Would You Join Jon Stewart For His ‘Rally To Restore Sanity’?

Jon Stewart is going to be holding a Rally To Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010, in our nations capital. Mr. Stewart wants his march to be for people who have better things to do than to march on Washington, DC. So who is invited? It seems that anyone who doesn’t want to attend a rally is welcome. On his website he states:

We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.

Are you one of those people? Excellent. Then we’d like you to join us in Washington, DC on October 30 — a date of no significance whatsoever — at the Daily Show’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.” Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.

This does make one stop and think. Are the people who go to rallies on Washington DC insane? Or are we who don’t the only sane ones? If you can’t figure out which one you are, you may wish just to stay at home. That is what I am going to do.

How about you? Rally or stay at home?

Comments welcome.

Source – Media

Blocking Porn On Government Computers Could Violate 1st Amendment Rights

The House passed a bill recently that would block pornography from any computer that is government owned. But it seems that the House may have been overly restrictive in the language they used in the bill, which could led such organizations such as the ACLU, to object to the bill. What some are saying is that the bill is over restrictive and broad in what it covers, that could in fact violate the 1st amendment rights of those who use the computers.

In a recent article it states that:

The measure, which arrived in the form of an 111-page amendment sponsored by House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat, says on the second-to-last page: “None of the funds made available in this act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography.”

That choice of wording could sweep in government contractors as well as federal agencies, says John Morris, general counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, D.C.

“It really is breathtaking how broad the reach of this is, and will lead to constitutional problems and economic problems,” Morris said. If a mom-and-pop business has a contract to deliver toilet paper to a military base that includes overhead, he suggested, they’d have to pay to filter their computer networks even though the owner is the only one who uses it.

What made me laugh is that it took 111 pages to say no porn can be viewed on government owned computers? No wonder Washington is so ass backward.Or is it the fact that 100 pages are filled with pork? LOL

Comments welcome.


Catholic Boston Archdiocese Targeted in The Devil's Labyrinth By John Saul

The thoroughly sinister aspect of Saul’s novel, The Devil’s Labyrinth, was enough to convince me that Saul must have studied under the auspices of the parochial school system and exaggerated his feelings of injustice and control to deliver such a scathing and unholy plot. This piece of roller coaster horror could have only been achieved by someone both familiar with the system and gifted in telling a work of fiction.

The setting takes place in the school halls of St. Isaac’s, under the care of charismatic Father Sebastian, a supposed expert in exorcisms. However, it soon becomes obvious that there is much more to Father Sebastian than what is presented to the other clergy and the student’s parents. One is also led to believe that on the surface the good Father is exceedingly popular with the students until they are forced to come face to face with the demonic evil he projects into their lives.

Struggling to overcome the emotional turmoil brought on by his father’s death and the new man in his mother’s life 15-year-old Ryan McIntyre finds himself enrolled at St. Isaac’s where he discovers a terrible secret and as a result soon finds himself another of Father Sebastian’s victims. Ryan like the others will find himself involved in a plot to assassinate the Pope who, aware of Father Sebastian’s apparent success with student exorcisms, plans a visit to Boston to observe the cleric’s techniques.

Fortunately, however, Ryan’s father had given him a crucifix that he had found in Iraq that was supposed to protect him from evil. The question then becomes will the crucifix indeed protect Ryan and the others from the evil that Father Sebastian has planned thus saving the Pope’s life or will the diabolical work come to fruition?

I felt that Saul managed to write to another thrilling novel, even though it did get a little slow in the middle, as he covered the very controversial and little-known subject of exorcism. Otherwise the author managed to build the intensity throughout the book until the story was ultimately brought together with well-developed characters that the reader could identify with. I would recommend the book as a first-rate supernatural thriller that will keep the readers interest but I have read many reviews by readers that did not agree with my assessment. Therefore, I will suggest that you get a copy from your local library rather than purchase it unless you can find a deal on Amazon, that way you are not out the expense and can decide for yourself if the read was worth the time or not.

Supernatural Horror at its Best: Dark of the Night by John Saul

Best selling author John Saul became a media favorite in 1977 after he published Suffer the Children and continues to delight terror genre enthusiasts with other bestsellers that have included a Perfect Nightmare and The Right Hand of Evil. With his latest endeavor, Dark of the Night, Saul once again takes the reader on a roller coaster ride into the bizarre world of the supernatural.  

