Friday, October 22, 2010

"Taken" [B+]

Every father's worst nightmare comes true and the father becomes the worst nightmare of the men who kidnapped his daughter. It helps that the father has mad spy skills on the order of Jason Bourne. This is stripped-down, action-packed story telling of the highest order. Yes, it's over-the-top. But it's an enjoyable ride if you like this sort of thing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

read: Dot Dead

Dot Dead: A Silicon Valley Mystery (Silicon Valley Mysteries)Dot Dead: A Silicon Valley Mystery by Keith Raffel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was expecting some high-tech shenanigans and corporate power plays. The little bits of that in the story only provided background. This was a simple, suburban murder mystery. It could have taken place anywhere, not just Silicon Valley.

The good: There was a mystery to solve, and it unfolded through the course of the book without telegraphing too much too soon. The prose was decent with occasional highlights.

The bad: The pace was leisurely. The cast of characters were all too laid back, including the hero and the villain. There needed to be more conflict and more suspense. I found myself skimming and skipping without missing much of the plot at all. The wrap-up did rely on a few coincidences.

Two stars means I found it to be average, but not bad.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

read: Bodily Harm

Bodily Harm: A NovelBodily Harm: A Novel by Robert Dugoni

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After three books, I think I've decided that I would want David Sloane as my lawyer, since he always wins. But I wouldn't want to hang out with him. It's not that he's not a nice guy. He's terrific. The problem is that the people around him tend to get shot or abducted.

The story begins a bit slowly, just setting up the situation with a bit of mystery. But once it takes off, Dugoni keeps you turning pages in true thriller style trying to keep up with what's happening and why. The writing is crisp and clean. Characters and locations are vivid. The ending is a real twist that I didn't see coming (but should have). [More]

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