistic dialog and character interactions. This book picks up where their last book (The Cabinet of Curiosities) left off, but you do not need to read the past title to understand this one. In this story, Pendergast is on "vacation" and decides to investigate a peculiar murder in Kansas. The story begins a little slowly as compared to their past works and is focused mainly on Pendergast developing relationships with the small town citizens. The killings continue and are intertwined with a Civil War era battle with indians. Ultimately, the story and the killer were not as intriguing as in "The Cabinet of Curiosities", but it is an entertaining book and I fully recommend it. There is an unexplained storyline in the book-possibly foreshadowing for their next title?

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Attempt, But...
Ok I was thrilled when after 4 months of searching for the latest in the series by Preston and Child. I have read all the other books by them that feature the protagonist Pendergast and was looking forward to what they were going to do with him this time.

Quite honestly, I was disappointed. The book started out so well, with such a creepy and surreal setting. And despite what many other readers said, the plot moved along very well, and was not boring in the least bit.

The problem lies in that the authors seemed to have run out of ideas for good antagonists. They go through such pains to show how he is of superhuman strength, but never explain why he kills. The books leaves too many things unexplained.

While still a decent book, I would recomend Cabinet of Curiosities as an introduction to these authors.

3-0 out of 5 stars Started Great, but then....
The ending was so BLEAH that I couldn't give this book more than 3 stars, which actually pains me because it started out soo promising and I completely LOVE the character of Pendergast. I actually found the book really hard to put down because of the wonderful way the two author writes, the words just flow. And even though after a while, I realized really nothing much was happening in between murders, I was still fascinated, mainly because of Pendergast. But what eventually killed the book for me was the conclusion. The way Pendergast figured it out was kind of hokey; I really hated that self-hypnosis plot device which I believed was first introduced in Cabinet of Curiousities. It smelled of a cop-out to me, when it would've made so much more sense and had been so much more respectful to the character had Pendergast figured things out solely from doing old fashioned detective work, which he had been doing up to that point. Then the revelation of the identity of the murderer was nothing short of ridiculous; how it took Pendergast so long to figure something was askew is beyond me, considering where he was (I don't want to go into any more details for that will be wandering into the territory of spoilers). Lastly, it was also disappointing to see Child & Preston eventually sticking to the old stereotype about small town hick sheriffs when in the beginning, it had appeared that they wouldn't take that hackneyed route. I actually applauded when the Sheriff took over the first crime scene with just as much intelligent authority as any big-city cop would do, but alas, that image was completely undermined towards the end of the book when he started living up to the stereotype.
Anyway, I would recommend this book only because of the character of Pendergast and Child & Preston's very smooth writing style, but in terms of plot, I would give it a thumbs down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not their best, but good
I love the work of these guys: they are consummate masters of plot pacing and usually the plot is very imaginative (e.g., the memorable Riptide, and The Ice Limit). But this seems a relatively lackluster effort: the plot is a little weak, and the antagonist unlikely. Of course, there are mysteries & chills galore, and Pendergast always makes for an enjoyable read, but this is the weakest of the stories where he appears. (I think Cabinet of Curiosities would be the strongest, with Relic and Reliquary tied close behind). A must for fans (like me), but not the best intro to Preston & Child. Enjoyable, nonetheless. ... Read more

152. Oblivion : A Novel
by Peter Abrahams
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060726571
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 1834304
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153. The Queen of the South
by Arturo Perez-Reverte, Andrew Hurley
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399151850
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 9655
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The critically acclaimed, beloved, and bestselling author of The Club Dumas and The Nautical Chart delivers his most magniÞcent novel to date.

Few authors inspire the kind of passion that Arturo Pérez-Reverte does. Reviewers, readers, and booksellers alike have embraced his fiction as the perfect blend of suspense and literary ambition. A global bestseller, he is one of the most admired and widely read authors in the world. And his stunning new novel is his best yet.

A remarkable tale, The Queen of the South spans continents, from the dusty streets of Mexico to the sparkling waters off the coast of Morocco, to Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar. A sweeping story set to the irresistible beat of the drug smugglers' ballads, it encompasses sensuality and cruelty, love and betrayal, as its heroine's story unfolds.

Teresa Mendoza's boyfriend is a drug smuggler who the narcos of Sinaloa, Mexico, call "the king of the short runway," because he can get a plane full of coke off the ground in three hundred yards. But in a ruthless business, life can be short, and Teresa even has a special cell phone that Guero gave her along with a dark warning. If that phone rings, it means he's dead, and she'd better run, because they're coming for her next.

Then the call comes.

In order to survive, she will have to say goodbye to the old Teresa, an innocent girl who once entrusted her life to a pinche narco smuggler. She will have to find inside herself a woman who is tough enough to inhabit a world as ugly and dangerous as that of the narcos-a woman she never before knew existed. Indeed, the woman who emerges will surprise even those who know her legend, that of the Queen of the South.
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Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe this is Perez-reverte
I've read all his previously translated novels, and felt they all had something in commmon...a sense, or aura, of mystery. Who are these people, what is really going on? At the heart of each of his previous novels were questions you could not wait to have answered.

This novel read as a straightforward story. There was no mystery, you always knew exactly what was going on. To me, this was a disapointment. The story itself was fine, and as all his books are, very well written. There was just nothing special about it.

I gave it three stars because it was beautifully written, but for Perez-Reverte, 3 stars is a major disappointment. If you read this, do not expect a typical story by him, expect something much more mainstream, something any of hundreds of authors could write.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blown away
The reportage style of "Queen of the South" fits Arturo Perez Reverte like a glove. Creating female characters has never been his strong point, and using an observer's eye to tell most of Teresa Mendoza's story works very well. Where you usually hear that good non-fiction "reads like a novel" here we have a fiction that reads like an investigative report in a quality magazine-one of those addictive pieces you think would make a great book.

