Eadie B. (eadieburke) - Reviews

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2666: A Novel
2666: A Novel
Author: Roberto Bolano
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/25/2015


Roberto Bolano's 2666 is a political masterpiece about the inescapable violence of modern life in Latin America. Written prior to his death from liver failure, Bolano asked his publishers to release it in 5 separate books because it would financially benefit his family. The heirs, however decided otherwise and the book was published in one lengthy volume. The five parts are linked by varying degrees of concern with unsolved murders of upwards of 300 young, poor, mostly uneducated Mexican women.


Part 1 describes a group of four European literary critics, the French Jean-Claude Pelletier, the Italian Piero Morini, the Spaniard Manuel Espinoza and the English woman Liz Norton and their search for the writer, Archimboldi.

Part 2 concentrates on Óscar Amalfitano, a Chilean professor of philosophy who fears Rosa will become another victim of the femicides plaguing the city.

Part 3 follows Oscar Fate, an American journalist from New York who begins to investigate the murders.

Part 4 depicts the police force in their mostly fruitless attempts to solve the crimes, as well as giving clinical descriptions of the circumstances and probable causes of the various homicides.

Part 5 takes us back to Archimboldi and explains his connection to the murderer of these women.

I listened to the audio of this novel and found it very interesting. Part 4 with the descriptions of one murder after another was a bit intense but Bolano is making a statement about how people are not too interested in solving these murders of low income women. I would recommend it to anyone interesting in Latin American literature.


The 45% Hangover (Logan and Steel)
The 45% Hangover (Logan and Steel)
Author: Stuart MacBride
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/3/2017


Book Description
A brilliantly twisty, 80-page novella from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series. It's the night of the big Referendum, and all Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae has to do is find a missing 'No' campaigner. Should be easy enough... But, as usual, DCI Steel has plans of her own. As the votes are counted there's trouble brewing in the pubs and on the streets of Aberdeen. Logan's picked up a promising lead, but all is not quite what it seems, and things are about to go very, very wrong...

My Review
This short novella was a very easy funny read. If you haven't read any of the Logan MacRae series then you may not recognize the characters. But, if you have read them, then you will enjoy this short story and the humor it contains. The book also gives a very good perspective of the Scottish Referendum for Independence which eventually did fail. I would also recommend it to those who have read his Logan MacRae series as it is a great fix for those who are waiting to read his new novel.


6 Sacred Stones (aka Six Sacred Stones) (Jack West Jr, Bk 2)
6 Sacred Stones (aka Six Sacred Stones) (Jack West Jr, Bk 2)
Author: Matthew Reilly
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 5/18/2016


Book Description
THE END OF THE WORLD IS HERE

Unlocking the secret of the Seven Ancient Wonders was only the beginning...

After their thrilling exploits in Matthew Reilly's rampaging New York Times bestseller, 7 Deadly Wonders, super-soldier Jack West Jr. and his loyal team of adventurers are back, and now they face an all-but-impossible challenge.

A mysterious ceremony in an unknown location has unraveled their work and triggered a catastrophic countdown that will climax in no less than the end of all life on Earth.

But there is one last hope.

If Jack and his team can find and rebuild a legendary ancient device known only as the "Machine," they might be able to ward off the coming armageddon. The only clues to locating this Machine, however, are held within the fabled Six Sacred Stones, long lost in the fog of history.

And so the hunt begins for the Six Sacred Stones and the all-important knowledge they possess, but in the course of this wild adventure Jack and his team will discover that they are not the only ones seeking the Stones and that there might just be other players out there who don't want to see the world saved at all.

From Stonehenge in England to the deserts of Egypt to the spectacular Three Gorges region of China, The 6 Sacred Stones will take you on a nonstop roller-coaster ride through ancient history, modern military hardware, and some of the fastest and most mind-blowing action you will ever read.

My Review
This 2nd book in Matthew Reilly's trilogy has everything: ancient history, heroes, bad guys, clever plot twists, well researched locations, great humor and non-stop action. It's a page-turner that is unputdownable which ends with a major cliffhanger. Can't wait to delve into the next book in order to find out how Jack and his team work towards saving the world.


Above Suspicion
Above Suspicion
Author: Helen MacInnes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/30/2016


Book Description
Richard and Frances Myles are preparing for their annual European summer vacation in 1939 when they are visited at their Oxford college by old friend Peter Galt, who has a seemingly simple job for them. But in the heightened atmosphere of pre-war Europe, nobody is above suspicion, in fact the husband and wife are being carefully monitored by shadowy figures.

Above Suspicion was MacInnes' breakthrough book, a bestseller published in 1941 and released as a movie in 1943, directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray.

"Hide and seek with death - in the shadow of terror... The hallmarks of a MacInnes novel of suspense are as individual and as clearly stamped as a Hitchcock thriller." - The New York Times

My Review
This was a very good debut for Helen MacInnes and a very entertaining read. It was written prior to the invasion of Poland during WWII and you can definitely feel the tension of the times while reading. Richard and Frances Myles were very believable characters and it was amazing that in 1939 MacInnes was able to pinpoint the treatment by the Nazi gestapo. I would recommend this book to those interested in WW2 espionage and I look forward to reading more novels by Helen MacInnes.


