Beach Lawyer

Beach Lawyer (Beach Lawyer Series)Beach Lawyer by Avery Duff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lawyer Robert Worth is about to make partner at a prestigious Southern California law firm, after only five years of practice. He studiously stays away from partner Jack Pierce, who is nasty and vindictive. Things change when he discovers a client is being treated strangely unfairly and may have been sexually attacked.
The book opens with a prologue and Robert is in jail.
This book is difficult to read – until about the last third where it seems like the author hits his stride. The plot is what keeps the reader going.

I plan to continue reading this series.  🙂

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Mangrove Lightning

Mangrove Lightning (Doc Ford, #24)Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White’s best Doc Ford to date, I believe, Mangrove Lightning combines Florida prohibition history with present day bringing Marion and Tomlinson to a remote location in order to help a former legendary fishing guide keep his claim on land wanted by the federal government.
Tootsie Barlow needs to have a family member live on his land for 9 months every year. Tootsie’s problem is that he is running out of family members, due to death or injury in strange accidents. Gracie Barlow is his last hope – and she is missing.
This plotline is scary, creepy and confusing. I found myself wanting to re-read some parts; I found myself having to put the book down a couple of times due to Gracie’s dilemma.
The other plotlines are intriguing and I wonder if they will be revisited in future books:
the British royalty element;
Hannah Smith’s last thought.

Turtle Tug to the Rescue

Turtle Tug to the RescueTurtle Tug to the Rescue by Michael Slack

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Turtle Tug is a turtle-powered tug boat, who performs daring sea rescues on perilous waters.

This rhyming story is filled with rich vocabulary and vivid illustrations – showing animated facial expressions of the sea creatures he helps.

Turtle Tug is a hero and his adventure is perfect for the preschool crowd!

 

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost (Track, #1)Ghost by Jason Reynolds

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Castle Crenshaw, who calls himself Ghost, is a kid who gets himself into trouble. And that trouble makes this book hard for me to read – I put this slim volume down countless times while cringing as Ghost does something he knows he shouldn’t. Still, I had to finish this compelling story.

Ghost is a kid who can run like the wind, a kid who has caught the eye of a track coach, a kid who has no gym shorts, no gym shoes.

Ghost is a kid who lives in the projects, a kid whose dad tried to kill him and his mom, a kid whose dad is in prison, a kid who has a lot of anger inside of him.

Ghost is a kid with a mom who has ambitions to make their lives better.

First in a series.

The Dry

The DryThe Dry by Jane Harper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aaron Falk reluctantly returns home – to the rural farming community of Kiewarra, Australia, a place of childhood memories and one large and still looming mystery – for the funerals of his best friend Luke, Luke’s wife and six year old son.

Aaron works for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in their financial crimes division in Melbourne. Luke’s parents, who were like surrogate parents to him during his childhood, implore him to look into their son’s death. They don’t believe he could have killed his family and himself. Aaron agrees to take a quick look and is surprised that the local police sergeant has doubts about the murder-suicide theory – Raco’s keen eye sees evidence that suggests something else happened and he welcomes Aaron’s help.

This is a quick yet well-developed read. The severe drought, the shocking suicide/murders, the tight-knit community on a downward spiral and Aaron’s haunting memories provide a mesmerizing prose.

First in a series.

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Tales of the Madman UndergroundTales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love Karl Shoemaker’s honest, youthful, brave, foul-mouthed, caring voice.
From laughter to tears, this book takes us through Karl’s first six days of senior year high school, this tale of fierce friendship in 1973 – much more interesting than any days of my senior year!
Karl’s dad was the mayor of Lightsburg, OH and there’s a street in town named for the family. Karl’s mother is a widow, an alcoholic who steals Karl’s hard earned money to drink not only at home, but in local bars so she can pick up men. She leaves an IOU with the date and amount whenever she steals from Karl. This makes Karl the only adult in this household, one who has wisely set up some kind of trustee account with his mom’s pay check so their bills get paid first. But…that just keeps the roof over their heads and the lights on.
Since fourth grade, Karl has been in group therapy at school. For this last year of school he is desperate to have a “normal” year:
No group therapy – no sessions with the Madman Underground during school hours – talk about a stigma inducer!
A social life?
A non-group therapy girl friend?
So, Karl launches “Operation Be Fucking Normal.” Oh, yeah. He wants to keep his friends who are all members of that therapy group.
A 2010 LJ review says “This book is the first, and not the last, title on this [?] list that details the impact of bad parenting on kids.” Ouch! I wonder what other books are on that list?
Two highlights:
p.454 “So we fell asleep holding hands. If married couples got to do this all the time, shit if I could understand how there were ever divorces, or even fights.”
p.505 The rescue for Karl. Just ask. Please. Kids of alcoholics? You’ll get it.

Fatal

FatalFatal by John Lescroart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kind of Fatal Attraction-like.

Kate is attracted to Peter Ash, someone she met at a small dinner party, and she decides to act on her attraction. She thinks she has everything under control, nothing has been left to chance. The charges for the hotel will never been seen; she has not used a phone that can be traced back to her….

Then disaster strikes.

The bright star in the book is the character of Beth Tully. We think Kate will be the main character and her story will be the main plot-line. Haha – not true.

A word to John Lescroart fans: this is not his usual type of book.