The tale begins innocently enough with Eric Brewster’s family making plans to join their friends for a fun-filled summer vacation at picturesque Phantom Lake, Wisconsin. A last minute decision on their part provides them the opportunity to rent one of the area’s nicest homes which is being prepared for sale in the fall. However, unbeknownst to the family, the house is available at such an affordable price because it was once owned by a Dr. Hector Darby, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances years ago.  

Perhaps, psychically tuned in Eric’s mother, Merrill, is the lone holdout about the trip as she fears that the deal is to good-to-be-true. Despite her reservations, however, she relents and goes along with the plan. It is just a short time after their arrival at Pinecrest, however, that her intuition proves correct as Eric and his friends discover a hidden room that contains a strange assortment of macabre items that had at one time belonged to famous serial killers worldwide. It is not the pieces themselves though that prove harmful but the evil within them that take control of the young minds who discover them. Truly, the suspense that Saul weaves into his tale will keep you posed at the edge of your seat as he once again exhibit his skill at sending shivers up the spines of even the most hard cored horror addicts.  

So, if you are looking for a spine-tingling thriller that will interrupt your slumber at night Dark of the Night might just provide the ticket for ending your sweet dreams. No doubt about it John Saul is a master in his field and this is another winner.  

[tags]John Saul, Dark of the Night, supernatural, Pinecrest, horror, fiction, suspense, Perfect Nightmare, Suffer the Children, Right Hand of Evil, Phantom Lake, Wisconsin, Hector Darby, Eric Brewster, psychic, serial killers[/tags]

God's Spy by Gomez-Jurado

Gomez-Jurado’s debut thriller, already a bestseller in
Spain, is a fascinatingly complex tale that focuses on recent events as seen though the eyes of three very different lead characters. These various fictional characters are then mingled with real-life figures such as John Negroponte, who currently serves as the United States Deputy Secretary of State, who plays the part of a shadowy backstage conspirator. The subjects covered in the book are both sensitive and explosive dealing with such controversial issues as the Saint Matthew Institute that in reality utilizes a controversial method to treat clergy who have been accused of pedophilia

The novel revolves around serial killer Victor Karosky, a pedophilic priest whose resume includes many violent and repulsive acts. Karosky is stalking the cardinals in line to be Pope John Paul II’s successor and after the discovery of a second victim crime Inspector Paola Dicanti, of the Italian violent crime unit is called in. However, to her dismay she finds that a new and mysterious ally, one Anthony Fowler, a former priest and American intelligence operative is already aware of the killer’s identity.  

Given that Gomez-Jurado uses the sex scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic church is nothing to be surprised about but it is interesting to note that not only is the crime solver American, the shady conspirator American but also the serial killing priest is American. Overall though the story is gripping with a lot of twists and turns that leave the reader wanting more. 

In everyday essence, however, I did find some of the character development a little on the thin side but the character’s psychological profiles were interesting. Thankfully, there was no gratuitous sex or language thrown at the reader and while the violence was vividly described it was told in such a way that it was important to the story. Additionally, I found that some spots that were hindered by translation problems were somewhat distracting.  

To generalize the overall message of the book would be impossible as it was a combination of what one might expect if you combined aspects of the DaVinci Code with Red Dragon while throwing in Ted Bundy and Hannibal Lechter with a touch of Cherise.In other words, it was a wonderfully done tale of pedophilia, incest, and torture done with a plot that galloped along at the insanely incredible pace of the Four Horsemen. Overall, however I felt that for a first debut Gomez-Jurado managed to create a first-rate thriller.[tags]God’s Spy, Gomez-Jurado, DaVinci Code, fiction, novel, Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church, cardinals, Pope Paul II, John Negroponte, Spanish novel, Red Dragon, Four Horsemen, Hannibal Lechter, Cherise, murder, conspiracy, pedophilia, sexual child abuse, torture, suspense, thriller[/tags]

Racial Bigotry, Gruesome Murder, and Drug Transporting Nuns All Come Together in Naked Prey by John Sandford

True to form, John Sandford in Naked Prey presents us with another gripping tale of suspense in which Twin Cities Detective Lucas Davenport works to uncover the mystery behind the seemingly racially motivated murder of Jane Warr (a white woman) and Dion Cash (an Afro-American man). In the process he must uncover the mystery surrounding a cloister of nuns, a car chopping racket and valiantly protect twelve-year-old Letty from the psychotic villain who is stalking her.