And it has. The Spanish novelist's latest is the story of Teresa Mendoza, who rose from being a drug smuggler's sweetie in Mexico's narco-capital of Culiacan, Sinaloa, to running one of the largest and most successful drug enterprises on the Mediterranean. There's no play for sympathy for Teresa, no descriptions of her childhood (except for Teresa's brief recall of her mother "washing dirty dishes in a tub in the backyard and sleeping with drunken neighbors"). Teresa does not ask for sympathy or expect it. She is never innocent. In Culiacan there is no mercy, no consideration. The place has evolved into a Colombian-style society of sociopaths, and she has learned to take what's offered and keep her eyes peeled. The inevitable happens at the start of "Queen of the South" and Teresa is on the run from page one.

There are no heroes in this book; it is an unflinching portrait of an ugly world. The paranoia, manipulation, and joylessness of the drug enterprise is fascinating, with only one character in it for the thrill. Threaded through with the lyrics of Mexican narco-corridos, "Queen of the South" peels back the skin of modern drug cartels. This is an exciting, creepy read.

4-0 out of 5 stars insightful look at drug trafficking
Mexican drug-running pilot Guero Davila warned his girlfriend that if the cell phone he gave her ever rings, she must flee because he is dead and she is next. When the call came, the voice calmly told her that "They wasted Guero", killed his cousin, and she was high on the clean up list. Listening to the voice of Guero in her head, the panicked Teresa Mendoza runs for her life.

Teresa knows that they will find her eventually so she must change from the innocent upbeat girl who a coke delivery pilot rescued from poverty to a major player. She chooses Spain to start out, but she is raped and incarcerated for her efforts. However, over the next dozen years, Teresa learns and begins to rise through the ranks until she becomes Narco's QUEEN OF THE SOUTH with a confrontation awaiting her with the Don of Mexican druglords.

Though the men in Teresa's life are evanescent and never fully developed yet somehow seem fascinating (what if), readers receive an insightful look at drug trafficking through the exploits of the terrific protagonist. The story line actually plays out along two plots with the main theme being the rise to power of Teresa; the other subplot focuses on a reporter doing research into Teresa's life by interviewing felons and law enforcement officials who have known her. Thus, the audience obtains a second and at times a third perspective on events that shaped this intriguing anti-heroine. This strong novel falls a bit flat due to the weak support cast, but Arturo Pérez-Reverte still provides an intriguing thriller.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gripping book, the best Perez-Reverte I've read
I have read Perez-Reverte's "The Fencing Master" and "The
Nautical Chart". I consider these books intellectual noir,
whose plot revolves, in part, around a feme fatal. The
beautiful faithless women in these book are one dimensional.
Even in "The Nautical Chart", where the book revolves around
the beautiful Tanger, we never really get a feeling for who
she is. Coy, the man who loves her, spends the book trying
to understand her. But in the end Coy only has a collection
of observations that never really add up to a whole.

Having read two books by Perez-Reverte where the women were
beautiful and dangerous characters without full dimension
I wondered if Perez-Reverte could actually write about a
three dimensional women. The answer has been provided in
"The Queen of the South".

The central character is Teresa, a complex woman with a
complex history. By the end of the book I felt that
Perez-Reverte has created a character that could have lived

beyond the pages of the book. Before becoming a novelist
Perez-Reverte was a new reporter and it shows in this book.
When I finished reading the last page, I had the strange
feeling that the events recounted really could have happened
exactly as outlined. This was reinforced by the fact that
Perez-Reverte has incorporated some actual people into his

Teresa as a dark character and by the end of
the book she has blood on her hands. Perhaps because
Perez-Reverte provides such an intimate portrait of Teresa
I was unable to see her as evil, despite some of her actions.
We see Teresa grow from a scared young woman to full adulthood
into a sophisticated woman.

The story of "The Queen of the South" is told by a reporter
and the detail in which the world of drug running is
described in amazing detail. Like Fredrick Forsyth's "Odessa
File", one is reading a novelization of actual reality.
The story is gripping. From the start we feel that Teresa

is living on borrowed time. There is nothing of the slow
buildup that exists in "The Fencing Master". This book
is a page turner from the start.

1-0 out of 5 stars Please go back to the "arcane"
If no one had told me what I was reading, I would never have guessed that the author of this *sensationally* violent trash could be the same person who wrote Seville Communion, Flanders Panel, Fencing Master, etc. I only hope that it is a "stage" and that he returns to what Booklist called his "arcane" writing --- write what you know, not what you research. ... Read more

154. The Alienist
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553572997
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 7087
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences. ... Read more

Reviews (396)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating grotesque
Caleb Carr has written a plot-driven novel with a strong setting and reasonably complex characters. The industrial New York setting comes across as seedy and gritty without being too overblown, and the narrator's somewhat modern perspective and voice allows the reader to feel somehow more familiar with this past time. I can't vouch for the historical veracity but it felt real enough to me.

Like Crichton, Carr allows the reader to be taken on a thriller journey that includes bits and pieces of knowledge (NY underworld, psychology in the late 19th century) so the book feels less like brain candy. Unlike Michener, Carr avoids drowning out his sense of storytelling in order to share his wealth of information.

Two weaknesses affect the story. First, the narrator seems a bit of a buffoon--the old "why would the rest of these characters bother tolerating him." Second, Carr seems to think a dramatic denouement requires including every character who's appeared previously and providing them with a weapon. A few pages of overblown drama are quite forgivable though in an otherwise well-researched and skillfully told novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars What a pageturner!
I read The Alienist with my face-to-face bookclub this month and was immediately excited for a couple of reasons. First, we needed a change, having focused on "issue" books primarily, and second, I love serial killer mysteries. There's nothing like a great thriller to keep you company on a rainy afternoon. And this was no exception.

It's Spring, 1896, and the New York City police department is faced with a dilemma. Someone is murdering and mutilating young male prostitutes. Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt brings together Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a controversial profiler (aka alienist), John Moore, the police beat reporter for the Times, and an assorted cast of trustworthy detectives and friends to take the case. Can this team of unexpected investigators find the murderer before he strikes again?? Guess you'll have to buy the book to find out...

