Friday Morning Bookclub

November 22, 2014

Another Great Audio Book: The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

The Hidden ChildHow is it possible that I have never heard of Camilla Lackberg? It was just by chance that I picked up The Hidden Child while browsing the shelves of playaways at my local library. The story sounded intriguing and I was not disappointed.

Erica Falck and Patrik Hedstom are a modern-day couple. Erica, a crime writer is working on a new book and her husband Patrik, a homicide detective is on paternity leave. It is his turn to take some time off from work to care for the couples one year old daughter Maja.

Playing Mr. Mom does not come naturally to Patrik and although he means well, he does not always make the best decisions when it comes to caring for Maja. Who could blame Erica for being slightly perturbed to find out that Patrik and Maja had taken a little detour during their afternoon walk to visit the scene of a murder?

As it turned out this was not just some random murder. Not only did Erica know the victim, she had recently met with him at the very place he had been murdered, seeking his advice. His name was Erik and he was a retired history teacher and an expert on WWII Nazi memorabilia. When Erica had found a Nazi medal wrapped in a blood stained baby outfit as well as an incomplete set of diaries in her mother’s attic she was left with many questions and it was Erik she had gone to for answers. Perhaps if she knew more about the medal and who it had belonged to she would have a better understanding as to her mothers past and why she had always been such a cold unloving person. Now days later Erik was dead, and Erica was no closer to learning the truth.

The story alternates back and forth between present day Sweden and 1940’s Sweden. Chapter by chapter, piece by piece we learn about all of the people who played a part in Erica’s mother’s past and about the secret that would ultimately come back to haunt each of them. A secret that would lead to murder.

The Hidden Child is the fifth book in Camilla Lackberg’s Fjallbacka detective series. It is an exciting, suspenseful story and an excellent audio book. I look forward to listening to the rest of the series and this time I am going to start with number 1:The Ice Princess!

A four omelet audio book!

The Hidden Child (Patrik Hedström, #5) – Goodreads

Have you listened to any good audio books lately? If so, I would love to hear about them!

October 30, 2012

Keeper Of The Bride By Tess Gerritsen…….Always Exciting!

Filed under: Keeper of the Bride,Tess Gerritsen — susanbright @ 11:43 am
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When I am looking for an entertaining audio book, I know that I can always depend on Tess Gerritsen. Her mysteries are never boring and Keeper of the Bride is no exception!

What is the worst thing that can happen to a bride? Yes, you guessed it!  Nina Cormier was left standing at the altar. Just minutes before she was to walk down the aisle the best man handed her the note:

                                                                 Nina,

                                                                 I need time to think about this. I’m sorry, I  

                                                                 really am. I’m leaving town for a few days. I’ll

                                                                 call  you.

                                                                 Robert

How could Robert do this to her… and why? They had been planning this wedding for months. If he was having second thoughts he had plenty of time to let her know. Nina was devastated! And then to make matters worse, as she sat crying in the minister’s car, mascara running down her face, the church exploded right before her eyes. If the wedding had not been canceled she could not even imagine what would have happened to her and her guests! The icing on the wedding cake was when later in the day as she was driving home to lick her wounds someone tried to force her car off the road. Clearly this was not a coincidence. Someone wanted Nina dead! But why? She had no enemies. Nina was an ER nurse. She prided herself on being a good person.

This was not the first bombing in Portland and Detective Sam Navarro was working the case. He was handsome and unattached but he was also a professional and knew better than to get involved with the “damsel in distress”. He was determined to keep Nina safe and find out who was behind the bombings and why!

Keeper of the Bride is an easy, fun read and an entertaining audio book. If you enjoy a mystery with a little romance thrown in you will enjoy Keeper of the Bride. I sure did!

Update…I am STILL reading IQ84!

October 24, 2012

Ransom River By Meg Gardiner….I Sure Didn’t See That Coming!

Filed under: Audio books,Ransom River — susanbright @ 12:40 pm
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Rory Mackenzie had good reason for leaving Ransom River, California. Unfortunately when the non profit organization she was working for lost its funding and she was out of money, she had no choice but to return to the town she grew up in, only to find a jury summons awaiting.

Rory was juror #7 and in a town where nothing ever happened, this was a high-profile case. A murder trial. Two officers were accused of shooting  and killing a 16-year-old intruder who just happened to be the son of Gregor Mirkovic, a powerful man with his own connections to the crime world.