The Accident: A Thriller
The Accident: A Thriller
Author: Linwood Barclay
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 6/6/2014


Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himselfand begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading The Accident which was a real page-turner and I read it in one day. Never saw the ending of this one and was greatly surprised. This was my first Barclay book but won't be my last.


After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 5/2/2017


This is a great series and should be read in order. I'm looking forward to the next one as it will be released very soon.


After You (Me Before You, Bk 2)
After You (Me Before You, Bk 2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 10/7/2016


Book Description
The sequel to Me Before You, which is now a major motion picture. Look out for Jojo's new book, Paris for One and Other Stories, coming October 18, 2016.

"We all lose what we love at some point, but in her poignant, funny way, Moyes reminds us that even if it's not always happy, there is an ever after." --Miami Herald

"You're going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will."

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can't help but feel she's right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding--the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will's past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

My Review
This book was very good but I enjoyed Me Before You more. It was a good sequel to the first book in regards to dealing and grieving for a love one but didn't measure up to the first one which was a very emotional read. It was good to find out how Lou moves on and that she falls in love again. I would recommend this book to those who love fiction mixed in with emotional messages and I now look forward to reading other books by JoJo Moyes.


Aftermath (Inspector Banks, Bk 12)
Aftermath (Inspector Banks, Bk 12)
Author: Peter Robinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 6/23/2015


Peter Robinson, in my opinion, is one of the best writers of police procedurals. His characters are fascinating and believable. The stories get deeper and more meaningful and the characters richer and more complex with each new book. Alan Banks has grown to become a complicated man who is in conflict about his broken marriage and the demands of his job. I look forward to reading the next installment in the popular series.


Agent 6
Agent 6
Author: Tom Rob Smith
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/21/2018


Leo Demidov is no longer a member of Moscow's secret police. But when his wife, Raisa, and daughters Zoya and Elena are invited on a "Peace Tour" to New York City, he is immediately suspicious.

Forbidden to travel with his family and trapped on the other side of the world, Leo watches helplessly as events in New York unfold and those closest to his heart are pulled into a web of political conspiracy and betrayal-one that will end in tragedy.

In the horrible aftermath, Leo demands only one thing: to investigate the killer who destroyed his family. His request is summarily denied. Crippled by grief and haunted by the need to find out exactly what happened on that night in New York, Leo takes matters into his own hands. It is a quest that will span decades, and take Leo around the world--from Moscow, to the mountains of Soviet-controlled Afghanistan, to the backstreets of New York--in pursuit of the one man who knows the truth: Agent 6.

My Review
This book was a good ending for the trilogy. It was very atmospheric and I loved the history of Leo in the past from 1950 through 1980. We received lots of information of the brutal Soviet Union of the 1950's. Some parts held me on the edge of my seat. The book flowed very easily and I liked the short chapters. The story does leave you wanting to know more about his family and what happens to them in the future. I found it to be a very interesting spy story and would highly recommend this trilogy.


Alamut
Alamut
Author: Vladimir Bartol
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/3/2015


I found this book to be a very interesting and exciting read. Even though it was written in 1938 it is very prevalent today. The characters are well developed and the plot is entertaining which makes the book hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this book to others.


The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly, Bk 1)
The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly, Bk 1)
Author: Carol McCleary
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/20/2017


Book Description
The world's most famous reporter, the intrepid Nellie Bly, teams up with science fiction genius Jules Verne, the notorious wit and outrageous rogue Oscar Wilde, and the greatest microbe-hunter in history, Louis Pasteur. Together, they must solve the crime of the century.

They are all in Parisâthe capital of Europe and center of world cultureâfor the 1889 World's Fair. A spectacular extravaganza dedicated to new industries, scientific discoveries, and global exploration, its gateway is the soaring Eiffel Tower. But an enigmatic killer stalks the streets and a virulent plague is striking down Parisians by the thousands. Convinced that the killings are connected to the pandemic, Nellie is determined to stop them both... no matter what the risks.

My Review
This was an interesting historical fiction account of Nellie Bly, feminist newspaper reporter, who was in search of a killer similar to Jack the Ripper who killed prostitutes. I enjoyed reading about the historical characters that Nellie met in Paris, such as; Louis Pasteur, Oscar Wilde and Jules Verne. Louis Pasteur was hunting microbes in order to help with a cure for the Black Plague. Oscar Wilde became of friend of Nellie and helped her in the search of the killer of the prostitutes. In the book, she had a relationship with Jules Verne which was rather interesting. She decided to prove to Jules Verne that woman can do whatever men can do and took up the challenge to do a record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days and beat Phileas Fogg's time from the infamous book by Verne, Around the World in 80 days. She was a pioneer in her field, and launched a new kind of investigative journalism and wrote an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. I look forward to reading the next book in the Nellie Bly series in order to see what Nellie is up to as I really enjoyed her adventures in the first book. I would highly recommend this book to those who like historical fiction about famous people.


