I truly enjoy this series. In this book, Lindsay and Joe finally get married. But right away, Lindsay is dragged into a missing child investigation, with the possibility that the teenage mother had been abducted.
The characters I have grown to enjoy through the first three Cedar Cove books are all back and moving forward/backward in their lives. Opening the pages of this book was like going home to visit with these dear friends I've become very fond of. Debbie Macomber has not only given us another visit to this charming town and added new dimensions to the characters, but also provides us with a suspenseful resolution to the murder that occurred back in book one.
The focal point of this story is the home of Peggy and Bob Beldon who manage the Thyme and Tide B and B at 44 Cranberry Point. Nerves have been on edge with Peggy and Bob since a fellow Vietnam soldier, Max Russell, was found murdered at the inn. Bob, a recovering alcoholic, has the biggest challenge of his sober years when the need for a drink overtakes him. Will he manage to control himself or will he throw away all his hard work and good intentions?
In addition to the main characters, minor characters such as Rachel the nail tech, widower Bruce Peyton, Stanley Lockhart and others make appearances and propel the storyline, thanks in large part to a hilarious Dog and Bachelor auction which makes matches and mismatches aplenty.
Debbie Macomber has given us the perfect soap opera in book form and I eagerly look forward to each new installment. I would advise readers to begin at the beginning to eliminate any confusion in this multi-populated series.
In "4th of July", the fourth installment of Patterson's Women's Murder Club, SFPD homicide detective Lindsay Boxer finds herself on trial for her professional life. A pull-over after a wild car chase goes entirely sour and results in Lindsay killing a female minor and seriously wounding a male minor condemning him to life as a wheelchair-confined machine-assisted quadriplegic. Boxer finds herself staring down the barrel of a lawsuit for "wrongful death, excessive use of force, and professional misconduct" filed by the parents with a potential price tag of $100 million in damages. While Boxer's attorney, Yuki Castellano, the newest initiate to the Women's Murder Club, is outwardly poised and confident that she can clear her client, the trial's outcome is far from certain and Patterson has treated us to some truly electric courtroom drama!
Plot number two - on administrative leave to deal with the trial, Boxer has sought seclusion in the quaint town of Half Moon Bay. But the peaceful quiet of her chosen cloister is shattered as the town's residents are menaced by a series of brutal murders. Boxer twigs to an uncanny resemblance to an unsolved John Doe murder from very early in the rookie stages of her career and she reaches the decision to involve herself in the investigation. From that point, Patterson takes Boxer, the local police force, Half Moon Bay's local population and his unsuspecting readers careening down a taut, tension-filled road that's chock-a-block full of twists and turns and slams us all into a climax that nobody but nobody will see coming.
While the two plots are very loosely connected only through the literary device of Boxer's administrative leave, they are cleverly juxtaposed and the two stories become nicely crafted into a seamless whole. Story #2 is a typically well-done thriller that easily succeeds in fulfilling any expectations Patterson fans will have as a result of his long list of past best-sellers but I think Story #1 is the more interesting of the two. Not your typical thriller brain candy, Patterson raises some serious hot-button issues related to minors and violent crime that won't leave a single reader sitting on the sidelines. As I read, there was more than one occasion on which my own opinions on the issues surfaced and I found myself getting quite warm under the collar. Well done, Patterson!
While I look forward to the next two Women's Murder Club novels, "The 5th Horseman" and "The 6th Target", it is my critical hope that Patterson will return to the original style of "1st to Die" and let the entire club figure more prominently in the novels and the solution to their plots. "4th of July" was clearly a Lindsay Boxer novel with the other members of her "club" being granted no more than token cameo walk-ons.
That said, "4th of July" worked well and comes recommended from this reader. Enjoy!
I loved this book. But then, I love fiction involving air disasters. And this one fits the bill swimmingly. I read it while on a flight to Chicago. Hmmmm... a little scary...The pilot walked by and asked how I liked it...said he planned on reading it also. Too bad I couldn't finish it before the end of the flight. I would have happily handed it over! Anyway, it's another great Michael Crichton novel.
Cruising 35,000 feet above the earth, a twin-engine commercial jet encounters an accident that leaves 3 dead, 56 wounded, and the cabin in shambles. What happened? With a multi-billion-dollar company-saving deal on the line, Casey Singleton is sent by her hard-driving boss to uncover the mysterious circumstances that led to the disaster before more people die. But someone doesn't want her to find the truth. Airframe bristles with authentic information, technical jargon, and the command of detail Crichton's readers have come to expect. .
This is a unique tale with some very complex characters. As much as I wanted to feel sorry for the main character, I couldn't, because he knew what he was getting into when he married. The relationship between husband and wife was strange, and I always held out hope that something would happen to normalize it. At points the book became a little tedious, but all in all, it was memorable. This is definitely not a typical "happily ever after" book.
