Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Reviews

I don't always review the books I read, but recently, for some unexplained reason, I decided to chime-in on a few. These reviews are also posted at Goodreads and Amazon.com.

ODD THOMAS - YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER by DEAN KOONTZ  ***** This was my first Kindle Short download. I've read several, though not all, of the Odd Thomas series, so this prequel was a nice reminder of Oddie's paranormal abilities. I especially like the cameo appearances by Elvis Presley. Most of all, I like the way Koontz mixes humor and catastrophe. I've always felt that horror and the paranormal do not have to be all blood and guts. Glad to know that Koontz agrees. 


BLOOD MEMORY By GREG ILES  **** Catherine “Cat” Ferry has a lot on her plate. New Orleans police and the FBI need her special skills to catch a serial killer. Unfortunately, she’s addicted to vodka and suffering mental and emotional breakdowns at the crime scene. But there’s much more to Cat’s problems. Returning home to Natchez, MS (the author’s hometown), a chance discovery puts Cat in touch with excruciating childhood memories. She recounts the murder of her father twenty years ago and the abuse suffered at his hands – or at least that’s what she has been led to believe. Recalling the trauma is as difficult as solving the New Orleans murders.

Over the course of 800 pages, Greg Iles takes us back and forth between the two cities: to murder scenes, repressed dreams, visits with Cat’s Grandpapa (a pillar of the community), an eccentric psychiatrist who knows Cat more intimately than anyone should, and a list of savory and unsavory locals. Is there a connection between Cat’s abuse and the murders? Is Cat involved?

I expected a lot of red herrings, dead ends and filler in these 800 pages. I was pleasantly surprised that the novel held my interest throughout. Greg Iles is a master storyteller. Though Blood Memory is not my favorite book by the author, I give it a solid 4-stars.


THE NEIGHBOR by DEAN KOONTZ  ***** The Neighbor is a short story by Dean Koontz. The house next door sits vacant. Mr. Clockenwall died of a massive heart attack a month earlier. Twelve-year-old, Malcolm, viewed the old man, a retired English teacher, as quiet, one who kept to himself. But one night, an unusual sound drew Malcolm and his older sister, Amalia, into the vacant home. Amalia confides that Mr. Clockenwall gave her the creeps, and for good reason. She admonished Malcolm never to set foot in his home alone. Malcolm can’t resist. Forces working beyond Malcolm’s control draw him into home. He finds scrapbooks, pictures and newspaper clippings. In the basement, he finds more evidence of a man with problems. Will the force overcome him? And his sister?