I’ve been away from this blog for some time, sorting through issues regarding publishing, writing, teaching and what not. However, I’m halfway through this very civilized, intelligent and cultured mystery = part religious investigation ala Dan Brown, elevated for a more sophisticated readership, part Peter Mayle, with wonderful descriptions of food and wine from the Languedoc area of France, and part historical romance, with characters crossing boundaries of time via reincarnation – and rediscovering lost loves. It’s quite intriguing, but definitely for a very cultured readership. Very few thrills and spills, but many subtle pleasures. I look forward to reviewing this book in depth in the near future.
I rediscovered in Tipasa that, in order to prevent justice from shriveling up, from becoming a magnificent orange containing only a dry and bitter pulp, we had to keep a freshness and a source of joy intact within ourselves, loving the daylight which injustice leaves unscathed, and returning to the fray with this reconquered light. In the depths of winter I finally learned that there lay in me an unconquerable summer.
Albert Camus Return to Tipasa
I’m off to summer camp this coming Saturday, two weeks in the forest with a bunch of wild, rambunctious Czech kids. We’ll be doing drama, swimming and hiking, scaring each other with ghost stories and taking scary midnight walks in the woods. In my free hours, I’ll be reading a couple of fun crime novels that I’ll be reviewing shortly here at Crime Scene Reviews. Both books on my short list are taken from Book Club Reading List.
The first on the list is Thomas Sawyer’s Cross Purposes and here’s a blurb to whet your appetite:
Manhattan Private Investigator Barney Moon can hack, charm or con his way into or out of damned-near anything. Barney is driven — to solve cases, nail bad guys, and to anyplace not reachable via the NY Subway. Barney never learned to drive. And, like most born/bred New Yorkers, he regards pretty much anywhere else as “Out-of-Town.” But there is one place for which he has a particular, lifelong aversion: Los Angeles, California (which he thinks of as an Alien Planet). And — guess where he finds himself stranded? In CROSS PURPOSES, a case takes the reluctant Barney and his driver, Al Drobowsky to Los Angeles to obtain a single fingerprint. Things quickly get complicated. That night, of what by then seems sure to be only two in Tinseltown, Al learns he must immediately return to Brooklyn. Next morning, Barney notices his rented car being hot-wired by a young woman. Pragmatically, in exchange for not having Melodie Seaver arrested, he enlists the gorgeous 18-year-old Southern California delinquent to drive him around for — at most — one day. Except that things quickly escalate for this comically ill-matched pair, into murders, conspiracies, and mortal danger. Very fortuitously, the Good News for Barney: Melodie’s driving skills are awesome. Together, our off-the-wall team narrowly survives, and solves the complicated mess they’ve stumbled into.
The second book is Manipulation by Australian screenwriter, Dawson Howard. This one tickled my fancy because it involves a special forces soldier trekking through the desert seeking spiritual enlightenment. I thought, well, that’s a twist, but why not? I’ll give it a go.
The Australian desert.
Wade Ross, Special Forces soldier, has been trekking through the sandy wasteland of Australia on a journey of spiritual enlightenment.
That is, until he is shot by a 7.62mm SLR.
Ducking for cover and hastily bandaging his wound, he knows that the rifle-men are still out there.
They were his assassins.
It is time to return to civilisation and determine who these men work for, why they want to kill him and how he can find and destroy them first.
Ross will need assistance from Stefan, the French Foreign Legionnaire who works on undercover missions out of his disguised fishing boat in the Darwin harbour. On board is Crystal Cartos, a US Navy helicopter pilot and Ross’s new partner.
Their investigations lead them to a possible lead: Samantha Cooper, the older sister of ex-Vice President Daniel Cooper. Cooper could inherit the family’s millions and has a large stake-holding in the world’s diamond houses. With such money, comes great power…
Can Ross track down his assassins before they find him?
When those close to him begin to get hurt, the mission changes. It is no longer about survival, but revenge.
