By Catherine Coulter
Alright…this one seems like a mixed bag. At some points the story grips you like never before and at some points it dips to the depths of an unknown shoddy valley.
The way the characters developed in the earlier series was intriguing – but now they just seem stuck.
The story begins with FBI Agent Dillon Savich stopping a bank robbery and ends up killing the leader of the gang. The daughter (of the leader) then vows to seek revenge and goes on a killing rampage.
Dillon gets a telepathic message from a seven year old girl, Autumn who thinks of Dillon as a hero. Autumn desperately wishes to save her mom and herself from her father’s relatives who wish to make use of her “super talents” to augment their power and their paranormal cult.
There is a bit of excitement, drama, action and suspense with a tinge of humor, but delivered in potions that keep running out soon. Both the plots are managed well but lack of chemistry and characterization make it weak.
It is gripping enough to keep you hooked but Coulter could’ve done a better job.
Bad Moon Rising
By Sherrilyn Kenyon
Bad Moon Rising, the seventeenth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s phenomenally popular Dark Hunter paranormal romance series, seems like a bit of a disappointment penned by an ace writer like Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her earlier books had a mystic sense of anticipation which now seems to have completely fizzled out.
Her earlier books were full of intense passion, twists in mythology, heavy on lust, heroic deeds. This one lacks intensity and depth. No new developments, neither an interesting plot. And no intense romance as expected. Also the timeline is a bit vague.
A major section of the book is a rehash of the past, now seen in a different light and with a different view point.
The main focus being – Fang Kattalakis (were-wolf) is in love with Aimee (were-bear) and they are willing to fight the world to be together. The problem is that they belong to different rival clans. Their efforts to unite are touching – brining in some drama, action and romance.
And someone out there is setting up Fang for multiple murders. Then there is Thorn and the hell-chasers. Quite a bit of unrelated and random events all forced into a story. Fang with his secrets and Aimee with hers bring a certain flavor but not really up to the mark. Even the climax is a bit rushed into.
I, Alex Cross
By James Patterson
A typical James Patterson, fact-paced, action novel – I, Alex Cross is a quick read with short chapters.
This suspense-mystery-thriller opens with Alex getting the news of his estranged niece’s gruesome murder. She is ground up in a wood chipper and found in a plastic garbage bag in the back of a car. She was a hooker involved with a sex club, and entertained rich and famous clients like judges, congressmen and highly affluent politicians. The investigation with intriguing twists and turns leads Alex to the White House and finally to the President’s husband.
And then there is the equally emotional sub-plot of Alex’s grandmother- Nana, bringing in a humane touch to the inhumane murders happening around. Nana falls ill land is rushed to the hospital. Alex now swings between finding his niece’s killer and being by his Nana’s side.
The highly engrossing mysterious plot is spiced with bad/raw language, sexual content, and violence. With a lot of action, drama and suspense with clear prose, the author paints a thrilling picture of terror. Alex’s character is very well balanced. Very humane, witty, and sharp. Patterson’s honest portrayal of relationships is heart-warming. His bold imagination show his knack of building up consistent suspense and thrill for the readers.
A highly captivating page-turner.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
By Stieg Larsson
What a brilliant end to the trilogy!
The entire series counts as one of the greatest crime/thriller series of the decade, by a mastermind whose genius was recognized, posthumous.
His excellence in clearly narration cranks up more pressure than ever, and his take on the Swedish political landscape – commendable.
The story picks up from where the previous part (The Girl Who Played With Fire) ends. Both Lisbeth Salander and her father, Zalachenko, are found seriously wounded. Salander is recuperating in the hospital and awaiting transfer to prison upon recovery. Her stumble upon the discovery of the misdeeds of her father, along with some government agencies, seem to have kick-started a series of events that the baddies are set to cover – by hook or by crook.
The brutal realities and immorality of the publication industry and authorities bring to life the complex plot with a gripping leash. This page turner is starkly fast paced.
Here’s some food for thought – unlike the umpteen crime/thrillers, Larsson’s trilogy shows women in a strong light. There is no mindless pornographic violence or sleazy settings to add zing to dull chapters. In fact, the author’s hatred of injustice reflects in his work and at some point motivates readers for years to come.
The Girl Who Played With Fire
By Stieg Larsson
This is the second in the late Steig Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy. This fast paced multi-layered thriller follows “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and is equally gripping as its first part.
Lisbeth Salander’s character keeps getting more and more interesting with the passage of time. She comes across as a strong, smart, tattooed, (bisexual) powerhouse, genius of a girl afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome, but great in hacking skills.
The story revolves around sex trade, scandals, corrupt cops, abusive authority, and insensitive media, (all in Sweden). Salander is the prime suspect in the murder cases and it’s not just the police that want her. The bad guys are on her trail too. Lisbeth refuses to bow down to the evil and wrong doers and is more than determined to find the truth and the link between the murders. Oh, and the way she eludes the paths of the criminals is spell bounding.
The other characters include: Mikael Blomqvist, the heroic investigative journalist (and publisher of Millenium magazine) who believes that Lisbeth is innocent and is all set to help her uncover the criminals; Erika Berger, the fearless editor; Nils Bjurman, the evil local guardian (found murdered in his apartment); a cadre of nasty social-service doctors and psychiatrists; rogue cops; members of a Hells-Angels-like motorcycle gang; and a shadowy figure Zala.
Most of the events turn out to be related to Lisbeth’s past bringing in the stunning climax, which coax the reader to complete the trilogy by picking up the next one – “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest”.
The tale has a strong plot and a beautiful setting. The rich detailing of characters and the sub plots makes it an intense read. Much worthy of being a “bestseller”.
By Stieg Larsson
The author’s knack to finely knit various stories together is commendable. And each of them is equally gripping. The fine detailing of the characters and the places, the distinctive stories, all merge together and grip you enough to keep reading till the very end. It lives up to its “fast paced thriller” tag. Corruption, scandals, family saga, murder, passion, mystery – all fly high in here.
The characters are pretty interesting and the entire story depicts almost all forms of human emotions brilliantly. Agreed, it’s not a unique story but it is written interestingly enough to involve the reader.
The main lead – Lisbeth Salander comes across as a talented computer hacker with a sad history (victim of child abuse). Her father is a brutal man who sends Lisbeth to a psychiatric unit at a tender age(of 13), to elude from blowing his cover.
The trilogy mite just work, if the other sequels are as strong as this one. It is worth a read in spite of the few dips the story goes through. This one deserves a shelf space for sure.