Lee Child - Killing Floor (Reacher #1)

Publisher: Bantam Books

ISBN: 9780553505405

My rating: 5/5

Welcome to Margrave, Georgia—but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both.

There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personal against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive.

Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust—a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed— he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of-towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage or at least direct it in more positive ways. Though the testosterone flows as freely as printer's ink, Reacher is an unobtrusively sharp detective in his quieter moments—not that there are many of them to judge by.

Despite the crude, tough-naïf narration, debut novelist Child serves up a big, rangy plot, menace as palpable as a ticking bomb, and enough battered corpses to make an undertaker grin.

 My thoughts

An "OMG" wouldn't even be near how I like to express what I think of this book. A page turner? Definitely! Gripping? You bet! A must read? OH YES!

So I accidentally stumbled over this book. The cover was .... nahhhh .... the blurb was ..... nahhhh, but I wanted to read something different than the usual romance, a little break so to speak! And boy oh boy did I get a break.

So there's this guy Reacher who one day ends up in this little town called Margrave in Georgia. Out of the blue, really, because his older brother once mentioned that a famous guitarist, Blind Blake, died at that place. But there's a lot more he finds out and gets himself into in quite some trouble.

I honestly loved it. I found myself sneaking into a corner of the house at any given moment just to read another two or even five pages. The characters are interesting and well developed. The story was different to what I had read before (which doesn't mean too much due to my love for romance), but well explained and believable. Jack's great and in his own way very likable from page one onwards.

Verdict: hooked to the Reacher series and want more.

PS - Nice touch with the old lady at the end!


Jill Shalvis - Head over Heels

Publisher: Hachette Book Group

ISBN: 978 0 446571630

My rating: 5/5

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.

Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?
(from the back cover)

My thoughts

L-o-v-e-d    i-t !!!

Can't say it any other way. Okay, this was #3 in the Lucky Harbor (or should it be Lucky Reader?) series and all about Chloe. We've met Maddie in Simply Irresistible (one of my favourite reads this year) and Tara in The Sweetest Thing. I've really enjoyed the Lucky Harbor series so far, in fact since "discovering" Jill Shalvis spot on 12 months ago, it's been definitely "her" year in my household! :-)

I was really looking forward to reading Chloe's story. The wild one! The one with Asthma and lack of sex because of it. The one with issues like saying "I love you" and issues with settling down. And big kudos to Shalvis - SHE DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Throw in a guy like Sawyer, a tough, sexy Sheriff, and complicate it a bit with some past issues for him as well.

With the usual Shalvis wit and humour we read how Chloe and Sawyer get closer. The development of their characters is nicely written and the care they show and give each other makes you keep reading day and night.

So .... bottom line, I could sit here and write about what else I liked, about Maddie and Tara, about Sawyer's friends, Jax and Ford, about Lance, the wonderful Lucille, but as I said, bottom line is, you need to get this one and just read it yourself. I promise you, you will not be disappointed! It's a real treat!

Now go and make 2012 YOUR Jill Shalvis year .... there's more Lucky Harbor to come - thank goodness!

Marian Keyes - The other side of the Story

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 11, 2006)

ISBN: 978-0060731489

My rating: 2/5

Jojo Harvey is a literary agent whose star is on the rise. In love with both her married boss and her burgeoning career, not much distracts her. Until she finds herself representing two women who used to be best friends. One of them, Gemma, has suddenly found herself from a broken home - at the age of thirty-two. Meanwhile, Lily - the woman Gemma has always blamed for stealing her one chance of happiness - is enjoying the overnight success of her debut novel. Set in the world of publishing, 'The Other Side of the Story' is about love, loyalty, glass ceilings and survival tactics - and what to do when you get your chance for revenge. (

My thoughts

I kinda thought this book was boring. I had read "Anybody out there" a while back and remember how much I enjoyed it and the tissue box which I had used up .... so I was looking forward to this one.

But really I can't say anything else than boring. We all have a bad day and I suppose what I did like was the description of the publishing side ... the pain we feel with bad reviews, the hope and the let-down - the roller coaster of being in this business. But there's nothing else to say. Gemma's story was ... okay. Dad falls in love with his secretary and leaves his wife. Daughter writes about it in emails and these emails fall into the hand of a Literary Agent. That is Jojo - her story. I have no idea. Lily is Gemma's friend. Well they used to be friends until Lily falls in love with Gemma's ex. Lily's just released her book - a bestseller.

