Friday, December 23, 2005

Many to Recommend!

Whew! Even if you are not interested in the paranormal, Kay Hooper’s Chill of Fear is an excellent suspense novel. You may have read some of her other books which include an FBI Special Crimes Unit whose member all have paranormal skills—I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them! They bring a touch of gothic mystery into today’s world and provide a twist that is entertaining as well as—spooky!

In Chill of Fear, we meet a young girl that is a psychic, but that has been medicated and led to believe for most of her life that she is mentally ill. When she meets a member of the Special Crimes Unit who tells her about psychic phenomena, she begins to accept her skills and, in the process, is led by a sister to eliminate an age-old evil that has haunted The Lodge. Of course, she didn’t know about her sister, and, of course, her little sister is dead, but has been caught there in "a gray area" at The Lodge, with many other victims of this evil.

Sounds like a ghost story? Well, yes, and the intrigue and tension is so high that you read on and on…this is a page-turner you won’t want to miss!

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I also had an opportunity to read another book by  Kay Hooper—Enemy Mine that was first published in 1990 and reprinted this year. This was an adventure story evolving into a love story between two rivals who loved and searched for antiquities…for fun and fortune!

The story starts out during an exciting unplanned mountain climb, where the main characters slowly seek and find finger and toe wedges, between the gun shots that are flying around them. In this case, Kane Pendleton is working to save Tyler, who had lost her gun and backpack to the enemy below. They all know that everybody there are hunting for the same treasure but with her supplies gone, Tyler grudgingly teams up with Kane to move on in the search for a golden chalice…and then, later, its twin!

This was a fun story, moving rapidly, and thoroughly enjoyable. The tension between the rivals keeps both aware that they cannot really trust the other, but while they search, they become more and more dependent upon having the other near. If you like a little love midst your adventures, you’ll love this one!

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Well, Your Poet Is… by Thomas Kemp, is off my editorial table and back to the author for submission to the Publisher. We should see his collected works sometime next year! I’ll keep you all posted!

Here’s another sample to tease your interest…

Face in the Mirror

Touching is what minds do best
thoughts become fingers
reaching back or forward for helping hands
Words run both ways too
but always to the center of a heart
to comfort the lonely space that wished for love
Touching is what minds do best
even echoing in the space between us
as dancing over distance brings us closer
To embrace the place
we stand on Sunday morning
looking at the face behind us in the mirror

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One of my favorite authors gave me an excellent read this past week! Robert B. Parker, with School Days provides an insightful look behind the scenes of a high school shooting when Spenser is asked to investigate the involvement of a young boy by the only one who believes he is innocent, his grandmother.

Unfortunately, the boy is not totally innocent, but to find this out, Spenser is forced to make his way through people who didn’t want an investigation, including the parents and the school officials.

Spenser had to call on outside help, invoking Hawk’s name to gain an audience into several gangs, who were the source of the guns that were used. I must admit the reason behind the boy’s involvement caught me by surprise…I don’t know why, because there have been similar cases in real life. Sometimes I wish fiction didn’t follow real life, rather that it was a wild brainstorm out of an author’s head. Still, Spenser succeeds in holding tight on his character and winds up bringing more than the young boys to deserved justice. Hey, you just got to love Spenser! He’s soooooo cool!

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So, the question is—do you like "all" the books that your favorite authors write? Well, I was disappointed with Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. Of course, it was as well written as all of his other books, and there was the underlying story that Koontz is becoming known for that always brings a valuable lesson. Still, I was not impressed. The story line, in essence, is that Jimmy Tock’s grandfather predicted five dark days in his grandson’s life…his grandson being born the same day that his grandfather’s gave these predictions and then died. While Jimmy goes about his living as a baker, he prepares for the next "day" he must face, all of which do indeed have some danger. Of course, there were other things that kept things going and I sure agree with the concept that we should make more of our life with our families and friends. Hey, other reviewers called it brilliant…so if you like Dean Koontz’s style…go for it…and let me know what you think of it!

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Which leads me to another favorite, whose latest is one of her best! Patricia Cornwell’s, Predator.  Kay Scarpetta is working on a series of murders, while the love of her life, Benton Wesley, is conducting secret studies on convicted psychopaths, one of whom amazingly starts telling details about former murders that seem to have connections to those happening and being investigated by Scarpetta. During all this, we see Marino as we’ve never seen him and there is something seriously wrong with Lucy that prevents her from attending to duty, as well as placing herself into dangerous situations. And the victims, well, they are found with red handmarks on their bodies; and Lucy has met a woman with the tell-tale marks who is not yet dead. Is she involved in the murders? Did the man now undergoing study really do the terrible things he is now claiming as his work? This is a good book…the ending lagged as all the ends were tied up but if you are an ongoing fan of Kay Scarpetta and her co-workers…you have got to find out what is happening in Cornwell's latest!                                                                              

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Karen Slaughter is fast making a name for herself and Indelible is one of her best! This book moves directly into actionas the police station in Grant County, where her novels are set, is taken over. In addition to killing or wounding several police officers, a tour of small children was taking place at the time, and they, too, are held hostage.

In order to find a way to negotiate with the two that are controlling the jail, a search into the past lives of those involved takes the reader back to 1991, into the lives of the sheriff and his then girlfriend, Sara. Sara, who is a doctor, is one of the hostages and is trying to convince everybody that the sheriff has already been killed, when he is actually one of the wounded and she’s trying to get help for him.

Slaughter has been dubbed the "new face of crime" and she certainly continues to earn it as she takes her readers directly into the midst of unforgettable and tense scenes, and keeps you turning pages until you find out how it all ends! This is a great read but be prepared for deep suspense and terror beyond the norm!

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Well, things are not slowing down for the holidays. I already have additional training books on real estate activities, I'm expecting a historical fiction Wildflowers, a book of poetry/pictures, and an anthology of horror! Wow, that is quite a diverse selection so I will have a lot of interesting reviews coming up.  And, of course, I've got stacks of books waiting during my "own time!" Hey, this is the place—Book Reader’s Heaven! I'll be back to share more soon!