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Jim K. (papertiger) - - Reviews

1 to 20 of 41 - Page:
The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, Bk 4)
The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, Bk 4)
Author: John Lescroart
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 79
Review Date: 1/28/2010


Readers familiar with Dismas Hardy and the familiar band of characters he travels with will not be disappointed with this story of an abused wife accused of the murder of her husband and only son, whom Hardy has agreed to defend. But even an absolute newcomer to the series will be blown away by the intricate plotting and a twist at the end worthy of Alfred Hitchcock at his best. I never saw it coming. I kept wondering how this story could end with so few pages left to read. Then WHAM! The entire mystery was resolved in a satisfactory way by a twist that never occurred to me, even though the answer was there all along! Great read for anyone who likes mysteries.


Bel-Air Dead (Stone Barrington, Bk 20)
Bel-Air Dead (Stone Barrington, Bk 20)
Author: Stuart Woods
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 2/9/2014


If you are a long-time fan of Stone Barrington and enjoy his adventures you can give "Bel Air Dead" a pass. Stone is basically a narrator and lawyer for the active characters in this ho-hum snoozer. He doesn't really do much to solve mysteries or outwit his opponents mostly he reacts to what the other characters are doing. I think the main purpose of this book was to transition Stone from a hard-working, clever crime solver into a rich, lazy libertine able to enjoy the finer things in life. If you like reading about lifestyles of the rich and famous then this book is for you.


Camino Island (Camino Island, Bk 1)
Camino Island (Camino Island, Bk 1)
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 4/24/2018


Pure entertainment for me. As always Grisham presents an interesting plot; the theft and ransom of the original manuscripts of F. Scott Fitgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and his other books. A close look at the obscure world of first edition book collectors and booksellers should be interesting to avid readers.

What thrilled me the most was to recognize my home town as the setting for the novel. Santa Rosa on Camino Island is Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island thirty miles north of Jacksonville, FL. While not a literal copy of the town, Grisham captures the charm and beauty and historical background of the place; and it was all very familiar which, of course, added to the credibility of the story....at least for me!

This was not the most clever and riveting of Grisham's story lines but the rich detail will appeal to those who enjoy it. It also involves a main character who is a struggling young novelist and, through her association with other mature authors living and visiting on the island, reveals some of the realities of a writer's life. It is hard to imagine that any of these realities ever applied to John Grisham, however, so perhaps even this aspect of the book is pure fiction.

Would make great reading at the beach this summer and will not disappoint Grisham fans.


Ceremony  (Spenser, Bk 9)
Ceremony (Spenser, Bk 9)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 101
Review Date: 2/5/2011


One of my first Spenser reads, I was entertained but not captivated by the characters and the plot although I did enjoy the ending....a departure from the usual "happily ever after" resolution of all the hero's adventures. Perhaps, as I become more familiar with the central characters, I will get more involved in the stories.


Diary of an Early American Boy
Diary of an Early American Boy
Author: Eric Sloane
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/2/2018


Modern Americans cannot imagine the pure, unending work that it took to settle this country nor the planning, perseverance, and faith needed simply to survive on the simplest of terms. Seen through the eyes of a young boy and his family, and through the wonderful pen sketches of Eric Sloan, the sheer magnitude of daily effort and the small accomplishments that spelled progress for our country's pioneers will come alive in your mind. This should be required reading for youngsters with flat-screen myopia.


Die Trying (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Author: Lee Child
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 335
Review Date: 5/4/2009
Helpful Score: 5


At this point, if you are considering Lee Child's "Die Trying" then you have read one or more of the Jack Reacher series books before and you know what you are looking for. This book will not disappoint. Reacher and his minimalist approach to life and to other people's problems, which soon become his own, will be very familiar to you; and this book will take you to yet another situation that will challenge Reacher and entertain you along the way. The only problem you will find is at the end of the book... when you realize you have just finished another of a rather short list of titles from an author who is becoming one of your favorites and who isn't writing them as fast as you are reading them. Now what are you going to do?


