I finished 2009 catching up on some of my favorite series that had new books released in the last year or so. Rather than detailing them individually, I decided to just summarize them in a few posts. I believe I have written about all of these series in the past, so will also link to a previous blog entry for more information.
As I've said in the past, I am definitely a serial reader - I believe you should read a series from the beginning. Most of these books would be fine to read as a stand-alone but are SO much better as part of the series they belong to. So, if they sound interesting to you, search on the author and find the first one in the series and start there. (Of course, I will not be monitoring your reading so if you do it differently, please just don't let me know.)
I was very excited last year to find new-to-me author Michelle Gagnon. Third in her series, The Gatekeeper, is probably my least favorite. But that doesn't mean it's not to be read. I did enjoy it. I think some of the character's angst within the book made me not want to enjoy the book as much, if that makes sense. Here's the summary from MichelleGagnon.com:
From the moment sixteen-year-old Madison Grant is abducted, an unthinkable terrorist plot is set in motion—pitting Special Agent Kelly Jones against her most powerful adversary yet. The kidnapper's ransom demands aren't monetary...they come at a cost that no American can afford to pay.
As Kelly's fiancé, Jake Riley, races to find Madison, Kelly is assigned to another disturbing case: the murder and dismemberment of a senator. At first the two cases don't appear to be related. But as Kelly navigates her way through the darkest communities of America—from skinheads to biker gangs to border militias—she discovers a horrible truth. A shadowy figure who calls himself The Gatekeeper is uniting hate groups, opening the door to the worst homegrown attack in American history.
I rated The Gatekeeper 4 out of 5 stars. (Start with The Tunnels.)
You know you've heard of author Kathy Reichs and her Temperance Brennan series. It's the one that is the basis for the tv show "Bones". It's also based on her life as a forensic anthropologist. She does the kind of things in the books and on the show. Gotta love that! This latest book is quite good, reminding me why I love this series. Summary:
There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can read in them stories of brief or long lives and use them to reconstruct every kind of violent end. 206 Bones opens with Tempe regaining consciousness and discovering that she is in some kind of very small, very dark, very cold enclosed space. She is bound, hands to feet. Who wants Tempe dead, or at least out of the way, and why? Tempe begins slowly to reconstruct...
Tempe and Lieutenant Ryan had accompanied the recently discovered remains of a missing heiress from Montreal to the Chicago morgue. Suddenly, Tempe was accused of mishandling the autopsy -- and the case. Someone made an incriminating phone call. Within hours, the one man with information about the call was dead. Back in Montreal, the corpse of a second elderly woman was found in the woods, and then a third.
Seamlessly weaving between Tempe's present-tense terror as she's held captive and her memory of the cases of these murdered women, Reichs conveys the incredible devastation that would occur if a forensic colleague sabotaged work in the lab. The chemistry between Tempe and Ryan intensifies as this complex, riveting tale unfolds. Reichs is writing at the top of her game.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Michael Connelly is such a great writer. I absolutely love Harry Bosch, the main character in 9 Dragons. He has been through the wringer in previous books and this one is no different. However he shows his humanity much more here and I fell in love with him even more. A quick summary from MichaelConnelly.com: From the streets of L.A. to the shimmering skyline of Hong Kong, Harry Bosch must find his missing daughter. The most personal Bosch novel yet.
I gave this 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I will have more of my favorites in a few days.