Friday, October 24, 2014

More staff picks for your weekend reading

Festive in Death (In Death Series #39) by J. D. Robb

A snappy beginning with its "deathly" setup touches off the intriguing mystery and suspense to the end … really, to the very end of the book.

Personal (Jack Reacher Series #19) by Lee Child

Despite plenty of page-turning propulsion, this is one of the lesser novels in the series.

The 19th novel featuring the former MP–turned–Zen do-gooder—dubbed “Sherlock Homeless” by one of his old Army officers—once again starts with him drifting with nothing more than the clothes on his back—no cellphone or bank account, no plans, no destination, no history that’s apparent to anyone he encounters. Yet, through a stretch of plotting coincidence, he finds himself pulled into his military past and then thrust into an international conspiracy involving a sniper—or are there more than one?—and an assassination plot. He also inevitably finds himself paired with a possible romantic interest, the improbably named Casey Nice (“Nice by name, nice by nature”)… The plot quickly (in a Reacher novel, everything happens quickly) complicates itself like a chess match, as it turns out that only four snipers in the world have the capability of making the shot, each of a different nationality, each with his own country’s authorities pursuing him.

Every Reacher novel delivers a jolt to the nervous system, but this lacks some of the stylistic flair that truly distinguishes Child.

Raging Heat (Nikki Heat Series #6) by Richard Castle

Raging Heat is the latest action-packed thriller from Richard Castle. It is the sixth installment in the Nikki Heat series …

The book begins quickly as Nikki literally has her case for the novel drop in on her. As her crew begins to piece together their latest case, Nikki’s love interest, journalist Jameson Rook, returns to the city after a long trip to cover a few stories overseas.

The story, like the pace of the television show, is quick, but not so quick that the reader gets lost. Each time you put it down it will feel like that endless commercial break that you can’t wait to finish so you can return and figure out the next move in the book.

Richard Castle paints vivid pictures that allow readers to feel exactly what Nikki is feeling as she works a disturbing case that takes her through a gamut of emotions, both personally and professionally. Professionally, you can feel her searing frustration burn off the page when the case begins to change course. You can feel her anger and sadness as she bids farewell to two brothers in blue. The tension she feels when she faces the possibility of a career move will envelope the reader.

Overall, the powerful writing will keep readers on the edge of their seats whether they have the physical book or an electronic version in their fingers’ grasp. One interesting note: It is important to read through all of the acknowledgements in the book, as they leave readers wanting more. I am most certainly already counting down the days until Nikki, Jameson, and the rest of the cast returns to work yet another case.

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