Friday, December 26, 2008

#86 - The Lincoln Lawyer

Book No: 85
Title: The Lincoln Lawyer
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: Mystery/Legal Thriller
Published: 2005
Obtained: 2005/
Completed: 11/20/2008
No. of Pages: N/A
Rating: 4/5*****

Michael Connelly has long been one of my favorite authors; I am a huge fan of his Harry Bosch series. In The Lincoln Lawyer Connelly broadens his range by writing his first legal thriller and it is a damn good one.

Mickey Haller is the son of a lawyer who was a legend in the field. Although his father died when he was young Mickey has read many of his books and takes to heart his adage: "The scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you f*** up and he goes to prison, it'll scar you for life."

When Mickey is hired to defend Louis Roulet in an assault and rape case he begins to think he may have actually found the proverbial innocent man. Soon his investigation turns up a dark side to Roulet and Mickey finds he has some ethical choices to make.

This book is, as usual, well written, tightly plotted and fast paced. In Mickey Haller we have another great protagonist – a basically decent guy with a few issues, who isn’t above bending the law to achieve his goals. This is a great new character and I am looking forward to The Brass Verdict where Haller meets Bosch. That should be another winner.

#85 - The Beach House

Book No: 85
Title: The Beach House
Author: Jane Green
Genre: Chick Lit
Published: 2008
Obtained: 2008/Paperbackswap
Completed: 11/23/08
No. of Pages: 340
Rating: 3.5/5*****

The Beach House has the perfect title, because it is the perfect beach read. Not very deep, easy to read, characters you enjoy and a general feel good read.

Nan Powell has lived in her big rambling house, Windmere, on Nantucket for over 30 years. She is a bit of an eccentric, well known around the town. When it becomes clear that Nan is facing some serious financial problems she decides to take in boarders as she tries to figure out what to do with her home as some ne’er to do developers are longing to get their hands on the property.

The mix of people who come together at the house all bring some baggage; Daniel recently separated and hiding a secret; Daff, a recent divorcee and mother of a spoiled 13 year old; Michael, Nan’s son who has come back home after ending an affair with his boss. Then there is Bee, Daniels’ wife who takes a house nearby so she and Daniel can work on a reconciliation; Michael’s lover who shows up and makes a shocking announcement and a man from Nan’s past who throws everything into tumult, reveling some startling secrets.

Lots of storylines intersect and a lot of it is predictable, some of it a bit preposterous and you can figure out how everything will end, but the storytelling is fun and it is a great escape book

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

#84 - Still Waters

Book No: 84
Title: Still Waters
Author: Jennifer Lauck
Genre: Memoir
Published: 2001
Obtained: 2008/Kindle
Completed: 11/23/08
No. of Pages:448
Rating: 4/5*****

At the end of Blackbird, Jennifer Lauk’s first memoir, 12 yeaar old Jennifer’s wicked stepmother (literally) finally relinquishes custody of her and her brother Bryan and we are left to believe she is finally safe. Unfortunately it was not to be.

This book opens with the police report chronicling Bryan’s suicide. We know then that maybe there is no happy ever after. Jennifer is first cared for by her grandparents, slowly settling in. She soon learns it is temporary and that her brother is living with one aunt and uncle, and she is going to live with another. Peggy and Dick Duemore eventually adopt Jennifer, but she is valued more for her Social Security check and housekeeping skills than anything else. She stumbles through her life unloved and barely cared for. Upon finally going to college and freeing herself from her ‘family’ she begins to carve out a new life for herself, eventually finding the courage to face her past and her brother’s death.
Again a deeply sad story and although one can sense the anger in this memoir one is also rewarded with the knowledge that Jennifer Lauck has found some measure of peace and happiness in her life. She has a wonderful writing style and voice that makes you care deeply about her.