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26 February 2011

Echo Burning (Jack Reacher #5)

Echo Burning is the fifth book in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series - about an ex-military cop who is wandering the US since his discharge and getting into situations where his detective (and shooting) skills are put to use.

Echo county Texas has more oil rigs than people. It is as sparsely populated now as it was during the time of the Wild West. And the so called justice is about the same, too.

Reacher is leaving Lubbock when he is picked up by a woman who lives in Echo. She has been looking for a rough looking man to take home with her for protection. Or to kill her husband.

Though Reacher has killed a few people in his day, he is not a cold blooded killer. But he goes with her and becomes a ranch hand to check out the situation. Of course the situation is much more complicated than a woman stuck in an abusive marriage.

Child has created a compelling character in Jack Reacher. He a man you would want on your side in a fight and his adventures are a pleasure for readers.

Child, Lee. (2001). Echo Burning. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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21 February 2011

The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra #3)

The Brazen Bride is the third book in the Black Cobra quartet by Stephanie Laurens.

This swashbuckling tale of the third member of four soldiers carrying a letter from India to England to stop the reign of the savage cult of the Black Cobra begins with a shipwreck.

Lady Linnet Trevission of is used to things washing up in the coves surrounding her house. The isle of Guernsey, a British Channel Island, has seen its fair share of storms. But this time the storm has delivered a man. And with the help of her household, Linnet brings him home to be tended.

Logan is lucky to be alive. He has sword wounds, a concussion, and no memory beyond his first name.

While he regains his strength he enjoys the company of the woman who not only runs the house, but is basically the queen of the island.

Once his memory returns, he must set aside his feelings and continue his duty. Luckily, Lady Trevission has the means to help him. Though the plot follows a similar path as the other books, as they each have to reach the man who will help them destroy the Black Cobra, this book is (so far) the best in the series.

Laurens combines the historical with romantic suspense to create a must read for fans. Her set up in this series brings together members from her two other series, which readers always love. And her story is creative, imaginative, and a brazenly good time.

Laurens, Stephanie. (2010). The Brazen Bride. New York: Avon Books.

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16 February 2011

Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4)

Running Blind (published as The Visitor in the UK) by Lee Child is the fourth book in the Jack Reacher series. Reacher is an ex-Army homicide detective who is just trying to live his life.

Reacher is minding his own business - living in the house he inherited, seeing Jodie Garber and just hanging out in New York. But one night in his new favorite Italian restaurant two men come in to scare a weekly payoff from the manager.

Reacher has never been good at sitting on the sidelines while others are being harassed. So he beats up the to toughs to send a message to their boss that the restaurant already has protection. What he doesn't realize is that the FBI is watching him beat them up.

An hour later he is arrested on charges of racketeering and as a suspect in a serial murder case. Someone is killing ex-Army women - women who were sexually harassed while they were in the service.

Reacher will need all of his skills as a detective to deal with the case, while trying to keep the FBI from threatening Jodie for his continued assistance.

Child's series featuring Jack Reacher contains books filled with suspense, mystery, great characters, and an almost bullet-proof protagonists. They are must-reads for any reading fans.

Child, Lee. (2000). Running Blind. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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12 February 2011

Mercy Kill (Mercy Gunderson #2)

Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong is the second book in her Mercy Gunderson series. Mercy is a retired Sergeant Major in the Army - retired due to an eye injury that ended her sniper career.

After a bout with too much whiskey, Mercy has left the day-to-day running of the ranch she and her sister inherited to her foreman and has taken a job as bartender at Clementine's, a bar owned by her friend and frequented by the rougher crowd of Southwest South Dakota.

When an old army buddy show up working for the oil company that wants to put a pipeline through the center of the county, he is not the most popular visitor. When he is killed outside of the bar the sheriff, Dawson, doesn't seem to be trying to find the murderer.

Mercy vows to find the killer, even if she has to agree to run for sheriff herself. She soon finds out that the case is much more complicated that she first thought, and that sometime the sheriff has his hands tied.

Armstrong's characters are flawed and endearing. Her snapshot of life in South Dakota makes readers to explore the middle of our country. And her mysteries will keep readers up late to find out who done it.

Armstrong, Lori. (2010). Mercy Kill. New York: Touchstone Books.

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10 February 2011

The Elusive Bride (Black Cobra #2)

The Elusive Bride is the second book in Stephanie Laurens's Black Cobra Quartet - about four soldiers racing home from India with evidence that will end the terrible reign of the evil Black Cobra. Each man is to take a different route, either with the original evidence or a copy of it, and return to England.

Major Gareth Hamilton is returning to England via the diplomatic route. His job is to dispose of as many of the Black Cobra's cultists as he can to pave the way for those behind him.

When he reaches Aden in what is now Yemen, Major Hamilton see a woman he knows - the very woman who brought the evidence he is carrying. The meeting is no accident. Emily Ensworth has intercepted Gareth in an attempt to travel back to England with him. She is sure he may be the "one" for her.

What Emily does not know is that the Black Cobra will stop at nothing to make sure that they do not reach England at all.

Laurens has created a wonderful story of travel in early 1800s. As far as regency romance novels, this one is unique as it includes so many different cultures as Emily and Gareth travel across the Middle East, across Europe, and home to England. Characters from her other book series make appearances in this series which will delight fans.

Laurens, Stephanie. (2010). The Elusive Bride. New York: Avon.

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06 February 2011

Jackdaws

Jackdaws by Ken Follett tells the story of an all-female group of British spies who helped change the outcome of World War II.

Felicity "Flick" Clairet is an agent with the Special Operations Executive. She is responsible for helping the French Resistance fight the Nazis by sabotage.

With the Bollinger group Flick attacks a building that house most of the phone lines the Nazis are using to communicate through out France. But MI6 intelligence underestimated the number of gestapo in the building.

Not only did they fail to take out communications, but most of her team is either killed or captured.

The Resistance members who were captured are to be questioned by Franck Dieter - the man Rommel put in charge of stopping the sabotage.

When Flick gets back to England, she will not let her friends' death be for naught. She proposes taking the same building with an all female team. They can sneak in because no one pays attention to women. If they succeed it will give the Allies the advantage they need as they invade France to push the Nazis back to Germany and maybe win the war.

Follett is the master of taking one line of fact and creating a plausible, thrilling story around it. This is a must read for any WWII, espionage, or political thriller fans. It is the best WWII espionage novel I have read since The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva.

Follett, Ken (2001). Jackdaws. New York: Dutton Books.

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01 February 2011

Tripwire (Jack Reacher #3)

Tripwire is the third Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. Reacher is an ex-military police who has been traveling the United States since he was discharged.

When Reacher is in Key West, Florida digging swimming pools to refund his savings account, a stranger shows up asking questions about him. Reacher tells the man he has never heard of anyone by the name of Jack Reacher.

The next day two more men are asking about him. When he goes to question the first man, Reacher finds him dead. Now he feels responsible for finding out why the man was killed. He heads to New York to track down the guy's office and find out who sent him.

Soon Reacher is following the trail of a man no one has seen since the Vietnam war. A plan set in motion thirty years ago is about to be discovered and the man who put it in place will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Child's Reacher series are nail-biting adventures that will keep readers wanting more.

Child, Lee. (1999). Tripwire. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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