Overall, I enjoyed Carr's vivid description of turn of the century NYC and his ability to write in response to the time period's needs. I don't think he missed a single detail. The ending was slightly anti-climactic though I would not hesitate to recommend the book to anyone interested in this type of novel. I'm on my way to find The Angel of Darkness for more adventures with this funny, endearing group of characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Alienist, by Caleb Carr
The Alientist, by Caleb Carr, is one of the most unique novels you are likely to read. Although it could be termed a mystery, I think it works better as historical fiction. Anyone disappointed with the recent film Gangs of New York should look to this book as more interesting historical fictional set in 1800s New York. Unlike that movie, however, this book really conveys a sense of old time New York during the turn of the century. But the setting does not dominate the novel, rather it serves as a striking backdrop for the considerable story, using such real life characters as Theodore Roosevelt. J.P. Morgan and Anthony Comstock (whose ancestors also appear in the similarly themed Quicksilver, by Neal Stevenson) also make brief apperances. As with Quicksilver, the settings and characters compliment the plot, using it to examine philosophical and religious issues, a trait not commonly found in typical mysteries. The end result that the main thrust of the plot (i.e. the search for a serial killer) takes on greater meaning, in its attempt to show the difficulties faced by attempting to reconcile civilization's greater struggles with that of the (seemingly insignificant) individual.

4-0 out of 5 stars A slightly different New York
One of the most well-researched, intelligently written books of historical fiction on the shelves. Carr not only utilizes the budding sciences of criminal psychology and forensics, but he presents each method as seen through the eyes of those living in the 1890's when both were considered new developments. He successfully mimicks the style of the day, which is often longwinded and wordy, but at the same time poetic and lyrical. The descriptions of old New York, particularly the dangerous, back-alley tenement ghettos, the subculture of police corruption, and the Victorian decadence once known as the "sporting life" are written so well that it's hard to believe Carr wasn't actually there to witness it all firsthand. Definitely recommended, and a good hook for the sequel, Angel of Darkness.

4-0 out of 5 stars Satisfying
The finest writing, to my mind, is that which uses one's mind. Caleb Carr fully engages the minds of his readers by expertly plumbing the minds of his characters, including a chillingly twisted mind, that of a serial killer. Mr Carr invites his readers to sort out details, to route out clues, to struggle along with the protagonist, New York Times writer John Moore, as he devises a method in which to trap a man who has killed, and who will kill again, before captured finally within the breathless climax. To capture this killer, John Moore utilises psychology, a science which in 1896, the year this novel transpires, was brand new, untried, and popularly maligned. To help him along in this is Laszlo Kreizler, the Alienist, a practitioner of psychology during a time when the mind remained the domain of myth, misunderstanding, and the property of a Higher Power. Battling corruption and ignorance, John Moore, under Kreizler's tutelage, rallies an investigation that plows new ground in crime fighting history. These men are splendid and admirably portrayed, however, I admired especially the female liason, if simply for the fact that Mr Carr included an intelligent, independent woman character within a late 19th-century setting, a time almost universally unkind toward women, wherein they were relegated to the lower ranks, and regrettably dismissed to forgettable subservient roles. ... Read more

155. The Winner
by David Baldacci
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446606324
Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
Publisher: Warner Vision
Sales Rank: 2166
Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

THE DREAM . . . She is 20, beautiful, dirt-poor, and hoping for a better life for her infant daughter when LuAnn Tyler is offered the gift of a lifetime: a $100 million lottery jackpot. All she has to do is change her identity and leave the U.S. forever. THE KILLER . . . It's an offer she dares to refuse . . . until violence forces her hand and thrusts her into a harrowing game of high stakes, big money subterfuge. It's a price she won't fully pay . . . until she does the unthinkable and breaks the promise that made her rich. THE WINNER...For if LuAnn Tyler comes home, she will be pitted against the deadliest contestant of all: the chameleon-like financial mastermind who changed her life. And who can take it away at will . . . ... Read more

Reviews (259)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another WINNER for Baldacci
The reason I love the way David Baldacci writes are many and THE WINNER is another example of a great page-turner. His writing is very compelling--one can become involved in the story on the first page. His books are very thrilling with a lot of twists and turns. There is always an evil villain that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Oftentimes I'll have trouble sleeping if I read Baldacci before going to bed! My heart does so race! My favorite books by this author also have a touch of romance, which fits the bill for my favorite 'happily ever after' books. THE WINNER has all of the above ingredients, I'm happy to say. LuAnn Tyler, a twenty-year old down on her luck mother agrees to help throw the lottery (against her better judgment). The man who makes all of this possible (Mr. Jackson) is an evil genius whose plan slowly unravels ten years later due to a newspaper reporter's inquisitiveness. Mr. Jackson will eliminate anyone who tries to get to close to him. Anyway, you get the picture......
So, if you want to read a wonderful story that will keep you glued to a great book, try THE WINNER--you will be the winner for having read it!

3-0 out of 5 stars A 500-page coincidence
The plot of David Baldacci's third fast-paced novel, "The Winner," is pretty easy to follow: young, niave LuAnn Tyler, struggling to raise her daughter as best she can in poverty, agrees to "win" the national lottery which has been fixed by an evil mastermind, Jackson. Like his previous "winners," Jackson has hand picked LuAnn because of her situation, making his offer more difficult to refuse, but her acceptance comes with a heavy price: LuAnn is Jackson's pawn and must agree to do as Jackson commands, including never to return to the US upon winning and living in utter fear.

Jackson, while a very interesting foe, is just too much to believe: He's a mastermind in chemistry and poisons, a regular Boris Karloff of disguse, and more stealthy than a ninja warrior. LuAnn Tyler is almost as unreal as she turns from uneducated single mom to killer millionaire in the span of ten years. At least she manages to keep her sense of humor and brash attitude throughout the story. Toss in a former FBI agent (now living under the witness protection program) as LuAnn's love interest and a former boxing pro turned bodyguard as the "uncle" to both LuAnn and her daughter and you have the makings of a very well-rounded cast. However, the novel is plagued by coincidence after coincidence from the beginning. Start with LuAnn's first boyfriend's murder, cementing her decision to accept Jackson's offer as she believes herself to be a wanted fellon, up to the climatic ending set against a cliff which just so happens to exsist on the backside of LuAnn's estate in Virginia...? Or there's the journalist that pieces the fixed lottery story together that also happen's to be Jackson's sister's boyfriend. Makes me kind of think that this is David Baldacci's only way to move a story along. In any case, "The Winner" isn't a complete loser as it moves along quickly and with decent dialogue, something most suspence novelists can barely pull off.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute thrill ride. One of Baldacci's best!
David Baldacci set the bar high for himself with his first huge hit, ABSOLUTE POWER (which later became a movie starring Clint Eastwood). He also reaches that bar with this effort, THE WINNER. Combining a plot not previously explored in popular fiction with believable characters and great writing, Baldacci produces a book worthy of a future screenplay.

The heroine, LuAnn Tyler, is a young Southern woman who receives an offer she can't offer to win millions of dollars in a lottery that is fixed. The offer is made by a mysterious man named Jackson. As the novel progresses, Jackson develops into one of the most brilliant, calculating antagonists of recent memory. The man seems unstoppable! LuAnn's bodyguard Charlie is a constantly important character as is Matt Riggs, who is thrust into LuAnn's life by random chance.

As the novel progresses, it thrives not only on the lottery scam but also LuAnn's love for her daughter and her desire to protect her at any cost...and it plays into the hands of the reader, making you ask yourself if YOU would make the same decisions and take the same risks as she had. This added element really adds to the reading experience.

All in all, this is Baldacci's best work since Absolute Power. Hopefully, the trend will continue in his future works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
When someone writes "The concept of the book was a little far fetched" it drives me a little CRAZY!! That's why they call it fiction; it doesn't all have to be believable! Now that I've got that off my chest, I just finished the book and I loved it!! If you like Baldacci you'll like this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Would You Give Up Everything for Millions?
Bright and beautiful, twenty-year-old LuAnn Tyler lives with her no good boyfriend and her their baby girl on the poor side of town with nowhere to go but up. She's about as desperate as they come. Then she's approached my a mysterious man named Jackson who offers her the chance of a lifetime, a chance to win millions on the lottery. The game is going to be fixed, of course, and naturally Jackson wants a hefty cut of the take.

LuAnn turns him down, then finds herself as a murder suspect and all of a sudden the rigged lottery is looking better and better. She does what Jackson wants, wins the big bucks and, as per Jackson's instructions, leaves the country with her daughter. She's under orders from him, never to come back. A small price to pay for her rags to riches transformation.

However ten years later she misses America and comes home and gets involved with a handsome contractor who has a mysterious past. Then Jackson finds out she's back. He's got plenty of money and it looks like he wants LuAnn dead. Who is more dangerous to her? Her new beau, or the deadly Jackson?

As Usual Baldacci has served up a non-stop thriller that is impossible to put down. There are twists, turns, slights of hand, misdirections and an ending that is so very satisfying. I just loved this book. ... Read more

156. A Time to Kill
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440211727
Catlog: Book (1992-06-01)
Publisher: Dell
Sales Rank: 9480
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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This addictive tale of a young lawyer defending a black Vietnam war hero who kills the white druggies who raped his child in tiny Clanton, Mississippi, is John Grisham's first novel, and his favorite of his first six. He polished it for three years and every detail shines like pebbles at the bottom of a swift, sunlit stream. Grisham is a born legal storyteller and his dialogue is pitch perfect.

The plot turns with jeweled precision. Carl Lee Hailey gets an M-16 from the Chicago hoodlum he'd saved at Da Nang, wastes the rapists on the courthouse steps, then turns to attorney Jake Brigance, who needs a conspicuous win to boost his career. Folks want to give Carl Lee a second medal, but how can they ignore premeditated execution? The town is split, revealing its social structure. Blacks note that a white man shooting a black rapist would be acquitted; the KKK starts a new Clanton chapter; the NAACP, the ambitious local reverend, a snobby, Harvard-infested big local firm, and others try to outmaneuver Jake and his brilliant, disbarred drunk of an ex-law partner. Jake hits the books and the bottle himself. Crosses burn, people die, crowds chant "Free Carl Lee!" and "Fry Carl Lee!" in the antiphony of America's classical tragedy. Because he's lived in Oxford, Mississippi, Grisham gets compared to Faulkner, but he's really got the lean style and fierce folk moralism of John Steinbeck. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (291)

4-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT NOVEL!!!
The classic John Grisham novel, A Time to Kill, is a transfixing story of the violent effects of racism in the deep south. Carl Lee Hailey is a southern, black man, whose daughter was beaten and raped by two racist hillbillies. He extracts his revenge through another act of brutality as he guns down the two rapists in front of hundreds of witnesses. In an attempt to free himself from a fate of prison or death, attorney Jake Brigance brings forth his efforts to help the apparently doomed man.
This was a very graphic and powerful story. Grisham focuses on the racial inequality to show how a black man in that situation would be treated. The events throughout the entire story, show the anger of the man whose family was shattered by ignorance. I believe that the best feature is the intense detail. Although at times a bit gruesome, the writing can truly make you feel engrossed in the story along with the characters.
There are plot twists concealed in the midst of what would appear to be a straight-forward story line, which prove to make things a great deal more interesting than merely providing a predictable set of events to thumb through. The book is severely hard to put down due to the
If there are any flaws they are well disguised. The only detail to be considered a flaw is that while Carl Lee murdered two men in his state of rage. Anyone with a family member forced to endure such an inhumane experience, would probably feel this way as well. Though his feelings toward those men were comprehensible, did they bestow a right to take their lives? This is the primary focus of the story line; however, the fact that Carl Lee was black makes you wonder if he was white, would the murders have even been an issue. Overall, the story was good and the writing was amazing. I would recommend this book to anyone!

