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Red Mist

(my 4th book for RIP)

Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell.

Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Berkley;(September 4, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780425250433

 

 

On her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before, Scarpetta drives to the Georgia Prison for Women to meet a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out.
Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: the murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace. Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.
And she is the only one who can stop it.

Of the few "Scarpetta" books I have read I found this one the most enjoyed so far.

Scarpetta , while trying to find out information of her friend Jack Fielding, finds herself as a target for a possible murder. 

This is a well driven mystery with a few more twists and turns throughout.  Although I am thinking all of the Scarpetta books will have a lot of similarity, I am finding reading some of them is a nice change.  You might want to try a few for yourself! 

The Bone Bed

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Book 4 for RIP.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult(October 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780399157561

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell.

 

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.
This is Kay Scarpetta as you have never seen her before. The Bone Bed is a must read for any fan of this series, or an ideal starting point for new readers.

This is the first “Scarpetta” book I have read. But not the first Patricia Cornwell book.  In 2002 she put out a book called: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper–Case Closed.  Which was her version of searching who the real Jack the Ripper was, and it was a very good book.

Although she has about 20 Scarpetta books out, and this is far (far) from the first, I did not find it hard to follow the characters.  The book is about  6 pages per chapter and 1 1/2 spacing, so reading it is easy and clear.

I found the book engaging but I wouldn’t say it is going to be an “all time favorite” but I will read a second Scarpetta book that I have here in the house , and if it’s as good as this one I have no doubt that somewhere down the road I will read others.

I do have to say there are books in which the characters grab me harder and make me want to read stories with them in it more than this did.. but as I said, it was engaging enough that I didn’t put it down and will read another to see if the characters grow on me more.

It’s a good “forensic mystery” and a fast read for anyone wanting such a book.

The Unburied

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Book 3 for RIP.

The Unburied by Charles Palliser.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(November 24, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0374280355

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There are three separate tales interwoven in this novel-three tales that could be called ghost stories, for their mysteries can never be resolved, the victims and the perpetrators never laid to rest.
Dr. Courtine, an unworldly academic, is invited to spend the days before Christmas with an old friend. Twenty years have passed since Courtine and Austin last met, and the invitation to Austin’s home in the cathedral close of Thurchester is a welcome one. When Courtine arrives, Austin tells him a tale of deadly rivalry and murder two centuries old. The mystery captures Courtine’s donnish imagination, as it is intended to do.
Courtine also plans to pursue his research into another unresolved and older mystery in the labyrinthine cathedral library. If he can track down an elusive eleventh-century manuscript, he hopes to dispose of a deadly rival of his own. Doubly distracted, Courtine becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the sequence of terrible events that follows his arrival, and he becomes witness to a murder that seems never to have been committed.

First off, I think I grabbed this book at a thrift shop for 1.00.  I saw the title and thought this looks like it’s a good one for RIP.. and it was!

Seriously, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this or not since the historical parts were way earlier than most I read, and I don’t generally read about “religion” history.  But, something about it grabbed me right away and although I felt lost now and then I kept picking up the book to read more. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

It read rather quickly (even when I was lost) and it slightly reminded my of television when they do “cold cases”… you sure can’t get much colder then this was! lol   So it is now onward and upward to the next book! (and no.. my tbr pile never EVER seems to get smaller!)

Others

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Book 2 for RIP…

 

Others by James Herbert.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Forge Books;(October 14, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0312872933

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Amazon.com Review

Author of such classic chilling tales as The Fog and The Rats, Britain’s foremost horror master James Herbert now cleverly transcends the boundaries of detective fiction and the supernatural for Others, a book that begins in the bowels of Hell. In this fiery underworld we meet a former Hollywood movie star, thrust there for a lifetime of depravity. But now this damned soul is given one more shot at redemption, a chance to live again as a human. Begging for a new judgment, he is sent back to earth, without memory of his past life or death. However, his new existence will be a wretched one, living in the body of Nicholas Dismas, a brilliant and tender-hearted private investigator sadly afflicted with horrendous physical deformities. Shunned by strangers, Nicholas struggles not only with his malformed body, but also with a troubling sense of self. Staring in the mirror, other eyes stare back, "too blurred for recognition. That ill-defined but handsome countenance had hinted at something too evasive to remember properly, too vague to focus upon, yet still filled me with a strange, elusive regret." It isn’t until Dismas takes on a seemingly run-of-the-mill missing person’s investigation that he begins to understand the origins of his own hellish identity.

