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Kevin G. (2littletime) - Reviews

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The Alienist
The Alienist
Author: Caleb Carr
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 547
Review Date: 3/23/2019


This was a very dark book that goes deep into the life of a serial killer, set in the late 1800's in New York city. Descriptions of the murders were very graphic and hard to read at times. The serial killer we learn later as to why he was the way he was and what he was doing, but no I am not giving that away. The main characters of the book were very well developed which were basically a team of friends headed up by an Alienist Dr. Lasslo Kreizler (back in the 1890's an alienist was a psychiatrist). The team consisted of John Moore a times reporter, Sara a secretary for the police commisioner, and a pair of brothers who were detectives, just to name a few of the team. It took a cast of many to pick up clues to try to catch the monster that was preying on young boys who to make it worse were prostitutes. The book's settings almost reminded me of another team of the era Sherlock Holmes and Watson. This was so diverse and complex as such. Clues were sparingly given to us along the way almost to the point where we delved on to get more. Still the tragedies that took place, and the cat and mouse game the team experienced with the killer was brilliant. The last 1/4 of the book really ratchets up as the team gets close to solving the case, so much so it's hard to put the book down at that point! The settings were very descriptive almost putting you back into the day of horse and carriage. At first I didn't know if the book would be lost in the time period, but not so as it really put you back into the time so you could envision it. I am glad I read the book even though at times it was tough to read, but this is what you would call a true mystery in my opinion and very well done!


Back of Beyond (Cody Hoyt, Bk 1)
Back of Beyond (Cody Hoyt, Bk 1)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 2/29/2016


This is the first in the Cody Hoyt series by C.J. Box. I was hooked on his other series Joe Pickett, but decided to go for a change of pace. No pun intended, but this book has Box written all over it. The characters and suspense will have you locked in about a third of the way into the book. It didn't take me long before like any Joe Pickett book I became obsessed in finding all the answers and simply couldn't put the book down!! There are so many twists and turns that this one will have you guessing to the very end. Full of surprises and suspense and I kid you not it had the hair on the back of my neck up a few times!! Cody Hoyt is not without flaws as you would suspect with a Box main character. He has he his addiction being a former alcholic and currently in AA, and also a heavy chain smoker. He also happens to be a cop, but not your typical cop and that is where the fun starts. I won't give anything away as its much too precious to find out on your own, but in this one we find him investigating a murder of a friend. Eventually it turns personal as he finds the only thing dear and perfect to him, his only son Justin suddenly is in the path of danger. Great job again C.J. Box for giving me some sleepless nights, I can't wait to see what you have in store next for Cody Hoyt. I also need to find some precious time to get back to your other main series with Joe Pickett!!


Badger Boy (Texas Rangers, Bk 2)
Badger Boy (Texas Rangers, Bk 2)
Author: Elmer Kelton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 7/4/2020


Just finished reading this second book in "The Texas Ranger" series. As usual Elmer Kelton brings you into the time with some great story telling. It had been awhile since I had read the first book "The Buckskin Line", but Kelton is such a good storyteller that it all came back to me reading the second book in the series, as he is so vivid in his story telling. I like the main character Rusty Shannon and the other characters that surround him. They introduce a new character "Badger Boy" who was captured at a young age by Indians, and grew up with the Comanche's, learning their way of life. Rusty Shannon who himself was captured and later rescued by his adoptive white parents, totally understands the situation, and they connect by a matter of circumstances later in the story. Also Rusty reconnects with friends ties after the Civil war and returns to his adoptive parents farm with the disbandment of the Texas Rangers. I love the way Kelton depicts the hard times and you can almost feel their pain. A great story and it continues on, so I can dust off the next book in the series on my book shelf and continue with the saga!


Below Zero (Joe Pickett, Bk 9)
Below Zero (Joe Pickett, Bk 9)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 5/25/2016


As always I would recommend reading any of the C.J. Box series in order, as there is previous information and background needed to make this book in the series more enjoyable. That said it was suspense and intrigue to the full extent as usual. As with many of this authors books I have trouble putting the books down and find myself indulging. The character Joe Pickett and his family are fully involved in "Below Zero" as the past comes raging to the forefront. Something that was put to rest a long time ago-a family tragedy-has come alive again. This book ratchets forward with the usual twists and turns you would expect and doesn't end till the final page. The author keeps you in suspense and leaves you with some huge question marks till the very last page.


Bitter Trail
Bitter Trail
Author: Elmer Kelton
Book Type: School Library Binding
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/14/2014


As always Elmer Kelton can spin a good yarn!! As a reader you find his stories factual about events and things that took place in history. This one mainly being about the Civil War conflicts in and around Brownsville, TX. The fictional account of the story could have even been similar to true events, as it tells of good friends suddenly finding themselves on opposite sides in the war. Frio Wheeler who is delivering huge loads of cotton by mule for the South for the Confederacy, and his long time friend Tom McCasland supporting opposite sides for the North. The book tells of struggles between right and wrong and between good friends, still both thinking they are on the right side for opposite reasons. This account makes you think that the Civil War must have been so hard on many, perhaps even brothers finding themselves on opposing sides. A good quick read and a gripping story!!


Blood Hollow (Cork O'Connor, Bk 4)
Blood Hollow (Cork O'Connor, Bk 4)
Author: William Kent Krueger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 12/9/2012


OK I am really sold now, this is the second book in the Cork O'Connor series I have read. A few months back I found a couple of interesting looking books at a garage sale and got them for a good price. After researching found that they were later books in the O'Connor series. I did the smart thing and went to Barnes and Noble and filled the vacancies on the first few in the series and read the first one "Iron Lake" and this being the second. I can tell you this as I reviewed the first book on here, this is my new favorite author. The pages on this one turned just as fast as the first one did. Anyone seeking a new mystery author I would recommend Krueger and also recommend starting with the first in the series as it will make more sense chronologically for several reasons not only the events, but the ages of his children. The characters are strong in this book and the trails of clues laid out keep you guessaing as any good mystery will. After reading the first book and now the second I am beginning to feel at home with the small Minnesota town and its surroundings. He paints the whole state of Minnesota well and it attributes and people even better. William Kent Krueger is definately an artist as he paints the story with his characters and backgrounds. The books so far hold my interest immediately and gets to the point of any good book, I simply can't put it down!! I do hope if you read my review you take the plunge and I promise you won't be sorry as you embark on some great mysteries!! The two that I have read there is a little bit of bizarre added, giving it an added element. Really some great stuff-simply put.


Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, Bk 8)
Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, Bk 8)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 58
Review Date: 1/19/2016


As usual C.J. Box gives you a ride you won't soon forget. Your favorite game warden Joe Pickett is recruited by the Governor to look into hideous crimes, where hunter's during elk season are being stalked and become the hunted. Chilling tale especially for any of us that have been in the outdoors by ourselves to hunt game. As Joe Pickett mentioned several times in this novel "you can feel the hair on your neck stand up"! Box has a way of racheting up the story to get your full attention, so much so I find it hard to put any of his books down for long, as I have to read furiously into the night to see how Joe Pickett cracks the case! As always Joe can get himself into a heap of trouble with about anyone or everyone around him, from the governor to even his own family and neighbors. He is one of my favorite characters in the many books I read. If you haven't read any of C.J. Box's novels and series with Joe Pickett, you are really missing out. This one as all of them will give you many sleepless nights!


Blue Heaven
Blue Heaven
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 123
Review Date: 5/10/2016


The start of this book took a while for the setup of the main characters. I am used to reading all of the CJ Box books with Joe Pickett, family, and friends. So this being a stand alone book it took me a while to get used to the characters. The main character Jess Rawlins as you would expect is solid, he is an older cowboy/rancher in Idaho living on his land passed down by his grandfather. His life is about to take a huge turn as if he didn't already have problems, the main one being him trying to hold onto his land. Soon enter some transplants and dirty cops that retired in Idaho from LA. I won't give the story line away, but it envolves him protecting two kids that live locally and saw something they shouldn't have. Midway through the book it becomes typical of a CJ Box book, you simply can't put it down, and the suspense ratchets up with lots of twists and turns. A nice change of pace from his Joe Pickett series, but if you like that series, it's almost a guarantee you will love this one too!!


Breaking Point (Joe Pickett, Bk 13)
Breaking Point (Joe Pickett, Bk 13)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 2/18/2019


Finished this C.J. Box book in record time, this literally being a firestorm that you can't put down!! I find that a lot in his series about Joe Pickett Game Warden. Joe has a knack for getting himself into the middle of things, outside of his normal duties as a game warden, which mostly is never good. I have been reading his novels in order and mowing them down quickly. Most involve his good friend Nate Romanowski who adds a nice twist to things. This involves an odd circumstance as head scratching things happen to a local Butch Roberson and his family, Feds come in and Roberson goes on the run, seemlingly deserting his wife and daughter in the process, after two murders are pinned to him. Joe quickly becomes involved as things move forward and he rushes to dig into matters on his own, only to be ordered to assist the Feds against his better judgement. From there this literally turns into a firestorm as there is a ton of collateral damage along the way. Make sure once you get to the end read the afterword and acknowledgments, I am sure it will make your blood boil as it did mine! Can't wait to see's whats up next for Joe Pickett!