Sandford’s writing technique is unmatched and his ability to describe the scene brings you into the story as if you actually participating in the events taking place. Furthermore, his characters are fleshed out to the point where you really care what happens to them like Lettie West, the fatherless daughter of the town’s drunk who is wise beyond her years.

The complicated cast of characters must be closely followed, however, as first one and then another murder is committed only to find out that different people and motives were responsible for the killings. However, to unravel all the threads Lucas must dig to uncover the town’s deep, dark secrets. One problem in the story bothered me, however, and that was when Letty was allowed to return to the area where she had been stalked and shot without any type of police protection despite the fact that the man trying to silence her was still at large.

Naked Prey is written in typical John Sandford style with easily read dialogue and characterizations that make it a great mystery filled with secrets that revealed layer by layer. The reader will also find the various schemes that are interwoven, as well as, independent of the original murders fascinating causing the reader to continue reading late into the night. I can only say that this book once again reminds the reader of how well a mystery can be written when the author takes the time to write a first class novel instead of racing to get another book on the market. It is clearly one of the best books written by John Sandford and one that mystery readers should take notice of.

[tags]fiction, murder, mystery, suspense, Racial bigotry, drugs, nuns, Naked Prey, John Sandford, book review, Lucas Davenport, Twin Cities, Police investigator, Detective story[/tags]

See Where Fanatical Obsession Leads in Obsession by Lisa Jackson

With its sizzling romance and mystery Obsession is another winner for New York Times best selling author, Lisa Jackson. From the onset the author draws us in as we empathize with estranged lovers Zane Flannery and Kaylie Melville.

Kaylie a former child movie star currently hosts TV’s West Coast Morning with her former co-star of the movie Obsession, Alan Bently. Self-absorbed Bently is wrapped up in regaining his movie star status by romantically linking his name to Kaylie and then working behind the scenes to replay the tragic events that occurred at the premiere of the original film.

Zane and Kaylie have a long history that began when at 17 Kaylie’s parents determined that she needed a bodyguard and hired 21-year-old, Zane Flannery to protect her. For several years this arrangements worked but eventually the couple’s attraction to each other combined with the death of Kaylie’s parents resulted in their getting married during the filming of her movie Obsession. Until then, Zane had been somewhat over protective but when Kaylie was attacked by fanatical fan, Lee Johnston, at the movie’s premiere, Zane became obsessed with protecting Kaylie to the point that he made her feel a prisoner and she divorced him.

Despite the divorce, however, neither of them had been able to move on with their lives and after seven years Zane, still passionately in love with Kaylie, is once again confronted with protecting her from Lee Johnston who it is rumored is due to be released from the mental asylum where he has been housed since the original attack. Having had no contact with Kaylie since their divorce Zane nonetheless determines that he will do anything to keep her safe even it causes her to hate him for the rest of her life.

Overall, Obsession has a little romance, a little suspense, but nothing too challenging or requiring much brainpower to figure out what is going to happen next. Obsession is, however, an easy and enjoyable read for a lazy afternoon when you want the chance to just lay out in the sun and relax.

[tags]Lisa Jackson, Obsession, mystery, suspense, romance, book review, fiction, thriller[/tags]

Corrupt Politicians, Crazy Vets Come Together in Black Friday by James Patterson

James Patterson’s Black Friday is a dramatically contemporary vision of a stock market thrown into chaos; a terrifying look at what one group of saboteurs could do to the western economy by destroying some of Wall Street’s key financial institutions.

Protagonists include Arch Carroll, head of the CIA’s antiterrorist division, and Caitlin Dylan, director of enforcement for the SEC, who team up both professionally and romantically, to locate the “Green Band” terrorists before they can strike again. However, who comprises the group, and what their motives are, since they have no specific demands, continue to be a mystery even as a roller coaster ride of suspects are introduced.

With no real clues as to the identity of the “Green Band” brigade, Arch and Caitlyn are first led to trail former colonel David Hudson and his ragtag band of vengeance-seeking Vietnam veterans. However, don’t assume that the action begins and ends with them as Patterson manages to orchestrate the story to involve another group, more dangerous than “Green Band,” thus leaving you uncertain until the end who the bad guys really are. Additionally, the reader watches as Arch tracks Francois Montserrat, an elusive terrorist only to discover that he is much closer than he could ever have imagined.

