Mystery/Thriller Archives

June 12, 2005

Lesson of Her Death

The Lesson of Her Death, by Jeffery Deaver

Now that I have my plugin issues fixed... we have books! Yay!

So, here we have a Jeffrey Deaver book that I finished a week or so ago. It's one of those books that's been sitting on my shelf for a while and have finally gotten around to reading. I really like Deaver and this one certainly wasn't an exception!

I have to say, he did a good job of psyching me out too. I was sure I knew who the killer was fairly early in the book... wrong! It also has some really interesting and well done characters with a variety of learning difficulties and ADD/ADHD variations.

August 11, 2005


Twisted, by Jeffery Deaver

This is another Jeffery Deaver book, but this one is a collection of short stories instead of a novel. I don't read them often, but now and then short stories are quite enjoyable! They tend to make especially good bathroom reading. It's fun to have something short, but interesting to read. Doesn't require as much investment as a full novel.

These all had some kind of plot twist in them, although really all mystery stories ought to have plot twists! Some of these were really interesting. Some were expected, but some of them caught me completely by surprise.

May 9, 2006

Deja Dead

Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs

I've really been enjoying the series Bones on Fox and at some point I learned that the lead character was based on a real person (Kathy Reichs). And that real person writes novels (just like the character on the show) and that of course led me to Borders and then a book came home with me. It really is amazing the way those books make their way home with a person!

Anyway, this is the first of her "Temperance Brennan" books and I quite enjoyed it! There's quite a bit of real science in it which I like, and I flew through the last few chapters because I just had to know what happened. The basic premise is that the main character is a forensic anthropologist and she sees some connections between a few cases and has to convince the cops that there's a serial killer. It's obviously a tad more complicated than that, but that's the broad strokes anyway.

I liked it quite a bit, and it wasn't my standard sci-fi! I'm going to have to go get the next one in the series.

August 5, 2006


Mindbend, by Robin Cook

I haven't posted any books by Robin Cook before, but I've read a bunch of them. I think I first picked up a handful of them at a used book store and then they sat on my shelf until I felt like a medical mystery!

I know the little date tag is going to say that I read this in August 2006, but I know I read it once before. Unfortunately, I didn't do this on purpose! It took me until about half-way through the book to realize I'd read it before. I tend to think that's not a good thing, that it didn't make enough of an impression on me the first time around that it took me that long to remember it.


Cook reminds me a lot of Grisham (except with doctors instead of lawyers). There's always a big bad conspiracy of some sort, and the one lone good guy who has to stop it all. They're fun to read, but don't really distinguish themselves from each other very easily! This one was all about a brain-washing pharmaceutical company. (wow, Firefox says I spelled that right on the first try!)

Which isn't to say that I don't like his books, I do. They just tend to follow a certain formula.

December 29, 2006

Acceptable Risk

Acceptable Risk, by Robin Cook

This is a Robin Cook book. Usually his books follow a fairly predictible pattern. Young idealistic doctor discovers some kind of horrible corruption or evil conspiracy and must expose it. And of course he must do so all on his own and is hunted by the Bad Guys the whole time, the authorities never believe him... but eventually he succedes and takes down the Big Evil Corporation. I do enjoy his books, it's just that I know what to expect from them.

This one didn't follow that formula at all. And I quite enjoyed that!

I have no idea how much of it is based in actual research of the history or how much of it is possible, but there's a lot of really interesting stuff in this one about the Salem witch trials and what could have caused them. Since the cause being actual witches seems a little far-fetched.

He also touches on psychopharmacology and how much of our personalities are we willing to change with drugs. How much should we change?

August 9, 2007

The Twelfth Card

The Twelfth Card (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel), by Jeffery Deaver

Another Lincoln Rhyme book by Jeffery Deaver. I've devoured this one over the past week or two.

I've really enjoyed everything I've read by him and this one isn't an exception. There were so many twists and changes and unexpected bits, I kept thinking "this can't be it, there's too much book left, what's really going on?" But I wasn't able to guess and nothing pinged as out of place, even though it did all fit in later. Love that in a book!

And since the whole point of this here book blog is so I can remember which books are which later... this is the one with the former slave and the high school kid.

December 18, 2007

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay

This is the first of the Dexter books by Jeff Lindsay. I'd heard good things about the series on Showtime based on these books and got the first season off Netflix and quite enjoyed it so of course I had to check out the books.

It's a little odd in that the protagonist is a serial killer so it obviously isn't for everyone.

The entire first season of the show is based just on the first book which I really liked 'cuz it ended up being a much better adaptation of a book than usually happens since they had more time. They actually added some to the show that wasn't in the book.

