The Shepherd

The Shepherd
, ,

, Book # 1
Story Plant
January 14, 2011
ebook
328
English
June 27, 2018 July 1, 2018

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering.

When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of our government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante's beautiful daughter - a woman with whom he's quickly falling in love - Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the must cunning and ruthless killers in the world.


About the book

This is the first volume of the series entitled “Shepherd” and is divided in 4 parts. The chapters are short except for 2 or 3 so the book reads quickly.

The only flaw is that I do not like it when the protagonist is involved in some crime and he is innocent.

However, I like the style.

Am I the only one who wants the killer to live? When he fights with Lewis (one of the policemen, not the main character) I hope he lives and kills Lewis instead. I do not know what my problem is, if I have one because I want a “bad guy” to win, but seeing who Lewis is (the rival who belongs to the “good” guys), I do not want him to win…

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Among the Wicked

Among the Wicked
, , , ,

, Book # 8
Minotaur Books
July 12, 2016
ebook
320
English
June 18, 2018 June 22, 2018

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff's department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate's long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication - and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone... trapped in a fight for her life.


About the book

This is the eighth book in Linda Castillo’s series focusing on the Amish community of Painters Mill. Kate Burkholder, ex-Amish, is traveling miles away from her community to solve an apparent accident in cold Ohio.

Usually I don’t like undercover cases especially if the protagonist has to travel so far from his/her city, but I understand that the author couldn’t write about Kate undercover in Painters Mills for obvious reasons. But I must say that the case is interesting, the undercover is not long or better said, between preparations and first contacts with the new city a third of the book has already gone by.

The case became even more interesting in the middle of the book when two Amish lead snowmobiles. But then I couldn’t handle when Kate gets in trouble… I mean… It’s the eighth book, maybe Kate doesn’t have experience in undercover work, but she has been a police officer for several years, is it possible that she doesn’t understand that spilling everything to the bishop put her in danger? I know that without this particular, there is no book, but the author could find a different turning point… Why she must always be in danger? It’s like Temperance Brennan, even in that series the protagonist is always in danger.

Despite this the case is more than interesting.

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Serpent

Serpent
,

, Book # 1
Pocket Star
June 1, 1999
ebook
480
English
April 4, 2018 June 2, 2018

The author of sixteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers unleashes a hero for the next millennium in an electrifying new series of unrelenting action and edge-of-your-seat thrills. Clive Cussler introduces us to Kurt Austin, the courageous leader of the NUMA exploration team.

When Kurt Austin, the leader of a courageous National Underwater & Marine Agency exploration team, rescues beautiful marine archaeologist Nina Kirov off the coast of Morocco, he becomes the next target of Texas industrialist Don Halcon. A madman bent on carving a new nation out of the southwestern United States and Mexico, Halcon’s scheme hinges on Nina’s recent discovery involving Christopher Columbus, and a priceless pre-Columbian antiquity buried in the battered remains of the sunken Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria. Only Kurt Austin and his crack NUMA team stand between Halcon and the Andrea Doria’s silent steel hull—and if their deadly mission fails, Halcon will ride to power on a wave of death and destruction.


About the book

I chose this book for the Popsugar challenge, for the prompt “a book with an animal in the title” since I had destined the one chosen previously to another prompt, but I must say I didn’t liked this too much.

The story is too long, the times that the NUMA is in danger is ridiculous, the bad guy had the potential to be a really bad guy but the final fight didn’t satisfied me.

There are so many questions left unanswered! How did the NUMA know where to go to solve the mystery? I did not understand how the went from the stone to Guatemala O_o Sometimes the writers draw the map of a land so we, readers, can also have a vision of the place, but there isn’t one here and I honestly did not understand anything of the description they have made of the map. And how did “the bad guy” know where to look if he did not see the stone?

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Abandoned

Abandoned
, , ,

, Book # 4
Hodder & Stoughton
2009
ebook
448
English
March 21, 2018 March 27, 2018

For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.

No one knows who she is or where she's come from or why she's chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years that once she was someone's wife, someone's mother and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn't know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he's a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim's fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads a professional psychopath who doesn't take murder personally and never makes a mistake.

There's a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.


About the book

The start is in slow motion, then the pace picks up. I read the first two chapters in two days (ok maybe the first 4), then I could not put it down.

I read this book in English because kobo does not have the translated version in Italian (not bad, I can read a whole book in English without having problems) and I must say that I like the style of the author. Of course, even in Italian it is his style but being translated, I do not know how much structure the translator changes, so reading a book in English has been different for once.

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The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy
, , ,

, Book # 1
Random House Publishing Group
February 21, 2006
ebook
514
English

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’ s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize– and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.


About the book

The Templar Legacy is the first book in the series starring Cotton Malone, a former CIA agent, who retired in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he opened a bookshop of ancient books, his long-standing passion. The book begins when his former boss comes to visit him in Copenhagen and even before she can meet Malone finds herself in a chase through the streets of the city when her purse is snatched. Between blackmail, murder, suicide, betrayal and escapes around Europe, will the former CIA agent solve the mystery?

I like this kind of conspiracies, I like hidden secrets, I like treasure hunts, I like the dark side of people, even the most devoted have one, so the plot intrigued me a lot. Style and details not so much. First of all: if the masters were 66 and have “governed” for 18 years (average) from the XII century onward, something isn’t right in the book, because (66×18 = 1188 years governed in total by the masters) +1150 (year of foundation of the templars) = 2338… and the book was written in 2006…  we are not in 2300 now… Can someone please explain this detail to me? Yes, I’m that kind of person who counts and looks after these details.