On the negative side was that even at the end of the book I was still unclear as to why New York was bombed, how the money was stolen, and how the stolen money was used. I also felt that the conclusion cold have been better laid out with explanations as to what happened to our hero cop and in the end did the bad guys achieve their objective. Also what about Francois, why was even brought into the story when he isn’t mentioned again, almost as an afterthought, until the Epilogue.

Overall I thought Patterson did a good job with Black Friday, which was first published in 1986, but after reading this novel and the Alex Cross series, I would conclude that Patterson is highly suspect of the government and their motives. However, Black Friday is full of intrigue that will especially captivate male audiences while still giving women a slightly romantic twist for their enjoyment.

[tags]Corrupt politicians, war veterans,Viet Nam, James Patterson, Black Friday, fiction, mystery, suspense, book review, stock market, economic crisis, Wall Street, terrorism, terrorist, Green band, bombing[/tags]

In a Dark House by Deborah Crombie

Deborah Crombie’s In a Dark House is a continuation of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series that succeeds on at least three levels.

First, having set the novel in England, Crombie skillfully develops the historic and contemporary meaning of Southwark in such a manner that the American reader who is not familiar with the English countryside can see it in their mind’s eye. Everything from the architectural details, the anomalies of language, and the anecdotes of days gone by provide a rich and believable backdrop to a setting that informs while avoiding drowning the reader in meaningless detail. Second, the intertwining plots require all the characters to run into each other as they struggle to solve their individual mysteries. Though nuanced, the questions at the story’s center differentiate themselves so well and Crombie so conscientiously wraps up each of the plots that the reader is anxious to savor the final pages.

Lastly, Crombie excels with her characters, showing a rich diversity in each character, as well as, between them; but what most interested this reviewer was how the authoress was able to show how well or how poorly the characters were able to respond to the difficulties life threw at them. Another aspect that made this book memorable was the manner in which the characters responded to each other in the light of the difficulties faced by themselves or by the people, they were dealing with.

This is Crombie’s 10th book starring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his lover/partner Detective Inspector Gemma James. In this episode the duo are faced with the case of a serial arsonist who is suspected of escalating to murder when a nude, charred female corpse is discovered among the remains of a burned warehouse. With no clue as to whom the dead woman was, Duncan and Gemma find themselves embroiled in an investigation that involves everything from the disappearance of ten-year-old Harriet Novak (a pawn in her parent’s acrimonious divorce), her mother Laura, and three other missing females all from the local area.

The author also takes the opportunity to introduce us to Rose Kearny, a young, eager firefighter who stumbled upon the burned corpse while working the fire and eventually comes up with a theory that explains the arsonist’s unusual motive. Given her introduction, this reviewer wonders if we will not be enjoying additional visits from her in Crombie’s future offerings.

However, the book does not concentrate solely on the fire, using it only as a springboard to a connect the dots puzzle as fire investigators and police officials race against time to untangle all the clues and find the imperiled Harriet before she too becomes a statistic of a psychopathic killer.

This is a fine English style murder mystery, that begins by taking the reader on a kaleidoscope journey filled with swirling colors and shapes that finally settle into a recognizable pattern as Crombie propels the reader to a somewhat satisfied ending that leaves them eagerly anticipating the next foray into the lives of Kincaid and James. So while in lesser hands, this novel might have degenerated into a confusing and melodramatic jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces Crombie masterfully delineates each character clearly and succinctly, as she weaves the various plot threads together with a sure and deft touch.

[tags]book review, book report, fiction, English literary style, In a Dark House, Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid, Gemma James, Southwark, England, arson, murder, kidnapping, suspense, mystery [/tags]

Electrifying Suspense Thriller – Final Scream by Lisa Jackson

New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Jackson, once again produces a tense action-packed thriller that will enthrall readers from the moment that Cassidy learns you cannot come home until the climatic confrontation with the killer. This haunting story begins with an inferno that sears the night, snuffing out lives and dreams, and leaves a killer go unpunished for the next seventeen years until they once again feel threatened and slash out at the innocent victims of Prosperity, Oregon.

