Monday, December 23, 2013

Tripwire by Lee Child

Originally published in 1999 and reprinted 2010 and 2011

This is the first Lee Child book I have read and I found it interesting and most parts were exciting. The only thing I didn't like was the amount of filler--I'm not talking about back story or important parts needed to tell the story but things like what Jack is eating, drinking and how able bodied man get dressed. Half a page of print for a character who plays a bit part in the entire book, I feel is not important.

The story however is good. Very good. A lot of planning had to go into this for the parts of the puzzle to finally fit together. And what a puzzle it is. I can't really say much about the guts of the story without giving it away and my reviews contain no spoilers.

It's about an elderly couple keeping hope that their son (MIA in Vietnam) may still be alive and if he isn't why won't the government and army admit he is dead and put his name on the wall? The couple hire a private investigator to creep into the jungle and find him. Three months later they get a photo of their son as a POW. For the investigator to get him out it was going to cost another 40 thousand dollars. Money they don't have.

Both are elderly and under medical care. Every week they go to a medical facility for check ups or whatever and they meet a retired MP (military police) and show him the photos and what-not. He investigates and some bad people are alerted.  But he dies of natural causes before the bad guys can find out what he knows. But the MP has a daughter. Maybe he told her what he had uncovered.

This sets into place a story filled with twists and turns and a lot of travelling for Jack and Jodie.

The writing is good and clipped (except for filler). Overall, this is a good book and Lee Child is a writer with MANY titles out there already and the Reacher books are good mystery thrillers, if Tripwire is anything to go by.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nightshade by Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather writes: The fourth Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series was always going to be difficult to write, as it was always intended to be a trilogy! And anyone who has read the first three will understand that while the third book tied up all the loose ends, it did make moving forward very difficult. Anyway, I gave it my best shot and I do think it’s a terrific story, mixing the supernatural with the real world in two cases that keep Nightingale on his toes. I do think Nightingale would make a great TV series and have asked my agent to push it hard over the next few months. Off all the characters I’ve created I think Nightingale is best-suited for the silver screen. Fingers crossed! -- from his website

I hope this doesn't mean there will be an end to the Nightingale books. There are always mysteries around the corner. However in Nightshade, there is little in the way of demons and hell but the story is still a great thriller that I finished in a week.

A farmer, nice guy in every way, walks into a school and shoots a bunch of kids, but it is not random shooting, he was picking certain students and knew which classrooms they would be in. When the brother asks Jack Nightingale to investigate the reason behind the shooting, Jack runs headlong into a sordid affair that stretches far and wide. Meanwhile a girl dies at the hands of a rapist and wakes up with words from Jesus to all who would listen.

This is a typical well written Stephen Leather novel and as he says above this series would make a nice movie, still I wanna read his Nightingale books. Nightshade is a great thriller and it doesn't tie up all the loose ends, there's still Mrs Steadman and Proserpine's warning about her.