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The Black Echo

The Black Echo
, ,

, Book # 1
Orion
1992
ebook
570
English

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow 'tunnel rat' in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.


About the book

This is the first book in the series of a Los Angeles police detective called Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch. He has no family or life outside of his job, his father left the family when Harry was a kid and Harry’s mother turned to prostitution and was killed when Harry was eleven. After her death, Harry was assigned to the California child protection services. He spent the rest of his youth in a series of foster homes before joining the army. He is a Vietnam veteran traumatized by his experiences of war and after leaving the service, joins the police forces, becoming a leading detective in the Homicide Division.

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Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper – Case Closed

Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed


Mass Market
November 11, 2002
ebook
383
English

In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror.  An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London’s East End.  Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim.  And then the Ripper’s violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun.  He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene.  Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper’s bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so-called “Ripper Walks” that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel.  But to number-one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death.  Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her—and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.

In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty-first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history.  Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law-enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world’s finest museums: Walter Richard Sickert.

It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she.   Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain’s greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate.  She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press.  Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man’s birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.


About the book

This book is not fiction but an essay, a summary of the research done by the author on Jack the Ripper. I read this book for the Popsugar challenge prompt “True Crime” and therefore I had no expectations.

I find the book a bit confusing. I liked it as an essay, but it jumps from one period to another without chronology and I think, my personal thought, that if you are writing a report of a real person’s life, you need to chronologically plan the book or at least a little bit more chronologically that it is; you can’t jump from one period to another and then go back. She talked about Jack’s first murders, then she jumped to those who may have been his own murders but that have never been attributed to him, only to return to those attributed to him a few years earlier. I know it is divided into chapters and each chapter has its argument, but even more so, putting chapters in chronological order is wiser in my opinion. And she talks a little bit too much about the watermark of the paper… but I noticed this in her books, too, she is too much detailed on certain things and often the common reader is bored about it (and also it’s boring to those who know about argument because they already know those things).

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library


, Book # 3
Kindle Edition
February 1942
ebook
224
English

Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth - and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, things begin to move along nicely, and its all far more convoluted - and sordid - than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.

A curmudgeonly financier, his self-absorbed adult children, a couple of pragmatic and clever hotel workers, tons of money and influence, a wild local lad, some smitten girls, the film business, mix into a classic Christie plot filled with twists, turns, and double-backs galore. Plus the glorious settings of A Great House, a fancy Hotel, and an excessively genteel little village, and let's not forget Miss Marple...


About the book

This is a fairly old book, I read it for the Popsugar challenge “a book set in a bookstore or library” and therefore I had no expectations. I’ve never read anything about Agatha Christie and I do not think I will read anything else about the author. I found this story a bit too simple.

I have a question: isn’t the series titled Miss Marple? Because I met her only twice and I’m on page 47…. I thought she was going to be more present… Maybe in the other books she is more present but not in this one and I’m sad about it.

The book is nice, obviously being a dated book is not one of those complicated that exist now and that obviously I like more, but the reading was pleasant, simple even if as I said I hoped for more Miss Marple. All right, she solves the case, but being the protagonist (more or less) I would have liked more presence. It was a little obvious who the killer was, reading the mysteries written nowadays, solving the case before the protagonist of an “ancient” book is common I think, but I did not see the small final twist.

The title, among other things, especially the English one (The Body in the Library) reminds me of an episode of the Bones TV series…

Every Dead Thing

Every Dead Thing
,

, Book # 1
Hodder & Stoughton
1999
ebook
535
English
September 10, 2017 January 6, 2018

The gripping first Charlie Parker novel from bestselling author John Connolly - perfect for fans of Stephen King and Jeffery Deaver. Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that 'The Travelling Man' is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.


About the book

When I bought this book, somewhere I read “Perfect for Jeffery Deaver’s fans”… but are you kidding? Please do not compare a thriller genius with this boring author.

To say that I got bored to death reading this book isn’t enough, the narrative is slow and most likely because of this boredom, I lost all the connections because I honestly don’t understand how the case of the disappearance of the woman can be connected to the murder of his wife and child.

The protagonist is unbelievable, alcoholic, drug addict and moreover a born criminal.

In the post in which I introduced this book, I said “hope I won’t be disappointed”, but yeah, it happened!! Never again!

Honestly I can not even summarize what happened, I just know that the protagonist is tormented by the death of his wife and daughter, and I have no idea how this is connected to everything else.

-5 stars for this book.

Bones of The Lost

Bones of The Lost
, ,

, Book # 16
Scribner
August 27th 2013
ebook
336
English
August 30, 2017 September 10, 2017

The body of a teenage girl is discovered along a desolate highway on the outskirts of Charlotte. Inside her purse is the ID card of a local businessman who died in a fire months earlier.

Who was the girl? And was she murdered?

Dr Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist, must find the answers. She soon learns that a Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts into the country. Could there be a connection between the two cases?

Convinced that the girl's death was no accident, Tempe soon finds herself at the centre of a conspiracy that extends from South America to Afghanistan. But to find justice for the dead, she must be more courageous - and take more extreme action - than ever before.


About the Book

I find this book in the series a little better than the previous one (at least Brennan is not kidnapped) but not a 5-star-book because once again Tempe looks like a teenager with her first crush with Ryan.

Tempe is in North Carolina and is called for the case of a young unknown woman found on the side of the road, in her purse, a document that belonged to an important local businessman who died some time earlier. Furthermore, she is involved in a case involving the bones of Peruvian dogs. She is also asked by her ex-husband, Pete, to clarify a case involving the son of another former marine, accused of shooting two Afghan citizens in the back so Tempe travels to Afghanistan to examine the bones.

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