Friday, September 27, 2013

Triptych, Karin Slaughter

If I only had one word to describe this book it would be "lonely."

Everyone is just so damn lonely.

This is the first book of the Will Trent series. Now, I mentioned in my review for Beyond Reach we were leaving the Grant County series for a bit. This is why. See, Slaughter merged Grant County into Will Trent, but not until the 3rd book of the Trent series. So, I have a bit of catching up to do before we get more news about the Grant County folk. I'm not sure if there will be any more Grant County only books, to be honest. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So, a triptych is one of those art pieces that's in 3 panels. Likewise, this book is written in three parts, from 3 points of view. We don't get into Will's head until the 3rd part actually.

The first part is that of a cop who seems perilously close to burnout. He doesn't seem to care much about the job - and a police work is not the kind of thing people do for the money. And his home life is pretty much a shambles. He and his wife can't stand each other and their son is stressing them and their bank accounts out due to his special needs.

Then there's John - he gets part 2. Man, his loneliness seriously kills you. He was arrested and convicted of rape and murder when he was 15. Sentenced as an adult. At 16 he was thrown into a prison where he was fresh meat. He's out on parole now and his life is pretty shitty. He got his college degree in prison, but the best job he can get is a car wash. His sister can't stand the sight of him. And he lives in constant fear of being sent back. That's not even taking into account what a bastard his father is.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter

Ok, kids, we're doing this one a little differently.

I give a general spoiler warning in the blog intro/description, but I still try to be conscientious of what I give away. I only usually call them out in my reviews if they're pretty obvious and I'm being facetious.

However, as I also say in my review, these aren't meant to be a synopsis of the book, but I do have to give some sort of run down in order to make the parts I want to talk about make sense.

But, in order to discuss this amazeballs book honestly, I need to reveal a huge spoiler.

Which brings me to the different part. Normally, I put the page break in mostly for space and try to place it where it makes you want to read the rest of the review. Because of this major spoiler, I'm placing the break after this intro.

This really was a great book (with and without spoilers), and I absolutely would tell you to read this and the whole Grant County series (in order). But, if you're not like me and a major spoiler ruins it for you, makes you want to not read something, do yourself a favor: Read this book, then come back and read my review.

If not....keep reading....if you dare...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Faithless, Karin Slaughter

Well, the Lena break was short lived.

And the Sara/Jeffery peace was short lived, too.

They've decided to move in together, so that's a step forward. But just as all seems right in the world, something else comes down on them. What was it I said in the Indelible review? They keep getting things thrown at them, testing them, but they keep making it work. Well, this time it's hepatitis. (Read the review for Indelible, and others, 
on my blog.)

Yeah, you read that right, hepatitis, as in the STD. Remember that little...*ahem* indiscretion, that ended his marriage with Sara the first time around? Yeah, the other woman called to tell him she had Hepatitis and he needs to get tested. Jeffery waits almost a week before telling Sara, making any excuse he can to stay away from her, and out of her bed. Her assumption, of course is that he's having another affair.

While chasing after a pissed off Sara, they stumble, literally, over a pipe jutting out of the ground. A pipe that leads to a coffin with the body of a young girl in it.

And the games begin.

They trace the body back to a farm and church out in the boonies. It gives off the cult vibe like no body's business. A big family, where the women folk do women things, and the men folk are in control. They take in at risk people: addicts, homeless, runways. The kind of people cults love.

Now, one of the family is found in a box.

Can you say "suspicious"?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Indelible, Karin Slaughter

This. Was. Awesome.

It was When Sara Met Jeffery up in here.

I needed a breather from Lena, and Grant County #4 gave it to me. OK, she was in it, but not to the extent she has been. Basically, what you need to know is she's back on the force and she's still seeing that asswipe, Ethan Green. I still think she's gonna end up dead. *sigh* At least we know she didn't kill Chuck now. She's covering for Ethan, but she's not a murderer. Small comfort.

We start out with a bang, literally. Two men walk into the police station and start shooting. Sara is there trying to talk to Jeffery. They're on the outs. Jeffery has asked Sara to marry him several times, and she keeps brushing him off, but she also wants to keep seeing him.

There's really 2 stories here, the one in the present, the hostage situation, and the one in the past, the When Sara Met Jeffery Situation. We keep bouncing between the two.

And of course they tie together.

When Sara and Jeffery first start dating, they took a trip. It had been planned as a trip to the beach in FL, but Jeffery really took Sara to his home. We've briefly seen his hometown in Book 2, Kisscut, but this is a real in depth look at where Jeffery comes from, and who he is because of it.

We find out when he was a teen, he was suspected of the rape of one of his classmates. She recanted, and nothing ever came of it, but then she went missing. Actually, Jeffery wasn't the only one accused. His friend, Robert, was actually accused first. Then , when Jeffery says Robert was with him, so couldn't have raped her, she says they both raped her. The whole story kind of hinges on Robert, actually.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Faint Cold Fear, Karin Slaughter

Lena, Lena, Lena. Jesus. *sigh*

Ok, so in book 3 of Grant County, Lena has left the police force. She would say she was pushed out. She never met Jeffery's requirement for staying on: seeing a professional. Well, she did, but in typical Lena fashion, it was after she left and she didn't want to tell Jeffery because she thought he'd judge her. *eye roll* Which makes no sense because he was pushing her to do it. In actuality, he gave her an ultimatum, and she gave him her badge and gun. It was her choice to go.

*Sigh again*

So, we see her in this book at the site of what looks like  a suicide working for campus security. And of course she's miserable. Chuck, the head of the security, is pretty much a dick, so that doesn't help matters. The whole situation is pretty awkward.

