Ryan M. (rmadland) - Reviews

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600 Hours of Edward
600 Hours of Edward
Author: Craig Lancaster
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 5/3/2010


600 Hours of Edward is the debut novel by author Craig Lancaster and after reading it, it won't be his last.

The story itself revolves around Edward Stanton, who has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes for interesting moments throughout the book. Edward is man that likes his facts and keeps track of not so random pieces of data daily. In addition to keeping track of facts, he also adores Joe Friday of TV's Dragnet due him being "just about the facts".

Edward has had a difficult time in life dealing with people and being around them. As the novel progresses Edward begins internet dating as well befriending the neighbor boy and his Mother. Its then that you see the character Edward grow.

As Edward finds new relationships with those around him, its the relationship with his Father that gives him the most pain. Without revealing too much, the relationship between Edward and his Father comes by way of a lawyer who sends letters to Edward when his Father feels it necessary to remind Edward who pays the bills. A situation that fills Edward with much pain and contempt towards his Father.

Its been awhile since I've felt invested in a character from a novel, but I felt invested in Edward as I wanted to see him succeed in the things he felt were important. I wanted his relationship with his Father to work out, because it bothered him so.

There are many moments that I found myself laughing because of Edward's antics. If Edward was a real person, he'd have no idea why I found him funny. His honesty is sort of sweet, but he can be a bit too honest at times as well which makes for some awkward and funny moments.

The whole scene the night before his internet date, the date itself, as well as the aftermath of the date are wonderfully written (as is the novel itself) and lead me to finish the rest of the book in one sitting.

I highly recommend this book. I think you'll really enjoy reading the character Edward and his commentary on life, people, and everything else that drives him crazy. I don't often read books twice, but this is just one of those books I would, just to re read some of the great Edward quotes.

So take the journey with Edward. You won't be disappointed.


Act of Terror (Jericho Quinn, Bk 2)
Act of Terror (Jericho Quinn, Bk 2)
Author: Marc Cameron
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 5/22/2013


Selected this recently from a book box via Bookcrossing.com since I had not read this author before. The main character is Jericho Quinn and he is special agent that takes on challenges of all kinds.

Currently, the United States is getting hit with random terrorist attacks that have really come from nowhere. The president enlists Quinn. along with another government agent Veronica "Ronnie" Garcia.

There is allot of action going on in this book. Its pretty fast paced, which I enjoyed. I thought some things near the end finished to conveniently, but other then that, I really enjoyed this book.


Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross, Bk 15)
Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross, Bk 15)
Author: James Patterson, Richard Dilallo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 222
Review Date: 5/14/2010


I recently purchased this book via Bookins and should have paid more attention to the summary. The title is very misleading as Alex Cross does not appear in this novel. Ancestors of his from the 1900's do appear, as well as the main character Ben Corbett, who is investigating lynchings in Mississippi. If you are a fan of the Alex Cross character, then you may want to skip this one. If you are fan of James Patterson, then its definitely a good read. The details can be gruesome, but they are needed as they do detail factual events that did occur in the past.


Ambitious Brew : The Story of American Beer
Ambitious Brew : The Story of American Beer
Author: Maureen Ogle
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/10/2013


A really informative and detailed look at the history of American beer. I highly recommend this if you are a beer AND history fan, because there is a lot of detail that may be boring to some, but to me was great to learn and read. I recommend after reading this, watching the documentary "Beer Wars".


Augie's Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip
Review Date: 5/27/2018


Had want to read this book for awhile now as I'm really interested in history as well as Mob/Mafia related history. This book details some of the life of Minneapolis' own Augie Ratner.

Augie opened up his own speakeasy and was really adored by the people and gang members that were patrons of it. Augie was well liked and trusted which allowed him to maintain this business. During those times he encountered some of the most dangerous men in the business, but went unscathed, again because he could be trusted.

