Showing posts with label Tess Gerritsen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tess Gerritsen. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2019

When I Buy a New Release That's Not Working...


1. Reputable author (in my eyes) has a new release; a stand-alone from her usual crime fiction series, though still a thriller/mystery

2. About 60 pages in to a vanilla story with a vanilla cast to a vanilla formula to a vanilla (instant) romance

3.  After being burned by another reputable-in-my-eyes author this year

4.  This is WHY I ALWAYS keep my receipt in the back of the book

She's out of here.  I don't care if Tess Gerritsen wrote this book.  I learned my lesson last month reading a stand-alone book from Nevada Barr.  Absolutely NO more stand-alone books from my favorite mystery authors.  From now on, either we're sticking with his or her series or not sticking at all.

What's in a REBOTCO TBR?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

More 2019 Cover Reveals My Body is Ready For

SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 is for Vendetta in Death by J. D. Robb

"She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless. 
The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims―but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price. 
Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…"
October 1, 2019 is for The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen (Stand-Alone) 

"Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie's Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she's been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house--until she starts to hear strange noises. 
Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks--and feels--all too real. Meanwhile, there's been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don't add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter's mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there's a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden. 
Soon all of Ava's waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie's ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again."

June 4, 2019 is for A Plain Vanilla Murder (China Bayles #27) by Susan Wittig Albert

"China and Ruby Wilcox are presenting their annual ''Not Just Plain Vanilla Workshop,'' always a huge hit with customers at Thyme & Seasons Herb Shop. But someone involved with the workshop is driven by a deadly motive, and China soon finds herself teaming up with the very pregnant Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson to solve a vanilla-flavored murder.  
Sheila, happy to get out from behind the chief's desk, is investigating the death of a botany professor, a prominent researcher specializing in vanilla orchids. China is trying to help a longtime friend: the dead professor's ex-wife and a prime suspect in his murder.  
However, there's no shortage of other suspects: a betrayed lover, a disgruntled graduate student, jealous colleagues, and a gang of orchid smugglers. But the lethal roots of this mystery reach back into the dark tropical jungles of Mexico, where the vanilla vine was first cultivated. At stake: a lucrative plant patent, an orchid that is extinct in the wild, and the life of an innocent little girl.  
Plain Vanilla Murder is a flavorful blend of mystery and herb lore, present sins and past secrets, and characters who are as real as your next-door neighbors—stirred together in an absorbing novel that only Susan Wittig Albert could create."

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Gerritsen Playing with Fire (A Quick Look)

That’s two Tess Gerritsen books in one year!  Can I get an amen?  Well, of course.  Yet, the latest, Playing with Fire, doesn’t involve Gerritsen’s series regulars Rizzoli and Isle.  Nope.  Playing with a Fire is a stand-alone thriller.  To me it waggles between sometimes lukewarm in areas but immensely fascinating in others.  Either way it's a quick, thrilling dash between the past and present.  Done in classic, multi-layered Gerritsen style.
First, a summary of the book.
Playing with Fire is about a violinist named Julia Ansdell.  Julia had the misfortune of acquiring an old, handwritten piece of sheet music called The Incendio Waltz.  While traveling with her orchestra, she came across the piece in an antiques shop in Rome.  So during a routine practice session back home in America, she plays it (or attempts to considering its difficulty) before her three-year-old daughter.  During this practice session Julia blacks out, and wakes to find her daughter next to their just mutilated pet cat.  Horrified, Julia suspects her daughter is responsible for the killing–for whatever reason.  That suspicion leads the two into hospitals and therapy sessions for biological/psychological testing.  
Desperate, the tests seem necessary for both Julia and her daughter.  Yet when another practice sessions leads to another blackout, this time Julia awakens to a stab womb.  And standing over her is her child.  She concludes the common denominator of these violent-resulting blackouts are, somehow, the sheet music.  Julia’s argument is the sheet music has a way of triggering something savage in her daughter’s subconscious.  This, in turn, leads her to trace the composer's Venice origins.  However, she comes across a problem on her journey.  It appears an organization of political heads don't want the secrets of the piece revealed.  And they’ll pull murderous stops in keeping Julia from unveiling its atrocious origins.

Friday, November 6, 2015

FRIDAY READS: Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

I had the intentions of buying Tess Gerritsen's latest, Playing with Fire, the week of its release.  (No, it's not part of her Rizzoli & Isle series.)  For whatever reason, the two places I went to (one including Barnes & Nobles) didn't have a copy of the book.  Or at least I couldn't find one.  I came home that day thinking that I was a week ahead of its release.  However, according to Amazon's publication date, I had it right the first time.  Maybe it was the Universe's way of giving me something fresh to read this weekend.  I kept myself in the house all last weekend with Patricia Cornwell's Depraved Heart.  And with a storm currently in our city's trajectory, Playing with Fire seems right on time.
So what is this non-Rizzoli & Isle book about?  Let's be lazy and let Amazon do the explaining...
"In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard.

Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score.

Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light."
Happy Reading!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Books I'm Looking Forward To Releasing In 2015

Today I shall share my break-the-wallet-on-release-day books.  Or simply put: BOOKS I CAN'T WAIT TO RELEASE THIS YEAR!  I just had to share this to keep myself accountable for my reading needs as 2015 unfolds.  Yes, yes.  I must be ready for each of these titles.  So let's go!

1. X is for… [Unannounced] by Sue Grafton

This was a breeze to conjure up.  Book number 24 in Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series is due out in August. I scream inside; as we all know I idolize Grafton and her smart-mouthed P. I., Kinsey. The series releases bi-yearly, so it’s right on time after 2013's W is for Wasted hit shelves that September. I just wonder what in the hell could the “X” in this title stand for, besides “Xylophone” or “Xenophile”?  And besides the full title, I haven't a clue what this one is about.  What's Kinsey's next case?  Where's Kinsey going to go next in her trapped-in-the-80s narrative.  I kind of like it that way, though.  The uncertainty, while having the utmost faith that it's going to be something incredibly sweet and fulfilling because Grafton and her protagonist is just that damn close to me now. I’m waiting desperately for you Mrs. Grafton!  And while I don't re-read books, I suddenly want to take this series down again.  From start to finish!  A to X.  One Kinsey Millhone one-liner after another.  I bask...

2. Devoted in Death by J. D. Robb

Well, it’s obvious at this point that I've stopped denying my need for J. D. Robb books. Yep. That’s over with. So I wait anxiously for September 8th when book number 41 in Robb’s Eve Dallas In Death series releases. Apparently, Devoted has a sort of Bonnie and Clyde setup. Two committed lovers on a cross-country killing spree. Sign me up for it!

3. The Moon Tells Secrets by Savanna Welles

Yes, yes, yes. Mrs. Welles is another pen name for author Valerie Wilson Wesley. And yes, sometimes I desire a little more out of her writing. Nonetheless, I somewhat enjoyed Welles’ first Gothic thriller, When the Night Whispers. Therefore, I'm willing to follow Wesl–err–Welles into The Moon Tells Secrets. It’s coming out on March 24, and that’s right around the corner. Apparently, The Moon Tells Secrets is about a woman raising her adopted son, a son with the ability to shift into animals. In turn, he’s hunted down by something called “skinwalker." Crazy, right? Well, the thrill to this–for me anyway–is that the cast is Black. I’m always, always there for Black characters featured in stories outside of contemporary fiction.  As well as the Black writers who take the dive to tell these unique stories. As far as I'm concerned, Black authors can do crime fiction and paranormal just as well. Needless to say, Tuesday, I'll be at Barnes and Nobles for this one. Support.

4. Disciple of the Wind by Steve Bein

I've waited an entire year for book number 3 in Steve Bein’s Fated Blades series, one of the remaining remnants of urban fantasy series I find worth reading. And I’m less than a month away from its April 7th release. Color me all kinds of happy!  I can’t wait to go back to Tokyo with Bein's Detective Sergeant, Mariko Oshiro, and her infamous Inazuma blade. I just adore this series; from its protagonist to the way Bein jumps the reader back and forth through time via stories surrounding ancient Japanese blades. However, I'm hoping Bein offers Mariko a lot more spotlight this go-round. I enjoyed the last book, Year of the Demon, tremendously.  Nevertheless, I thought Mariko’s story got diluted by the time hopes to ancient Japan.  And believe me when I say that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  If you're into stories that tap into realms like legends, superstitions and Edo period Japanese tales, Bein delivers.

5. Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

Gladstone and Bein go hand-in-hand with me now, as both authors are my ports into the urban fantasy genre. Anyway, Last First Snow is book number 4 in Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series. It'll be out in July. I don’t have too much information on the story; quite honestly, the big brute man on the cover has me worried. Nonetheless, as more details come about, I’m sure my excitement for this book will rise until I rush through the bookstore to grab it with little hesitation.

6. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

God Help the Child releases April 21. Now here’s the thing: I love Toni Morrison. I really do. However, as I mentioned before, I love her work pre-90s. Afterward, I found it difficult to get through her material. It almost feels like all the accolades and whatnot that Beloved garnered had shifted something in her writing. And while I managed through a few of her works then forward, it’s books like A Mercy that just makes me scratch my head in wonder. I never managed to finish that book, but hold on to it for the next attempt. I just never quite understood who and where that book took a claim to. And apparently I’m not the only one. Nonetheless, I do have hopes for God Help the Child. So much so that maybe I can go back and read Morrison’s Home, her 2012 release.  I suppose I'm hoping God Help the Child get me back on track with her.  It looks promising.

7. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

All right, despite a few problems, I did enjoy the first book in Harris’ new series, Midnight Crossroad. I enjoyed the dust town and small-town cast of unique characters, and do intend to return to it all this May in Day Shift. I'm excited to see what these crazy-ass people (among other things) do next. Unfortunately, as Amazon is my only source at the immediate moment, I don’t have much information on what Day Shift is about. However, I'm still excited. As I said before, Harris is just ruthless with her characters. You never know what they'll do in her books.  She surprises me time and time again, and I like that.

8. Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Gerritsen just announced her October release on her blog, and it’s called Playing with Fire. In the same vein as her book, The Bone Garden, Playing with Fire jumps back and forth through time. It’s the story about a violinist, and how her 3-year-old daughter turns violent at the sound of a particularly piece the violinist plays. It's a piece of music she traces back to 1940’s Venice. So no, this is not a Rizzoli and Isle entry. Which is okay with me because its sounds just as Gerritsen and just as nuts.

9.  China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

I almost forgot this one!  Somebody beat me in the head because I don't understand how this one slipped me.  Well, I'm sure many more 2015 releases have already slipped around me.  Nonetheless, on to China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan.  China Rich Girlfriend is the sequel to Kwan's breakout debut, Crazy Rich Asians.  I thoroughly enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians when I finally got my hands on it the winter before last.  Evidently, China Rich Girlfriend picks up on Chinese-Singaporean, Nicholas Young (heir to a magnificent fortune), and his relationship with ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend Rachel Chu.  After all of the gossiping, family coups, and destructive intentions to break the two apart, it appears the two are continuing forth with their wedding.  This, of course, only invites more drama.  Needless to say, I can't wait to get my hands on it in June.  For anyone who indulges in the melodrama that makes up Asian soaps, this is the author to get into!

Okay. Off the top of my head, that’s it for now. I got a few fence-riders I’ll like to mention next.

10. Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell

This is book number 23 in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta forensic thriller series. After last year’s awfulness of Flesh and Blood, I'm not sure (that’s a lie because Depraved Heart will be sought) how this one will go. I think I just want to hear myself say lie to myself, but I am worried about whether this book is going to be as awful as Flesh and Blood. Will I have to abandon it, just as I did Flesh and Blood?  Well, we'll see in November when this book releases.

11. One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey

I used to be totally in love with this guy. Then he didn't release a book for an entire year, came back, and broke my heart. The book that threw me over was An Accidental Affair (2012); this torrent story about some guy finding his girlfriend (or was it his wife?) was having an affair. So what does he do, run out and sleep with just about every woman who takes an interest in him. I didn't make it through that book before I, to be perfectly honest, returned it. The following year I bought Decadence. This featured the return of Dickey's sex-crazed protagonist Nia Simon Bijou. Needless to say, I never even cracked it. I gave the book to my mom, as I just didn't care to read about Nia and her orgies again.  I think those two books just weren't written for me, or maybe I just grew tired of this sudden slip of sex over plot. However, last year’s A Wanted Woman looked promising, but by then I was already too hurt to try. I just didn’t feel like another erotic action thriller. Which is odd because it’s a book about a hit-woman, and y‘all know I love books featuring women with guns. Nonetheless, the idea is that I'll go back to A Wanted Woman before I return to what seems like classic Dickey in One Night. Who knows?  Here's to One Night's April 21th release.

Drum, But No Drum

12. The Drafter by Kim Harrison 

The Drafter is first in Kim Harrison’s new series, and seeing I've somewhat abandoned her Rachel Morgan series, I don't see The Drafter happening. Nonetheless, it’s on my radar. How’s that for September possibilities?

13. Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton

My ultimate guilty pleasure. The series that I love to hate. And hate more than I love, yet find myself bewitched after Hamilton waved her wand over readers from book 1-9. I’m locked into Anita Blake and her story. Even as I want to throw up at the ridiculousness of it along the way.  Here's to gathering my pail in June.

Off Subject, But Not

Why do I want to read Nora Roberts’ Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy? Is it the covers? I don’t know, but for some reason, I really want to read these books. Help me, Jesus.

So what new releases are you guys looking for this year? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Die Again?

It has finally happened. Since 2012’s Last to Die (which was a letdown), Tess Gerritsen has finally released book eleven (technically twelve if you count The Bone Garden) in her Rizzoli and Isles series, Die Again. Finally the crime-fighting duo is back!  And just for the record, I don't watch the TV show.  I saw the first episode, realized how Angie Harmon didn't even come close to how I envision Jane Rizzoli (help me Jesus was that too much for me), and decided I didn't want to spoil my personal perspective of the series and characters.  Additionally, I dislike the show's theme song.  I know.  How petty.  But I just can't get with its Celtic melody.  Something about it kills the Rizzoli and Isles universe's edge.