So the case revolves around a number of suicides. The first, seems odd, but there's nothing specific to point to to call it suspicious, let alone murder. It just escalates from there, the killer getting more and more careless.

Honestly, the case isn't that important. I mean, it structures the book, but it's not the primary point. This is what I think of as a set up book. The character development is the point, not the case. The killer was a slight surprise, as his presence in the previous books didn't indicate him being a psycho.

The real story here is Lena's continued downward spiral. While working on campus, she meets Ethan Green, a grad student, and starts a relationship with him. And OH! what a clusterfuck it is!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kisscut, Karin Slaughter

Grant County continues...And everyone needs freakin' therapy.

This one was so sad. It starts with the death of a young girl, at Jeffery's hands. She's pointing a gun at a boy a bit older than her and threatening to shoot him. Jeffery has no other choice. Still it tears him up and he constantly second guesses himself for the rest of the book.

As you meet the kids who knew the girl, Jenny, you start to realize there is something seriously wrong. Especially after meeting her intended victim, Mark.

There's this one part that is so reminiscent of the recent Steubenville horrors, that is gives you chills. Heartbreaking. And this predates Steubenville by a lot.

Sara is still dancing around Jeffery. They're actually planning on having dinner when Jenny threatens Mark. Well, actually, Jeffery leaves Sara to answer a page and she goes into the bathroom where she finds a murdered infant - someone gave birth and immediately killed the baby. Sara had seen Jenny come out of the bathroom and, after seeing if it's possible to save the baby, goes after her. She finds the standoff and sees Jeffery give in to his only choice.

 Jeffery needs to see someone to deal with his actions, and they need couples therapy if they're going to make this second chance work. Sara can't let go of Jeffery's affair/one night stand. She can't let it go and he can't keep apologizing.

Lena is obviously still struggling with her rape and kidnapping. She's back on the job with the caveat that she see a therapist, which she conveniently "hasn't done yet." I really hope she does. These kinds of stories always talk about therapy and how the characters need it, but never actually have their characters do it. Then the character manages to just pull themselves out. It's really annoying. That's not how it works for 98% of the population. People need help! Therapy doesn't make you weak or crazy.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blindsighted, Karin Slaughter

It's series time again! This is actually a recommendation from a friend, and boy! was she right on.

I've been feeling like a binge read for a while now, and when the new Karin Slaughter came out, my friend was obsessed. So, when it was time to pick a new read, I thought I'd give the Grant County series a shot so I can catch up.

I completely understand her obsession now!

So, this is obviously book one. It's a mystery/thriller series taking place in Grant County, GA (Hey, that's the name of the series, too!!) where coroner and pediatrician, Sara, and her ex-husband and police chief, Jeffery, live and fight crime (couldn't help myself). Now, there is a...reconciliation brewing, but don't let that trick you into thinking this was a romance. It's all mystery/thriller. (Though I did call the killer right from his first appearance. :D booyah!)

So, the shit hits the fan when Sara comes across the body of a local woman in the bathroom. She's been stabbed and raped, and despite Sara's best efforts, she dies. To make things more difficult, the victims sister, Lena, is on the force. Jeffery's partner actually.

Now, as I said: Not a romance. But I do have to go over that part of the plot because it feeds into the murders (yup, the woman in the bathroom was just the beginning).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Except the Queen, Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder

I love this.

It's really good. And really different from the way I think most fantasy is structured.

The main characters are Sparrow and Robin, but unlike most fantasies, it's all told from the point of view of two sisters who stumble into Sparrow and Robins life.

Let me back up here...

Serena and Meteora are sisters and fairies. The catch the Queen in a *ahem* compromising position - she's gettin' busy with a mortal. The manage to keep the secret for a while, but eventually Meteora spills the beans. By accident, sure, but she's always struggled with keeping it a secret anyway.

The Queen finds out who "sullied" her name, and banishes the sisters to the mortal world. Serena to NYC and Meteora to Milwaukee. Their journeys bring them in contact with the main characters. Serena meets Robin while his band is playing in the park. Meteora lives in Baba Yaga's house with Sparrow.

Sparrow is an emo chick who's had a really rough life. She only vaguely remembers her mother and her father was abusive in every sense of the word. She's been on the run ever since - she knows she's different.

Robin is (obviously) a musician. Unfortunately for him, he knows exactly who his parents are. He loved him mom, who was raped and destroyed by this father, Red Cap. If you're unfamiliar with Red Cap, he kills innocents and soaks his cap in their blood, making it a red cap. He's part of the Unseelie Court. Robin isn't, he's not deemed worthy. His father treats him as a dog. Literally.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Backfire, Catherine Coulter

OK, last R-A-R read.

This is part of the FBI Thriller series. I always find these fairly enjoyable. Primarily because they're fairly ridiculous. They're always light, easy reads - despite the fairly large number of casualties.

I liked this one especially because it brought back good ol' Judge Dredd, aka Ramsey Hunt. We first meet him in The Target, just after he's earned that moniker. His courtroom is invaded by drug dealers with automatic weapons. He gets a little pissed and takes them out himself. Hence: Judge Dredd.

We meet him while he's on vacation, getting away from the media coverage of his heroics. While there, he finds little Emma, who was kidnapped by a psychotic pedophile. I actually felt really bad for Emma (yes, I know she's a fictional character), poor girl kept thinking she was safe and then got slammed with more. Oh, and her grandfather is a Chicago crime boss. And of course Emma's Mom, Molly, and Ramsey fall in love.

The series main characters are Sherlock and Savich - a married FBI agent couple. One aspect of the series I like is that the author isn't afraid to minimize Savich/Sherlock's role in the story. While they did that in The Target, not so much here. Here, we start with a very vague threat to Savich "for what you did, you deserve this." Right after, Ramsey is shot, very nearly killed.