‘Manipulation’ is a fast-paced international thriller that transports readers from the deserts of Australia and Israel to the coast of Porto Cervo and the lakes of Geneva.
‘Action packed.’ – Tom Kasey, best-selling author of ‘Trade Off’.
Dawson Howard, born in 1959, lives with his lovely wife in Brisbane, Australia. Having served as a teenage soldier he spent most of his working life in the construction industry. Drawing on his military experiences and association with the Australian Aboriginals, his debut novel introduces Wade Ross, an ex-SAS soldier, highly regarded among secret service agents. Having completed the second of his Wade Ross series, he is now focused on a psychological / action thriller.
I’ll be back from camp in about three weeks and hope to have reviews up about these two entertaining summer reads, plus lots more.
Some fourteen exciting and original crime novels have been added to Book Club Reading List in the past month. I hope to be reviewing at least some of them in the coming weeks. At the moment, I’m committed to reviewing Divine Intervention by Cheryl Kaye Tardif in the near future, also a BCRL title. Also on my list is the charming children’s detective novel, The Pleasantville Junior Detective Agency. And as a complement to my previous review of The Franciscan, I’ll also be shortly reviewing The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell, another Vatican centered suspense thriller, focusing on current scientific investigations of the Shroud of Turin.
Here is a list of the exciting new crime mystery additions to Book Club Reading List:
Redemption by Samantha Charles.
A child still born after a violent altercation with the father, a best friend’s accidental death on a mountain, an escape from an abusive relationship back to one’s hometown – only to discover that one’s best friend’s accident was no accident at all! And shocking secrets that shake a small Southern town to its roots.
Against Their Will by Nancy Livingstone: After a plane crash in the pine woods of East texas, a reporter and a movie star discover “they are being used against their will as medical test subjects and are embroiled in a conspiracy that involves government cover-ups and scientific data- a conspiracy targeting the President of the United States”.
Home Fires by Judith Kirscht: A compelling family drama mystery about shocking secrets, a desperate search for the truth and a tale of horrific abuse.
Cross Purposes by Thomas S. Sawyer: “a near-endless trail of goniffs, betrayed-and-betraying partners, stolen and re-stolen CIA code, religious nutcases, iffy Congressmen, Mercenaries, Russian Muscle, near-terminal greed-and-thievery, wannabe stars and starlets, and a pair of only-in-LA homicide cops.”
Powers not Delegated by Rodney Page:
An evil alliance between Al Qaeda and Iran plots the unthinkable; their tools…disaffected American citizens lured to act on behalf of Islamic extremists.
Only a reluctant Georgia congressman, the CEO of an automobile company and a group of state governors can stop an out-of-control president and preserve the Constitution.”
Hands Across the Sea by Brian Cook: A gritty look at the behind the scenes machinations of a small town sheriff’s office.
Four Pieces for Power by Marc Estes: “When mysterious strangers arrive at the home of Andrew Correo, they provide him with life changing news. He learns of the Vedicatori, a secret organization established by his ancestors, an organization he now has the chance to inherit control over. In order to gain this control, he needs to compete with Robert Stavero in a global scavenger hunt. They must search for four illusive crystals that, when brought together, will tell them their final destination.”
Manipulation by Dawson Howard:
That is, until he is shot by a 7.62mm SLR. Ducking for cover and hastily bandaging his wound, he knows that the rifle-men are still out there. They were his assassins. It is time to return to civilisation and determine who these men work for, why they want to kill him and how he can find and destroy them first. “
Temporarily Employed by Vicki Batman: Out of work and out of cash, unemployed Hattie Cook is pulled over by Detective Adam Wellborn and the end result is a goofy love story spiced up with a murder mystery, and plenty of thrills and chills for temp worker Hattie.
CHOICE AWARD WINNER, Rebecca’s Reads
FINALIST, Hoffer New Horizons Award
FINALIST, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards