The Execution by Dick Wolf

As I said in my review of Wolf’s first Book, the Intercept, I wasn’t prepared to like these books, but I really did.  This book, the Execution, went even further than I expected, delving not only into what the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and Jeremy Fisk might be dealing with during United Nations week in New York, but also what might be involved with out of town dignitaries, namely the President of Mexico.

 

There is a lot of background in this book, and the present day action goes by very fast.  I won’t go much into the present, but instead what had already happened.  Detective Cecelia Garza, known to many as the Ice Queen, is also known for her tough stance in Mexico, and as having no fear and definitely not showing any weakness in front of the dangerous criminals of her home country.  She is chasing down a killer; Chuparosa, and it seems he is heading to New York.  Why does she think that?  Because she is following his crime scenes – dead bodies with no heads. Great gouges in the floor from the instrument used to chop off the head in one downward swoop.  There was one in Mexico. And now, there’s another scene with more bodies, but no heads.

 

Fisk has his own way of doing things, and Garza very obviously has her own, and the two don’t quite meet in the middle.  With much bristling, pomp and circumstance, they realize that they can help each other, and perhaps protect the President of Mexico, as it seems Chuparosa is on his way here to execute.

 

Did I mention the terrorist who killed Fisk’s girlfriend at the end of the first book?  He’s still grieving of course. But this Ice Queen, well, she might be something he could deal with.

 

Is this a love story?  Heck no.  But it could be!  Of course there is unanswered questions at the conclusion, which I will not delve into.  I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the terrorist from book one getting his due in this one. Fitting end to such a man.

 

Even if you don’t like “these kinds of books” like I said I didn’t – try them out anyways.  I was very surprised when I couldn’t put them down, especially this second one.  I really hope there is a third, and very soon at that.  Garza said she wouldn’t return to work for the President. Hmmmmm………

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On reviewing

I have to say – the more I read and the more I review, the less likely I am to rate something 5 stars.  I used to do it a lot, but I find it rare now to find that.  After reading so much, I have learned to see where something may not be as perfect, could use a little help, or otherwise might not be completely a 5.  Having said that, I don’t know that I have graded anything below 3 stars.  Why?  Unless it is complete rubbish, and even then, it may be ok, it is still someone’s work.  It came out of their head, they took the time to write it down and get it published.  My book is a one. Why? Because its not done, and probably never will be.

So – I guess what I’m getting at – is don’t be concerned that I don’t give 5 stars anymore.  It doesn’t mean the book isn’t good. At all.  It means that nobody is perfect.  And that, my friends, is a good thing.

 

Back to reading….

The Intercept: a Jeremy Fisk Novel – Dick Wolf.

I received this specifically to review, along with Wolf’s new book, the second in the series, “The Execution.”  First off, anyone who knows me, knows that this book is not my style at all.  I don;t read spy books – I steer clear of anything having to do with Jihad, terrorism, or anything like that. But, I promised to review, and I received the books in the mail pretty quickly, so I decided to read them quickly too.  At this writing I have only finished the first, so will review the other in a few days.

Again, this book would not normally be my style, but I am REALLY glad I read it.  It is so fast paced – no downtime whatsoever.  Jeremy Fisk deals with the FBI, to his sometimes dismay, on terrorism cases that threaten the US.  The book starts out with a botched terrorism attempt on a plane heading to Manhattan.  6 people stop the would-be terrorist and are commended as heroes.  The Six, as they are penned, are paraded through New York, but not really released right away, as they were a part of the case.  Meanwhile,the FBI is thinking it is all over and they go back to other things.

Not so fast there FBI.  Fisk doesn’t believe for a second that an amateur attempt at a hijacking of a plane could possibly be all this is about.  Fisk himself was one of the team who sifted through bin Laden’s belongings after his death.  bin Laden specifically looked down on those trying to bring down one plane for the cause – he suggested much bigger things to get the United States attention.  So Fisk understands that this measly attempt cannot be what is really happening. There has to more.  And there is. So much more.

 

I’m not going into the particulars because I would have been peeved if someone had done that for me.  It’s very hard to put down, and I promise, after reading this, I will refrain from looking at a book and deciding against reading it because it might be a spy book, or having to do with terrorism. This was just fascinating. The behind the scenes activities are incredible.  I intend to start The Execution tonight!

