The Shadow of Your Smile
By Mary Higgins Clark
A well crafted novel by Mary Higgins Clark. But I don’t really know whether it is “bestseller” material.
I found it pretty mediocre.
Seems like the author has a fixed formula or a style of portraying her characters.
The story is about an independent young pediatrician Monica Farrell, her entitlement to a fortune she isn’t aware of, her links to a nun, the murder of a relative, some unscrupulous businessmen, greedy relatives, star crossed lovers, a detective, a bit of flying romance with an overall conservative setting – averaging to a typical thriller set in its own pace.
And it’s weird how the title has no relevance to the plot!
The 9th Judgment
By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Well, this one is a fast paced entertainer. It delivers a generous dose of mystery, shock, awe, suspense and excitement – till the last page. Patterson and Paetro’s lethal combination (of writing and visualizing skills) surely captivates attention and definitely all nerves!
The story shows Detective Lindsey Boxer and her partner, Rich Conklin, working on two cases – a female cat burglar (Hello Kitty) robbing the city’s celebrities of their jewels; and a sadist, ruthless, psycho, serial killer (Lipstick Killer) targeting mothers and their children and callously killing both.
The characterization of Claire, Cindy, and Yuki are well rounded and realistic. They come across as the smart, brave, sometimes arrogant, yet vulnerable lot.
Certain sections of the story seemed predictable, since Patterson has a peculiar style of depicting mysteries.
But the climax of the two contrasting cases comes loaded with an ironic twist.
The gripping tale and acute detailing of events and the horrendous crime shuns its readers from putting it down until the very last word.
The Beach House
By James Patterson and Peter de Jonge
A good paced legal thriller.
Jack is a law student at the Columbia University. He is shocked to hear the news of his brother’s death by drowning. Cops claim it is because of drug overdose and eventual drowning. But truth be told – he is murdered. Peter’s body was found on the Amagansett estate of the famous and wealthy Neubauer family. When Jack sees the body he is convinced it is not a normal death. There are some marks on his body that confirm his belief.
Jack starts his own investigation and turns on the heat on the local cops as well as the Neubauer family. Soon he has a thug on his trail threatening and frightening him.
Jack’s girlfriend too walks out on him. His father dies. He loses his internship. But he still believes justice will be served. And his grandfather supports him all the way.
But the people with money controlling the power seem to have a highly treacherous and deadly secret to hide. And they would do anything to keep it under wraps. And they buy the lawyers, doctors, friends and cops – anyone and everyone who has a price. Lies, deceit, revenge, money, mayhem engulf the victim and everyone around him.
Lots of twists and surprises make this an engrossing read. JP and Peter de Jonge deliver another fast-paced thrilling page-turner.
By James Patterson
A thriller by James Patterson featuring the forensic detective Alex Cross.
The plot revolves around the cold-blooded murder of Ellie Cox (Alex’s friend / first real love) and her family by a criminal known as “Tiger”. Many people are brutally murdered by this horrendous person and Cross takes it upon him to catch “Tiger” and deliver justice to Ellie and others murdered by him. His quest lands him in Africa.
The grim reality of this new country though depicted well (to a certain extent) is very graphic in nature. The corrupt government officials in Nigeria arrest, jail and torture Alex for three days before the CIA can come to his rescue. He witnesses some of the most horrible situations and conditions of the people of Africa, far beyond anyone’s imagination. The dire situation in Darfur and the diamond mines of Sierra Leone are boldly portrayed by the author.
Though Alex comes across as smart detective in most of his books, in this one it feels like he walks into lame situations without giving it any thought. How did he simply fly over to Africa tracing a murderer without any political or government assistance?! Why does he end up landing his family into trouble and pain?
The gruesome murders, the contrived situations, and a loose and somewhat complicated plot did not satisfy me as a reader.
Patterson’s short chapters ending with a cliffhanger made it easier to finish the book but the poor action did not keep me engrossed like before.