3-0 out of 5 stars Superficial Portrayal Leaves Something to be Desired
In the hands of a greater author, or perhaps if Grisham had paid as much attention to some aspects of the book as to others, this could have been a truly powerful piece of work. The subject itself is fascinating: a black man takes the lives of his little daughter's rapists in the heart of the Deep South, where justice is still tainted by color. After reading the book, however, I couldn't help but feel that Grisham missed the mark somewhere.

I was amused when I saw that this book was required reading for an introductory Afro-American history class at my college. First of all, this book is not about a black father avenging his daughter. The book is about a white lawyer who braves the dangers and hatred of his peers to defend that father. In essence, the book ends up being a far weaker, more contemporary version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Anyone who expects otherwise will be disappointed. The black characters in the novel are secondary and painted in very broad strokes: Carl Lee Hailey at times appears to be a slow-witted oaf, his wife Gwen is a subservient black woman, and the black preachers are all stereotyped. Tonya Hailey is perhaps the strongest black character, and well-so. The opening scene of her rape is vivid and heart-rending, and Grisham portrays her later suffering throughout the book in a manner that is poignantly real.

Still, the white characters end up being decidedly stronger than the black. Jake Brigance, the lawyer, is the noble white knight who risks all to save the black man from the Klan, rednecks, and the closet racists of Clanton, Mississippi. His wife is quiet, proud, and believable in her concern for her husband. Ellen Roark, the law student who aids Brigance in his defense of Hailey, is brilliant and vibrant. After the initial rape and murder of the two rednecks, the focus shifts mainly on the whites and the blacks are reduced to cameo roles.

My biggest gripe about the book is the glib manner in which Grisham handles his subject. At times the novel seems to be almost frivolous in content. Harry Rex Vonner, Lucien Wilbanks, Rufus Buckley, and even Judge Noose are all cartoonish and rarely exhibit human depth. The word 'nigger' is used constantly and, at times, unnecessarily, particularly among the more liberal white characters in the novel. There is almost too much humor for a subject of this importance, especially in some of the dialogue. Comic relief is understandably needed in a novel this intense, but Grisham overdoes it.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad book at all. Grisham's breezy writing style makes for a comfortable read, and it is admittedly a page-turner. When he takes his subject matter seriously, he shines. The reader can feel Tonya's pain and sympathize with Carl Lee's justifiable wrath. The trials that Jake Brigance undergoes to defend Carl Lee are vivid and well-told, and his closing argument is perhaps the high point of the entire story. The diverging sentiments of the residents of Clanton both for and against Carl Lee are also well-described. Still, these moments are too few and far between. This is one instance when I can definitely say I thought the movie was more powerful than the book. The black characters and white characters are presented more on an even level and it makes a stronger statement about race and justice in this country. The book, while showing a lot of promise, ends up falling short of what it could have been. Like many other contemporary novels it fails to achieve any real depth, and the characters fail to linger with you after you've put it down. Still, if you are looking for an entertaining read, don't hesitate to pick up this book. Just don't expect it to make you think overlong about real race issues facing this country.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good legal drama but not Grisham's best.
The story in this first novel from John Grisham has enough clichés that the reader knows very early the book's conclusion. Despite appearing at first to be Matlock-type story, there's enough action in both the main and side plots to keep the pages turning. The author clearly knows the rural South. One complaint about this and all Grisham's book is when the plot is over the ends very suddenly. The rush to end leaves several side-plots unresolved or poorly resolved.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This is not just a book, it is a spectacle to behold. I was literally biting my nails as this book reached its climax, as Clanton, Mississppi, a small unsuspecting southern town becomes the home of the biggest trial in the nation. The racial tension is this book is palpable, and it is the driving force behind what makes this story so compelling. This small town becomes a virtual war zone. Fantastic! I can't even find the words to describe how amazing and unbelievable a read this was!

3-0 out of 5 stars a time to kill
A Time To Kill is set in Mississippi during racist times. The book a time to kill tells a story about a young black girl that gets rapped by two white guys. After the rape her the throw her out. Some people found her and took her home. Her father wanted to take justice into his own hands.
One part in the book tells how he got revenge on the two white guys. He shoots them in his face on the stairs and then he is charged for murders of to white men. The rest of the book is mostly about his courts and if he's guilty or not.
This book shows a lot prejudice actions and how the kkk was involved. I enjoyed reading this book and if you want to know more about racist times I recommend this book. ... Read more

157. Shadow Prey
by John Sandford
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0425126064
Catlog: Book (1991-02-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lucas Davenport goes on a city-to-city search for a killer with a grisly m.o.--he slashes his victims' throats with an Indian ceremonial knife. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Early Prey = Good Prey
In this second "Prey" novel, the Crows and their son, Shadow Love, are out to settle an old score with the Director of the FBI for sins he committed years ago. Lucas Davenport, Minneapolis-St. Paul detective and new father, is assigned to work with attractive Lily Rothenberg, an NYPD detective, as they hunt a killer who uses an obsidian knife with special meaning and power to Native Americans. John Sandford creates a powerful, action-packed thriller that deftly combines the two plot lines as he continues to build the strong and complex character of Lucas Davenport in this second Prey novel and sequel to "Rules Of Prey". Highly recommended (especially if you've never read any of Sandford's or John Camp's earlier work).