There were also some fairly important changes regarding who's dead (and who isn't) at the end of season one and at the end of book one. I haven't read the second book yet to see how that affects the differences between season two and book two.

I liked the book a lot. It's definately weird though, since it's written in first person and I found myself identifying with the guy. It's a little odd when you discover you're rooting for a serial killer.

Mostly it deals with the Ice Truck Killer and figuring out who he is.

January 10, 2008

The Cold Moon

The Cold Moon, by Jeffery Deaver

Before I start this I just have to say how completely in love I am with my ebook reader. It rocks my socks! I've been feeling like I've been reading more since I bought it so I went through my archives and counted. I used to average a book or two a month, since the reader's arrival I've read seven books in about a month and a half. Doesn't matter what I'm in the mood for, there'll be something on it that fits. I've always tended to read multiple books at the same time and this just makes it even easier. Just thought I'd share how much I'm enjoying my new gadget.

Anyway! On to the book! This is the latest in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver.

There's a lot of internal stuff going on for Sachs in this one. She has her first case that's her's and isn't one she's working with Lincoln. There's quite a bit to do with her dad too.

A new character gets introduced here that is now the main character in at least one other book (which I haven't read yet) that I think is supposed to become another series. The interaction between her and Lincoln is really interesting since she's all about people and witnesses and he really doesn't like those at all!

The case itself ends up being ridiculously convoluted (but then, they all are so that makes sense) and there's good guys that you think are bad guys and bad guys that maybe aren't so bad, or maybe they're worse. Whenever I read a Deaver book there's a number of times when everything seems solved and then I look at how much book is left and there's waaaaay too much left for everything to be figured out already. There were at least two or three of those moments in this one. But I really like that about his books, there's this constant "well, what on earth is going on then?" feeling.

And just to give myself enough information without giving everything away for anyone else... this is the one with the OCD clock guy and the overeating dude.

March 12, 2008

Dearly Devoted Dexter

Dearly Devoted Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay

This is the second Dexter book by Jeff Lindsay.

Well! The second season of the show was rather a departure from the second book! About the only similarity is that Doakes is following Dexter around and not letting him do his thing. Other than that... majorly different!

This one was a lot darker than the first book. Which, considering the subject matter, is saying something. There's a bad guy running around doing truly horrible things to people, but he leaves them alive (but completely ruined and insane) when he's done with them. And somehow Doakes' past is involved.

Dexter does some serious bonding with the kids, which I like. His whole "I'm not human" thing kind of falls apart when kids are involved. Of course this isn't normal bonding, since this is Dexter, but that kind of goes with the territory.

May 6, 2008


Bloodlist, by P.N. Elrod

First in the Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod...

This series is a bit different than most of the vampire stuff I've read so far. They're set in the 30's and have a very different feel to them than the ones set in the present. I've seen "hard-boiled detective" as a descriptor for the genre, but I haven't ever read anything in that area so I have no idea how, or if, that fits.

Vamp rules... no sun, unconsious between sunrise and sunset, blood only (animal blood ok), crosses/garlic/etc aren't a problem, wood is, no reflection, needs "home soil" to sleep, can become non-corporeal, can do the hypnotism thing. I think that's all of them! The "home soil" thing is a new one for me. I've heard it, but nothing I'd read so far had it as anything other than a "vampire myth". This isn't the first one I've read with the whole "no reflection" thing, but that is the one "rule" that never makes sense to me. If you can see them with your eyes then you can see them in the mirror. I know it's a common part of the lore, but it just doesn't make sense to me (I know, they're vampire rules, they aren't real, they don't need to make sense, but there I am anyway)

So, our main character is a journalist who has just moved to Chicago and then got himself murdered, but he'd been turned (sort of, the turning works weirdly, the whole blood exchange thing happens but it may or may not take and you don't find out until you die as a human) years back so he doesn't stay dead. He hooks up with a PI and the two of them try to figure out who killed him and why since he doesn't remember the couple of days before his death.

So far this feels more like the occasional mystery that I read, there isn't as much of the inter-personal stuff that tends to really attract me to characters. More plot-driven than character-driven I guess. Which is fine, I do enjoy that now and then.

May 9, 2008


Lifeblood, by P.N. Elrod

2nd in the Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod...

Before I get to the actual plot stuff I have to share a weird connection in this book. Near the beginning of the book a couple of the characters go to see a movie version of Romeo and Juliet, since the book is set in the 30's that means it must be this version from 1936. Here's the nifty bit... the actor who played Friar Laurence in that version, Henry Kolker, is a relative of mine! I don't remember what the relationship is exactly off the top of my head, but I think he's either a cousin a couple times removed or a great-great-great uncle or something like that. I'll have to look it up. That completely tickled me when I realized it while I was reading and I had to share.

