Monday, November 19, 2018

The Three Beths - Jeff Abbott

The Three Beths is Jeff Abbott's newest book.

Mariah Dunning's mother disappeared a year ago. Law enforcement is sure that her father has killed her, but has yet to prove it. One day while at the mall, Mariah is sure she sees her mother at the food court - and she redoubles her efforts to find her. And her search turns up another woman named Beth who has also disappeared. And going by the title, you know there's another.

The Three Beths is a busy book with many twists and turns throughout. Now, I appreciate a complicated plot, but I have to say that I found this busyness somewhat off putting as the book progressed. It was too much - too many coincidences, easily explained (but not always believable) turns and somewhat repetitive scenes and dialogue. (I started keeping track of how many times someone said they were going to 'call the police'. Many times) But, I kept reading 'til the end as I wanted to know if the Beths were alive and if there was a connection between them. The (implausible) ending twist? Had that pegged long before the reveal. I found I couldn't get on board with Mariah. I found her annoying, rather than engaging. The other characters were overdrawn caricatures - especially the police chief. 

I had higher hopes for The Three Beths, but it was a bit of a miss for me. Read an excerpt of The Three Beths. Others really enjoyed this book - check out these reviews from Goodreads.

Friday, November 16, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #237

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
We'll have to wait until March 2019, but Harlan Coben has a new suspense novel coming out titled Run Away. The US  cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. At first glance the 'tiger stripe' US cover bothered my eyes. Then I read the synopsis of the book and realized the labyrinth image suits the premise. Along with the woman being pursued by a man. That woman chased by a man is front and center on the UK cover. Unfortunately, it's nothing new - a been there, seen that look. So an easy choice for me this week - US. What cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Run Away?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Elevation - Stephen King

I've read everything Stephen King has written and was excited to hear he had a new book coming out. Elevation is newly released.

Fans will recognize the setting immediately. Castle Rock, Maine. Scott Carey has been losing weight. He can see it on the scale. Oddly enough, the number stays the same even if he's wearing clothes. And his body doesn't look any different. But he's definitely lighter....

Even as Scott's weight decreases, a small fracas with his neighbours increases. But it's not just Scott, it's most of the town against this couple. Scott decides to try and turn things around.

Elevation is the perfect listen for this time of the year. It's timely in so many ways. Uplifting I would say. ;0) Elevation tackles intolerance, doing the right thing and simple kindness and decency with a classic King supernatural twist.

I was thrilled to see that King himself was the narrator. There's nothing like having an author read his own work. The emphasis, the interpretation, the emotion, the quirks and so much more are presented exactly as he intended them to be. Listen to an audio excerpt of Elevation.

A bonus short story, Laurie, is included. And will give regular readers a nice little jolt of King horror....watch out for the 'gators.

This listener really enjoyed Elevation. The ending was difficult - sad, but absolutely fitting. A great addition to my library.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Over the Counter #454

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? "...a modern 'Gatsby' swindle..."

Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.

From Hachette Books:

"In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a mild-mannered Wharton grad set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. The scandal is known as 1MDB, and the man behind it, Jho Low, is a figure so preposterous he might seem made up.

“An epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. Over a half decade, Low siphoned billions from an investment fund–right under the nose of the global financial industry. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street.

Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age–and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. With his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing money-laundering charges in Malaysia, an Interpol red notice, and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, Low has become an international fugitive.

Billion Dollar Whale will join the ranks of Liar’s Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of the financial world, hubris, and greed."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Killing Habit - Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham pens one of my favourite crime series - the Tom Thorne books. The fifteenth book in this series, The Killing Habit, has just released.

Tom is handed a case that he doesn't take too seriously in the beginning - someone has been killing cats. But as he does delve further into the case, he relalizes there's more to these killings. Is it a serial killer ramping up? Or could it be an established killer winding down?

DI Nicola Tanner is back as well. She's chasing down a murderer with ties to a killer new designer drug called Spice.

These two characters are complete opposites and as such, play incredibly well off each other. Different strengths, styles and outlooks. As their investigations proceed, they join forces again.

Billingham consistently comes up with dark, devious plots that hold the reader captive until the last page has been turned. On reading the author's notes, I discovered that the inspiration for the cat killing plotline is based in reality. A UK cat killer has dispatched over 400 pets and as of the release of the book, the killer remains at large.

But what keeps me coming back book after book, are the characters. There are other 'regulars' that appear as well - coroner Phil Hendricks is another character I quite enjoy. Billingham keeps the lives of the cast moving forward through life complete with loves, losses, triumphs and struggles. Thorne is battling his own self doubt in this entry. Doubt about his skills and even his desire to catch criminals. His love life - or lack of - is also troubling to him. The ending surprised me - one character makes a choice that I didn't see coming. I wonder how this will affect this player's (and other's) behaviour and dynamics going forward?

The title is clever - 'killing habit' applies to both murder and drugs. Another great read from Billingham and I look forward to the sixteenth entry in this series. Read an excerpt of The Killing Habit.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Giveaway - Long Road to Mercy - David Baldacci

I've got a fantastic giveaway for David Baldacci fans today! (me included!)  Long Road to Mercy releases tomorrow and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Long Road to Mercy is the first entry in a new series....

From Grand Central Publishing:

"Introducing a remarkable new character from #1 New York Times bestselling writer David Baldacci: Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States who must confront a new threat.....and an old nightmare.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It's seared into Atlee Pine's memory: the kidnapper's chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She's the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So when one of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she's abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it..." Read an excerpt of Long Road to Mercy.

"David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America." You can connect with David Baldacci at his website, on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

If you'd like to read Long Road to Mercy, enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends November 24/18. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 9, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #236

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
I think Greg Iles is a brilliant writer. The Natchez Burning
trilogy was amazing. I'm so excited to hear that he has a new novel called Cemetery Road coming out in Spring 2019. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Oh, it's going to be hard to choose this week. On the US cover, I really like the large sky pic and the darker clouds rolling. The long, straight road that ends in who knows what. A cemetery? For me this cover brings to mind Iles' Mississippi. The UK cover takes us into the swamps or bayous it seems. A very different colour scheme. Wet vs. dry it seems. The reflection in the water is effective. What lies beneath? I'm going to go with the US cover this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer?
 Any plans to read Cemetery Road?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.