The tale revolves around journalist, Cassidy Buchanan, who at sixteen suffered the loss of her older half-sister, Angie Buchanan and her unborn child. With no leads as to who was responsible for the arson fire that took her life and that of Jed Baker, the case was closed but now, seventeen years later, the arsonist strikes again injuring both Cassidy’s husband, Chase McKenzie, and a John Doe. With Cassidy being the only link between the original fire and a new one that takes the life of another victim towns folk could have been responsible for the fires or if she had also been an intended victim that had been lucky enough to escape with her life. Meanwhile Cassidy’s teenage crush, Brig McKenzie, who had been a suspect in the arson returns vowing to keep the woman he never stopped loving safe while readers can’t wait to learn if the killer gets his/her wish, to hear Cassidy’s FINAL SCREAM before dying.

Jackson is a master of suspense and manages to create characters that are both full and rich while fully exploring all the emotions that an extremely dysfunctional family could experience. The only surprise I found was that much of the book spent time exploring past events while covering the current events in much less detail. This was particularly evident in Brig and Cassidy’s relationship since it never focused on an adult love relationship but rather tried to get the reader to assume that their young love was enough to bring the adult one into fruition. Fortunately, the mystery was great and the villain was presented in such a manner that they were neither too obvious nor too obscure making it a quite enjoyable read.

[tags]Electrifying, Suspense, Lisa Jackson, Final Scream, Prosperity Oregon, arson, murder, fiction, book review, book report[/tags]

Have You Seen Her? by Karen Rose

Karen Rose’s Have You Seen Her? offers heart-racing thrills, both in the bedroom and the forensics lab, making this second romantic intrigue from Rose a showcase for her growing talent. In this work of fiction Rose has created complex and realistic characters in high school teacher Jenna Marshall and Special Agent Steven Thatcher but using the entire cast of characters she manages to present a great story that includes the woes of Steven’s sons Brad and Nicky, as well as, many others.

Set in High Point, North Carolina, Thatcher finds himself floundering in the midst of his investigation of a serial killer who is kidnapping and then murdering young cheerleaders in a heinous manner, while he attempts to deal with his home life that seems to be spiraling out of control.

One of Steven’s home issues deals with his seventeen-year-old son, Brad, whose difficulties extend into the classroom where Dr. Jenna Marshall, worries about his falling chemistry grades and sets up an appointment with Steven to discuss them. At their meeting Jenna and Steven find themselves mutually attracted to one another but the romance doesn’t heat up until strange accidents and vandalism begin to befall Jenna, after she flunks one of the football team’s major players. Only then, fearing for Jenna’s safety, does Steve admit his feeling for her and take it upon himself to protect her. However, one problem I had with this part of the story was why Steve, after declaring that Jenna needed around the clock protection, would leave her sitting alone for hours at the school instead of sending someone else to get her? Oh well, just one of those unanswered questions but I suppose not important in the long scheme of things. 

Otherwise, Have You Seen Her? is romantic suspense action at it’s best, with a dark overtone and while it’s loosely connected to Karen’s other books, every one is a complete story by itself containing enough twists and turns to keep you guessing who the killer is until the end of the book. Therefore, if you like romantic thrillers be sure to keep your eyes open for Rose’s next book, Count To Ten, that is due out soon.  

[tags]Have You Seen Her?, Karen Rose, romantic thriller, action, suspense, murder, cheerleaders, football, kidnapping, fiction[/tags]

A Wicked Snow

A WICKED SNOW is New York Times Bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s riveting fiction debut that shows his great agility in the field of writing. If anything this fictionalized drama was even better than his other offering in that while reading like a true crime novel he was able to incorporate the thoughts and introspection of the people involved giving it an intense feeling of truth. As with his other books, Gregg Olsen specializes in notorious women, having previously researched some horrific crimes and he uses this knowledge to create truly believable characters.


The story is set twenty years after Hannah Griffin, now a CSI investigator, escaped the notorious Christmas Eve house fire that claimed her family and turned up almost two dozen other bodies buried in their yard; though the case remains unsolved, Hannah’s mother, Claire Logan, is the de facto prime suspect.  Since those events, Hannah, a devoted wife and mother, has tried to forget the horrors of that night and build a new life in
Santa Louisa, California, with her husband, Ethan Griffin, and their daughter, Amber. Then one day, her world is turned upside down, as she is hurtled back into the past when she receives a box with the shoes of her dead brothers, some artifacts from the long-ago trial that convicted a hapless handyman as the arsonist, and a phone message with the words: “Your mother called”.  Besieged by fear Hannah reunites with Special Agent Jeff Bauer (the agent who worked the case twenty years ago), and they begin an investigation to find out if Claire is still alive and if so to bring her to justice. Throughout Hannah and Agent Bauer are very believable and as the story progresses, each develops in realistic ways to the stresses of the case.