2-0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the Prey
This book is a bit disappointing. It's the weakest of the series so far, I just plugged away at it, hoping to get through it as soon as possible. I didn't like the premise of several murderers working together, the whole "Indian" angle bored me. Didn't really care for the introduction of Lily as well. Lucas seems obsessed on every second page of getting in her pants, and this takes aways from the plot, just plain distracting, considering I didn't really care about the murders anyway. Normally I just love Davenport, but his behaviour this time and his motivation just are not up to standard. Skip this one and head to one of the other better books of the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Indian prey
John Sandford's Minneapolis cop, Lucas Davenport, can't decide if he wants to stay with news-woman Jennifer and their baby-girl Sarah. When politicians start to get killed by Native Americans, it soon becomes clear, that something more than "just" random killings is going on. When a high profile politician from New York is killed, and it looks like the killer is headed towards Minneapolis, female cop Lily Rothenburg is sent there to crack the case. Lucas Davenport quickly finds himself very attracted to Lily, and while they try to solve the case, and more people gets killed, they also start an affair.
In the shadows, throughout the book, lurks a scary Native American called Shadow Love, and his Fathers, the Crows, who are the masterminds behind the killings, which are parts of a much greater scheme.
The stpry does not flow as easily as the other books by John Sandford, and I was in fact a bit disappointed by this one. The last 150 pages are quite good, though, but it does take a while before the story gets going. The main plot, served already at the first pages, is however interesting, and it is hard not to develop some sort of sympathy with the Crows and their case, regardless of their methods. There is a lot of politics in this book, and that may have been why I wasn't that excited about it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Who is Shadow?
This time Lucas will encounter hostile Indians and bizarre killings. Three killings with the same death blow but nothing else in common. Or so it seems. As Lucas searches for a
common denominator he encounters Shadow love. This man will die for his cause rather than be caught by the police. He is a Indian who feels that certain people have done his people wrong. They either stole their land, squander their money or pass laws that hinder their right to practice their customs and beliefs. Sanford writes another stellar novel with real human concerns and more insight into davenport's love life. In the end, justice is served just not the typical justice that the courts uphold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first one!
Those of you who loved "Rules of Prey" will not be disappointed with Sandford's second installment in his "Prey" series. Taking a different direction from the first one, this book follows Lucas' pursuit of a group of Indian terrorists (Native American, not people from India) who have been murdering oppressors of the Indian community. I loved this book and the whole concept on which it is based. I particularly enjoyed the villain, Shadow Love, a psychotic member of the group who would rather kill anyone he feels deserves to die. The only thing I didn't like about this book was its portrayal of FBI agents as arrogant screw-ups who like to horn in on the cops' investigations. That stereotype is just a Hollywood cliché that has managed to perpetuate every police book/movie in history. Other than that, the book was an exciting read, easily one of the best. ... Read more

158. The Romanov Prophecy : A Novel
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345460065
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Fawcett
Sales Rank: 4557
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

Ekaterinburg, Russia: July 16, 1918. Ten months have passed since Nicholas II's reign was cut short by revolutionaries. Tonight, the White Army advances on the town where the Tsar and his family are being held captive by the Bolsheviks. Nicholas dares to hope for salvation. Instead, the Romanovs are coldly and methodically executed.

Moscow: Present Day. Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country's history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles' job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles' concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza.

Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more-most important, what really happened to the family of Russia's last tsar?

His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs' story…and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy's implications are earth-shattering-not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself.

Steve Berry, national bestselling author of the phenomenal thriller The Amber Room, once again delves into rich historical fact to produce an explosive page-turner. In The Romanov Prophecy, the authentic and the speculative meld into a fascinating and exceptionally suspenseful work of fiction.

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Reviews (28)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but...
This was a very interesting concept, and Russian history is twisted and fascinating enough to pull this off. Russia wants a return to the old ways, specifically to the tsarist regime, and are conducting inquiries into the closest living male relative to Nicholas II to be their next autocrat. However, concept aside, there were entirely too many coincidences for this to be believable. An example would be how one of the villains agreed that such an action was too expensive to maintain, but - don't worry! - he personally felt the need to reinstate it when their joint venture began.

I just didn't buy it, though the hero's actions were often human - he sometimes just didn't know. Good, but again...Fate lent a hand, and everything was fine.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book; A little far fetched
I thought the book was great as far as incorporating historical data with fiction writing.It was a fun journey with twists and turns that at times made you wonder how they would escape.My problem lies in the main character who is trying to be passed off as a very intelligent lawyer who has absolutely no insticts and intuition.Overall though, this was what a book should be--fun to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pure escapist thriller only - don't look too deep!
Communism has fallen and the Russian people, not convinced of the value of a western style democracy, have decided to return to the monarchy. A specially appointed commission is about to annoint a new Tsar, the most logical alternatives being the living relatives of the Romanov family executed by revolutionaries in 1917. The Russian Mafia and wealthy American business elements, including Taylor Hayes, senior partner of a major US law firm, are not about to let go of the reins of power in Russia and lose the position and wealth they've amassed. They'll do whatever is necessary to ensure that their puppet, Stefan Baklanov, is the candidate chosen by the commission to accede to the throne and have asked Miles Lord, an associate in Hayes' firm, to investigate Imperial Russian and early Communist historical records to ensure that Baklanov's claim is the best it can possibly be. When Miles' archival search begins to uncover evidence that might jeopardize the Mafia's plans for the outcome of the commission election, the proverbial thriller messy stuff hits the fan. Of course, the chase is on to eliminate Lord and make sure the evidence is destroyed!

At one point during his seach, Miles Lord was deep in thought in the stacks of a Russian archive library, examining some recently de-classified top secret papers. When he was interrupted by Semyon Pashenko, professor of history at Moscow University, he commented " ... I was back in 1916 for an instant. Reading this stuff is like time travel." How appropriate for Berry to put such a statement into the mouth of his hero. I completely agree - that's exactly what reading a historical thriller should be! The transition from meticulously researched background to speculation, then into fiction and full throttle thriller and back again should be completely seamless and effortless. From this viewpoint, The Romanov Prophecy succeeds reasonably well.

But, insofar as the modern thriller part of the novel is concern, Berry's efforts are pretty weak fare. The love interest, Akilina Petrovna, a circus gymnast Lord meets during a train sequence in one of the overly frequent chase scenes, is cute, cuddly and warm.But, what the heck, she's mandatory! Who would expect a novel like this to be without some version of a femme? Orleg and Droopy, the Russian Mafia thugs are perhaps intended to be comic in some fashion - who can forget Mr Wint and Mr Kidd from 007's "Diamonds are Forever" - but their hapless efforts to chase down Lord only get them recognition as "Dumb and Dumber". Character development in general is one-dimensional. In particular, Berry makes no attempt at all to explain why Lord and Petrovna were destined to fulfill the roles of the Raven and the Eagle in a multi-national achievement of a 100 year old prophesy babbled by Rasputin just before he died. We are left to merely wonder what happened to the Russian members of the power cartel after Thorn's ascension to the throne and Baklanov's failure in the commission's vote!