Being from Minnesota, I enjoyed reading about Augie and the mob history here in the Twin Cities, but you don't have to be from here, to enjoy this one. I definitely recommend this one.


The Black Box (Harry Bosch, Bk 18)
The Black Box (Harry Bosch, Bk 18)
Author: Michael Connelly
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 81
Review Date: 5/25/2013


Harry Bosch is back! Harry returns to investigate a crime that dates back twenty years. We start with flashback to the LA Riots when Harry and his partner go to a crime scene where I woman is dead. With so many deaths happening, they cannot commit as much time as they would like, which continued to bother Harry ever since.

The victim is a reporter from Denmark. It is believed she was in town to cover the riots, but there is so much more to her being there and thats what Harry has to find out.

The story flows really well. We also get to see Harry interact with his daughter a bit more then I remember from previous novels, which is good, cause it shows a different side of Harry.

If you have enjoyed the series thus far, then I believe you will enjoy this one.


Blame
Blame
Author: Michelle Huneven
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 5/30/2010
Helpful Score: 2


The novel "Blame" by Michelle Huneven puts the spotlight on an on growing epidemic of drinking and driving in the United States. It also is a story about redemption and being able to move on from tragedy.

The story of "Blame" revolves around a character named Patsy MacLemore. Early on in the novel it seems like she's just your average party girl who likes to have a good time. Later on, when she's locked up for running over and killing two people, its revealed that she is a college professor that comes from a very good family which goes to show that alcohol can make even the smartest person make the dumbest mistakes.

Patsy is then sent of to prison and frrom there we really see the development of her character. She has try to find a way to fit into the prison scene, as well with dealing with the guilt of being responsible for two deaths. She even agrees to meet with the Father & Husband of the two people she killed, which definitely adds some more emotion to the novel.

When Patsy is finally released its interesting to read how she tries to fit her way back into society. To try and maintain relationships with friends and family and also be willing to begin new relationships with those who are unfamiliar with her past. Its a struggle from beginning to end.

We also get to get see how Patsy deals with sobriety and being around those who still like to imbibe in alcohol. This is the only part I found unrealistic in the novel. It seemed like this transition may have came to0 easy for her. I will give the author a pass on this one, because when Patsy was in prison, she did attend AA and was forced to deal with her problems and her feeling as it dealt with the killing of two innocent people. That in itself should scare a person sober.

At times I found this novel a bit slow for my usual tastes, but when it got me to where it wanted to take me, I was pleasantly surprised. Its a novel that anyone who has decided to turn on the keys of their car and make that drive home from the neighborhood bar should read. Learn from Patsy's mistakes before you make victims of your own.

The novel isn't preachy about drinking and driving and honestly its only mentioned in small spurts. The story is about Patsy and how she has to deal with the ramifications of her actions and being able to feel human again.

I definitely recommend this book. It does move a bit slow, but like a steak, savor it and in the end, it will be worth it.


Blood on Snow (Blood on Snow, Bk 1)
Blood on Snow (Blood on Snow, Bk 1)
Author: Jo Nesbo, Neil Smith (Translator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 8/19/2018


I have read a few books by this author and so far this would be my least favorite. Not there is anything wrong with this book, its just that the author set such a high standard on the previous reads, this one didn't match. I would still say give this one a shot as it doesn't really standout when first reading it, but it definitely has an interesting ending.


The Bone Garden
The Bone Garden
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 228
Review Date: 12/29/2009


The Bone Garden is yet another gripping thriller from Tess Gerritsen. I have to admit, it was a bit weird to read a novel by her that didn't have Jane Rizzoli in it. The novel's plot is based on a woman named Julia who has bought a new home and begins renovations when its discovered there are human remains buried in her yard. Obviously she is curious to find out whose, whats, & whys of the situation. To find the answers, the novel takes you back to the 1830's. I wasn't sure that I was going to like the flipping from present day to the past, but the author was able to make the transitions seamless. I really enjoyed the characters as well. All in all, it was a good read.