As the jury watched a video of the shooting caught on tape by a neighbor’s security camera, the courtroom door swung open and in came two masked men, dressed in green fatigues and carrying guns. Everyone was ordered to the ground, all cell phones were collected and they bolted the door behind them. These men meant business and it was clear that people were going to get hurt. As Rory and several others were singled out and taken hostage, Rory’s thoughts went to Seth Colder, her ex boy friend who was an ex cop and the main reason she left Ransom River in the first place.

Fortunately Rory does make it out of this dangerous situation, however she quickly realizes that in the police’s mind she is not a victim. They actually believe that she is an accomplish. Video tapes from inside the court room show that she was not randomly selected as a hostage. Was she the target of a kidnapping gone bad? Why would anyone want her? Could this actually have something to do with something she and Seth had witnessed when they were only 9 years old?

Ransom River is a fast paced read with lots of twists and turns and yes, one major….I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING MOMENT. If you enjoy mysteries, this is a quick, entertaining read. I enjoyed listening to it in Playaway form as I went about my daily activities.

I don’t know what I did before my library started carrying Playaways! Any other Playaway lovers out there?

Meg Gardiner – Welcome to the official site of thriller novelist Meg

July 22, 2012

Death Match By Lincoln Child

Filed under: Audio books,Death Match — susanbright @ 10:22 am
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Who needs Match.com, Harmony or JDate, when there is Eden? Eden’s sophisticated hi tech computer Liza did all the work for you.  Yes, the computer had a name! For $25,000. Liza would find your perfect match. Guaranteed! No scrolling through pictures, no emailing back and forth and no painful first dates.  Sure, you had to endure a thorough physical, as well as psychological examination, answer a multitude of personal questions, but who wouldn’t do that in order to find their soul mate?

Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe were one of Eden’s many success stories.  The Thorpes were actually a special Eden match. They were one of the supercouples, couples that matched on every single criteria.  They were the first supercouple in the history of the high-tech dating service and they were approaching their one year anniversary. Lewis and Lindsey had a beautiful baby and couldn’t have been any happier.

Eden followed their couples and was proud of their success rate, so when the Thorpes were found dead in their living room, an apparent suicide, alarms went off in their corporate office. What could possibly have caused this perfectly matched couple to take their own lives? Eden must find out quickly and without any negative publicity. Christopher Lash, a  forensic psychologist was the perfect person to get to the bottom of these mysterious deaths. Of course Lash was still looking for his perfect match and had his own questionable past which only added to the intrigue.

Undercover as a potential Eden client, Lash undergoes the same testing as the Thorpes, and every other Eden candidate.  Lash is introduced to Richard Silver, the friendly yet reclusive genius behind Eden and even meets Liza,  who looks nothing like Lash was expecting. How could one little computer accomplish such an amazing task? And more importantly, what else could Liza do?

Unfortunately the mystery escalates quickly when a second supercouple is found dead as they too reach their one year anniversary. Death Match is a fast paced story with lots of twists and turns. Nothing earth shattering, not too complex, just pure entertainment.  Although the ending is predictable it was an enjoyable audio book.  Just what I was hoping for.

April 19, 2012

This Month’s Book: Defending Jacob By William Landay

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Defending Jacob — susanbright @ 10:01 am
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The Barber family; Andy, Laurie and 14 year old Jacob live in a quiet New England town.  Andy is an assistant district attorney and is a respected member of his community. But when one of Jacob’s classmates is murdered and Jacob is charged with the crime their whole world is turned upside down. Could Jacob possibly be guilty of such a horrible crime? Defending Jacob is a mesmerizing book from the very first page and will keep you guessing up to the very end. Please join us in reading Defending Jacob.

Defending Jacob by William Landay – Reviews, Discussion

March 15, 2012

State Of Wonder By Ann Patchett: A Review By Dana

Filed under: Book Recomendations,State of Wonder — susanbright @ 10:23 am
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Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder talks of a death that occurs on the very first page.  Dr. Anders Eckman, a research scientist for the Vogel Corporation, was sent to Brazil to obtain information on the whereabouts of Dr. Annick Swenson and the progress she has made in the development of a new drug. One that would significantly increase the number of years a woman would remain fertile.  How, why, or even when he died is not known and what is known makes little sense.

Dr. Annick Swenson, head of the project, is presumed to have all the answers,  but seems unwilling to share them.  In fact, she is completely unwilling to have people locate her for months at a time, since contact with the outside world only serves to obstruct her progress.