Others is a dark exploration into the psyche of the eternal outsider, a tormented freak in a cruel society. Gory, but brilliantly conceived, Herbert will leave you feeling haunted long after reading his final words. –Naomi Gesinger

The last book I read by James Herbert was The Secrets of Crickley Hall.. and I enjoyed that one very much..  Now comes   “Others”.  ..and I have to say, once again, I enjoyed Mr. Herbert’s writing.

In this book he came up with such an unexpected protagonist (Nicholas Dismas) that I wasn’t sure in the beginning where this was going.  But he was so unexpected and unusual that he alone held my interest.

The first half of the book was good.

The second half was one of those when each time you sat down you grabbed the book to read “at least one chapter”… and with each chapter it picked up speed!

Most all books have “good and evil” in them… and the “evil” in this book was really disgusting!  ..which only means:  James Herbert has one heck of an imagination!!  I was glad he extended the book by letting me know why and how the whole thing came about .  I know I wouldn’t have been happy not knowing lol.

This is surely a read for RIP!  (and so is The Secrets of Crickley Hall, should you come across a copy)

The Witches

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My first book for RIP..

The Witches by Roald Dahl.

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(August 27, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0374384592

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From ERICA JONG’S review in THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW:

“ ‘The Witches’ is a heroic tale. A schoolboy is transformed into a tiny mouse (with, however, the mind and language of a very bright child), and through his extraordinary bravery, he manages to save all the children of England from the same fate. Under the surface of this deceptively simple tale, which whizzes along and is great fun to read, lurks an interesting metaphor. This is the equation of childhood with mousedom. A child may be smaller than all the witchy, horrifying adults, but he can certainly outwit them. He is tiny and crushable, but he is also fast and well-nigh invisible. With the assistance of his benevolent Grandmamma (who hoists him up to things he can’t reach, secretes him in her handbag, feeds and cuddles him), he is able to outsmart nearly the whole adult world . . . The boy doesn’t mind being a mouse, he says, because ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’ And, indeed, the hero of this tale is loved. Whether as a boy or a mouse, he experiences the most extraordinary and unqualified approval from his grandmother—the sort of unconditional love adults and children alike crave.”

Well … it would seem that the review above says it all! 

Roald Dahl has written many books for children and I have yet to find a “bad one”.   When my children were very young I remember reading out loud to them James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. .. and here I am at 70 reading yet another of his children’s books!

The book was given to me by my “adopted son”, Chris long ago..I knew I’d read it one day for RIP… I finally read it Chris!!!

Now I think I should read something a bit more RIP-ish !   But, this is certainly a good book to read out loud to young children!

(oh, and if you want something really, really, really RIP-ish, and if you haven’t read it already, I recommend The Thirtheenth Tale!)

Rip IX

Holy cow!  Nine years?!!!!..   Goodness gracious… Carl is at it  again!

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This year I am choosing……

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Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.

Let me quote our Imperial Leader about the categories…

September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

Here are a few books I will choose from..

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Or……. I may choose something else!

No matter what, the RIP challenge is always fun!  So come join us!  The link to join us is at the top, just click on “Carl” and the magic will begin!

Witch Wraith

Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345523547

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For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the profound evil imprisoned there. But now the unthinkable is happening: The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode—and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fueled by a rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to spill forth, seeking revenge for what was done to them.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach and once more seal the denizens of the Forbidding in their prison. But when she falls into the hands of the powerful Federation’s diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford—desperate to save his imprisoned brother—seeks to discover if his famed but ill-fated ancestor Grianne is still alive and willing to help him save the world . . . no matter the odds or the consequences.

As always Terry Brooks ramps up his last book of the trilogy so that you tend to read it faster then the first two books! 

Of the 3 books I enjoyed this one the best.  Usually it is the first book because it grabs you and makes you start reading it… but he did a lot in this last book to give you things you didn’t expect.  Or if you did expect it.. it didn’t happen the way you thought it would.  So.. three cheers for yet another trilogy concerning the original Shannara books..   oh.. and I see a new book has just come out!  Obviously this man will write until his hand is a “stub” like his pencils!… oh wait, writers use computers.. until his fingers are “nubs” from typing!

Thank you Mr. Brooks.. I do like returning to Shannara with new reads now and then.

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