Sunday, October 9, 2011


Okay, admit it.  You didn't even realize I was gone.  Well I was.  And I've got a number of books to review.  But first, in case you didn't already know this, you can sign up on Facebook to receive notice of a new blog post.  Some of you have done that, and others of you have no desire to do that.  But if by some quirk of nature/personality you do want to receive notice of my latest blogs, feel free to sign up.  Another couple thousand people, and I'll be in the top 75% for book bloggers.

Onward to reviews.  I have read (almost) 7 books since my last post, including 3 new authors for me.  The first book I read after John Hart's Iron House was Down River, by, you guessed it, John Hart.  And 4 books later, I read Hart's 4th, and final book, King of Lies.  His 4 books reminded me a lot of Dan Brown.  I read Brown's first 4 books in the exact same order as Hart's - books 3, 4, 1, 2.  And just like Brown, books 3 and 4 were better than books 1 and 2.  So I can say that Hart's books 3 and 4 were outstanding while his books 1 and 2 were really good.  Really good is not so bad.  I would recommend them.  They just weren't as good as his 3 and 4.  But then again, very few authors write books even remotely as good as Hart's 3 and 4.  P.S.  Brown is not as good as Hart.

After Hart's Down River, I read 3 straight authors who I had never read:  Michael Lavigne, Hannah Tinti, and Andrew Britton.  Here's a rundown:

Lavigne's Not Me, recommended by Steve (all the way from New York!) was very good.  It's about a Jewish man who does all kinds of good for the Jewish community.  The interesting part is his background in Germany during WWII.  I don't want to say any more than that.  This is definitely one you will want to read.

Tinti's The Good Thief, was recommended by John, who was my inspiration for the Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader Post.  This book was definitely different.  It takes place in the Eastern part of the country, sometime after the Revolutionary War but before the Civil War (I think).  It's about a con man who goes to an orphanage and poses as the brother of a boy who has only one hand.  He gets custody of the boy, and enlists him as an accomplice.  The book is well-written and has an interesting story line, but I can't say that I loved it.  I think it might be a little bit too intellectual for my pedestrian mind.  I don't think you would dislike it, but I can't swear that you would like it very much, either.

Britton's The American was very good.  It's another CIA/terrorism story, but it has a twist.  The protagonists are a college professor who has special forces training and a female CIA agent who was an analyst and gets pressed into field duty.  The terrorist has a crazy background that is not the usual terrorist profile.  I really liked it.  If you are a fan of these kinds of novels, I highly recommend this one.  You will definitely enjoy it a lot.

The last 2 are George Pelecanos' latest, The Cut, and an old Harlan Coben that is just now being published - or, maybe, re-published.  The Cut is book 1 of a new series for Pelecanos.  Our hero is a 29-year old Marine veteran who has his own business.  He basically finds things for clients.  It's not as good as The Way Out or The Turnaround, but it's entertaining and pretty light.  I think you would enjoy it.

Miracle Cure is the 2nd book Coben ever wrote.  It was back in the early '90's, and he was in his early '20's.  I've got just a few pages left.  It's good like all of his books are good.  When he came out earlier this year with his very first novel, Live Wire, I figured that it couldn't be too good, and that he was just trying to cash in on his popularity.  In fact, Phil told me to read it, and I said no.  Then I gave in and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was darn good.  And this one is even better.  The fact is that Coben only writes good books.  Unlike Alex Kava, he never rests on his popularity.  Every book, whether it's about Myron Bolitar or not, is very good.  I don't think I've read one book of his that I didn't think was, at least, very good.  This one is no exception.

That's it for now.  In my next blog, I will talk a bit about my first experience with an ereader.  I know that you are all manic with anticipation.

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