A Welcome Grave by Michael Koryta

The 3rd book in his Lincoln Perry series.

Koryta certainly improved as a writer once he finished the LP series.

Lincoln Perry is a thoroughly unlikable character.

I did enjoy the plot. But not much else.

…a rising star on the Cleveland police force, Perry ended his career when he left one of the city’s prominent attorneys, Alex Jefferson, bleeding in the parking lot of his country club—retribution for his affair with Perry’s fiancée.

Now Jefferson is dead, the victim of a brutal murder, and his widow has called upon Perry for a favor he knows he shouldn’t accept but can’t turn down …

michaelkoryta.com

Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Dangerous Minds is the sequel to Curious Minds, introducing Emerson Knight and Riley Moon.

Emerson Knight is a rich, eccentric introvert with little-to-no sense of social etiquette. He is also brilliant and handsome. Riley Moon is a recent Harvard Law and Harvard Business graduate. …

I liked the first book, especially Knight who’s a weird Sherlock Holmes type eccentric.

Both are light weight, easy reads. Young adult.

The plot of Dangerous Minds looked promising: a monk mentor, a missing island, plenty of travel.

But ultimately I found it disappointing. I’ll read no more Janet Evanovich.

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

My first Coben book. And I enjoyed the funny banter. It’s entertaining.

Deal Breaker (1995) first in his Myron Bolitar series.

A former NBA basketball player, Myron is the owner of MB SportsReps, an agency representing sports stars and celebrities.

Two regular supporting characters in the Myron Bolitar series are his best friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (better known as “Win”), and his assistant at MB Reps, Esperanza Diaz.  …

Bolitar is depicted as being a good agent for his clients, taking care of their needs and wants while being careful to not exploit them like bigger agencies. He also helps out clients in times of personal need, which often puts him in the role of “accidental detective.”  …

Deal Breaker starts with Christian Steele, an NFL rookie quarterback, Myron’s prized client, getting a phone call from a former girlfriend, whom everyone, including the police, believes is dead.

Myron is plunged into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail.

Harlan Coben went to High School with Chris Christie. To Amherst College with writer Dan Brown.

Forever Odd (2003) by Dean Koontz

I read the original Odd Thomas in 2012. Really enjoyed it.

It took me 8 years to get around to the 2nd book in the series Forever Odd.

Odd Thomas is a twenty-year-old short-order cook.

Odd is silently approached by the ghost of a young girl brutally raped and murdered, and through his unique ability to understand the dead, is psychically led to her killer, a former schoolmate named Harlo Landerson.

Koontz discloses how Odd was named and begins, layer by layer, to show how Odd’s dysfunctional upbringing has shaped his life, and as those details are uncovered, his supernatural abilities begin to make more sense.

The ghost of Elvis hangs around Odd’s apartment, for example.

“I see dead people. But then, by God, I do something about it.” – Odd Thomas pg. 32

Though the book is simplistic and silly in some ways, I really enjoyed it.

Some of the characters are interesting.

Little Ozzie, for example, a philosopher and obese gourmet cook.

Chief Wyatt Porter is good. I do like the love interest, Stormy Llewellyn.

An Odd Thomas film was released in 2013. Mostly based on the original book

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. But is only 34% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sinking of Lusitania WW I

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania is a 2015 New York Times non-fiction bestseller written by Erik Larson.

Though we’ve heard far more about the 2240 people who died on the Titanic, the story of the Lusitania sinking 3 years later is a more compelling story.

https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/sinking-lusitania/

1198 died on the Lusitania.

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants.

The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.

eriklarsonbooks

Many questions were left unanswered from this disaster.

For example, was Churchill partly responsible?

Should he have provided naval protection for the American commercial ship?

Evidence seems against that conjecture.

Good book.

But his BEST is Devil in the White City.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Adrian McKinty is a Northern Irish writer of crime and mystery novels and young adult fiction, best known for his 2020 award winning thriller, The Chain.

McKinty quit writing in 2017 after being evicted from his rented house, citing a lack of income from his novels, and instead took work as an Uber driver and a bartender.

Upon hearing of his situation, fellow crime author Don Winslow passed some of his books to his agent, the screenwriter and producer Shane Salerno.

In a late-night phone call, Salerno persuaded McKinty to write what would become The Chain.  Salerno loaned the author (“advance on the advance”) $10,000 to help him survive financially during the process.

It’s a very intense book. As a parent, what would you do to get your child back?

“McKinty is one of the most striking and most memorable crime voices to emerge on the scene in years. His plots tempt you to read at top speed, but don’t give in: this writing — sharply observant, intelligent and shot through with black humor — should be savored.”— Tana French

Amazon

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich

Knight and Moon ~ Sherlock and Watson

A short lightweight read, but quite entertaining.

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little-to-no sense of social etiquette.

Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich and (some people might say) handsome or he’d probably be homeless.

Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Law and Harvard Business.

Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst at Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job until she is given her first assignment, babysitting Emerson Knight.

 

Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

I loved Follett‘s Kingsbridge series:

Sad to see it end.

Happily Follett released a prequel in 2020 starting 997 AD.

Another long book. Very engaging.

I love reading about the technology of the day.

Follett, too, writes love stories as well as anyone.

… the end of the Dark Ages, and England faces attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Life is hard, and those with power wield it harshly, bending justice according to their will – often in conflict with the king. With his grip on the country fragile and with no clear rule of law, chaos and bloodshed reign.

Three Lives Intertwined
Into this uncertain world three people come to the fore: a young boatbuilder, who dreams of a better future when a devastating Viking raid shatters the life that he and the woman he loves hoped for; a Norman noblewoman, who follows her beloved husband across the sea to a new land only to find her life there shockingly different; and a capable monk at Shiring Abbey, who dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired throughout Europe.

Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen

Squeeze Me is a novel by Carl Hiaasen released on August 25, 2020.

Quite good.

And very topical right now.

A prominent high-society matron — who happens to be a fierce supporter of the President (Trump) —and co-founder of the Potus Pussies — disappears at a Palm Beach Gala.

Who or what killed her?

Trump (secret service name Mastodon) and Melania (secret service name Mockingbird) are both characters in the novel. Both with other lovers.

Carl Hiaasen takes the madness that is every day Florida, and turns it into hilarious, irreverent books.

If you need a laugh in 2020, I recommend it.

Review: ‘Squeeze Me’ — with a python, a president and Palm Beach — is vintage Hiaasen

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist and author. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair. …

His reporting is credited with helping to lead the United States Federal Aviation Administration to overturn their longtime ban on using cell phones, Kindles and iPads on airplanes. …

Bilton’s most recent book, American Kingpin, tells the story of the Silk Road marketplace, its founder Ross Ulbricht (who went by “Dread Pirate Roberts“), and how U.S. law enforcement arrested him.

…  In June 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the Coen brothers and Steven Zaillian were adapting the book into a movie.