Booked to Die (Cliff Janeway, Bk 1)
Booked to Die (Cliff Janeway, Bk 1)
Author: John Dunning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 89
Review Date: 7/14/2013


I don't know why its taken me so long to discover this author. "Booked To Die" introduces is to Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeaway. A recent homicide involving a bookscout has him trying to find the answers as to why this man is now dead.

Whats great about this book is that the people in the books are book lovers themselves, trying to find rare books that they can sell. Janeaway, himself is a book lover, which makes things even more interesting.

As the investigation progresses things in Janeway's life change a bit, but I won't divulge that. The investigation gives us several plausible suspects, which had me guessing til the very end.

I definitely will keep reading this series and recommend it anyone looking to begin a new series themselves.


Boomsday
Boomsday
Author: Christopher Buckley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 56
Review Date: 5/7/2013


Christopher Buckley does it again. I'm not one that really gets into politics, but if they were any thing like the way Buckley portrays it, I might be.

I really loved the interaction of the characters and the dialogue, as the funnier moments were perfectly timed. My favorite character was Cass Devine, whom just happens to be the main character. She's smart, funny, a wiseass, and gets the job done.

I don't want to reveal too much, but I do highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fun, humorous read.


Broken Harts : The Life and Death of Owen Hart
Broken Harts : The Life and Death of Owen Hart
Author: Martha Hart
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 12/28/2009


I really wish this was a book Martha Hart didn't have to write. She does a great job of giving us some insight into the details of Owen Hart the man, as well as the wrestler. She does go into some graphic detail about his death as well, but its not too over the top, where its unnecessary, but she does it so we know what Owen went through. I went into it thinking she was going to be bitter, which she would have every right to be, but she really handles herself with class. As a fan of wrestling or even if you're just looking for a good biography, then I definitely recommend this book to you.


Broken Ice
Broken Ice
Author: Matt Goldman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/12/2018


First time reading this local Minnesota author and I'm glad my Mom found this book and sent it my way. I really enjoyed the lead characters and thought their development was done well. The storyline itself was also pretty good and well written. If you have enjoy John Sandford, then I believe you would enjoy this.


Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
Author: Diablo Cody
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 217
Review Date: 2/23/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I was always fascinated with Diablo Cody after seeing her do lots of press circuits when promoting the movie Juno. I then learned she used to live in Minneapolis, which is my neck of the woods---and she stripped at some of the local establishments. I had to read this book.

Diablo went from a copyrighter, to participating at amateur night at a strip club, to a full fledged stripper. She doesn't hold back on the details and its pretty humorous at times.

Her stories about the men and women she met through her time as a stripper are really interesting and make the book what it is. I definitely recommend you read this book, but beware that sometimes things get graphic.


Cold Hit  (Shane Scully, Bk 5)
Cold Hit (Shane Scully, Bk 5)
Author: Stephen J. Cannell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 70
Review Date: 6/10/2013


This was my first time reading this author, which is surprising since he is pretty well known.

I really liked his writing style and found the Shane Scully character very likable. I also liked the pacing and the storyline was believable. All in all, a very good mystery/thriller.


Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal
Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal
Author: Mick Foley
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 11/6/2011


Yet another disappointing chapter in the Mick Foley bio series. I do have to admit that it was better then "Hardcore Diaries", but still just kinda blah. Thing is, the first book was so great, its really hard to follow up on that.


The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, Bk 1)
The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, Bk 1)
Author: Elly Griffiths
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/7/2010


I was given this book to review by Goodreads.com. Here is that review.

"The Crossing Places" is the debut novel by British author Elly Griffiths. The novel's storyline is based around a woman named Ruth Galloway, who is an archaeologist as well as a professor at the local University. She is then asked by local Detective Inspector Harry Nelson to look at some bones that were discovered.