Dragon Teeth
Dragon Teeth
Author: Michael Crichton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 6/12/2020


Dragon Teeth was published after Crichton's death and is based on actual events of the late nineteenth century "Bone Wars" (see Wikipedia) in archaeology and paleontology in the US West.

It apparently was an early manuscript the author did not publish and, if so, it is understandable. The writing never stirs the interest or excitement that is common with his more popular books. If read as historical fiction it is a serviceable look at the birth of awareness of dinosaurs in North America. But there is no mystery, no tension, no crisis to resolve; just a plodding story of a young man's adventure in the Wild West. You will be informed, if not entertained by this book.


Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, Bk 5)
Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, Bk 5)
Author: Lee Child
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 348
Review Date: 9/12/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Fans of the Jack Reacher series will enjoy the display of his deductive skills in this story of an abused wife in the outback of Texas. Readers who are not yet fans will also admire his Dr. Gregory House approach to solving a mystery or, in this case, a nested series of mysteries surrounding an attractive Mexican-American wife and the imperious old west family she has married into. Reacher pairs up with a beautiful lesbian lawyer to fight an archaic Texas legal system as well as some very skilled professional killers in this thriller that is as wide ranging as the well-painted Texas landscape it is set against.


The Fallen (Amos Decker, Bk 4)
The Fallen (Amos Decker, Bk 4)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 3/16/2019


Not the usual Baldacci level of talent. The Fallen was a disappointment from one of my favorite authors. Usually a crime mystery will keep you in suspense while dropping little clues along the way like breadcrumbs until the clever central character sweeps them all into a dramatic climax at the end of the book. In this book it took the author three chapters after the crimes were solved to explain what the various plot lines were and how they intersected. If you enjoy Monday morning discussions of Sunday's big game, you will love this book. But, for true Baldacci fans, STAY AWAY.


The First Deadly Sin (Edward X. Delaney, Bk 2)
The First Deadly Sin (Edward X. Delaney, Bk 2)
Author: Lawrence Sanders
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 60
Review Date: 7/30/2019


This is a gripping story with a complex murderer, an unusual and brutal series of deaths, a clever and relentless police investigator, absorbing characters, page-turning suspense.....until the climax. Then it goes THUD. Still, a good read even if it leaves you with a disappointment in the last few pages.


The Forgotten (John Puller, Bk 2)
The Forgotten (John Puller, Bk 2)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 78
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Everyone is entitled to a mistake now and then so I will try to overlook this one and go for another Baldacci book in the future. Take a hint from the title and let this book remain "the forgotten" David Baldacci novel.

I usually only write favorable reviews for the books I really enjoy; but, this one will be an exception. David Baldacci is one of my favorite authors but this book was done on a bad day when his editors were hung over or down with the flu. It is expected that John Puller, the man of steel, will face death and survive, but to do it over and over again in the company of an unlikely alliance with local police, a foreign agent, and a multi-lingual Bulgarian giant on a mission of revenge is too improbable. The first half was a good mystery and got me hooked. The second half read like a co-writer came up with three good endings and couldn't bear to throw any of them away and so strung them all together. I won't ask where you find tall trees growing in the midst of sand dunes by the beach or how you kill people by falling on them. You can't suspend belief in every chapter of a book and remain interested. Please Mr. Baldacci, get real.


The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, Bk 1) (Large Print)
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, Bk 1) (Large Print)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/11/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is the first Spenser book I have read, one of his earliest. I liked it. The plot moves along nicely while the mystery remains unresolved until the very end, as it should. Spenser is an interesting character although not very fully developed. He handles himself well, has a nice sense of humor, and is almost as smart as he thinks he is. I found the brevity of the book refreshing after wading through the mass of current best sellers of this genre. A pleasant, quick read.


The Guilty (Will Robie, Bk 4)
The Guilty (Will Robie, Bk 4)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 10/22/2016


Baldacci is one of my favorite writers and I have read all of his books.

This one was a disappointment in almost every way. I had to look closely at the cover after I finished it to be sure there was not a co-author listed in fine print. I found it hard to believe he wrote it.

