In the wrong place at the wrong time, Reacher gets swept into a plot to kidnap a young, politically-connected, female FBI agent. by a deadly group of Montana militia bent on using her to mount a major threat to the government. Lots of vicarious thrills as the former MP, of heroic proportions and consummate fighting skills, takes on the challenge of attempting her rescue. I ate it up.
An already busy OB who begins to perform abortions in a friend's clinic; his neglected wife, a journalist teaching in a small college; her attractive artist colleague, an intense man in a strange, tortured marriage; and the secretive child-woman who was his muse and is now his wife. These four, living in a small town fishbowl complete with its own radical pro-life group, will find - as in a Greek tragedy - that their strengths as much as their weaknesses, lead to their downfall. Fairly graphic sex scenes, and no small measure of both psychological and physical violence.
Carol Shields, now living and working in Canada, won a Pulitzer prize for "The Stone Diaries" and the Orange Prize for "Larry's Party."
"Whether she deflates pretensions with a cunning wit, or reveals the complex depths of feeling that enoble humans, Shields is as wise and sympathetic as ever." (Women's Journal)
While charming in its way, this book seemed about thirty years behind the curve to me, touting in sometimes unrealistically lyrical terms, the bonds of women's friendships and overcoming life's challenges with the help of one's friends. Didn't we all learn about consciousness-raising groups in the 60's? Lesbian love is also given an unnecessarily strong boost here; it is already pretty much an accepted fact of life and doesn't need to be wrapped up in a pretty package and sold so hard. We get it, for some women, it's better. This book would have been a lot more interesting, and controversial, a generation ago. Now it seems absurd to portray a group of seven women who decide to go walking together for a week as somehow capturing national attention and effecting change across the globe.
Divorcee' Jazz Jasper has fled to Kenya to heal her broken heart, but her struggling safari guide business is threatened by the murder of a famous elephant conservationist and she finds herself drawn into the search for his killer. This is an easy read, with lots of local color, both the benign and the violent.
"Sophisticated commentary on the art of storytelling, and a stinging critique of the foibles of modern literary studies." Washington Post Book World.
A playful, and yet complex novel, as a mother who is retreating from the world on a small island off the coast of Scotland, and her visiting college-age daughter, tell one another stories of their lives.
This is an international bestseller, chick-lit, by the author of "Simply Divine" and "BAd Hair Day". It's the humorous tale of two couples who, separately, leave London for life in the "countryside" - one an unmarried struggling journalist and his girlfriend, a book illustrator, who must buy a delapidated bargain, and the other, a shrewish former actress and her rich but hapless husband who buy the 2nd biggest manor in town. The largest is of course occupied by one of the hilariously intriguing characters that populate the town - a reclusive rock star. Throw in a local theatre group, a gruff farmer, a joke-cracking bartender, a nosy postman, a hippie couple with a tribe of unruly children, and a sweet elderly neighbor who has matchmaking ideas of her own - well, you get the picture. It's light reading, but well done, and you WILL smile at the images invoked.
This is the second in a British mystery series by Scottish author Morag Joss, who won a Silver Dagger Award for her novel, "Half Broken Things." Cellist Sara Selkirk is secretly in love with, and on the brink of an affair with, Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Poole, so it is perhaps understandable that she can't resist poking about into a recent letter bomb murder that killed an unloveable retired headmistress who lived in the same building as two of Sara's closest friends. A local group of opera buffs has decided to put on a 'community opera' and are enlisting the help of anyone with talent, so of course Sara ends being dragged into it. But the famous composer's work in strangely unplayable, the female lead is being sung by a young autistic woman who is being preyed upon by more than one of the men in the group, and soon an 'accident' results in another death. Morag has been well received and widely read in Great Britain, and her mysteries are gradually catching attention in the US.
In this 13th book of the popular series, Chicago P I, V.I. Warshawski, returns to her old South Side neighborhood, now in a sad state of decline, to help her former basketball coach with a girls' team at the local high school. But her efforts to interest local businessmen in supporting the team lead her into an increasingly complex tangle of exploited low-wage workers, a storefront preacher who may or may not be one of the good guys, and the life-or-death conflicts at the center of a large fabulously wealthy family who live in tony Barrington Hills, but run cut throat businesses in places like the South Side.
Eight-year-old Tessa Lee and her little brother were abandoned in a campground by their hapless mother, dependent on her latest boyfriend, and on her next fix. Seven years later, and still living with the grandmother who took them in to her mobile home, Tessa Lee hears a rumor of her mother's whereabouts and sets out to find her. Not surprisingly, little has changed for the mother and she is not anxious to be 'found.' Despite the unflinching looks at the tragedies that have dogged all this family's lives, this manages to be a hopeful book, with a new friend and new wisdom for Tessa Lee, and the hope, at the end, for possible reconciliations.
By the author of "Girl in Hyacinth Blue," this is a fictionalized story of Emily Carr, a young Canadian artist in early 20th century British Columbia, whose love for the art forms of the native tribes - particularly totem poles - becomes a source of strength and delight, as well as public rejection and, ultimately, redemption.
This was one of the best books I read all year in 2004. Set in Birmingham AL in 1963, it connects the stories of several families and generations as they confront and struggle through this watershed year of the civil rights movement.
Second in a new mystery series starring an aging Japanese-American landscaper, haunted by his memories of Hiroshima. Here he visits his estranged daughter in New York just as she and her husband become prime suspects in a murder
A typical fun read from Jennifer Cruisie. On a bad-hair day when her soon-to-be ex-husband stands her up in divorce court, Lucy meets sexy cop Zack Warren, who pulls her to safety when someone takes a shot at her. And a day later, Zack is the cop assigned to her 24-hour police protection when someone plants a bomb in her car. But can the Bradley she is divorcing be the same Bradley that Zack is hunting for a multi-million dollar embezzlement?