"The premise of the book is that Nick, accused of killing his wife, is given the ability to go back in time, one hour at a time, for a maximum of twelve hours, with the goal of preventing her death. It's an interesting premise, especially as unintended consequences play out, and I thought the book had some promise; however, I was less than enchanted by the writing, which at times was preachy and stilted:
"Sadly, tragedy is the great equalizer, Nick thought. It knows no ZIP code, has no country club membership or two-room cold-water flat. It strikes without prejudice, reminding us of the fragility of life, of what truly is important when all things are stripped away. For sorrow and loss, pain and suffering are innate in our hearts, and while they may lie dormant they are quickly remembered when death fills the air."
I rather suspect that a man reeling from the death of his wife and the realization first that he is the suspect and then that he has twelve hours to avert the tragedy would not be engaged in philosophical thoughts.
And later in the book:
"As the door to the locker facility slowly closed, trapping the sounds of mourning within, he brought himself back to his current reality. He would shut out all of the illogic, all of the pain he had experienced. Against the laws of physics so elegantly stated by Einstein, he would bridge the gap of time with his heart."
Is it just me, or should this prose be appearing in purple ink?
The book is a fast read and not necessarily a bad way to pass the time in the carpool line. But the author will not be at the top of my list for my PBS credits."
"Rene Auberjonois does a wonderful job reading this book; you may remember this actor from Deep Space Nine, Boston Legal, The Practice, and Benson. The book will keep your attention on a long car trip. Murder mystery with an overlay of voodoo - and is that a zombie lurking?"
"I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the Judge Deborah Knott's mysteries. Reading them reminds me of summer afternoons sitting in a chair outside sipping sweet tea or lemonade. Characters have been developed throughout the novels, and picking up the latest is like visiting your favorite relatives who live far away, but who you like to see during short visits.
The first in the series is "Bootlegger's Daughter" and sets the stage for all the rest; however, each mystery can be read on its own. "Christmas Mourning" was an enjoyable quick read, and I'm almost sorry I got it from the library instead of buying it. It would give me great pleasure to pass it along to friends."
"Ignore the chick-lit title; this is not a fluffy book. It's a nice little mystery with a well-developed heroine. Once a sheriff's deputy, a family tragedy leaves her stunned and earning her living as a pet-sitter when one day she finds a body..... I enjoyed this book and have the next two en route from PBS."
"Young woman dies, comes back to life, can see dead people. The premise has been done before, but this was an enjoyable novel and a counterbalance to the heavy reading I had just done. I should note there were fewer encounters with the dead and more discussion of voodoo than I would have expected. This was clearly a start to a series. Quick read, can be done in one evening. It won't linger in your mind, but it will entertain you while you have the book open."
"Abridged version, but what was omitted is not easily discernible. Entertaining for a long drive (about 6 hours), but there are a few passages not suitable for younger years (my teen was vastly amused when I turned off the book at one point. The passage was far less than I anticipated, though there was an earlier section that would have had me blushing a bit if she had been in the car). The book is well-read, and it's not a bad way to pass the time."
"I placed the book on reserve at the library after reading about it in my Costco magazine, in Entertainment Weekly, and on various e-mails from online book vendors. It's a good book, a quick read, but I was ultimately disappointed because it wasn't a great read. I think my expectations were too high because of all the hype. And I was disappointed that some things were never resolved in the 579 pages, that in another year or so there will clearly be another volume.
Part of my frustration lies with the trend of cliffhangers among science fiction and fantasy writers. I like series and evolving storylines, but I also like books to be able to stand alone."
"Second in a series (first is Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter). Nice mystery - not chick lit, despite the cutesy title and cover. My husband is reading the series as well, likes the fact that they are quick reads. They flow well."
"The central premise is that a child who is part of the extended family of the President and First Lady is kidnapped. The First Lady approaches a trusted PI, who once helped her out, to conduct his own investigation. While determining what happened and theorizing about possible motives of the kidnapper, he and his partner proceed in the face of FBI and Secret Service resistance. During the same timeframe, his partner has to deal with problems within her own family.
It's a fast read and enjoyable, but I'm glad I got it from the library. So much about the timeframe and what the protagonists do simply do not make sense. When the partner's attention was understandably diverted, I would have thought that the novel would have focused solely on his search for the child, but instead the novel shows his attention divided between the search and the support he offers to his partner. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief that both were possible. There were other instances as well.
I did finish the book in one night, and I did enjoy it - but it's the equivalent of an action movie that is fun to watch, but doesn't result in a lot of reflection and is pretty much forgotten once you leave the theater."
"I like the book, but far prefer Alexander's The Most Decadent Diet Ever. 23 recipes are for breakfast, 19 of the recipes are sandwiches -- so frankly I'm not likely to use nearly a third of the recipes. We have liked the recipes I've tried, but I find my hand keeps reaching for the other book, in part because the color of the font used for some of the recipes has insufficient contrast to the white page to be sufficiently legible by my middle-aged eyes. And it's not just me - a house guest shook her head and put the book to one side after trying to read the recipe for the dish I had served for dinner."
"A rather stunning debut novel. A bit dark, this mystery centers around the disappearance of a beautiful, troubled teenage girl a year after the disappearance of another. The protagonist, a police detective named Jonathan Stride, is still recovering from the death of his wife and his inability to determine the fate of the first girl. While dealing with his own emotions, he must cope with a politically ambitious district attorney, journalists raising the spectre of a possible serial killer targeting teenage girls, grieving parents, and an alarmed public. Stride pulls on the efforts of his partner, Maggie Bei, and his own resources to solve the mystery. Hard to put down."
"This chilling first novel was an Edgar Award Finalist. Readers will find it memorable and haunting - and critics from organizations as diverse as USA Today and NPR's Morning Edition liked it, too. I'm definitely putting the next in the series on my wish list!"
""I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota." The opening lines draw the reader into a sometimes over-the-top novel that still manages to entertain and engender sympathy for its characters. The women - and many of the men - are colorful and sympathetic, and the description of Julia's Aunt Lydia, her yard, and her actions are a hoot. As long as she's not the next door neighbor in a cul-de-sac governed by strict homeowners' association rules (not that Aunt Lydia would EVER live in an environment like that), the reader can be amused by the 8 toilets in the yard, overflowing with flowers, and the 5 giant concrete pigs.
The first few chapters took a bit of patience, as the author painted Aunt Lydia so colorful and so much bigger-than-life, that it took a while to see her as a rational, dearly loved member of the community. And while I have written more about Lydia than Julia, Julia is a deeply sympathetic character with a funny streak.
So kick your shoes off, have a glass of wine on hand, sit back, and read. Don't be intimidated by the fact there may be a reader's guide at the end of your edition - while there is tragedy aplenty, the protagonists survive to live with joy and hope."
"Nice bit of fluff. Reminds me of the first couple of books in Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. Independent heroine who, despite struggles with her werewolf status, is concerned for humans and holds down a job as a midnight DJ, where she begins taking callers with questions and opinions about the paranormal world."