Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Want You Dead by Peter James

In spite of all the rage and abuse, Red believed that Bryce was the one. They met through an online dating site and were together for almost two years before she discovered that everything about him was a lie. With the help of the police, Red has moved on and has begun rebuilding her life. But getting away from Bryce is no easy task. 

When Red's new boyfriend is found dead, burnt to death in an apparent suicide, Red realizes that Bryce is still very much a part of her life. As his presence becomes more apparent, more incidents occur and it isn't long before the police begin to put the pieces together. But Bryce is a master in the art of concealment and catching him before it's too late for Red may be the ultimate challenge. 

Want You Dead is the tenth book in Peter James's Roy Grace series. Grace, a major crimes officer in Brighton, and his fellow characters do have a very clearly well-developed history in this series. While it is somewhat easy to slip into this latest, it's apparent very early on that this cast of characters has been through a lot together. It's this established backstory that I find always draws me into a series and I really felt like I was missing out by not being privy to that.

There's also a key subplot concerning Grace and his missing wife, an element that apparently traces all the way back to the series debut, Dead Simple. As an aside, I really wish I'd known the story concerning Sandy before reading this one. She comes out of left field for a newbie where she's apparently been haunting Grace for ten titles!    

There's nothing subtle in this story at all. In fact, that's my main complaint with the book. The criminal mastermind is kind of reminiscent of something you'd see in an old Bond movie - really over the top monstrous. The plot unfolds mostly as you would expect with the only real surprises coming in the form of ├╝ber violent details.

That said, if you're looking for a fast-paced and pretty brutal police procedural, Peter James has a knack for just that. The story rips along at a frenetic pace with short (some super short) chapters and lots of action. The bad guy here is really bad, the danger to Red and those around her is undeniable, and the police efforts to find their culprit become almost frantic. 

Rating: 2.5/5

If you're like me and wary of beginning so far in, the full title list (in series order) is:

Dead Simple
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man's Footsteps
Dead Tomorrow
Dead Like You
Dead Man's Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man's Time
Want You Dead

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I'm Dying to get My Hands On

I've decided to jump on board with Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is: top ten sequels I'm dying to get my hands on.

Monday, November 17, 2014

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

I know I'm weird but am I alone in the habit of sitting on books as a series winds down? There are only three more Kinsey Millhone books planned at the moment and while it doesn't excuse my taking over a year to get to W is for Wasted, I really don't want this series to end. I decided enough was enough over the weekend and finally broke down. Let me tell you, it was a very welcome return to 1980s Santa Teresa!

Kinsey is taking a welcome little work vacation when an odd call comes in: a homeless man has been brought into the morgue. He has no identification on him, but apparently carried Kinsey's card in his pocket. Could she come down and identify him?

Kinsey's never seen the man but considering she has some time on her hands she decides to poke around and see what she can find. At the very least, her curiosity about why he'd had her card has been piqued. Unfortunately, when Kinsey does finally discover the truth about the man's identity, things get pretty complicated for the PI!

I've been reading this series for over a decade and am amazed that Sue Grafton can continue to come up with new, intriguing plots while never neglecting her characters. In W, Kinsey has to face more family challenges and the appearance of two exes (oh, Dietz!), Henry takes on a new housemate (or two), William and Rosie are doing well - all things considered, and we meet a slew of new characters as well!

Even with all of that, Grafton still finds time to weave in a whole secondary plot involving fellow Santa Teresa PI, Pete Wolinsky. Guess our PI really can't stay idle for too long after all :)

W is out in paperback now (as is the whole series leading up to it) and X is tentatively set for release fall of 2015. Til then, I'll survive and find some way of tiding myself over. I guess by the time the whole thing is wrapped up with Z it'll be time to go back and re read the whole thing, right? 

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Releases 11/18/14

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Wink of an Eye by Lynn Chandler Willis

Want You Dead by Peter James

The Escape by David Baldacci

Cold Hillside by Nancy Baker

Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

The House of War and Witness by Linda Carey

A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson

The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert by Frank Herbert

The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum

The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

The Job by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

New on DVD:
Ragnarok
Automata
If I Stay
Reclaim
And So It Goes
22 Jump Street
Sin City: A Dame to Kill

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pre Pub Book Buzz: Gideon by Alex Gordon

I was drawn in by the cover of Alex Gordon's upcoming Gideon but it was the line calling it "Douglas & Preston meets Kim Harrison..." that made this a must for the TBR!