So that's it. Sprinkle with a bit of relationship and you have "The other side of the story".

I did like a lot of the Lily's soul-searching. It was great reading - thus the 2 stars, but IMO too little too late.

I still have another Marian Keyes' book somewhere on my desk and will persevere, hoping it'll be more like the first book I've read.

Ruth Rendell - The Vault

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780091937119

My rating: 2/5

Don’t forget,’ Wexford said, ‘I’ve lived in a world where the improbable happens all the time.’
However, the impossible has happened. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired. He and his wife, Dora, now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead, belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila.
Wexford takes great pleasure in his books, but, for all the benefits of a more relaxed lifestyle, he misses being the law.
But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a Detective Superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a difficult case.
The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John’s Wood. None carries identification. But the man’s jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of £40,000.
It is not a hard decision for Wexford. He is intrigued and excited by the challenge, and, in the early stages, not really anticipating that this new investigative role will bring him into physical danger.

My thoughts

I didn't like it, to be honest. First I had an audio book and thought I was listening to Bob the Builder and the Gang. Weird! So I managed to get hold of the book, but it didn't improve my "desire" to read it. I found the book more often next to my bed than in my hands! And I used to love Ruth Rendell's Wexford stories.

The plot was .... well I don't know, because I couldn't really get into it. It was weak and based on quite a few coincidences. What I did like was Rendell's description of London - it was good to be "back". I thoroughly enjoyed that part.

Last but not least, what's the sub-plot with the daughter. Did I miss something or what was the relevance?

All in all - not my cuppa tea :-(

A Dog Gone Christmas

Lindsay asked me to post this as well. I can only wholeheartedly recommend her books. They're are a treat to read and I'm sure you all will enjoy themas much as I did.

A touching scene from A Dog Gone Christmas

When we write a certain scene into our book we might do it for the emotional impact, enhance the tension between characters, or for the humorous effect it would have on the reader.
In Emily Dahill, CID Part 1, I had one such scene which my editor thought was hilarious but that’s not why I wrote it. I just wanted to keep the soldier for grabbing for his rifle. You will find that scene in the story called, Right Place, Wrong Day.

In my current book, A Dog Gone Christmas, I had tension in the previous scenes and as such thought to lighten the mood a slightly while at the same time add a little poignancy to the story. I’ve had several people email me about how much the loved the scene.
I’m only going to give you a tiny taste of that happens. To find out what happened before and afterwards, well you’ll have to just go buy the book.

Don’t forget, for every copy sold I’ll making a donation to the local collie rescue organization. Collie Rescue League of New England

Even from his new vantage point, he could still see how the other kids and collies were doing. As the time came to a close, out of the corner of his eye he spied something very suspicious. The twins. Amanda seemed focused on moving Maggie and Jack not only away, but so their backs were to Nibs.
 Under normal circumstances, Thaddeus would alert the two, but something told him what he was about to witness could and would be priceless. Once he saw the adults had been suckered into dropping their guard, he watched as Adam slipped an arm around Nibs’ neck. Hunched over like in a cowboy movie Adam tried to lead the collie toward the door and freedom with him and his sister.
 Subtly, Thaddeus readjusted his position closer to the door to prevent the five-year-old from walking off with Nibs. When Adam, splitting his attention between his new buddy and his sister, got closer to the door Thaddeus stepped out right in front of Nibs who stopped, and sat dragging the hapless boy down with him.
 “Oomph,” Adam grunted, as his backside came in hard contact with the floor. As he looked up the first thing he saw was a pair of legs in khakis, the toes from penny loafers peering out from the cuffed pants. With a sheepish smile he lifted his head higher only stopping when he saw Thaddeus smiling down at him.
“And just where do you think you’re going with Nibs, young man?” Thaddeus kept his voice soft and non-threatening.
“Na, na, nowhere sir,” Adam stammered out. He followed Thaddeus’ eyes to the collie, happily sitting beside him. “Honest sir, he followed me. I’d never,” Adam slowly shook his head. “take him, even though I’d love to have such a smart buddy as him. I mean, my sister’s all right but a girl and us guys got to stick together.” To emphasize his love for Nibs, Adam encircled the collie’s neck with his tiny arms earning him a head rub. “I wish my sister and I had someone like him to talk to. Mommy’s good, but sometimes she just doesn’t have the time to listen. Ya know? I mean with daddy gone she has to work extra besides her soldiering.”

To request an autograph on your kindle (my author page)
Buy links for A Dog Gone Christmas