Friday, June 22, 2012

Explosive Eighteen

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying. Only one other person has seen the missing photo – Stephanie Plum.

Love in a Nutshell

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly. Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her job as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parent’s summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a bed-and-breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town to be able to insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him.

What Doesn’t Kill You

This is an okay book written by Iris Johansen. Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang – a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with.


This is an okay book written by Robin Cook. New York City medical examiner Jack Stapleton has been out of touch with former college classmates Shawn Doherty and Kevin Murray for almost three decades. Still a renegade activist, Jack is currently investigating the world of alternative medicine. Shawn, an acclaimed archeologist and Bible scholar, is reeling from sobering aftershocks of a recent find. But when Kevin – now Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York – gets wind of Shawn’s discovery, he turns to his old buddy Jack for help in suppressing an explosive secret.

Edge of Evil

This is an okay book written by J.A. Jance. Television journalist Alison Reynolds has been ousted from her job in Los Angeles in favor of a younger woman. In her mid-forties, Alison faces not only the end of a lucrative career, but the end of a ten-year marriage to a cheating studio executive. Escaping to Arizona, Alison begins blogging for therapy, and to help others deal with being cut loose – from marriages, jobs, life. Her writing soon touches a chord with many women, but threatening comments start to haunt her and the death of a friend may not be what it seems. When the woman who replaced her on TV is mysterious murdered, Alison recognizes that she must find the killer before she is cut loose once and for all.

This is the first novel with Ali Reynolds.

Nowhere to Run

This is an okay book written by C.J. Box. Ever since a world-class runner went missing two years ago, locals steer clear of the towering peak near Battle Pass in Wyoming. They’re convinced it’s haunted by flesh-earing Wendigo of Indian lore. As Joe Pickett rides up this slope to investigate reports of a bizarre elk poaching, even the skeptical veteran feels a strange foreboding. And when arrows from unseen stalkers strike Pickett and his steeds, the rugged outdoorsman must draw on his dwindling resources to fight off death and elude his cunning pursuers.

This is the 10th novel in the Joe Pickett series.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Megan Murphy is having a wonderful day prancing around the streets of Williamsburg when her idyll is ruined by a rambunctious rabbit nibbling at her skirt. Too cute for words, the bunny, with his brown fur and droopy ears, is the property of one Patrick Hunter, who also happens to be too cute for words. Soon the two are talking and a romance begins. But can it survive Thanksgiving dinner with both their families?

This was the author’s fourth standalone romance novel.

Full Tilt

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. Beaumont, South Carolina has mint juleps, ladies who lunch, good ol’ boy politics, and Jamie Swift. She's running her family newspaper, ready to marry the town’s most eligible bachelor, and getting her future locked in. Then mysterious, high-tech wonder boy Max Holt comes to town. Sexy, wisecracking Max has turned from computers to crime-stopping. Now he’s got a case in Beaumont and a reason to look up Jamie Swift. Soon Jamie is caught in the crossfire of her own emotions, Max’s secrets, and the most irresistible desire.

This is the second novel in the series.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Grey (2012)

This is an okay movie. John Ottway (Liam Neeson) works in Alaska killing the wolves that threaten an oil drilling team. On his last day on the job, Ottway writes a letter to his wife Ana that he plans to commit suicide. Upon completing their job, the team and Ottway head home on a plane that crashes in a blizzard. He finds a woman being eaten by a gray wolf and informs the others that they are probably in the wolves' territory. They start a fire and take turns keeping watch. Another man is killed by two wolves and Ottway suggests that they head to the forest for better protection.

It is based on the short story Ghost Walker by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers. The film includes a post-credits scene. This movie reunited director Joe Carnahan with producer Ridley Scott and actor Liam Neeson, who previously collaborated on the 2010 action film The A-Team. The film was shot in Smithers, British Columbia, with several scenes being shot at the Smithers Regional Airport. Modern knowledge of wolves dismisses the idea of an alpha male in a pack, favoring the concept of breeder wolf, in the sense that in these animals the pack leader is simply the common parent, and its status is not obtained by fighting.

Stolen Prey

This is an okay book written by John Sandford. Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed. There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’ cop instincts. Was it drug-related? But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit. Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.

This is the 22nd novel in the series.

Underworld: Awakening (2012)

This is a solid movie. Humans capture the priority vampire target, Selene (Kate Beckinsale), during a global military crusade to exterminate vampires and lycans. Twelve years later, Selene, dubbed Subject 1, is freed from cryogenic suspension by Subject 2 and escapes. She learns that the second patient is a young girl who is the offspring of Selene and vampire-lycan hybrid Michael Corvin. Fellow vampire David takes Selene and her daughter to his coven, but his father disapproves of the decision. Meanwhile, Dr. Jacob Lane, who is secretly a lycan has been working on a drug designed to make lycans immune to the deadly effects of silver.

