A difficult subject made interesting and entertaining in its telling by this honest, straight-talking author. We learn how the overvalued real estate market in the U.S. led to the financial crisis of 2008. The crisis was fueled by an overheated market in mortgage bonds and their derivatives, including collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. It led to the destruction of nearly $2 trillion of wealth.
The story is told through the eyes of 10 or 12 people in the financial industry who were deeply involved in what was happening. Several of these people were among the few who saw what was coming and profited greatly from the financial collapse by taking "Big Short" positions of buying credit default swaps. Well written, fast moving and very informative.
Horror novel published in 2004 about computer matchmaking. A perfect match went awry when a double suicide occurred with one, and then another, of the "supercouples". I liked the technology and the psychology in the story.
Sequel to The Gold Coast, about John Sutter and the Bellarosa crime family, pub. 2008. It was not a fast-paced action thriller as some of DeMille's books are but, rather, about family dynamics that evolved throughout the book.
The Girl on the Train uses the same construct device as A Visit From the Goon Squad -- story told from different character's point of view and in different time frames -- but this book is as good as that one was bad! Paula Hawkins was able to use the device to develop the story and tension in a way it could not have been accomplished otherwise, creating a tight, suspenseful chiller.
The book alternates among three women's stories, with Rachel, reeling from her divorce, as the primary narrator. Each morning during her commute from a suburb into London, her train slows on the same section of track behind a row of Victorian houses. Two houses there interest her: one is her former residence and the current home of her ex-husband, Tom, and his new wife, Anna; the other is home to an attractive, couple who frequently appear on their back terrace. Anna and the attractive woman are the other two points of view telling the story which propels along, picking up speed as the story develops.
Emmy Dockery, FBI research agent, is obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of arson cases hiding murders. While I am not a fan of James Patterson and his cardboard characters, this book was better than most. The plot was good enough to help make up for the lack of depth of the characters. I read it while on vacation at a resort and that no doubt helped.
The Kite Runner is the story of a boy who grew up in Afghanistan during the last days of the monarchy, through revolution, the Taliban and the Soviet invasion. It is poignant and beautifully written and includes all the things that make a great story: loyalty, weakness, betrayal, guilt, lies, sex, secrets, violence, an attempted suicide, rejection and love.
It was compulsively entertaining and that's what you sometimes want from a novel. A boy whose 9-yr. old brother was kidnapped was guilt-ridden for years and then was confronted by him when they were in their 30's. The long-lost brother then kidnapped his wife and son and things got weird.
One woman's life and the loves that shaped her -- her mother, her first love, and her husband's love, in Virginia and coastal Maine where she grew up in the 1960's. The characters are vibrant, three-dimensional characters and the writing is beautiful. The ending is unexpected but fitting.
Book #6 in the John Corey Series, a direct sequel to The Lion, takes place in Yemen; pub. 2012. The plot is tissue paper thin, bloated, mostly predictable and, except for the last 60-70 pages, seriously lacking in action and suspense. The object is for John Corey and his wife Kate Mayfield to hunt down a particular terrorist in Yemen. The whole book was painfully, meticulously, and ploddingly moving toward that goal through all the boring aspects of getting there such as paperwork and packing. There was no cat-and-mouse going on between the protagonist and antagonist; they met up at the end of the book and the Panther died. The End.
If this had been the first Iris Johansen book I had read it would have been have been the last. It was long, drawn out, convoluted, and far-fetched. I thought it would never end. We're supposed these present-day people find letters left by ancients Greeks around 8,000 B.C. And read them, no translation required, and they read as though written in the present era. Unbelievable!