Don't go into this one with high expectations! If you're looking for a pure escapist thriller, you won't be disappointed - the scenes with the gorillas and the Russian borzoi hounds are pure Hollywood gone right over the top. Forget trying to find anything deeper - it just isn't there! Sit back, read, enjoy and have fun - don't think too hard about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The very best of historical fiction and thriller combined!!!
Wow!!!I pick up a lot of paperbacks that sound like they might be interesting, but they always end up being about the same.I thought this novel sounded interesting and, with my background in Russian history and travel, worth a read.I am glad I did.Mr. Berry knows two things : how to write historical fiction but remain true to facts and how to make a thriller that is both captivating and satifying. I haven't been this excited by a work of this genre since Caleb Carr's Alienist.I think the real strength of this novel is its plausability - there is never a time when you realize that this is obviously a work of fiction because an event has transpired that is grossly unrealistic.Even the relationship between the two main characters - raven and eagle - seems plausible- there is no immediate strormy sexcapde, but rather a gradual development and understanding of each other.Even the idea that Russia would give up its feeble attempts at democracy (and we all know thats been a joke - just look at Putin (aka new Stalin) to reembrace its tsarist past seems likely and, in my opinion, not a bad idea.Russia must come to terms with its present if it is to have any kind of future and this novel addresses that issue.But, to make a short review shorter, go buy this book.Mr. Berry has proven with this book that he is a fierce competitor to anyone else out there writing this type of fiction.Three cheers and may the next book be even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Fun
I'm baffled how anyone could trash this book. It was well-written, filled with some historically correct information regarding the last tsar of Russia, and an enjoyable read. If you have any interest at all in Russian history READ THIS BOOK. Sure, there are some implausible moments (whic mystery doesn't have them?) but all and all it's a very fun read. ... Read more

159. Blind Alley
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553586505
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 5545
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Firestorm, Iris Johansen, returns with a psychological thriller so terrifying, so relentlessly paced, it won't leave you time to catch your breath before the next shock comes. A forensic sculptor is locked in a deadly duel with a serial killer determined to destroy her--one life at a time.

Eve Duncan's job is to put a face on the faceless victims of violent crimes. Her work not only comforts their survivors--but helps catch their killers. But there is another, more personal reason that Eve Duncan is driven to do the kind of work she does--a dark nightmare from a past she can never bury. And as she works on the skull of a newly discovered victim, that past is about to return all over again.

The victim is a Jane Doe found murdered, her face erased beyond recognition. But whoever killed her wasn't just trying to hide her identity. The plan was far more horrifying. For as the face forms under Eve's skilled hands, she is about to get the shock of her life. The victim is someone she knows all too well. Someone who isn't dead. Yet.

Instantly Eve's peaceful life is shattered. The sanctuary of the lakeside cottage she shares with Atlanta detective Joe Quinn and their adopted daughter Jane has been invaded by a killer who's sent the grimmest of threats: the face of his next victim. To stop him, Eve must put her own life in the balance and question everything and everyone she trusts. Not even Quinn can go where Eve must go this time.

As the trail of faceless bodies leads to a chilling revelation, Eve finds herself trying to catch a master murderer whose grisly work is a testament to a mind warped by perversion and revenge. Now she must pit her skills against his in a showdown where the stakes are life itself--and where the unbearable cost of failure will make Eve's own murder seem like a mercy killing.
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Reviews (41)

1-0 out of 5 stars This stinks!
I told my husband I wanted to finish this book so I could throw it across the room.Every thing is repetitive in it.I did not like one single character.When the author tries to make these characters strong she just made them annoying.I WISH I would have read the other reviews before I wasted money on this trash. Like another reviewer said -Aldo should have killed them all after the first couple of chapters and put us all out of our misery. As for the child molester Trevor ----that was just sick.A grown man lusting after a 17 year old. What was this author thinking???????

1-0 out of 5 stars It would be hard to imagine a worse novel than this
Where to begin?The plot is preposterous.But other reviewers have covered the storyline vagaries, and repeating them is distasteful.The characters are phony.The dialogue is wooden.There is no atmosphere, no distinct sense of place.Cliches abound, and when you think the writer couldn't top the last one--she does.In short, this book is not even worth discussion.It should simply be dismissed.Why didn't the editors and publishers do exactly that?

This was my first book by Ms. Johansen.It will also be my last.

1-0 out of 5 stars should be titled "Dumb Alley"
I've just reached the half way point of this repetitive waste of a tree, and have decided to throw it in the trash. LIke the other reviewers, I don't want to read about a robotic, know-it- all 17 year obsessed villain/good guy, a supposedly strong heroine that repetively whines and can't move on with her life, and a cop who can't stand up to a 17 year old!
I totally lost any sympathy I might have had with the heroine (that unfortunately isJane, instead of Eve) when the repeated deaths of HUMAN beings continued because of the incident of Jane's stupid DOG....PUHLEEZE!!!By page 190, I just wanted Aldo to kill off Jane, to put Jane and the reader out of our misery!!
I just started getting more and more impatient with the unrealistic, smart-alecy attitude of Jane, and Eve and Joe's submission to her every mood and whim.