This is the fourth film in the series.

Naughty Neighbor

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Louisa Brannigan is an all-work-and-no-play press secretary determined to make a name for herself on Capitol Hill. Her neighbor Pete Streeter, on the other hand, is content to steal her morning newspaper and talk on the phone (loudly) at all hours of the night. The two couldn’t be a worse match. But when Pete gets Louisa involved in the case of a missing pig, romance blooms as they team up to track down the swine.

This is the author's 7th standalone romance novel.

Hot Stuff

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Leanne Banks. Cate Madigan isn't asking for trouble. Her wacky Irish family is constantly playing matchmaker for her with men who leave much to be desired. All she wants is peace and quiet and a nice place to live while she saves her money from tending bar in a lively Boston pub. Okay, so what if her roommate is a cross-dressing lounge singer named Mary Longfellow? In exchange for cheap rent, all she has to do is take care of his plants and collect his mail when he’s out of town. And then, Marty disappears. At the same time, a bullmastiff dog named Beast shows up with instructions from Marty to take care of him.

Friday, June 01, 2012

11th Hour

This is an okay book co-written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last, but her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she’s ever witnessed: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed on the patio of a world-famous actor’s home. Five more heads are unearthed in his garden, and Lindsay realizes that the grounds may hold more victims.

This is the 11th novel in the Women's Murder Club series.


This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Alexandra Scott: Wilderness Woman. It had a terrific ring to it, but Alex felt a sudden twinge of terror. She’d traded in her Wall Street job and fancy condo for a rundown cabin in the Alaska woods and a bait & tackle store. She’d wanted to escape the rat race and to go husband-hunting where men outnumbered women four to one, but was she ready for the challenge? Then she spotted Michael Casey, a sexy pilot undaunted by disaster, a confirmed bachelor, had hero written all over him. Michael was the man she had come to Alaska to find, and Alexandra had him in her sights.

This was the author's fifth standalone romance novel originally published under the name Steffie Hall.

Force of Nature

This is an okay book written by C.J. Box. He never wanted to tell Joe Pickett about it, but Nate Romanowski always knew trouble was coming out of his past. Now it’s here, and it may not only be the battle of his life – but of Joe’s. In 1995, Nate was in a secret Special Forces unit abroad when a colleague did something terrible. Now high up in the government, the man is determined to eliminate anyone who knows about it, and Nate knows exactly how he’ll do it – by striking at Nate’s friends to draw him out. The entire Pickett family will be a target, and the only way to fight back is outside the law. Nate knows he can do it, but he isn’t sure about his straight-arrow friend – and all their lives could depend on it.

This is the 12th book in the series.

War Horse (2011)

This is an okay movie. Ted (Peter Mullan) buys a colt at an auction and his wife worries that he wasted the money and they won’t be able to pay rent on their farm in Devon, England. Their son Albert (Jeremy Irvine) agrees to train and care for the horse and names him Joey. Albert trains Joey for the plough; however a rainstorm destroys the turnip field, so to pay the overdue rent Ted sells Joey to Captain James Nicholls as the First World War breaks out in 1914. Before the horse is taken, Albert ties his father's pennant to Joey's bridle. Joey is trained for military operations and deployed to France.

It is an adaptation of the 1982 children's novel written by British author Michael Morpurgo. There is also a 2007 play based on the story. General Jack Seely, a close friend of Winston Churchill, wrote a book in 1934 about his charger called My Horse Warrior, which was re-released under the title of Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse. The Second Boer War was fought from 1899 until 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics in southern Africa.

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

This is a solid movie based on a true story. Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is a recently widowed father who thinks his children would be better off if they moved away from their noisy neighbors and into a better house. He finds a place that seems like a great fit, but there's a catch: the property includes a zoo and is 9 miles from the nearest grocery store. While initially uncertain about the land, he decides it will provide a good experience and adventure for his family. The unpaid zoo staff includes 28-year-old Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) who spends so much time working she doesn't have a social life.

The real Benjamin Mee is British and the actual zoo he bought is Dartmoor Zoological Park, located in Devon, England. His wife Katherine died after they bought the house which took two years to finalize, and their children were only four and six. It was a jaguar, not a bear, which escaped. While the movie takes place in 2010, the summer calendar that is shown actually corresponds to the years 2007 or 2012. The BBC ran a 4 part television documentary on the family in 2007 called Ben's Zoo.

Benjamin Mee wrote an article for The Guardian on June 22, 2007.