Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I've Been Reading: May 2016

Well, it seems I've gotten my groove back, logging eight titles for the month of May! I'm not proud--I've been reading some very lovely, easy-reading novels in Robyn Carr's Thunder Point series and they move very quickly. Each is like a lovely, escapist vacation for my brain, and I'm delighted. I have read a few other things, too...

Gone Again, by James Grippando. Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck takes on his first death-row client since 1994's The Pardon, returning to his old stomping grounds with The Freedom Institute. Dylan Reeves is facing the final countdown to a lethal injection for the rape and murder of teenager Sashi Burgette. Jack has no intention of getting involved in the case--he's only supposed to be renting office space from the Freedom Institute. But Sashi's mother comes in to plead for help--she believes that her daughter is alive, following a series of phone calls, each occurring on Sashi's birthday. Sashi's body was never found, so could Reeves actually be innocent? Then it's Jack's race against the clock to stay Reeves's execution, but nothing in this case is as it seems. Very well plotted and paced, lots of twists and surprises. If you're looking for a good thriller, this is excellent.

The Wheel of Darkness, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Agent Pendergast returns, this time hunting a killer who has stolen an ancient, sacred Tibetan artifact. With his ward, Constance Green, in tow, Pendergast chases the killer aboard a luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage. Now, killer, Pendergast and artifact are all trapped until the journey's end, an end which spells certain disaster if the mystery is not solved before they arrive at port. This was an excellent installment (the eighth) in the Pendergast series.

Lucia, Lucia, by Adriana Trigiani. This is a re-read for me. It's my book club's selection for our June meeting, and it is my very favorite of Trigiani's work to date. Lucia Sartori is a modern girl in 1950 Manhattan. She's the youngest of five children born, a first generation American, and a career girl. She has spent the last six years working as a seamstress for B. Altman's custom department, and she loves her work and her family. Soon, though, she must choose between the old and the new, between her family and a dark stranger who promises her the moon. When she finds herself in the midst of a scandal, her beloved career is also in jeopardy, forcing Lucia to re-examine what's really important. If possible, I loved it more the second time through.

The Wanderer, The Newcomer, The Hero, The Chance, & The Promise, all by Robyn Carr. I don't think I've ever read five novels from a series in a single month, at least not since my Babysitters' Club days! These are the first five titles in Carr's Thunder Point series, which take place in the fictional bayside town of Thunder Point, Oregon. A small, sleepy town peopled with hardworking, friendly folks, this is the perfect scenic backdrop for a series of stories about people facing challenges, starting over, finding love and starting families. Her characters are incredibly likeable, her prose easy and compulsively readable. She's also very prolific, which is lucky for me! Highly recommending these for readers looking for some sweet, easy reading to take along on vacation or to the beach this summer.

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