Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs ( Temeperence Brennan # 14)

Kathy Reichs—#1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the FOX television hit Bones—returns with a riveting new novel set in Charlotte, North Carolina, featuring America’s favorite forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan. Just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for Race Week, a body is found in a barrel of asphalt next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The next day, a NASCAR crew member comes to Temperance Brennan’s office at the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner to share a devastating story. Twelve years earlier, Wayne Gamble’s sister, Cindi, then a high school senior and aspiring racer, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette. Lovette kept company with a group of right-wing extremists known as the Patriot Posse. Could the body be Cindi’s? Or Cale’s? At the time of their disappearance, the FBI joined the investigation, only to terminate it weeks later. Was there a cover-up? As Tempe juggles multiple theories, the discovery of a strange, deadly substance in the barrel alongside the body throws everything into question. Then an employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes missing during Race Week. Tempe can’t overlook the coincidence. ( Synopsis from Barnes &

I am a huge fan of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series and look forward to each new book. This book does not disappoint. Like Ms. Reichs herself, Temperance is a forensic pathologist who works both in NC and in Quebec.  This book stays in NC and centers on a body found near a NASCAR racetrack.  The story builds on this initial premise and gets more and more intense as it goes on. Temperance finds herself in the middle of feuding cops, the FBI, and her fellow lab staff.

One of the things I enjoy about this series is all of the information that is woven into the plot. In addition to forensic pathology information, this book has a lot of the NASCAR history written into it. Information on the beginnings of NASCAR, history of the drivers, and even a little on how the present day race world functions.

The side story of her ex-husband's fiancé Summer needing Temperance's help in planning her wedding adds a touch of humor to the story. It also gives Temperance some great lines full of sarcasm that go over the beleaguered bride's head.

One of the best parts of this book is the way Ms. Reichs makes her characters so believable whether it's a disgraced former cop or a cranky, humorless coworker. Even the two missing people who we never meet become real to the reader. The ending is not telegraphed earlier in the book and is absolutely believable.

My only gripe-not enough Ryan. Longtime readers will know what I mean.  I can't wait for the next book!

RPL Note: This book will be available on Tuesday, August 23 in the Adult New Books Section.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Abby Cooper's next mission may truly be impossible...
Abby Cooper, the FBI's newest Civilian Profiler, is adding Spy to her resume. The military's digital photography software that captures one's aura- just like Abby can-sits in a drone aircraft that's been stolen. It's a major breach in security as every country's leader can be identified by their aura...
Abby springs into action to stop the criminals before they set their diabolical plan into motion, while making herself a prime target. ( Synopsis from Barnes &

Victoria Laurie takes her series in a new direction in her 9th book of the Psychic Eye series. Abby Cooper and her fiancé Dutch Rivers are recruited to work with the CIA to recover a new technology weapon that has fallen into the wrong hands. Abby and Dutch will be playing with the big boys- foreign weapons dealers and crime bosses.

I have enjoyed the earlier books in this series. This book upped the violence factor and the mystery was not so much about a murder as it was focused on espionage.  I missed the characters from earlier books. There was plenty of action in this book and the bad guys were really BAD. Dutch, in particular, has a tough time in this outing. Abby seems to have some doubts about setting a wedding date and there are some attraction issues with one of the baddies. There were lots of characters in this book, some of whom may turn up again in a future book if Ms. Laurie continues with the CIA involvement. 

Abby's psychic crew helps in the tight situations but aren't the driving force in the book.
As mentioned before, the book is the latest in a series, but can be read by someone who hasn't read any of them and still be enjoyed.

RPL NOTES: This book is available in the Adult New Book section. The earlier books are available in the mystery section in paperback.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Merciless by Diana Palmer

Can she convince a man to let down his defenses when he's set on guarding his heart? Tall, dark and eligible? That's all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he'd be at the mercy of husband hunters—but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is… While Joceline can't deny that her boss is attractive, as a single mother with responsibilities she's determined to be professional. But when Jon is accosted by a criminal seeking revenge, she comes to his aid—fueling the spark that is growing between them. As the attempts on Jon's life increase, Joceline stands by his side. But when the smoke clears, will the man who avoided love realize that all he ever needed was right there all along?  ( Synopsis from Barnes &

MERCILESS 7/26/2011
Long, Tall Texans
HQN Books
ISBN-13: 9780373775798
Diana Palmer’s latest book keeps her string of hits alive.  Jon Blackhawk is an FBI agent and one of the most straight laced heroes that ever graced a Palmer book.  He is working on wrapping up the investigation into the murder of his brother’s first wife and child (Kilraven from Dangerous).  Joceline Perry is Jon’s administrative assistant and she DOES NOT do coffee.
Ms. Palmer has a formula for her books and it has been a very successful one- she has alpha males and women who are generally shy, undereducated or from the poor side of town. The men roll all over the women until the women capture their hearts and then they fold like cards.  Palmer fans, of which I am one, unabashedly enjoy it when the big, tough, mean, man gets his comeuppance.  In this book, Jon is actually a pretty decent guy who treats Joceline fairly decently.  His mother, Cammie, takes over the meanie role and does a spectacular job at it.
The way Jon and Joceline dance around each other makes the outcome satisfying if not predictable. ( It is a romance after all!) The murder case adds suspense to the story and there are some interesting characters throughout the book. Joceline has a son whose paternity is unknown and has health issues which are realistically portrayed. The problems of having a sick child who needs expensive medicine not covered by insurance are also accurately written.
Those of us who have read all of her books have been waiting for Jon to get his own story after getting little glimpses of him in earlier books. This book should make all of the fans happy until we get restless for the next book!
RPL Notes: Merciless is available in the Adult New Fiction section and as an audiobook on CD .