We learn that the bones are from thousands of years ago and not of a missing girl named Lucy Downey like Harry Nelson had thought. You see, Harry has been investigating Lucy's case for ten years and wants to give the family closure and had believed the discovery of her body would do so.

From there on, Ruth becomes more involved in this investigation after another girl turns up missing. Harry Nelson begins to receive letters giving hints to her location, which occurred when Lucy went missing and allows Ruth to read letters and get her thoughts. Obviously I don't want to give too much info away, but I will tell that's just the beginning of this intriguing story.

I will admit though, the novel started off a bit slow, but I can understand why as the author really had to get us to understand the main character Ruth. You see, Ruth is your plain Jane character who believes she is overweight and not very pretty, yet she seems to have sorts of men interested in her, including four men involved in the main storyline.

We learn of her past failures in her relationships and given a glimpse into her boring life alone in the country and her unwillingness to go outside her comfort zone. You really do see the character grow throughout the novel.

I'm not a person who knows much about archaeology, but what I do appreciate is that we are given detailed information about it without it being too much, where it becomes boring. The details are also important to the novel's central storyline, so you should pay attention as you read.

Like I mentioned before the novel, for me at least did start slow, but after all the introductory details were taken care of and the investigation was the main focus, things really picked up. Ruth learns of things about her friends and their past that shock her. As things unravel, I found that I couldn't put the book down as I needed to find who was responsible for these heinous acts. The author also does a great job at providing several viable suspects making it difficult to guess the ending, which I appreciated because I read many mystery/thriller novels that make it easy to make those type of predictions.

As much as the Ruth Galloway character grew within this novel, there's still room for more growth and even more adventure, which I expect in the follow up novel "The Janus Stone".

My recommendation is that you do give this first time author a shot and make sure you do not give up on the book. You'll definitely enjoy it, especially if you are a fan of the "smart thriller".


The Cutting Room: A Novel
The Cutting Room: A Novel
Author: Ashley Dyer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/6/2019


This was sent to me as part of the Goodreads "First Reads" program. I typically don't like to read mystery/thriller books set in Englad and I think it might have to do with the fact that my Mom used to make me watch "Eastenders" as a kid, but its kind of weird, cause I don't mind watching movies set there, but I'm glad I gave this one a whirl.

Detectives Carver and Lake are in their second book together, the first one being "Splinter in the Blood", which I definitely man to read now. In this chapter of their series, they are in the pursuit of a very dangerous artist, who has been putting their very disturbing "art" on public display. As this artist progresses, their displays become more graphic, which means Carver and Lake must put an end to it all.

Carver and Lake both have their flaws and have issues that they both need to deal with personally which coincides with their pursuit of a killer. They need to find a way to overcome the issues otherwise they could potentially lose the game that is being played.

In the end, I thought the writer(s) did a great job with the character development of the lead characters as well as the progression of the story line. It was intriguing and well thought out that I wasn't able to put it all together until it was revealed.

I would recommend this book/series and I plan to continue with it as more books come out.


Dead Even
Dead Even
Author: Brad Meltzer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 169
Review Date: 5/24/2013


This is an older Meltzer book dating back to the late 90's, but its definitely a story that could happen in the present.

Husband Jared is pitted against wife Sara in a battle in the courtroom, but the verdict not only effects the the defendant, but the couple as well. See, they have both been told that if they lose the case, their spouse will be killed. Neither knows that their spouse has been threatened in this way.

Both lawyers are very competitive and with this new incentive, they hold nothing back to win. They begin to question whether they can trust one another---or anyone else for that matter.

This is a great page turner and a highly recommended read.


The Death of WCW
The Death of WCW
Author: R. D. Reynolds, Bryan Alvarez
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 9/20/2014


I have read many article and seen many documentaries on this subject so after this became available, I almost didn't read it cause I felt like I knew the whole story, but I was wrong. There was definitely enough repeated details, but there was also enough new data that made this worth reading. If you are a fan of wrestling history, then this is for you.


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