The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone, Bk 2)
The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone, Bk 2)
Author: Steve Berry
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 10/24/2016


Book Description
Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone's Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

My Review
This is book 2 of The Cotton Malone series and I would have to say that it is my favorite. This book had it all - history mixed with religion and suspense. It was a fast moving plot with great characters and never a dull moment that kept the pages turning fast. I loved the short chapters with lots of cliffhangers that Steve Berry does so masterfully. Lots of twists and turns with surprises in the end make for very adventurous read. I'm now looking forward to the next Cotton Malone read and I would highly recommend this series to those who love fast-paced adventure with history and religion mixed in.


The Alice Network
The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 5/13/2018


Two womenâa female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947âare brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

Story is told in alternating viewpoints of Eve, a spy, and Charlie, American socialite. I found the story to have well-developed characters and an interesting enough to hold my attention until the last page. Both woman showed lots of bravery in their stories which were amazing! I would highly recommend this book to those who like interesting war stories.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics)
Review Date: 5/12/2015


This book is an enjoyable read for all years from 2 to 99 years old. It is a fantastic and fun read and should be read to children and grandchildren and handed down from generation to generation. Reading it as an adult, the symbolism is very noticeable in the narration. If you haven't read Alice before, you should not hesitate as it should not be missed!


All Souls
All Souls
Author: Javier Marias, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/22/2015


I love Marias' style of writing - it is like having an intimate conversation and you feel like you are in the middle of what's going on. The only problem I had with the book was that there was not much of a plot. The story was mainly an exploration of what constitutes trust, love, companionship and personal honesty. I would recommend this book to anyone who would want to find out what it's like to attend Oxford University.


All the Colors of Darkness
All the Colors of Darkness
Author: Peter Robinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/23/2017


Book Description
New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Peter Robinson delivers a gripping novel of jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revengeâall the colors of darkness that lead inevitably to murder.

In a world of terror and uncertainty, what does one small death matter?

The body hanging from a tree in a peaceful wood appears to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot to be a suicide. But further investigation into the sad demise of Mark Hardcastle leads to another corpse, brutally bludgeoned to death.

Suddenly the case demands the attention of Chief Inspector Alan Banks, called back from his vacation even though nothing suggests this wasn't a crime of passion followed by remorse and self-destruction. Shocking revelations broaden the inquiry to unexpected places and seats of power. And a stubborn policeman who will not be frightened away could lose everything in one terrifying, explosive instant.

In this masterful novel of psychological suspense, Peter Robinson delves once again into the dark recesses of the human mind and shows what can happen when evil rests there.

My Review
I listened to this book on audio and the reader did an fantastic job. It held my attention all the way through which is not the case with some audios. I found the characters to be well developed especially Inspector Banks and Annie Cabbot. The excellent plot had lots of twists and turns with a bit of venture into spying with the MI6. The book was very well written and I loved his musical and literary references. This book mainly dealt with Shakespeare's Othello's themes. I look forward to the next book in the series and highly recommend this series to those who love police procedurals.


All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 9/4/2016


Book Description
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" (Los Angeles Times).

My Review:
This was a very beautifully written book and one in which you love to savor every word. I found the beginning to be a tad slow but suddenly the book gets very interesting and you quickly find yourself much engrossed. The story switches back and forth between two different perspectives and comes together towards the end. It's a type of book that stays with you long after you finish reading it. The World War II history has been very well researched and this novel proves that there are many stories from that period that still need to be told. If you haven't read this masterpiece, you need to, as the story will leave you awe-inspired.


Amateurs
Amateurs
Author: Donald Barthelme, Donald Barthelme
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/22/2015


This book is a collection of stories by a master of deadpan wit and magical mockery. I do believe that Donald Barthelme was an excellent writer according to his qualifications, but I did not like this book at all. It made no sense to me. I kept reading hoping that soon I would understand the meaning of the book. There was no traditional plot structures, relying instead on a steady accumulation of seemingly-unrelated detail. He has been described as "the most influential unread author in United States history". I can believe that as I don't think I'll be reading another of his books. But, if you like strange fragmented ideas that may have some humor, then you should read this book.


The Amber Room
The Amber Room
Author: Steve Berry
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 74
Review Date: 3/11/2015


I found this book to be a very entertaining read. Lots of interesting historical facts mixed in with well-developed characters and action-packed plot. Steve Berry did a lot of research and it shows. Lots of information about the lost Amber Room, World War II and the search for lost treasure. I am also looking forward to reading my next Steve Berry novel.


Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder, Bk 8)
Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder, Bk 8)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 8/3/2016


Book Description
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff's department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate's long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication - and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone... trapped in a fight for her life.

My Review
Linda Castillo is a very capable writer and does not disappoint. Kate Burkholder, the main character, is a very strong female Chief of Police and keeps the story interesting. The plot is very fast-paced and made the book very hard to put down. I have loved all of the books in this series and this one was a very good addition. I look forward to the next installment and recommend this book to those who like twists and turns with surprise endings.


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