The Outcast Dead – Elly Griffiths

This was so cool – I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.  I hate starting at the latest book in a series because I feel like I miss out on things, but I didn’t feel this way with this book.

It caught my eye because of the archaeology aspect.  Ruth is an archaeologist in England who makes an incredible discovery while digging: Jemima Green – accused of murdering babies, the caretaker with a hook for a hand, is found, hook and all. A tv crew comes in to cover this fantastic find, and Ruth might find a love interest……  Fascinating right? Well thats not the whole gist of the book.

There’s also the father of Ruth’s child, Kate, who works with the police. He has cases, one involving a mother who has now found that her third baby is dead.  Is she a killer?  Then there’s a missing child, then another.  What the hell is going on?

 

Then there’s Cathbad.  I want an entire book about him and maybe there is one. He’s a warlock. Or not. He knows things, he senses things.  HE is fascinating.  And thoroughly entwined in the others lives.

 

Does that give you any idea what this book is about? Probably not enough. But tough. This is one book that the review could go on forever.  There’s just so much to it.  So many turns, relationships, that again, make me wish I had read the other books first.  But it just makes me want to go read them now anyways.

I highly recommend this one – and hopefully all the others too.

 

The Book of You – Claire Kendal

This was terrifying.  If any of you have ever been involved in a stalker situation, you will understand this book.  I was years ago – but never to this extent.

The “you” the title refers to is  Rafe – the stalker.  Rafe and Clarissa have a one night stand that turns into much more for Rafe.  He stalks her constantly – standing outside of her house, calling her, texting her.  She changes her number, he finds out the new one.  Her salvation is jury duty.  She ends up being called for a 7 week trial, where she is protected inside the court room from Rafe.  Or so she thinks.  He finds ways around that.

He leaves her “gifts” on her doorstep – and soon the gifts become odd.  A bouquet of black flowers, basically funeral flowers, as her house mate shares. Then the pictures start. Of her tied up, gagged, obviously in pain and not enjoying herself.

Clarissa is scared.  She researches online and discovers Rafe had a girlfriend who disappeared.  After repeated attempts, she finally makes contact with the girl’s parents.  They have no idea where she is, but they are sure he was behind the disappearance. They go on to describe a relationship that was much one-sided, where the girl tried to get away and couldn’t.  The similarities scared Clarissa, and so she decides to go to the police.  She has put it off for so long, with the worries that they won’t take her seriously.  When she goes, they take her very serious, and after mentioning the disappearance of the other girlfriend, it seems they are ready and willing to help.  They get a restraining order, which of course he disregards the next day.  He is taken into custody because of this, and she starts to look forward to a normal life, perhaps with Robert, one of the others jurors who she has been spending a lot of time with.

Just when she feels she is safe, she realizes that she’s not.  The climax of this book is just terrifying.  I cried with her, felt fear with her.  It was very hard to put this book down because of all the feelings I was sharing with her.  I couldn’t sleep after reading it because of this!

Don’t let me put you off this book though – if anything it should make you want to read it even more.  It was great.  When a book can make you feel that much for a character, where you actually feel their panic and fear, well obviously thats a damn good book. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.  And maybe give you some insight if this ever happens to you.

Killer – by Jonathan Kellerman

I love this series.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am doing my Masters in Community Counseling (To finish this year!!!) and so I find it awesome that Kellerman includes so much of his own practices into his books.  This one really took me by surprise – I had no clue how it was going to end, and I’m still trying to piece it together!
 
