Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great books are found @ your library


Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader

Kirkus Reviews –

Jason Bourne is alive and well, but this, the 10th installment of the franchise, is tired. The prolific Van Lustbader's (Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Dominion, 2011, etc.) latest Bourne is tedious. The prologue: A man is running, a woman pursuing, across a snowbound landscape in Sweden. They engage in hollow dialogue, punctuated by witless description, then proceed to the killing. While fishing and discussing conspiracies with his friend Christien Norén, Bourne snags a body, lifts it from the water. Flash to the Oval Office. The secretary of defense is briefing a dubious president, who is asking pointed questions about the health of Treadstone directors Peter Marks and Soraya Moore and checking on Dick Richards, his eyes in the spy shop. We glimpse Marks and Moore back in the office, then overhear a conversation at Mossad headquarters: Rebeka, a prized agent, has gone rogue; Ilan Halevy, "the Babylonian," is sent to kill her. It is not long before Bourne becomes reacquainted with Rebeka; the man fished from the icy waters regains his memory; and the mystery deepens about the Israeli research facility in Lebanon. We become acquainted with financier Don Fernando, "sometime partner" of Norén. He has suspicions about Core Energy's CEO, Tom Brick. A shadowy character identified as Nicodemo is doing Brick's dirty laundry--extorting, killing. Before long Bourne and Rebeka are chasing Nicodemo from one side of the Atlantic while Moore and Marks try to net him on the other. The Chinese have a stake in the Israeli research, Dick Richards is tricky, and a Mexican cartel boss, who, like almost everybody, wants Bourne dead, may have the funds, the smarts and the guts to outspend and outmaneuver--on and on it spins. A carousel of stereotypes, devoid of suspense.




Stolen Prey by John Sandford

Kirkus Reviews –

Lucas Davenport takes the scenic route toward a confrontation with the two practiced crooks who had the bad luck to rob him. Just as he's leaving an ATM with $500, the star of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is held up by a pair of obvious meth users, a man and a woman. Naturally, Lucas vows vengeance. Before he can catch up with the pair, however, he and his team will have to wade through a thicket of unrelated violence visited on the Midwest by a trio of Mexican gunslingers. The hit men, whom Sandford (Buried Prey, 2011, etc.) inventively dubs Uno, Dos and Tres, first pop up on Lucas' radar when they torture and execute Patrick Brooks, founder of Sunnie Software, and his wife and children. A preliminary investigation ties the murders to a money-laundering operation that crosses the border, and the connection is strengthened when the Mexican government sends Inspector David Rivera and Sgt. Ana Martínez north as observers. They end up doing a lot more than observing because the three killers are just getting started. On orders from their mysterious boss, Big Voice, they're pursuing a fortune in gold that's gotten stuck halfway through the money-laundering chute and cauterizing any leaks among the system's conspirators while they're at it. Despite the high mortality rate, the procedural work is more grueling than fascinating, and the criminals are mostly as nondescript as their monikers. But the climactic gunfight is deeply satisfying, and the very last line of dialogue is perfect.


The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer

Kirkus Reviews –

Archer (Only Time Will Tell, 2011, etc.) continues The Clifton Chronicles with hero Harry Clifton still in harm's way. New readers will catch up early on. World War II: Harry is convicted in state (not military) court for military desertion. Next a hoary cliché: a genial, wise old convict protects new prisoner Harry, the fresh fish. Characters receive alternating segments. First, Harry is sent to trial and prison. Then Emma Barrington, whose relationship to Harry is murky, departs England for the U.S., leaving behind a child Harry doesn't know has been born. Next comes Giles Barrington, Emma's brother and Harry's best friend. Despite period colloquial references, the prose has been Flesch-Kincaid-scrubbed to business-grade level. That aside, Archer can plot a story. Harry gets out of prison, along with his old convict buddy, by volunteering for a military special operations group, only to reappear near story's end to single-handedly capture Nazi Field Marshal Kertel's Nineteenth Armoured Corps. Emma learns Sefton Jelks, Wall Street attorney, was paid by a wealthy client to finagle Harry into prison. Jelks later is complicit in the theft of Harry's The Diary of a Convict, which becomes a bestseller under another convict's name. Giles becomes a hero at Tobruk, a prisoner of war, and then escapes. Emma and Gile's grandfather, Sir Walter, dies, and his ne'er-do-well son Hugo takes over the family business. He promptly runs the company aground but receives his comeuppance. Finally, the cast gathers in post-war England, where a paternity case is settled once and for all. An amusement suitable for airplane or beach reading.




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