Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Douglas Preston - Tyrannosaur Canyon

Quite an adventure, hidden 65 million years under stones!

Tom Broadbent, known form "The Codex" hears some shots while riding through the canyons. He discovers a dying man who entrusts him a diary full of numbers, with his last breath demanding the promise to give the book to his daughter Robbie.
Without knowing who the man is, the police in his neck, a killer capturing his wife, Tom tries to do the right thing along with his new friend, a former CIA agent while someone, far away, very much unknown and at the end of the foodchain, makes the discovery of the century that will change the history of life and science.

Tyrannosaur Canyon´s a well researched thriller. The reader clearly notices Preston's background through his way of explaining complicated things in an easy way and building around that a thriller that knocks you off.
Having studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology and astronomy and his work at the American Museum of Natural History, I can´t imagine someone better than him to write about fossils and dinosaurs.

Visit Douglas Preston.

ISBN-13: 9780765349651
ISBN-10: 0765349655
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: 8/29/2006
Pages: 416
Book Type: Paperback

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gayle Sanders - Mummy's Witness

To the outside world the Sanders family was a respectable one. The father a teacher, the mother a housewife and mother of three. No one could have believed what went on behind the front door of their large detached home.

The only childhood memories Gayle has are of unimaginable terror as she watched her father viciously abuse her mother - smashing her limbs and breaking her spirit. Gayle herself endures physical and sexual abuse. Desperate not to be noticed, she retreated into herself. There was no love, often no food, and no one turn for to support to.

Any semblance of family life came to burial end when, at just twelve years old, she was forced to witness her father kill her mother.

Her father pleaded manslaughter and received a sentence of three years, but served less than fourteen months. With incredulity Gayle learnt after his release that he had become a vicar.

Gayle meanwhile, numb with shock and grief, passed from foster family to psychiatric hospital where she narrowly survived a suicide attempt. Believing herself in safe nursing hands, she was to undergo the further shocking trauma of rape.

This isn't only a book you read, it's a book you feel from the beginning. Honestly, after reading the first 20 pages I had to turn it down for a day.

This is the sad story of Gayle, similar but even worse to Dave Pelzer, she suffered from seeing her mother beaten and in the end killed by her father. Gayle has been raped and beaten by him, too.

During her journey back to a life she creeps out of her inner darkness after multiple suicide attemps, the loss of her whole family which did not stand behind her and offered no help.
She tells about the anxieties she had, that her father would come one day to get her, feelings of guilt, her wish about being dead, her love for a mother who wasn't capable to feel enough for Gayle and herself and died because she finally found the strenght to do something and get away.
A girl, a teenager and as a women with lots of friends, Gayle was always alone with herself and her feelings and could not open up to people who tried to help her.

Encouraging and heartbreaking she lets us know how helpless she was and how helpless the people around her, social services, psychiatrics, were.

Today Gayle Sander's working for and with families where domestic violence is the order of the day.


ISBN-13: 9780340933497
ISBN-10: 0340933496
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Pages: 280
Book Type: Hardcover

Douglas Clegg - The Infinite

This is the third novel about the haunted mansion "Harrows" and it really has some highlights that got to me.
The first half of the book is an outstanding example for introducing the main characters, a look into their life and why they were choosen to play their part in the book.

The plot reminds me of Shirley Jackson´s "Haunting of Hill House":
In the name of a psychic organization three persons with special abilities are invited (for money) to live in Harrow, to try to catch up if and what´s going on there.

Unfortunately in the end, when the book should be at it´s top, it lacks the scary excitement I expected.
Nevertheless it´s a good read, far better than "Mischief".

Visit Douglas Clegg.

ISBN-13: 9780843950557
ISBN-10: 0843950552
Publisher: Leisure Books
Pages: 384
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Alice Thompson - Pharos

Set in Scottland, set in the nineteenth century, begins the probably most boring ghost story I´ve ever read.
A remote island, a lighthouse, a keeper, his apprentice and the keeper´s sister deal with the lost memories of a woman that appeared on their island after a ship drowned in a storm.

The women feels like a hostage on an island as the keeper and his sister try to keep her from leaving the island. A cozy ghost story for Sunday afternoons, forgotten on the next day.

Visit Alice Thompson.

ISBN-13: 9780425200209
ISBN-10: 0425200205
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 160
Book Type: Paperback

Mark Billingham - Scaredy Cat

The book description says it all and there isn´t much to add from my side without revealing some of the great secrets the story offers.


This has been my first book by Mark Billingham and I am fascinated by the main character Tom Thorne. Intrigued by Mark Billingham´s homepage I got the book because the descriptions Billingham left of DI Thorne´s character made me think there is another interesting series worthy to read.

The book as itself has it´s ups and downs. Partly switching between present and past, which is interesting, but overall the books seems to be very long with lots of unnecessary details. Though the story is a thriller it develops very slowly.

DI Thorne´s personal thoughts and problems reminded me of the early Kay Scarpetta only his are much deeper and emotional which made me connect pretty fast to his character. Certainly I am going to read the rest of the series.

The Tom Thorne Series contains 7 novels so far:

1) Sleepyhead
2) Scaredy Cat
3) Lazybones
4) Burning Girl
5) Lifeless
6) Buried
7) Death Message

Visit Mark Billingham.

ISBN-13: 9780061032202
ISBN-10: 0061032204
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: 4/2004
Pages: 448
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback