The Late Show

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1)The Late Show by Michael Connelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Renee Ballard is one determined detective who has been through some rough times, like sexual harassment by a former boss, followed by ostracism by the LAPD and demotion to the graveyard shift. She is always under scrutiny while doing her best, trying to make a difference. Connelly brings us non-stop action as we enter Ballard’s world.
First in a series.
This would make a great movie!

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.  🙂

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.

The Dry by Jane Harper

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.

Fatal by John Lescroart

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.

The Trespasser

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad, #6)The Trespasser by Tana French

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love the well-developed glimpses we get into what’s going on inside Antoinette Conway’s thoughts. Like this description of the Murder Squad room, by our author, through Conway’s eyes: “Murder works out of the grounds of the Dublin Castle, smack in the heart of town, but our building is tucked away a few corners from the fancy stuff the tourists come to see, and our walls are thick; even the early morning traffic out on Dame Street only makes it through to us as a soft undemanding hum. The jumbles of paperwork and photos and scribbled notes left on people’s desks look like they’re charging up, thrumming with action waiting to happen. Outside the tall sash windows the night is thinning towards a chilled gray; the room smells of coffee and hot radiators. At that hour, if I could overlook all the ways the night shift blows, I could love the squad room.” And we know Conway loves her job, despite the royal shit her squad mates give her, the stuff harassment is made of.

Conway and victim Ainslinn Murray have something in common, something that helps Conway look at this case from the victim’s viewpoint and analyze her thought process.

Conway and Steve Moran work well together until they don’t. Boss Breslin is happy about the break in their congenial work relations. Some things are afoot. Good murder detectives, like Conway and Moran, don’t give up.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Night School

Night School (Jack Reacher, #21)Night School by Lee Child

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s about time that Lee Child brought Jack Reacher back to his Army days!

The year is 1996 and Reacher is in the Army. He is given a prestigious medal and then sent to “school.” His school appointment is witnessed and things are mysterious. When he arrives, he realizes it’s not school but an undercover assignment with one CIA operative and one FBI operative, men who were recently honored with distinction. They are given wide resources to solve a problem, a puzzle, with discretion. Frances Neagley plays a role in this book. 🙂

Reacher is an aging character. For Jack to do what he does best – bringing well deserved justice to all he meets at the advanced age of 58(?) – will not be feasible much longer. The series will need to branch out, either with other characters or with Reacher at different ages, which Child has done in the past with success.

Thank you, NetGalley, for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.