"All I Need Is You" is alright for a Lindsey. It's not awful, but neither it is a page-turner. "All's" story is straightforward enough: Damian hires a bounty hunter to find his father's murderer only to fall for the bounty hunter, a girl named Casey who is determined to succeed at a man's job to prove to her her father that she can run a rannch. What the story lacks is passion. So much time is spent on discussing the murder and chasing the bad guy that the romance part comes up short. I didn't devour this book, like I did it's prequel, the marvelous "A Heart So Wild." I wish Casey & Damian of "All" had half the passion that Chandos & Courtney of "A Heart" had. I also wish the "bad situations" that Casey found herself in really seemed threatening, but both her showdown and kidnapping were predictable and not at all exciting. Big sigh. Worse was the tacked-on ending revolving around Damian's mother. Lindsey seems to love having belated parent-child reunions in her books ("Angel," "So Speaks the Heart," "Defy Not the Heart" to name a few). I'd recommend reading "A Heart So Wild" over reading "All I Need Is You." "A Heart" is a prime example of a REAL steamy, sexy Western romance, while "All" (with it's lack of charisma and excitement) is more a girl-oriented murder-mystery than romance.
I have to say that this is one of my favorite books of all time. I just love James Harriet...the country vet who uses humor so wonderfully. I thought about not giving this one up, but I want others to enjoy it also.
In this book, Larry Woody tells what he has learned about many of the big name drivers in nascar, in his lifetime of Sports Reporting. He doesn't get very indepth, which allows the reader to find out little bits and pieces about quite a few. I found this to be a nice, easy, weekend read.
Emma Lord has always dreamed of running a newspaper, but the reality is a bit different than she had anticipated. The bills are rolling in and the money is rolling out in this small town in Washington where there isn't much happening which is newsworthy. Alpine is shocked when the son of a prominent family is murdered. Another murder follows and Emma is consumed with not only reporting the news, but in finding out who is causing it. There are plenty of people around who have a motive for the killing, even within the victim's family, but Emma doesn't want to jump to conclusions. Finally the murderer is revealed and Emma's life is in danger.
It's Loggerama time in Alpine. All the contests, sales and special events want to advertise in Emma Lord's paper, the Alpine Advocate.
Plus, Emma's son, Adam, who has the brains of a turnip has left college in Hawaii and gone to Alaska to work and now wants to go to college in Fairbanks.
On top of that small town girl makes good, Dani Marsh is coming home after five years to do location shooting on her new movie, with her new fiancee, movie heart throb Matt Tabor and director Reid Hampton.
Dani had run away to Los Angeles after the SIDS death of her baby and divorce from husband Cody Graff.
Emma doesn't know much about this story, but gets filled in on the old information from her employee and confidant, sixtyish, Vida Runkel, whose niece Marje is now engaged to Cody Graff.
What Emma doesn't understand is why everyone seems to hate Dani, including her own mother. Cody Graff even announces to everyone that he thinks she should be dead.
Unfortunately, for him, it's Cody Graff who ends up laying dead on a country road. Poisoned by an overdose of a prescription drug he was taking.
Emma is surprised at how many people refuse to believe he was murdered. Dani, her mother, Patti, Cody's brother Curtis all think he took the overdose himself.
But Emma and the local sheriff Milo Dodge believe it was murder and that it had something to do with both Baby Scarlett's death five years ago and then the death of the young deputy, Art Fremstad, who was investigating the baby's death. It was ruled that he had committed suicide, but Milo had never belived that, and it now looks as though he had also been murdered.
Emma was determined to find out the answers, before the killer could kill again.
I like several things in this book. Emma is vey likeable.
Vida is a hoot, reading about this sixtish year old woman, accidentally entering the wet T-shirt contest at Mugs Ahoy and then going through with it because, afterall, she signed her name to the contract is very funny.
I really like Milo Dodge, who gets himself a girlfriend, Honoria Whitman, an artist from California. Emma spends a lot of time convincing herself she doesn't care, because she wouldn't want Milo as a boyfriend anyway. Milo is worried that he's going to lose his re-election to his UFO spotting opponant if he doesn't find the killer.
She has improved a character who really irritated me in the first book. Ad salesman, Ed Bronsky, who refused to sell ad space if he could talk the customer out of buying. He still grumbles and complains about color ad's and anything where he can't use clip art, but at least is doing his job.
Now for what I don't like about this book.
Credit: A Customer
With the lumber business almost stopped, Alpine needs some new business to get the citizens employed and revitalize the town.
But that doesn't include business from California. Blake Fannucci and Stan Levine have arrived in Alpine to put together a 5 million dollar luxury spa at Alpine's mineral springs.