The book starts out with a woman saying that she could shoot Dr. Delaware right then and there, but she won’t.  Yet she caresses a very obvious shape in her purse – thunks it to show its is hard and metal. From that point, it is pretty non stop action and mystery.  The woman was involved in a custody battle with her sister over her sister’s baby.  the woman, a PhD, is a cold and aloof woman, who only seems to want the child to upset her sister.  after Dr. Deleware’s suggestion of keeping the child with the mother, the threat is made by her.  Turns out she also threatens the judge involved.  Not only does she threaten, but she actually hires a hit man to kill Dr. Delaware. Holy schomly!!  The only reason our dear doc is still alive, is the news of the hit gets to an old client of his –  a mob kid who is pretty big in the family – the kid, now a business man, still thinks highly of the doc, and stops the hit. With less than 24 hours before it would happen. PINS AND NEEDLES!  The client then adds that he would be happy to take care of the woman – but the doc of course says no way. Funny she ends up dead anyways.  At this point, I honestly thought the sister was doing something shady – seemed to nervous, etc. When the two men, who were the two candidates for paternity find themselves dead, or almost dead, I realllly thought it was her.  but, let’s just say the whole thing takes on a realllllllly bizarre twist. And yes, that’s all I’m going to say!! Neener!!
I LOVE this series – can’t ever say enough about it! But this is definitely one of thebest! I read this last night – no, I did not get any sleep – but it was so worth it!
 

Where the heck have I been?? Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Holy schmoly I haven’t posted in SO long!!  Well big changes have occurred – perhaps thats why! I am still surrounded by books, but not as much as I used to be.  No longer at the book store, and I won’t go into too many particulars other than to say, I am VERY glad to be away from a company like that! 
This year I plan to review every book I read – I think it’s a necessity.  I got away from my joys last year, and need to get them back.  Reading is my number one joy, and sharing that joy is a must.
So – the first book is Bird Box by Josh Malerman.  I got this as an ARC and I LOVED it.  Great new concept and a great read!
 
It all started overseas.  People in the US weren’t too concerned. stories of violence towards other people, suicides, etc. came floating over the news, but again, it wasn’t here, so we don’t care.  then there were more and more, and finally it reached the US.  Alaska, then closer, then finally Michigan (yes I live in Michigan too so this was especially frightening!!).  Malorie and her sister live near Detroit, while their parents are still in the Upper Peninsula.  Her sister is paranoid about these happenings but Malorie can’t be bothered; until it starts happening in the UP, where her parents are.  Soon the internet dies, tv and radio die, no more phones.  But the emssage before they do isclear – DO NOT LOOK OUTSIDE.  Malorie still isn’t totally convinced until – well I’ll let you find that out.  Did I mention that Malorie discovers that she is pregnant at the beginning of the book?  Oh yeah – there’s that.
eventually, Malorie drives almost blindly to a house that was “advertised” as being a safe haven for those who need it.  She ends up lviing with others who have no where else to turn -they are loaded with enough food for a few months and have a system worked out for their water and toilet needs.  they have blindfolds for when they have to go outside, ropes to lead them to the well, latrine dumps and anything else they have to do outside.  he windows are covered with blankets – there is absolutely no view of the outside.  The house was originally George’s house.  He offerred shelter to others, but decided he wantred to test the theory of not looking outside.  what if he videotaped the outside?  and then watched the footage?  Certainlt that couldn’t hurt?  Um, yeah, it hurt. A LOT.  Evidently the “beasts” as they were being called, could force you into violence whether it was live or Memorex!
Soon another pregnant woman finds her way to the house, and the housemates adjust to two very pregnant women.  Over time there are issues, as there will be with many people living to0gether – stressed over the happenings outside.  She and the other woman eventually give birth, but there is chaos and bloodshed in the house, and she is left to raise the two kids on her own, teaching them to close their eyes very early on.
But today, they are leaving the house. The kids are older -they are Boy and Girl – she has the plan to take the boat she discovered down the river – she was told to listen for the signal – she would know it when she heard it -then she would be safe.  She waited years to do this – but now it is time.  The trip down the river is terrifying – every minute of the way, and what she finds at the end is terrifying on its own.
So – I tried not to give too much away – this scared the crap out of me, but also made me look at my surroundings a bit more closely.  Imagine going for years without being able to look outside!  Malorie makes trips into town for food and supplies – driving blind – she paints the windows in the car black – so she can look, but she can’t see outside – she uses the blindfold while runnign into stores – grabbing what she can.  Can you imagine what the kids think when their blindfolds come off?  They have NEVER seen the outside! 
I could go on all day about this – but I will refrain – just understand that you HAVE to read this.  I’m still thiking about it, and read it a couple of weeks ago.