Sandra D. (szeckel1956) - Reviews

1 to 12 of 12
20th Century Ghosts
20th Century Ghosts
Author: Joe Hill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 5/10/2010


I could not put this book of short stories down. It ranged from the really weird (yet wonderful), to sweet and touching. One story actually had a touch of Kafka to it. I have to say that I loved Hill's Heart-Shaped Box, so I knew I would not be disappointed in this. I can't wait to get my hands on Hill's newest!


Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story
Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story
Author: Clive Barker
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 7/14/2009


I could not even get halfway through it. But then, I am not a sadist or a masochist. I do like the horror genre, but not ugliness for ugliness' sake. Will not read another Barker book.


Heart-Shaped Box
Heart-Shaped Box
Author: Joe Hill
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 310
Review Date: 7/23/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This book was gripping from start to finish. Being a fan of Stephen King and John Maberry, I found Joe Hill to be a real contender in the horror genre. The story was crisp, the good guys were easy to root for and the bad guys were really, really bad. The gore was at an acceptable level, without being over the top. Totally engrossing. Highly recommend it!


The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich, Bk 1)
The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich, Bk 1)
Author: David Ellis
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 7/14/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I was lucky enough to win this book, and so I would like to share my thoughts.

One of the reasons I was interested in this book was that it was said to be the type of story that John Grisham might write. I admire Grisham, but was getting tired of his formulated stories and wordiness. This book had none of that. Ellis' characters were real, with just enough background to build personalty, and to help the reader understand character motive.

The story moved quickly without seeming to bog down anywhere. It is easily a one sitting read.

However, when I finished I had a lot of questions about the logic of the story. Hopefully, this review will not have too many spoilers, but it's the story of an attorney who is hired by a mysterious stranger to defend the attorney's childhood friend from a murder charge. The man killed was the alleged killer of the childhood friend's baby sister 30/40 years before. Simple yes? It is what motivates this very powerful and rich stranger that is the mystery.

Again, spoilers,but with all the problems the "stranger" had controlling the attorney, why didn't he simply frame the judge or DA to get the guy off? Why use someone with an obvious criminal background to be the eyewitness when the "stranger" could have bought a third party innocent as the eyewitness. There are other logic problems that would make Perry Mason shake his head in confusion.

But, the story on a whole was well written, the characters human enough to empathize with, and (if you read through the illogic) is a very good read.


The Hollower
The Hollower
Author: Mary Sangiovanni
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 10/25/2009


This book is simply Okay. It obviously was influenced by Stephen King books and really smacked of "IT", which I happened to have loved when King wrote it. The author has a lot of talent, but she needs to be a little more imaginative and self-expressive.


Moonlight in Odessa: A Novel
Moonlight in Odessa: A Novel
Author: Janet Skeslien Charles
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/26/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I was lucky enough to win an advanced edition of this first novel.

This is a beautifully written book about a very strong woman in a world where strong woman are not appreciated, and her struggle to be true to herself and to reach what might seem to be an unreachable goal - happiness on her own terms. I was not sure if I would like this book, as I hate "girly" stories. But, this is not really a "girly" story. It is about overcoming obstacles and compromise. It gives a real insight into the liberated soviet satellites and how people are trying to adjust to a new world. Beautifully written, a very fast read, highly recommend it.


Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness
Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness
Author: William Bernhardt
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 12/18/2009


This is an excellent, excellent read. Any fan of the old "Untouchables" program, will hear Robert Stack speaking when Eliot Ness has dialogue. I could not put it down.


The Rift
The Rift
Author: Walter Jon Williams
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 10/7/2009
Helpful Score: 3


At first, I thought I was reading the plot for another disaster movie. Too many characters, too many subplots. Then it all clicked. It became riveting and suspenseful. Although the book is very long (over 900 pages), once I got over the initial introduction of characters, I was hooked. A very good read.


The Secret Speech
The Secret Speech
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/28/2011


To anyone who has read "Child 44," "The Secret Speech" is a worthy sequal. The story is fast adventure and high drama, without an ounce of fat. A great look into post-Stalin Russia. A definite must read, and I can't wait for the next chapter in our hero's life!


The Taken
The Taken
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 8/4/2009
Helpful Score: 4


A village with a dark secret, an angry ghost, and the bogeyman! The perfect formula for an entertaining horror story. A very quick read and quite enjoyable. Recommended.


Under the Dome
Under the Dome
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 324
Review Date: 5/27/2011


Another great epic by the King! This is not so much a horror tale as a tale of human nature. Unfortunately, to do a true review would give too much away. Let's just say, over 1000 pages goes by really, really fast! Thanks Stephen for a really great read and I can't wait for more!
P.S. I'm a Jack Reacher fan myself!


The Yiddish Policemen's Union
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
Author: Michael Chabon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 190
Review Date: 8/25/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, if you are not Jewish, I am not sure that you would understand the nuances and flavor of this story. It was well written and extremely entertaining, but if you are not Jewish, you probably won't get the humor or even the underlying sadness of this story. L'Chaim.


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