It's not much of a mineral spring and it's located on the side of a mountain, but they have already purchased the land from county commissioner, Leonard Hollenberg and it looks like things are going ahead as planned.
Until Stan Levine winds up dead on the property.
With dozens of suspects, Emma Lord, owner and editor of the local paper, The Alpine Advocate decides Sheriff Milo Dodge needs her help in solving it.
Who wanted him dead? Scott & Beverly Melville, recent arrivals from California. Scott is a architect who won the bid to build the spa and there are rumors about some house he built in California falling down.
Skye Piersall a radical environmentalist who is trying to get the project shut down...but did she have a more personal relationship with Stan?
One of the townspeople who are violently opposed to the spa, including Rip Ridley the high school coach who used his speech at the awards banquet to blast Californians coming to town and ruining it. All faithfully recorded and printed by Emma's "star" reporter Carla Steinmetz.
Emma's worried that Milo is over his head and that he isn't looking in the right places. He's reluctant to question Skye Piersall after he discovers that she's a friend and is staying with his on again / off again girlfriend Honoria Whitman.
But Emma manages to get him on track to solve what almost turns out to be a perfect crime.
Milo manages to get another kiss with Emma, unfortunately once again it's right in the middle of him searching for clues. Milo has no sense of the right moment.
Milo's girlfriend, Honoria is trying her best to get him "cultured".
Emma's newspaper employee's are getting more involved and more interesting in each book. Carla is the worst reporter in the world...if someone says it, she prints it...no off the record stuff for her. And she can't spell anything.
Ginny Burmeister, the office manager is trying to convince Emma to try and convince the city council that a Summer Solstice festival would be more popular than the traditional Lumberama.
Emma is convinced to add personal columns to the paper. First person to find a date - Vida Runkel, 60ish House & Home editor, who is Emma's loyal sidekick on her murder investigations.
Leo Walsh, her new ad manager has sobered up, more or less and has turned out to be a very nice person, a little crude, but he's a newspaper man. He certainly is 100% improvement over Ed Bronsky.
Ed, former ad manager and recent millionaire from an inheritance is still trying to find his place in the world. Since he spent his entire time as ad manager trying to talk people out of buying ad's or not using any kind of color or picture if he didn't have it in his clip art file, he now wants to put some money into the spa, after Stan's death. Of course, before Stan's death he was against having the spa.
Adam, Emma's college aged son is still at the university in Arizona. I think this is a record for him. Now he's thinking of some type of Social work.
This book was so enjoyable that it made me start the next book right away and I'm going to review Alpine Hero next.
Credit: A Customer
Emma Lord, owner and editor of the Alpine Advocate was just going to Stella's Styling Salon to get her hair cut. The last thing she expected was to open the wrong door in the Salon and discover a woman laying on a table with her throat cut.
This happens in the first pages of the book.
Emma is even more stunned when shop assistant Laurie Marshall tells her the person on the table who was supposed to be getting her facial was Ms. Whitman.
Honoria Whitman, who was in a wheelchair after being thrown down the stairs by her abusive husband who was then shot dead by her brother, had been the Sheriff, Milo Dodge's on again / off again girlfriend for almost five years.
It was a relief when Emma found out it wasn't Honoria, but Kay Whitman, her sister-in-law who was visiting with her husband Trevor, who had just been released from prison for the killing of Honoria's husband and their mother.
But who would want to kill someone who is perfect stranger in Alpine. And was the fact that she had taken Honoria's appointment at the last minute mean that it was actually Honoria who was targeted?
Emma finds a lot of suspects. Stella Magruder, owner of the shop seems more upset over what people will say than the fact that someone was murdered in her salon.
Becca Wolfe, who was doing the facial and who later mysteriously disappears.
Laurie Marshall, shop assistant who is a very dim bulb and her mother Jane are both acting suspicious as if they're trying to hide something.
And why is a billionaire, Toby Popp building a new multi-million dollar house near Alpine?
This is the best book in the series so far. It takes all the history you have already learned and the people you have come to care for and throws it all into the wind. Nothing is as it seems.
Emma and Milo having dinner at her house, bumping heads as they lean over to pick something up and end up rolling around on the floor for a few moments, before his cell phone rings and he becomes Super Sheriff again.
Ginny Burmeister, the office manager is on her honeymoon in Hawaii with Rick Erlandson's, so Emma is trying to do her job as well as her own.
Carla as usual cannot be trusted with the simplest task which is why the picture she took of the bereaved family has a caption naming Honoria brother Trevor as Walt Whitman.
Leo, the ad manager has turned into a good friend for Emma and Ed Bronsky wants her to ghost write his biography.
I can't write about the best thing that happens in this book. Except that I'm very happy with a turn of events that has been dogging this storyline.
This book had some very funny moments and the ending totally surprised me. I never saw any of it coming.
Can't wait to start the next book.
Credit: A Customer