Plotwise... the sister of the vamp that turned Jack shows up and she's very old and sick now and wants him to turn her. There ends up being a touch more character stuff than there was in the first book (which I appreciated since I like character stuff).

May 29, 2008


Bloodcircle, by P.N. Elrod

Third in the Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod...

The time frame on these is really interesting to me. This is the third book in the series and we've barely covered a month's worth of time for the characters. It makes it incredibly tempting to just grab the next book when I'm done with one!

Let's see... plot stuff... Jack and Charles go to New York to see if they can track down what happened to the vamp that turned Jack. They do indeed figure out what happened and we meet her sire as well.

I'm liking that we're starting to get more of a feel for who these guys are and what makes them tick.

June 10, 2008

Now You See Me

Now You See Me, by Tina Wainscott

by Tina Wainscott...

This was an interesting one. There's this blind woman who is slightly psychic and will sometimes connect to a kidnaped child and be able to see through their eyes. Which all seems to be connected back to when she was kidnapped when she was very young, which is also when she lost her sight.

So, a kid is snatched just before Christmas and there's a ton of similarities to her own kidnapping and she tries to help the police who of course think she's involved since she knows things she couldn't know otherwise. And she's having a hard time sorting out what she's actually seeing from what happened to her. The cop assigned to the case ends up being much more intimately involved than either of them thought at first.

It does do the weird "we've only known each other for a couple days, but we're soul-mates and let's hop into bed together thing" of which I am not a fan. But thankfully that doesn't intrude into the rest of the plot and story.

There's some really interesting stuff about conversion disorder, which I hadn't heard of before. The brain is a fascinating and weird thing!

June 14, 2008

The Broken Window

The Broken Window, by Jeffery Deaver

Eighth in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver...

Yay for a new Lincoln Rhyme book! I really like this series, I'm always happy to see a new one.

This one had some call-backs to both the first book in the series and the book right before this one (The Cold Moon) which was cool, I don't think that's really happened much in previous books in the series. It made me want to go back and re-read the earlier books.

The plot and story in this one had a lot to do with privacy and data mining companies. How much information about us is really out there for anyone to find. How companies use everything that's out there, all the information about what we buy and where. Every time we use one of those "frequent buyer" cards all that information goes somewhere. There's a scary amount of information available, and what happens if someone who wants to do something nefarious gets ahold of it?

My one complaint isn't really a problem of the book, it's more a problem of reading a book about something about which I already know a decent amount. I know most of the people reading the book aren't going to be very geeky or know too much about the privacy issue or about computers in general. So it's not that out of line that a number of the characters wouldn't either and there has to be a lot of basic explaining going on. But you'd think at least a couple of them would have some awareness of what's happening and not need absolutely every little thing explained to them.

But that's just one little part of it and the rest was very good. I can never figure out where all the twists and turns are going in Deaver's books, I love that. And there's always lots of interesting character and relationship stuff too. Mysteries that are just plot don't do much for me, I like reading books where I can get to know the characters and get attached to them.

June 21, 2008

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector, by Jeffery Deaver

First in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver...

Like I said in the post for Broken Window, it made me want to re-read the earlier books in the Rhyme series so here we are back at the beginning.

It was really odd reading this one. I'd forgotten how incredibly broken Lincoln was at the beginning of all this. I hadn't realized how much he's changed over the course of the series. It was really jarring seeing him so despondant and having completely given up. Really weird. And Sachs not knowing what to do and all uncertain of herself.

I did enjoy seeing the very beginnings of their working relationship (not really the personal one just yet) again. Getting to know each other and yelling at each other and all of that. Figuring each other out.

I really like this series, and as odd as some of it was (especially in this first one) I'm liking going back and seeing the beginnings again.

June 25, 2008

The Coffin Dancer

The Coffin Dancer, by Jeffery Deaver

Second in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver...

More re-reading! I think I'm mostly going to do a bit of plot stuff since we all know I like this series already.

As opposed to the movie made from the first book, the personal relationship between Rhyme and Sachs doesn't really get going until near the end of this one. He's really almost sweet about it, he's scared and doesn't want to get hurt again or hurt her.

The case is about a professional killer who's been hired to get rid of some witnesses before they can testify before a grand jury. It has the pilots and all kinds of interesting things with planes.