Within the book, the author weaves in a couple of subplots that amplify the potentially catastrophic consequences of maternal deficiency that includes several red herrings, and courtroom dramas that Olsen handles with assurance and flair. Overall, it is a book with two stories the first being the one of Hannah trying to piece together her shattered past and the second her investigation to determine if her mother is still alive or if she did in fact perish in the fire twenty years ago. A Wicked Snow offers dark, heavy atmospheric suspense that will suck you into the story showing once again what a superb author Gregg Olsen is. Definitely, a top-notch thriller with plots twists and the portrayal of police procedures that will take you on a roller coaster ride of suspense and intrigue that will keep you up late into the night.

[tags]A Wicked Snow, Gregg Olsen, suspense, police procedural, murder, serial killer, fiction, mystery, debut fiction, thriller,women serial killers[/tags]

Shiver – Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson’s Shiver once again highlights the skill of this New York Times Bestselling author as she tells a tale cloaked in subtle darkness that includes elements of murder, lust, and secrecy among those who have pledged to protect the weaker members of society. Painted with her usual atmospheric brush Jackson focuses more on Chastain than Montoya, yet Montoya is a brooding, attractive presence as he draws in the killer and pirouettes around Chastain as they’re pulled slowly yet inexorably closer, and Chastain becomes the penultimate target of a killer who is as mysterious and brutal as he is clever and cunning.

The book centers around Abby Chastain, who, at the age of fifteen, witnessed her mother’s plunge to death from the third story window of a mental institution where she was a patient. This event, which twenty years later she still cannot remember in its entirety, is still causing her terrible nightmares and has shaped her entire life from her strained family relationships through a recent bitter divorce causing her to believe that she going crazy. However, the real focus of the story is not on the death of Abby’s mother but on a current series of murders that all seem to have a connection to the old hospital that has recently been scheduled for demolition.  Investigating the murder is Detective Rueben Montoya, who’s Aunt, Sister Maria, is a nun at the convent that shares the grounds of the old hospital. As the murders and investigation continue, it seems as if everyone holds a piece to the puzzle but no one has been willing to bring any of the information to light. Of course this would not be a Lisa Jackson tale without some romance so as would be expected Montoya falls for our protagonist, who is recently divorced from Luke a shock jock at the local radio station, and does all within his power to protect her as he is convinced that she will also be a target. After Luke mortifies and incenses Abby over the radio, he ends up dead in the arms of a young virgin in what appears at first glance to be a murder/suicide, placing Abby at the top of the suspect list. Meanwhile, however, Montoya quickly realizes that this is the work of a serial killer but believes that Abby is somehow an integral part of the killer’s motivation, and begins to fear that if he does not find out what Abby is withholding they both might end up dead.
Jackson does a great job of keeping the killer concealed throwing out numerous possible suspects and making the killer’s inspired MO clever and ingenious.

Shiver is obviously one in a series of books written by Jackson, but Lisa Jackson is one of those authors with the ability to balance compelling characters, a plot that dials up the thrill index, just the right mix of romance and a setting that makes a difference. However, in Shiver, the intensity seems more like a roller coaster Thriller than
Jackson’s usually pegged Romantic Suspense. The only fault I found with the book was its poor editing, which caused me to stop and reread several portions of the text to ensure that I understood what was supposed to be happening.
Overall, I still thoroughly enjoyed Shiver and feel that it is a prime example of how a talented writer can broaden the horizons and appeal of her work for disparate audiences.

[tags]Siver, Lisa Jackson, fiction, mystery, religion, murder, suspense, romance, romatic suspense, thriller[/tags]

The Alibi Man – by Tami Hoag

The Alibi Man, by Tami Hoag is another of her exciting suspense thrillers that one can expect to see on the New York Times bestseller list. In this book, her protagonist is Elena Estes, a former cop turned horse trainer, who, while still believing in justice, has no ideals left about the justice system that the rich so easily manipulate. Elena is physically healed from the wounds she sustained while working on a meth-lab bust, in Hoag’s novel Dark Horse, but has yet to recover emotionally from causing another officer’s death and has been living and working at her best friend’s horse farm. As she strives to put her life back together she find herself drawn back into her life as both a policewoman and needing to face her socially privileged class that now look down on her for taking a job that they deem beneath her status in life.