Don't be fooled -- this is NOT an Eve Forensic Thriller -- I think Iris OD'd on mummy horror movies prior to writing this drivel.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not the worst book I've ever read, but close
I just finished this book today, and I wish I had read some of the reviews before I ever picked it up.The characters are boring, shallow, and non-descript, and the plot is perfectly linear and predictable.I finished it, which is more than I can say for a few books, but I wouldn't recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars The first book I've ever thrown out.
It finally happened: I threw a book away. It's this one, "Blind Alley," by Iris Johansen. What garbage. Johansen is truly lucky to have a book contract, or to have been published at all. This is especially true since she is working in a formulaic format, and still can't make it work. Her writing is pedestrian, and barely one-dimensional. She has little or no ear for dialogue; all of her characters sound the same, so she's also bereft of character development skills. And while it's evident she did some research for her story, she clearly does not have a grasp of her material and has not developed her story line/plot well, not to mention her pacing is seriously flawed. All this leads me to conclude that she doesn't have much in the way of introspective or reflective abilities. Johansen would be doing the world a great favor if she stopped writing this drivel. As I said, this is the first book I've ever thrown away ~ and I have thousands in my own library. It just isn't worth giving to anyone. ... Read more

160. Roses Are Red (Alex Cross Novels)
by James Patterson
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446605484
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Warner Vision
Sales Rank: 4590
Average Customer Review: 3.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Mastermind is a deadly criminal who orchestrates a series of bank robberies that are notable for their precise demands - and their explosive violence when the demands are not met exactly.Detective Alex Cross takes on the case, promptly getting under The Mastermind's skin, who makes it his personal goal to take revenge on Cross and his entire team.The team, which includes an attractive FBI agent named Betsy Cavalierre, faces pressure on every front right up to the shocking and explosive climax. Patterson, author of seven national bestsellers, is a past winner of the prestigious Edgar Award.

"Patterson keeps the pages turning all the way up to the jaw-dropping conclusion...this one is not to be missed." (Booklist) ... Read more

Reviews (407)

2-0 out of 5 stars Deeply Disappointing
Having read several other Patterson novels prior to this one, I thought I knew what I was getting: an interesting plot with servicable writing and characterizations no deeper then needed. Alex Cross is such a fantasy figure that one cannot and should not approach these novels as realistic. However, Roses are Red did not even come up to my low expectations. Jurisdictional issues -(DC cops,NY cops, and FBI agents all working together with never any tension) - family issues (traumatized fiancees and brain tumors) as subplots that add nothing to the story - and worst of all - bad plotting. It appears nothing the cops do, especially Alex, results in moving the investigation forward - with one exception. But it all comes to nothing with the ending - one of the worst endings of a book I have ever read. I struggled through this book just to see how it ended and I got twist after twist after inexplicable twist. And to make it even more insulting, Patterson doesn't even hint at how his ending is even possible. Is this some crass attempt to make me buy the sequel? Patterson is populating his world with criminals who keep coming back: Soneji, the Weasel, and now the Mastermind. It's beginning to look like Cross isn't such a good detective after all. And as for Cross being African American -- if someone were reading this book quickly, I doubt they would even know Cross was black. For a look at what Washington DC is really like and at the issues of race in our city, read George Pelecanos.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Pattersons best
The plot in the latest Alex Cross novel revolves around the "Mastermind", the leader of a group of bank robbers that like to murder the bank employees as well as their families. Alex joins up with FBI agent Betsey Cavalierre in the hunt for the Mastermind as the crime spree escalates. The closer they get to catching him, the more bold he becomes, proving himself to be quite a twisted character. To add to Crosses problems, his daughter falls victim to a mysterious illness, and his girlfriend is leaving him. As always Cross is a likeable central character, and the plot is fast paced, helped along by quick moving chapters. However there are some dull moments, and at times it is somewhat unbelievable. There is also some cheap manipulation in trying to mislead the reader as to the identity of the mastermind. The actual identity of the Mastermind will come as a shock to most readers, however I am not sure if I really bought it. Overall it is a very easy, and mostly interesting read, but Patterson is capable of something much better.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Patterson's best
I prefer Patterson's earlier work to his latest. Rose Are Red is one of his better novels. Roses are Red" is about a detective named Alex Cross, who is well acknowledged by the FBI and is known for his god and detected work. Alex Cross always solves his cases with no problems. When a spree of bank robberies occur in Washington DC , Alex is put on with one lead, a man that goes by the name of the Mastermind.

The Mastermind hires bank robbers to kill employee's of the bank if the schedule is not followed for the robberies. After these killers have done the dirty work for the Mastermind and has gathered the stolen money, the Mastermind poisons his workers with Chianti and pizza. To make the case even more twisted, the mastermind sexually violates dead females whom he has killed after their bodies are twisted and mutated.

While Alex Cress helps to find this creep, he has a crisis at home with his family. Alex has a lot of weight on his shoulders and the case is getting tougher. But that is just what the Mastermind wants, as he plans his last attempt, which must be perfect. Alex starts to crack down on the case and finds a suspect, could it be him? The mastermind? Good guess Alex but, not good enough. The Mastermind has made it tough. Can Alex solve this case in time?

The book " Roses are Red" is like a speeding train, with no breaks. It keeps going and going and finishes with a crashing ending. It hits you in the part of the mind you never know you had. If you like a book that you literally cannot put down, " Roses are Red" is an excellent choice by many, and is one of my favorites from James Patterson.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alex Cross at it again
For some reason I never get tired of Alex Cross and the incredible situations and antics that Patterson dishes out. Perhaps it's his ability to pull us into the story, head first, or perhaps it's his knack for writing believable situations and characters. For which ever reason, I never fail to enjoy his books, especially the "Cross" ones. Of the three books I've recently read (Da Vinci Code, Bark of the Dogwood, and this one), "Roses" is by far my favorite. The other two are great also, but the Alex Cross series really does it for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars IT'S A SERIES!!!
This is absolutely, positively without a doubt James Patterson's best book. The plot, the twists, everything leading up to an incredible, unbelievable ending.

Reading through the reviews of this book, I have seen people complain about this book not being good because to be as shocked by the ending as one should be, one would have had to read the entire series before it.


So, while you don't HAVE to read the previous books in the series first, it is helpful. But, the book will still shock you without reading the others first as it literally comes down to the last sentence of the book.

In short, read this book. ... Read more

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