Breath
Breath
Author: Tim Winton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/25/2019


This was my first read by Tim Winton, and have to say I probably wouldn't have read it, but watched the movie version of it on Netflix. This process, I usually like the other way around read the book, then watch the movie. The book was beautifully written and set in Western Austrailia. The main subject matter isn't something I would pick up a book up and read on (surfing), but this book is way more than that! It's a tale of 4 main characters first Pikelet and Loonie two adolescent boys who are want to be surfers. Then interject Lando a mid 30's adult who they look up to and want to mirror, Lando becomes their mentor. Later Lando's wife Eva becomes a main player and also has an effect on their lives. Like all of us Lando is one of those who come into our life and someone we want to emmulate when we are younger-being good or bad. This book is about life and the paths we take, making choices and picking friends, making experiences as we connect with others. It's about what all of us do we grow up so fast then reflect back wishing perhaps we had done things a little different, or taking that other proverbial path in the road! A fantastic coming of age book which will make all of us reminisce, and take a long look at our own lives. Kudo's to Tim Winton, so much so "Breath" will be with me forever as great reads do! Now I am a fan and can't wait to find other adventures Tim Winton has published.


The Buckskin Line (Texas Rangers, Bk 1)
The Buckskin Line (Texas Rangers, Bk 1)
Author: Elmer Kelton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/6/2016


As a fan of Elmer Kelton, whom I found later in life after reading many of the famous author Louis L'amour and others, I can say Kelton rates up at the top of story tellers where the western genre is concerned. These days I have my nose stuck in more mysteries per say than westerns, but still mix it up now and then. That said I really enjoyed this book the first in the series of the Texas Rangers, but have to say reading many of Kelton's books, this one seemed to have some retread involved. Some of his stories, but not all follow a similar pattern-boy or boys parents killed by indians, then boy adopted, or set out on his own to grow up and face the challenges of the old west. This one has a boy named Rusty, partly due to the color of his hair, who is rescued and adopted after being captured by indians. Rusty is destined from the beginning to met up again with his old nemesis and captor Buffalo Caller who is in turn haunted by Rusty's red hair as a bad omen/medicine. The story is likeable and puts you back in a time long ago when the frontier was being blazed. Again Kelton is a top notch story teller and paints images of the old west that makes you believe you were there in another life. Great adventure and a story to be told, if your a fan of this genre highly recommended as the pages will flow quickly!


Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Holland, Bk 1)
Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Holland, Bk 1)
Author: James Lee Burke
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 52
Review Date: 1/6/2013


This was my first read by author James Lee Burke as every once in a while I try a new author. I am not sure I am going to revisit this author again as I found this book a chore to get through. I remained dilligent and did wade through all the cutesy comments and sayings that Burke's characters threw in along the way, I did feel as though it distracted from the story and book. Some of the comments would have added color and flair, but it seems as though Burke deemed it necessary to make a jaded or colored comment from every character at ever turn. This distracted from the story and made it hard to follow and get down to business. Also I felt as though his characters werent developed as well as they could have been for many reasons I won't get into. I am not a prude, but also felt the story was weighed down with lots of vulgarity in which a little would have gone a long way. The story overall was one that was a good one to tell, and you did find yourself rooting for the main character Lucas Smothers (Billy Bob's illigetimate son) that lawyer Billy Bob Holland worked to free of a murder charge. Later in the novel when the courtroom scenes appeared, I did think that this was well written as the evidence in the case comes to view. Some of the vial criminals and characters leading up to that were pushed a little too much upon us as readers I felt. Too there was Billy Bob's former dead Texas Ranger partner LQ Navarro that was brought to light along the way that made commmentary in Billy Bob's head, at times he added and brought light to the story and at other times he was just another distraction from the telling of the story. Perhaps it wasn't my cup of tea as some of my favorite mystery authors like Jonathan Kellerman, William Kent Krueger, and even western author Elmer Kelton develop and write with such a flair that the pages fly off the books like a hurricane raged stream flows to a main river. There I added my own cutesy comment to the reivew. Going to give Burke the benefit of the doubt and not give him a rating of one, but a two because of the overall content and scope of the story. Again at some point I may pick up another book and see how it goes, but for now I am going to give it a rest!!!


A Cold Day for Murder (Kate Shugak, Bk 1)
A Cold Day for Murder (Kate Shugak, Bk 1)
Author: Dana Stabenow
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 160
Review Date: 3/2/2014


I am on a search for an author who writes somewhat similar to William Kent Krueger, with a well written story, strong/bold characters, and lots of twists in a well written mystery. I have now tried Stabenow and Hillerman and find Stabenow closer to the task, but not quite. I did enjoy the book and it was a nice weekend read, the characters good and well developed, the story readable, but somewhat predictable, unlike the bends and curves I find in Krueger's writing. Still I found myself enjoying it enough that I will buy the next in the series. I liked her main character Kate Shugak a native Aluet (similar to Krueger's main character in his books, Cork who is part Ojibwe Indian). The character Kate was well developed and introduced to you so you come to know her and like her as she takes on an investigation, and finds herself going back to her roots in the far Alaska north. The book gives you a vivid image of the hard life and the beautiful scenery found in the Alaska wilderness, and this was the insight I was looking for and did enjoy the window that Stabenow gave me. Thanks for the adventure and plan to take another tour of Alaska in the next book of the series!


A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight, Bk 1)
A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight, Bk 1)
Author: Steve Hamilton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 3/28/2014


Always looking for a new mystery/thriller author and found "A Cold Day in Paradise" the first in the Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton to be an enjoyable read. I can say a lot of it seemed to be an old throw back book in a detective/PI series, the kind my Mom used to read such as a Mickey Spillane type. For some reason it didn't seem to be all that modern, as it said in this book that Alex McKnight was born in 1950. Too there was mention of pay phones which in this day of age are hard to find. Still I found the pages to flow easily and did find myself intrigued by the whole story of a madman "Rose" who years ago had shot McKnight's partner dead and left McKnight to carry a bullet next to his heart for the rest of life wanting to forge forward in my book to know more. I can say some of it was predictable, but for a first time writer it was good fare, and I understand Steve Hamilton won the Edgar and Shamus awards for best first novel. I can say I like my main characters believable and can say Alex McKnight former Detroit cop is not without his flaws! All in all it sets up the main character and gets us acquainted with him and his surroundings. In the end it has some nice just enough to make me want to continue on, and in the near future will look for #2 in the series.


A Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, Bk 11)
A Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, Bk 11)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 1/3/2017


One of my favorite series with Game Warden Joe Pickett and this was one of the best so far. Joe gets dragged into an investigation that he really doesn't want to get involved in. It has nothing to do with his official business, but instead his despised Mother-In-Law is accused of murdering her husband, and by the request of his wife Marybeth he starts an investigation on the gruesome murder of his father-in-law the Earl. Loved this book as with the others in the series his best friend and ally Nate Romanowski, also is on a tangent in this story that parallels with the main story . So many twists and turns that it kept me guessing right up to the very end. Writing and mystery at its best, top shelf-book shelf that is, as this is one I may want to re-visit someday-it was that good. Hats (probably a Stetson) off to C.J. Box who is at the top of his game!!


The Cove (FBI Thriller, Bk 1)
The Cove (FBI Thriller, Bk 1)
Author: Catherine Coulter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 557
Review Date: 2/25/2014


This is the first book in the FBI series that Catherine Coulter penned. I came back and bought this first book in the series, as I enjoyed her #3 book "The Target" so much that I had originally bought in a book club years ago. In a previous review I gave "The Target" top billing as it was enjoyable, well written, and a very fast read with a lot of suspense. Had I started with "The Cove" I am not so sure I would have went out and purchased more of Coulter's books. So perhaps you should do as I have, if your a first timer reading Catherine Coulter go pick up book #3 in the series first and decide from there. The Cove's story takes us to a small town where Sally goes to hide with her aunt caught up in her own troubles-mainly her father's murder, and she ends up finding more problems than she started out with in the Cove. The story and concept were good and there was just enough to keep me going on, but I didn't care for the way it was written as it was distracting the way the author got cute with her characters and prose. I do have several more in the series and I hope they are more like "The Target" and less like "The Cove".


Dark Thicket
Dark Thicket
Author: Elmer Kelton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 1/29/2017


As usual the author Elmer Kelton turns in a good story. He was voted one of the best Western writers ever. In some ways I agree and in some ways I don't, as I would probably give the edge to another famous author Louis Lamour. No doubt Kelton can spin a good yarn, but after reading many of his books, they all seem to be somewhat familar. This one is no different with the setting taking place in Texas, during the civil war nearing towards it's end, and involving a young soldier Owen Danforth. Owen finds himself caught in a quandry, involving his duty with the Confederates, and his family/friends who are dividied with the war. Probably a typical dilema back in those days during the civil war when brother fought against brother. As most of Kelton's stories it is a quick read and not without suspense and did find the pages going by quickly. I would have rated it higher had it not been for the familiarity of which he writes, almost seemed as if I had read it before, almost knowing how it would end.


Dead in the Water (Kate Shugak, Bk 3)
Dead in the Water (Kate Shugak, Bk 3)
Author: Dana Stabenow
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 96
Review Date: 11/27/2015


This being the 3rd book that I have read by Dana Stabenow in her "Kate Shugak" mysteries. Kate Shugak is a retired investigator from the Anchorage's DA office. She is occasionally lured out of retiremnt on a case that needs investigated, usually with her needing the money, as she live's obscurily in the Alaska wilderness. The first two installment's I found interesting and different, and also alluring as the back drop is in the Alaska wilds. I think I gave the first two books in the series a middle of the road rating, as they were adequate. I probably enjoyed hearing more about the wilderness, than the story itself. This one "Dead in the Water" and #3 in the series finally hit on all cylinders. Not only was it set in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian chains, but also with Kate taking a job on an Alaskan Fishing Boat setting out to find two missing fisherman. Again the back drops and history were great, but this time the story, mystery, and action set the pace of the story. Like some of the great mysteries I have read the pace quickens as you induldge yourself into the book. A real good page turner that I really enjoyed from start to the end!!


The Devil's Bed
The Devil's Bed
Author: William Kent Krueger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 12/25/2015


William Kent Krueger is an amazing story teller, that gives us believable deep rich characters that we can easily relate to. I guess I had no way of knowing, but I was saving one of his best for my final read that he had penned. Now to date I have read all of his amazing books and will have to wait patiently for each new one to be published. This book "The Devil's Bed" is one of two of his stand alone books, along with "Ordinary Grace", after reading both I wish he would do more of this. Still his series about Cork O'Connor/sheriff turned private investigator, I look forward to each in the series! It is like picking up an old friend, as I have grown to love all of the characters involved in the series! "The Devil's Bed" to be honest I saved for last thinking it would not be my cup of tea as it involved politics, the Secret Service, and the federal government. Well it turned out to be one of my favorites, guess I was actually saving one of his best for the last just not knowing it. The characters are well developed, the story well told, the suspense is intense causing the pages to flow with ease! Along with the story and the characters he always give us plenty of life's learnings along the way. At the end I always like to sit back and reflect and take it all in. Again with his immense talent I hope there are more stand alone books in the future for William Kent Krueger. My advice if your hooked on his Cork O'Connor series, don't let this one pass you by, as you will miss out on one of his best!!


The Edge (FBI, Bk 4)
The Edge (FBI, Bk 4)
Author: Catherine Coulter
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 362
Review Date: 3/4/2017


Still reading Catherine Coulter's books as the first book I read was #3 in the FBI series "The Target" which was phenomenal. After reading "The Target", I thought all of her books were going to be of that caliber so went out and purchased more in the series, and now have read 1,2,and 4 along with "The Target" (3). This being #4 "The Edge" I found her prose to be similar to books 1 and 2. The author likes to make comments that really divert from the dialouge and the telling of the story. I don't know if she is trying to be funny or add something, in any case it just doesn't work for me. I do think her characters could be great if she didn't try to insert these quirky comments that distract or take away from the story! In this story the main character Ford MacDougal an FBI agent calls for help in solving the mystery of why his sister Jilly ran off a cliff in her porsche in Jilly's hometown of Edgerton, OR. The Agents he calls in for support are characters that we were introduced to in books one and two, FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. The mystery does pick up pace when all the FBI agents and a DEA agent Laura are kidnapped and taken to a mysterious place and find themselves detained and restrained. The pace quickens as they manage an escape and are being followed into a jungle. Sadly towards the end Ms Coulter ties up loose ends quickly and to me in a sloppy way, almost seeming she reached a page limit, and had to shut the story down in a hurry to give you all the answers to the mystery in a lump sum. As I have mentioned before if you want to try her mysteries start with book #3 which was a gem, and then decide if you want to continue on. For me I have bought several in the series, so all I can hope for is that she will return to the level of writing she gave us in book #3 "The Target"!!


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