As is normal for Deaver books, all isn't as it seems! But they're so twisty that even though I've read this before it had been long enough ago and convoluted enough that I didn't remember where the twists were. I almost (but not quite) want to read one of his books a second time right after finishing it to read it knowing what to look for. Who knows, maybe I will at some point.

June 29, 2008

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair, by Jeffery Deaver

Third in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver... and it's another re-read.

So... Lincoln, Amelia, and Thom (of course) have traveled to North Carolina because Rhyme wants to have an experimental surgery that he hopes will give him a tiny bit of improvement, but it's risky. They end up getting involved in a local kidnapping/murder case because the sheriff is a relative of one of their friends back in New York.

Everything gets sticky and complicated right quick and in a hurry, but what else would you expect from a Deaver book?

As is usually there's all kinds of personal issues to go along with the plot (which is a huge part of why I like Deaver's books). Rhyme is feeling very out of place, both because of the small town being stared at thing and because he knows how to work a crime in New York, but he doesn't know anything about the area they're in currently so it's harder. He's normally so sure of himself and he just isn't in that situation.

And there's some level of conflict between him and Sachs about the operation he wants. She doesn't think it's worth the risk, he does. I do get the feeling that if they'd just talk to each other about what they're scared of it wouldn't be quite such a bit deal!

July 19, 2008

The Stone Monkey

The Stone Monkey, by Jeffery Deaver

Fourth in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver, and a re-read.

The main plot this time involves a group of illegal immigrants from China who are being hunted down by the man who arranged to smuggle them across the ocean. Lincoln and Amelia were already trying to find that man so they end up both searching for him and trying to protect the group he's hunting.

In their personal lives Amelia is dealing with finding out that she has some physical issues of her own that might get in the way of them having kids. Lincoln is still pursing the surgery he was trying to have in the last book, and there's a number of really interesting conversations between him and a Chinese cop about it.

July 25, 2008

Death du Jour

Death du Jour, by Kathy Reichs

Second in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs...

It would appear that I read the first book in the series about two years ago. This one didn't grab me quite as much as the first one did.

It felt a little more like just plot. Go here, find that, connect this, go there, find thing two, connect that to thing one.... repeat. There was a mystery and deaths to prevent and all that, but for whatever reason I just didn't care that much.

Maybe it was that the coincidence factor was really high. There's this group that just happens to recruit Tempe's sister in Texas and want her to go with them to a specific place in Canada (near Tempe's place of employment there of course) and they just happen to have another part of their group active where she lives in North Carolina. It was all just a little too neat for me.

July 28, 2008

The Vanished Man

The Vanished Man, by Jeffery Deaver

Fifth in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver...

On with the re-reading!

The important bit to remind me of which book this is is that it's the one with the magicians. And of course it's all twisty and confusing, there's even some twisty bits within the story with the characters messing with each other (and therefore the reader) as to what actually happened.

The Rhyme books always have that interesting juxtaposition of incredible mental power with complete physical dependency, but this one has it spelled out a bit more explicitly than most.

August 28, 2008


Consequences, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Number three in the Retrieval Artist series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch... The first book is here, the second here.

This one is a bit of a departure from the first two since it doesn't really involve aliens. There was a civil war on a colony planet more than a decade ago, and certain people ended up disappearing since they were under death sentences. The power structure on that planet has since changed and pardons have been issued and everyone can supposedly come out of hiding.

Miles ends up retrieving one of those people and there are all kinds of consequences steming from that decision that go all the way back to the reason they disappeared in the first place. A number of people die and would they have if he hadn't retrieved that person?

A lot of the core story ends up being about the lengths people will go to to get their desired result. Very much a "do the ends justify the means" kind of thing.

October 2, 2008

Art in the Blood

Art in the Blood, by P. N. Elrod

Fourth in the Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod...

This'll be short I think since these are fun plot-driven books that so far haven't had a lot else going on. Which is ok, a person needs that now and then.

Jack ends up befriending an artist and then investigating when the artist's friend/almost love interest shows up dead. Said artist's wife having died of a suspicious suicide a while back making him the main suspect in the current murder.

December 29, 2008

The Cold Moon (re-read)

The Cold Moon, by Jeffery Deaver

Another re-read in the Rhyme/Sachs series by Jeffery Deaver... the original entry for this one is here.

February 18, 2009

The Twelfth Card (Re-Read)

The Twelfth Card (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel), by Jeffery Deaver

Somehow I got a bit out of order in my re-reading of Deaver's Rhyme series. Oh well! The original entry for this one is here.

April 27, 2009

The Broken Window (reread)

The Broken Window, by Jeffery Deaver

This is the eighth in the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver, and another re-read. The original entry is here.

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