So I'm done being petty and, considering I haven't written much about Tess Gerritsen since starting this blog, I'll give a little background as to how I discovered the series.  Which was really quite simple, as it merged out of reading Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series.  I wanted to read more on medical examiners and forensic pathology; while the pathologist of the duo, Isles, didn't show up until the second book, her name brought me to the series.  And yes, I fell hard for Jane after the first book.  Then WHAM: two women solving crimes.  One is a temperamental detective.  One is a distant medical examiner.  I identified with both adjectives, so how could I resist?  Furthermore, I just love reading about intelligence characters and authors with a knack for teaching me a thing or two about a life I'd probably never get a chance to live.  And seeing that Gerritsen is a doctor, I kind of trust her shit.

Needless to say, I've kept up ever since.  And I'm always, always proud to say that my favorite book in the series is Body Double (book #4).  I threw my schoolwork aside to read that book in a single night.  That's how serious the situation became.  There are a few other Gerritsen books outside of her Rizzoli and Isles series that I also recommend.  Two being Harvest and Gravity.  Both will turn into one-night reads.  Trust.

So yeah.  I'm pretty familiar with Tess Gerritsen.  Now on to Die Again.

The narrative format throughout Die Again is the same as her previous books in the Rizzoli and Isles series.  Gerritsen’s narrative jumps from different perspectives, times and settings. In Die Again, she places the series’ stars in the present investigation state of solving the gruesome murder of a taxidermist named Leon Gott. Like the big-game hunter he once was, Gott is found in a position similar to his animal conquests, hanging upside down in his garage and gutted like a forest duiker.  With a few clues and connections, the ladies back their way through his history to un-bury the truth behind his murder.  Sometimes at the slight displeasure of one another's company.  It’s an unusually gruesome murder/case, but I found it plays into the book's primal overture of finding ourselves psychologically helpless and gutted by our fears. To the point where we're paralyzed by them. (You'll probably get it once you read the book.)

Nonetheless, so where does this case lead series’ star Rizzoli and Isles? Well, here comes Gerritsen’s B-story.

Six years ago a group of multinational (from Japan to America) tourists disappeared on a safari deep in Botswana. And while you would think a herd of lions took over their camp and snatched them all into the African bush, there was actually a killer among the group picking them off one by one during the night. Naturally, this raised suspicions within the group, and as the tension and murders continued, one lone survivor named Millie flew into the African bush to escape. She survived two weeks before arriving half dead at a gaming lodge tucked into the African Delta.  And really, after reading the first book in Suzanne Arruda's African safari-themed mystery series, I have to say that Gerritsen's complete take came nowhere near as uneventful and boring.  Meaning, when Gerritsen uses words and language to put you in Botswana you were there–storywise and all.  

As for the killer, well, he’s still out there hunting from the African bush of Botswana to one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Boston.  Which all sounds like a sweep and an outliner's nightmare, but, as always, Gerritsen made it all coalesce.  With a shiny–if not far-fetched–glow.  

So yeah.  Die Again was a thrill, but at the end I thought to myself "it was good, but she was reaching high on this one."  

I think that mostly came with how I didn't really get her villain.  Apart from how the limited suspects led me to him more than partway through the book, I just wasn't compelled by his presence.  His argument.  And the rush ending didn't help matters.  So in that sense, the villain seemed wooden to me.  Even while his deathly deeds and modus operandi were documented (mainly through the eyes of others) and summarized, I didn't get enough of his personal angle.  To me, the killer's point is just as important as the good guy's.  This kind of made me wish Gerritsen shared chapters focused on the killer's psychology as well as Millie's story of survival.  And the ending of Die Again let me down in this aspect.  I would've appreciated a full fleshing out.  (Think the A&E reality show, The Killer Speaks.)

Even so, Gerritsen has mentioned before that her books contain women climbing out of horrific situations, and it's been an on-going staple to her storytelling.  Without a doubt, this is the strength of the series.  Therefore, I did find myself touched by Millie's story.  Not so much toward the end where she becomes a jittery mess (though completely understandable), but I was definitely in her corner through her narrative.  Additionally, I felt for the fate of a few of the supporting characters.  The "what could've been" at the end of the book was moving.

Die Again is another fantastic Rizzoli and Isles thriller.  It's gripping where it needs to be.  Wonderfully thematic if you pay close attention.  And overall fun riding once again with Rizzoli's mouth running and Isles complimenting her with her own theories.  They're friends.  They support one another in their common goal.  Sometimes that support is tested, but you know it's unbreakable.  

If you're not familiar with the series, I suggest you start with the first book, The Surgeon.  

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