The Alibi Man begins with Elena Estes discovering a woman’s body in a canal only to come to find out that the victim is her beautiful, vibrant co-worker Irina who had been missing for two days. Swearing to wreak vengeance on the perpetrator of this horrible crime Elena finds her search leads to the crème de la crème of Palm Beach society and the powerbrokers who hang out at the pony polo fields. Reverting to her police training Elena joins forces with her former lover, Detective James Landry, and begins an investigation into Irina’s friends and acquaintances. One of the people she investigates is Russian Mafioso, Alexi Kulack who demands to know who killed the love of his life. However, it isn’t until Irina’s friend, Lisbeth, is assaulted that Elena realizes that both Irina’s murder and Lisbeth’s assault are connected to the Alibi Club who’s powerful and corrupt members believe they are entitled to anything they want and no one has a right to question them. They are all wealthy socialites from the highest ranks of the polo-playing crowd and provide alibis for each other whenever the situation warrants it. To make matters worse, Elena’s father to whom she hasn’t spoken in twenty years is the club’s lawyer and her ex-finance Bennett Walker, a club member, becomes one of her suspects since he had at one time needed an alibi to prevent him from being prosecuted for the rape of another woman.

The subplot involves the romantic relationship between Landrey, who is still in love with Elena, and Elena as they seek to find Irina’s killer, placing Elena at odds with her old life, with her new lover, and with herself. However, this gripping tale could very well get Elena killed since
Palm Beach society will do every thing they can to cover up the truth.

The Alibi Man is a great mystery with interesting characters that include the ultra-rich, the polo and horse communities, residents in upscale
Palm Beach, and the Russian Mafia. It a book that layers the story and character development is complex manner keeping the reader guessing until the end who is behind the crime. Additionally, I love Hoag’s descriptive style and the way she makes you feel as if you are a part of the scene. A must read for all Tami Hoag’s fans.

[tags]The Alibi Man, Tami Hoag, Mystery, Russian mob, Palm Springs, murder, suspense, Dark Horse, society manipulation[/tags]

American Detective by Loren D. Estleman

Estleman in his novel American Detective, the 17th novel in a series that he began in 1980, has done a superb job in creating private eye, Amos Walker. Estleman’s Walker is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler’s classic gumshoe, Philip Marlowe in that Walker defies authority, works without a side kick, and wisecracks in the face of danger. The differences, however, are just important in that Walker carries more scars from getting shot and beaten than Marlowe and instead of walking 1930s/1940s San Francisco or Los Angeles, he treads the downtrodden street of today’s decaying city of Detroit.  

To bring his protagonist to life Estelman gives Walker the persona of an old time cop who is bewildered by computers, opts to be politically incorrect, and nostalgically pines for the old days when MoTown was hot and the Ford plant held
America’s heartbeat.

Narrating his tale from the detective’s point of view, the story begins when Walker is hired by Darius Fuller, a retired Detroit Tigers pitcher who is concerned about the scumbag his daughter, Deirdre, is engaged to.  Darius believes that the sleazy boyfriend, Hilary Bairn is only dating Deirdre to gain access to the 2 million dollar trust fund she is due to gain access to in a matter of weeks. Sadly, before
can offer Bairn Fullers intended bribe to get him to leave Deirdre, she is found dead in Bairn’s apartment, a death that may be connected to an illegal-immigrant smuggler and worse yet, an international organ-legging conspiracy.

After encountering cops at Bairn’s apartment, Walker is led to a meeting with a casino owner, who tells him Bairn owed money to a loan shark, who in turn Walker that he is not the only one after Bairn.  Soon Walker finds himself on the run from crooked cops and vile gangsters and every time
Walker thinks he’s solved the case, he finds out he is farther from the truth than when he started.

Estleman is one of the few writer’s out there who can honestly be an heir to Raymond Chandler’s classic gumshoe, Philip Marlowe so if you haven’t ever read one of Estleman’s books you are in for a exciting and enjoyable experience.  

[tags]American Detective, Loren D. Estleman, Suspense, Murder, mystery, private investigator, crooked cops, international organ selling, immigrant smuggling ring[/tags]