Here's a bit about the book from Goodreads:

When Lauren’s father dies, she makes a shocking discovery. The man she knew as John Reardon was once a completely different person, with a different name. Now, she’s determined to find out who he really was, even though her only clues are an old photograph, some letters, and the name of a town—Gideon.

But someone—or something—doesn’t want her to discover the truth. A strange man is stalking her, appearing everywhere she turns, and those who try to help her end up dead. Neither a shadowy enemy nor her own fear are going to prevent her from solving the mystery of her father—and unlocking the secrets of her own life.

Making her way to Gideon, Lauren finds herself more confused than ever. Nothing in this small Midwestern town is what it seems, including time itself. Residents start going missing, and Lauren is threatened by almost every townsperson she encounters. Two hundred years ago, a witch was burned at the stake, but in Gideon, the past feels all too chillingly present.

I think this sounds fabulously awesome and can't wait for it to release.

Gideon is due out from Harper Voyager in January.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Short Fiction Friday: Robot Uprisings ed by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams

I have a whole anthology for you today!

I am firmly in the paranoia camp when it comes to robots. I kind of think technology hates me already so it's not at all a stretch for me to believe that robots will attack one day. And I'm not alone, even Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking say AI is dangerous! Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, folks.

In Robot Uprisings Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams have compiled a collection packed with tales of technology gone wrong. From nanobots and rips in space and time to a war with smart toys, these stories cover just about every worst case scenario you can think of and probably a few you haven't.

Scott Sigler kicks things off with a short that brings fans back to Siglerverse Detroit in "Complex God," one of many nano technology focused tales in this anthology. Anna North's "Lullaby" is another and may just be my favorite in the entire collection - depending on the mood I'm in.

A few more personal highlights were Genevieve Valentine's "Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise" and Nnedi Okrafor's "Spider the Artist." This was actually my first time reading both of these authors but definitely won't be my last. Seanan McGuire's "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War" and Alastair Reynolds "Sleepover" round out my top six (because it was too painful to narrow down to five!), but really the whole anthology is amazing.

Here's the full list of contributors and their stories:

"Complex God" by Scott Sigler
"Cycles" by Charles Yu
"Lullaby" by Anna North
"Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise" by Genevieve Valentine
"Executable" by Hugh Howey
"The Omnibot Incident" by Ernest Cline
"Epoch" by Cory Doctorow
"Human Intelligence" by Jeff Abbott
"The Golden Hour" by Julianna Baggott
"Sleepover" by Alastair Reynolds
"Seasoning" by Alan Dean Foster
"Nanonauts! In Battle With Tiny Death Subs!" By Ian McDonald
"Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds" by Robin Wasserman
"The Robot and the Baby" by John McCarthy
"We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War" by Seanan McGuire
"Spider the Artist" by Nnedi Okrafor
"Small Things" by Daniel H. Wilson

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers

Oh, I've been neglecting the 2014 Debut Authors Challenge! I am working to remedy that, with my first new DAC post today. It's Suzanne Myers's debut, Stone Cove Island, fresh out this week from Soho Teen.

Stone Cove Island is reeling in the wake of Hurricane Victor. Power is off and on, the ferry is out for the foreseeable future, and many of the islanders have had to take refuge in the local school gym.

Eliza Elliot loves her island home and wants to do something to help, so she organizes a volunteer clean up, in the hopes that many of the other local teens will join in. Eliza is assigned the historic lighthouse, which leads to her discovery of a potential clue in an unsolved murder that dates back to her parents' teen years. Strangely, it's a case Eliza and her own peers have never even heard of: twenty-five years earlier, Bess Linsky vanished. Her bloodied clothes and her hair were found at the lighthouse but no body was ever recovered. Eliza's discovery wants to find out more, but all of her inquiries are met with stubborn silence and warnings not to mention Bess or her murder again. As her fellow islanders become even more secretive about Bess, Eliza begins to see potential suspects in almost everyone she meets. 

Initially I wasn't sure how I felt about the way Eliza stumbled upon the letter. Considering she immediately finds out that Bess was her mother's best friend, it just seemed a little too easy. Much of the book unfolded this way, in fact. Unfortunately, I didn't want easy. I wanted the plot to be more complex.

Stone Cove Island was one I'd really been looking forward to, so it was kind of a big disappointment that it didn't live up to my expectations. The characters are fine and the pacing is quite good for a mystery. Ultimately, though, there just wasn't enough suspense or actual mystery to this mystery for me.

Rating: 2.5/5