I've fallen behind on what passes for book reviews around here, so let's get caught up on the latest:
The Girl With No Place To Hide by Nick Quarry (aka Marvin Albert). It was originally published in 1959. This was republished by Black Gat Books, which specializes in reprints of some of the best vintage mystery books.
The woman comes into the bar and catches Jake’s attention immediately. Not beautiful, but there is something striking about her. She asks for Steve Canby, who’s just left, and dismisses Jake with a glance. Then she leaves. Jake doesn’t think much of it until he comes out of the bar and finds the woman being choked by a huge hulk of a man. Coming to her rescue, he barely manages to keep from being strangled himself.
Later, they end up at his apartment. Her name is Angela, and she just wants someplace safe to spend the night. Someone is out to get her. Jake Barrow is a private detective between jobs, so he agrees. But later that night when he returns from a false alarm from someone claiming to want his services, he finds her gone. Was the call a ruse? Who knew she was here? But this is just the beginning—it’s not long before his pursuit of Angela leads to murder.
Amazonians gave it a 4.5 of 5. It ranked a 7 of 10 on the Haugenometer.
Twisty, chilling, and intense, All Good People Here is a searing tale that asks: What are your neighbors capable of when they think no one is watching?
The book was given to my wife by my daughter. I was skeptical, figuring it was just some author given a book deal because she was somewhat famous, but it was actually very well written and enjoyable. So, never judge an author by their cover, I guess.
Amazonians gave it a 4.4 of 5; the harder-to-please Goodreaders of 3.9 of 5, and the Haugenometer a 7 of 10.
After Death by Dean Koontz. Go figure, one of my favorite authors ended up being the one with a bit of a clunker. It was okay, but Koontz seems to be obsessed with this singularity thing, and I'm not. One thing I admire about him is that he writes what interests him and not what he thinks his fans want. But, hey, Dean, time for another one for the fans. Ditch the biological, computer-oriented singularity thing for a bit. Give it a rest.
Michael Mace, head of security at a top-secret research facility, opens his eyes in a makeshift morgue twenty-four hours following an event in which everyone perished—including him and his best friend, Shelby Shrewsberry.
Having awakened with an extraordinary ability unlike anything he—or anyone else—has ever imagined, Michael is capable of being as elusive as a ghost. He sets out to honor his late friend by helping Nina Dozier and her son, John, whom Shelby greatly admired. Although what Michael does for Nina is life changing, his actions also evoke the wrath of John’s father, a member of one of the most violent street gangs in Los Angeles.
But an even greater threat is descending: the Internal Security Agency’s most vicious assassin, Durand Calaphas. Calaphas will stop at nothing to get his man. If Michael dies twice, he will not live a third time.
From the tarnished glamour of Beverly Hills to the streets of South Central to a walled estate in Rancho Santa Fe, only Michael can protect Nina and John—and ensure that light survives in a rapidly darkening world.
Amazonians liked it and gave it a 4.4 of 5, Goodreaders a 4.2 and the Haugenometer a 6 of 10.
Mortal Stakes by Robert B. Parker. He is one of the absolute best. Give him a try. This is one of his famous Spenser series (the third in over 50, and written in 1975). It combines tough-guy private eye, with humor and emotion. The trifecta.
Everybody loves a winner, and the Rabbs are major league. Marty is the Red Sox star pitcher, Linda the loving wife. She loves everyone except the blackmailer out to wreck her life.
Is Marty throwing fast balls or throwing games? It doesn't take long for Spenser to link Marty's performance with Linda's past...or to find himself trapped between a crazed racketeer and an enforcer toting an M-16.
America's favorite pastime has suddenly become a very dangerous sport, and one wrong move means strike three, with Spenser out for good!
Amazonians a 4.4, Goodreaders a 4.2 and the Haugenometer an 8.