Friday, June 21, 2013

Double Trouble

It's another double review kind of Friday.

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger

During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.

Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover the body of a teenage girl. She wasn't killed by the storm, however; she'd been bound and tortured before she died. Nearby, underneath a tangle of branches, they also find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrate, but still very much alive. Powerful forces intent on securing the child pursue them to the isolated Northwest Angle, where it's impossible to tell who among the residents is in a league with the devil, but Cork understands that to save his family he must solve the puzzle of this mysterious child whom death follows like a shadow.

This book is #11 in the Cork O'Connor series... which I'd never heard of and never read any of the previous books. But it ended up not being a factor when I read the book.

The Good: The story starts off with a bang and there are SO many little mini mysteries that come up. As soon as you get through one heart pounding scenario, another one starts a few pages later. Also, it's written well enough that you don't have to read the previous books to know what the hell is going on.

The Bad: I can't really think of anything "bad" about the book. I guess the closest thing I can come up with is that it has a lot of Native American language references in it because the characters have some in their heritage. But it defines all the words, so it really doesn't detract from the story at all.

Overall, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I am really excited to go back and read the other Cork O'Connor novels.

Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan

Rocky's husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor... and Rocky's world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts - reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak's Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she's lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky a fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.

But then she meets Lloyd. A large black labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky's world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed... and joys does exist in unexpected places.

The Good: It's a book about a dog! And there is an air of mystery that keeps you turning the pages. It's also got a pretty damn good ending.

The Bad: There's a lot of strange random things that are mentioned that don't really seem to have anything to do with the story line. I mean, I suppose they add to the development of the characters in some cases, but not enough to really be relevant to the story.

It was a fast read, a good story with a little bit of everything. Overall I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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