Monday, June 27, 2011

Lori's Book Sense

Lori's Reading Corner

Long Gone by Alafair Burke
After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker. Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never existed—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family… secrets that could cost Alice her life.

Long Gone is Alafair Burke's first stand-alone thriller that it has no trouble standing on its own two feet. It grabs you from the get go right up until its stunning conclusion. Just when you think you have it all figured out, another twist knocks you around and you need to rethink your previous conclusions. Ms. Burke has an inherent talent for bringing her readers right into the pages of the book, making you feel as if you are living the story along with Alice and everyone she comes into contact with. Long Gone is an engaging read, with a new protagonist you'll enjoy getting to know and who you will continually root for, an interesting supporting cast of characters, each with their own six-degrees-of-separation connection to the murderer,and a multifaceted plot that constantly surprises the reader. Without a doubt, Long Gone should be on every mystery reader's must-read list. An engrossing thriller that can hold its own against any other in its genre. 

Kiss Me Kill Me by Allison Brennan

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE ....Lucy Kincaid has firsthand experience dealing with deadly criminal predators, and she’s fully prepared to share her many talents with the FBI. But when her career plans are derailed, her boyfriend, security expert Sean Rogan, asks for help on his latest private investigation. Using her well-honed cyber-hunting skills, Lucy is soon on the trail of a missing teenage girl with a penchant for disappearing—and a shocking secret life. FBI Agent Suzanne Madeaux is also tracking someone: a serial killer on the loose in New York City. Dubbed by the press the Cinderella Strangler, he cruises seamy underground sex parties, where drug-fueled women make for easy pickings. As Lucy and Sean’s desperate search collides with the FBI’s hunt, Lucy isn’t about to step aside. Haunted by painful memories of her own harrowing encounters with evil, she’s determined to keep any more innocents from meeting the fate she so narrowly escaped. Delving deep into the twisted psyche of a remorseless killer, Lucy must confront her own fears—even if it means risking a future job with the FBI and future happiness with Sean.

 One of the reasons I love Allison Brennan's books so much is that she carries her characters over from book to book. While each trilogy may focus on one Kincaid or Rogan, all of the other family members are involved as well and you get to know their stories too as secondary characters. As you get to know each of these secondary characters you hope that Ms. Brennan will eventually give each of them the spotlight, give each their own book. She has done just that with this series (also see Love Me To Death). I love to see series that go on and on, book after book, and I love the way Ms. Brennan handles the Kincaid and Rogan families. The three-book arc gives us plenty of time to fall in love with each main character, to invest in their lives, without getting too sick of them. Characters that are not leads in one book are still mentioned, giving us a clue as to what they are up to now. Kiss Me, Kill Me is the perfect amount of romance mixed with the precise amount of suspense that come together to form one incredible romantic-suspense thriller. 

A Turn In The Road by Debbie Macomber 

In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth.They're driving to Florida for Ruth's 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She's heard he's alone, too…and, well, she's curious. Maybe even hopeful. Bethanne herself needs time to reï ¬ ‚ ect, to ponder a decision she has to make. Her ex-husband, Grant—her children's father—wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne's considering it….Meanwhile, Annie's out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him!So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions—but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road. Or lead you to an unexpected encounter—like the day Bethanne meets a man named Max who really is a hero on a Harley. That's when Bethanne's decision becomes a lot harder. Because Grant wants her back, but now there's Max….From Seattle's Blossom Street to the other end of the country, this is a trip that could change three women's lives.

 A Turn in the Road is the story of three generations of women at a crossroads in their lives. Each one must take the road that will bring them to the place they want to be, the place that will bring them the happiness they so richly deserve. Can Ruth be forgiven for her past sin? Can Annie let go of a past love and make room in her heart for a new one? Will Bethanne choose between what is safe and familiar, or what she knows in her heart is her destiny? A Turn in the Road is touted as a "Blossom Street" book due to the fact that the main character is a part of the original books. As much as I enjoyed this book, and I fully understand the meaning behind the road trip, I wish it would have (or maybe future books will) taken us back to Blossom Street - literally. I would love to know, in more depth, how all of the other Blossom Street residents are doing, instead of the little snippets we get at the beginning of the book when Bethanne stops by A Good Yarn to pick up some yarn. The writing is strong, the story flows smoothly, and the characters could very well be your own mother, sister, or daughter. This is a beautiful story of good times spent with family, forgiveness, faith, and finding the love of your life no matter what age you are.

Until next month.......


  1. Great reviews and I've added two new books to my reading pile.

  2. Great reviews, Lori! I can't wait to read LONG GONE. I'm a big Alafair Burke fan. Maggie

  3. I'm going to have to chime in and say, "wonderful reviews, Lori!" Now I want to read everything!


  4. Lori does great reviews and I'm proud to say that she's reviewed some of my books too.