Skip this title and hope for better in the future.


Hazardous Duty (Presidential Agent, Bk 8)
Hazardous Duty (Presidential Agent, Bk 8)
Author: W.E.B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth IV
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 7/11/2019


Ghost Written by Carl Hiassen.

This book does not belong in the Presidential Agent series any more than Soupy Sales belongs in the rotunda of the Capitol Building in DC. While the characters seem familiar, the plot, or lack thereof, most resembles something hatched by National Lampoon.

If you want a bathroom book full of sophomoric humor this is for you. If you are expecting WEB Griffin. Look elsewhere.


The Heat Islands (Doc Ford, Bk 2)
The Heat Islands (Doc Ford, Bk 2)
Author: Randy Wayne White
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 3/9/2014


This was my first exposure to Doc Ford and now I think I should read these books in order. I did not find Doc very well fleshed out as a leading character, nor did I find him all that interesting or likeable. The plot was interesting for awhile but I found myself rushing to get to the end (to start another Stephen Hunter book.) I will, however, find book one and give it another go as I did enjoy Carl Hiaasen's Florida stories.


Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, Bk 2)
Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, Bk 2)
Author: John Sandford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 201
Review Date: 12/12/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was my first exposure to Virgil Flowers, a wild child member of Lucas Davenport's flying circus, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and I found the serial murder plot average and the Flowers character fuzzy in my mind. I'm not sure John Sanford has a clear picture of him either. I suspect that as Lucas has aged and risen to power and leadership, Sanford wants to introduce a younger, hipper hero to a different demographic group than his traditional fans. If so, this is a noble attempt; but, Sanford needs to put some more flesh on the bones of his new protagonist to keep the new readers coming back!


I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, Bk 6)
I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, Bk 6)
Author: Stephen Hunter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 3/4/2014


If Jack Reacher had a home address he would be called Bob Lee Swagger. Swagger has a home, a job, a wife; but, like Reacher, he is a driven loner when solving involved mysteries, chasing the bad guys, and protecting himself and those he trusts. And he uses his brains and much as his fists and his guns, in this case to find out if a much lauded sharpshooter from Swagger's military days was really the serial killer of four Vietnam era radicals. In the process he encounters the latest high-tech sniper equipment and a deadly crew of ex-soldiers who challenge his skills to the max. Stephen Hunter may be picking up where Lee Child began to fade.


Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, Bk 2)
Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, Bk 2)
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 886
Review Date: 4/5/2014


This plot, which follows two highly intelligent but lethal serial rapists and killers who lead Dr. Cross on a merry chase was so intricate and wide ranging that it nearly gave me a headache.

Suddenly, about two thirds of the way through, I had a sudden, shocking realization......for the first time I can remember, I LIKED THE MOVIE BETTER THAN THE BOOK.


Last Snow (Jack McClure, Bk 2)
Last Snow (Jack McClure, Bk 2)
Author: Eric Van Lustbader
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 6/18/2017


Waste of time. Too much dull wandering in the characters' psyches. Too many subplots added just to make the plot convoluted. Too little cleverness in the main character's supposed analytic skills. Plus a thud at the end instead of a bang. Reads like a book put together by a committee. Skip this one if you can.


The Lazarus Vendetta (Covert-One, Bk 5)
The Lazarus Vendetta (Covert-One, Bk 5)
Author: Patrick Larkin, Robert Ludlum
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 2/2/2009


If you were a fan of Robert Ludlum and expecting clever intrigue, carefully drawn characters, in complicated but credible plots then this is not for you. Larkin follows some of the rough outlines of a Ludlum thriller but goes over the top early with a plot that involves world wide genocide, no less, with science fiction nanomachines that strain credibility to the breaking point. Readers familiar with Dale Brown and his series involving Patrick McLanahan and high-tech developmental air power will have seen the same sort of excess when he made the jump from tricked out B-52's and brave shock troopers to orbiting fighter planes and manned robotic super-soldiers. At least Brown did it to himself and can rue the consequences. All Robert Ludlum can do is roll over in his grave. Please, enough.


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