Who is to be sacrificed next and sent to live in the Amazon along with the poisonous insects, dangerous reptiles and malaria infested swamps to uncover both the truth about Eckman’s demise and the advancement of Dr. Swenson’s research? Is there something going on in the depths of the jungle that Dr. Swenson is deliberately hiding? A reason for her to refuse to even inform the CEO funding the project of her location and progress, ridding herself of having a phone to prevent disruption? Dr. Swenson wasn’t always a scientist, but once a renowned gynecologist who mentored many young residents, one of which is about to once again meet up with her and revisit her past.

This book provides a look into the mindset and personality of someone driven and possessed by scientific goals to the point of rendering herself a guinea pig. It addresses the hypnotic pull that lures some scientists into obsession.  A world of self experimentation and immersion into Amazon tribal cultures extremely foreign and bizarre to us.

A mystery from the get go, this book has you taste both the fear and wonderment of the Amazon.

March 5, 2012

Never Knowing By Chevy Stevens

Filed under: Book Recomendations — susanbright @ 9:55 am
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Sarah Gallagher was a mother, had a small business refinishing furniture and was engaged to be married. She should have been on top of the world, but she was troubled. Sarah was adopted and although she had a wonderful loving mother and two sisters she had always felt that she just didn’t fit in. The relationship she shared with her father was less than ideal and in her eyes he treating her differently than his “real” daughters. Sarah had questions and only her birth mother could answer them.

When the private investigator she hired located her birth mother and Sarah contacted her, only to have the phone hung up on her and the door practically slammed in her face, perhaps she should have taken the hint. Why did her mother hate her so much? Why had her birth mother found it necessary to change her name? No matter how much her fiance begged her to do so, Sarah could not let it go.

Sarah was horrified to learn that her mother was the only woman to survive an assault by the Campsite Killer, and worse yet, she was the result of that attack. The Campsite Killer was her father!  Was that why she had such a temper? Was she like her father?

Before Sarah knew what was happening the story had been leaked and it was all over the internet. What would happen if her father, the murderer saw the story? What would he do if he found out that he not only was a father, he was a grandfather. How could Sarah protect her family, when no one knew the identity or whereabouts of this “still wanted” serial killer? How about her birth mother? No wonder she hated her! What would she do when she found out that after all these years of hiding her identity was also revealed.

Never Knowing is not divided into chapters, it is divided into therapy sessions. Yes, Sarah is in therapy. If she didn’t need it before, she certainly would need it now that her serial killer birth father was actually contacting her on a regular basis! Never Knowing may not be a work of literature, however it is an exciting, fun ride and certainly a page turner!

4 Omelets

February 11, 2012

This Month’s Book: State Of Wonder By Ann Patchett

Filed under: State of Wonder,What is next?? — susanbright @ 5:11 pm
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When her mentor Dr Annick Swenson goes missing and her lab partner dies suddenly, 42-year-old Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist is sent to the Amazon to find answers. Dr Swenson had been working on developing a miracle fertility drug. He had actually found a tribe of women  who could bear children well into their old age. The pharmaceutical company had already invested a substantial amount of money on this project and the drug would be worth millions!

State of Wonder has been described as engaging, entertaining  and suspenseful. Enjoy a good mystery? Looking for some adventure? Join us in reading State of Wonder!

January 17, 2012

Rate The Book: Night Road By Kristin Hannah

Filed under: Kristin Hannah,Night Road,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 10:46 pm
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Help us rate our books. All votes and comments are welcomed!

December 24, 2011

The Most Dangerous Thing: A Review By Ann

In “The Most Dangerous Thing,” Laura Lippman, a reputed mystery writer, explores a mythologized childhood in the woods that skirts Dickeyville, a suburb just inside Baltimore, Maryland. In the novel, five neighborhood kids play together back in the late 1970s — back when it was actually possible for kids to roam and play.

The Friday Morning Bookclub happens to be based in the Baltimore area and many members grew up here in the 1970’s. Reading about neighborhoods, streets and parks we knew was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the story seemed “much ado about nothing”.

We hear in the voice of each kid –Gwen, Mickey, and the three Halloran brothers, Sean, Tim, and Gordon – about exploring the neighborhood park and about wondering deeper and deeper into the wilderness. Tragedy ensues, death occurs. They grow apart. They come back together. (Maybe they should have been forced to have play dates?)

While there is some interesting character development and quirky personalities, I just felt let down when it was finished. The whole book leads up to this secret lie or cover up and I was expecting something … well something …

Our bookclub had a lot of fun exchanging holiday gifts and then stealing them from one another. The best idea of the morning, however, was a recipe exchange and book. More on that to come.

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