Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Michael Connelly: The Brass Verdict

This is the second book in Michael Connelly's Mickey  Haller series, so you will need to read the first book The Lincoln Lawyer before this one (not only because it is a good read) but the first book really sets up who Mickey is and how he works.

Mickey Haller has been out of the courtroom and just when he is looking to get back into the courtroom when the ultimate prize falls into his lap. He inherits a law firm from a friend who was just murdered. Mickey may not feel great about his friend's murder but he receives the grand prize of  the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. As Haller dives into the case he discovers that his friend's murderer may have his eyes on him next and it all centers around Walter Elliott. Mickey is also going to encounter a rough detective named Harry Bosch who is determined to prove that all lawyers are hiding something and lawyers are good for one thing, Bait, but Bosch cannot guarantee that Mickey will come out alive.

I always forget how much I love lawyer books (that are well done) especially when the main character come alive in the courtroom. This book is a good mix of mystery and suspense as Mickey finds out pretty soon that he may be on someone's hit list, so this does lead to some tense moments. The mystery is also well thought out and while I did not think that this book was as good or shocking as the Lincoln Lawyer, but it was still a good read.

Mickey is just getting back on his feet after his last case almost killed him (literally) and he is looking to make a fresh start at his practice and his life. What I really like about Mickey is he leaves no stone unturned, he tries to find out every aspect of the case even it may hinder him in the end. He also comes alive as a character in the courtroom which is what you want in a lawyer based novel and personally my favourite parts in these types of books.

I read some of Connelly's Bosch series many years ago way before Lincon Lawyer and I always enjoyed them, so I found it interesting that Connelly decided to bring the two together in this novel. Maybe it was to help Micky's series along as Bosch has a loyal fan base, but if you were to pick this book up just because of Bosch I think that you will be disappointed. Bosch is very much a secondary character in this novel and none of the book is told form his point of view. You only get Micky's impression and interactions with him and a pretty big bomb drop at the end that I did not see coming.

This book was a good follow up to the first novel, though I did find it interesting that Connelly decided to introduce Bosch. I also think that Connelly used a lot of his shock power in the first book and had this one follow a similar format as the first book, so I was not that surprised in the end as I was in the first book in this series.

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2011/06/michael-connelly-lincoln-lawyer.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2011/08/joseph-finder-high-crimes.html 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Amber Lynn Natusch: Unseen

There is a first book in this series, Unborn, that you will want to read before this book as it is the start of Khara's mystery into who she is as well as builds the relationships that she has in the second book.

Welcome to the underworld, where Hades rules and Khara feels more at home than she does during her time above. Khara has returned to the land of the dead to seek answers as to what she is and who her mother is as well. The underworld is a place of secrets and it takes more than a few questions to pry the truth from those who reside there living or dead. Khara journey started out just for her but her outcome is going to affect everything above and below.

I really really dislike it when I am unable to finish a book and I really do try to finish reading every book that I start reading even when I want to throw it against the wall in frustration. However, there are times when I just cannot do it and unfortunately Unseen has fallen on to my DNF shelf. I made it more than halfway though the book, I think I only have maybe 80 pages left but I kept thinking that I could be spending my time reading something I enjoy. 

The first book in this series was not my favorite but the book ended with a cliffhanger that had me wanting to come back, plus I knew this book was going to be set in the underworld which were the parts I enjoyed in the first book so I thought that Natusch would build upon this positive of the first book. However Natusch never really built the underworld, I never got a sense of what the underworld looked liked according to Natusch or even how it felt there other than Khara feeling at home.

This book had a lot less action/fighting in this book and I felt like the book/plot just went in circles as I was reading it. The plot was mainly executed by Khara running around the underworld looking for answers, never really finding them, then people telling her she should be looking for answers and then she starts out again to search for answers and then people telling her should be looking for answers and then she starts out again to search for answers (I am well aware that I repeated myself there, just trying to make my point).

Natusch has some interesting ideas and I think if the premise was executed in a different way this book would be a winner, but the lack of anything happening in this book and lack of world building (I mean there are so many options and ideas that you could have to create a vivid image of the underworld) that I just could not finish this book and will not continue on in this series.

Instead of This,
Check These Out:
  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/07/anne-bishop-written-in-red.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2013/02/cassie-alexander-nightshifted.html

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Allison Brennan: Love Me to Death

Allison Brennan introduces a reader to a serial killer who will stop at nothing in order to make the perfect woman:

Lucy Kincaid is a survivor, she has been tested to the extreme and has survived. This has shaped her into the person that she has become and aspiring FBI agent and volunteer to help located, lure and arrest sex offenders online, but her life is about to turn deadly once again. Lucy discovers that she has been used as a pawn in a vigilante group who act out their own justice on sex offenders but their actions make Lucy look like the killer. This should not be Lucy's only worry, in the shadows she is being watched, she has caught the attention of the wrong man and he will stop at nothing the make Lucy his.

I read a previous series by Brennan quite a few years ago and I remember liking them, so I decided to give another of her series a try.I think that this book had great potential as the premise had some very interesting aspects and I was curious to see how Brennan would bring it all together and while I think she was able to the mystery aspect was too rushed. I found that there was too much of relationshipness in this book and not enough trying to solve the mystery or even being aware of the new danger that surrounds Lucy. Everything in this book was secondary to Lucy and Sean's relationship which was another one where they basically just jump into romance (not my favourite type). This focus on the relationship hindered the entire story and many aspects of the premise that I thought would be interesting.

I feel like I missed part of Lucy's story that everyone keeps referring back to her kidnapping, rape and almost murder but you as the reader don't know the full story. There was a full investigation that has happened before this book that I did not know anything about. I feel like there was another book that I should have read before this one, I think it might be in one of Brennan's other series. For a standalone read (or beginning of a new series) there was a lot of reference to another book and events that the reader knows nothing about.

From what I learned about Lucy in this book I really liked her as a main character. She has not let the events that happened in her past control her, yes they have changed her, but she is a fighter and knows what it takes to survive, especially when she is tested. It was interesting how she wanted to become an FBI agent but also spent her free time trying to catch online predators (think of to catch a predator minus the TV part of it). This was an interesting aspect to the book with perpetrators being murdered, but once again when this part of the mystery works out, you realize that this too relates to a previous book that Brannan has written (I think).

The serial killer in this book is very sadistic and want to control every woman out there. He thinks that they need to be molded into the perfect woman and are only there to serve men. If they disappoint him too much or if they do not learn his rules he will kill them. There is also some mention that he may sell some of his "perfect" women off but this is not fully stated, explained or explored. He does torture the women in the book, and these scenes were fairly sadistic and deeming to the women in this story.

Brennan had some ideas here that had great potential to make this book into a true mystery and thriller, but these aspects were greatly overshadowed by Brennan's need to have the relationship between Lucy and Sean front and center. I think I remember now this is why I stopped reading her books. Additionally, I think that Brennan referenced too much back to books of hers that I had not read, something I do not expect when starting a new series. Oh well at least I gave her a try again, but I don't think I'll read another of her books, they are not for me.

Instead Of This,
Check These Out:
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2010/11/cody-mcfadyen-shadow-man.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2014/08/barry-lyga-i-hunt-killers.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2013/08/stephan-talty-black-irish-novel.html