Friday, November 23, 2012

Resurrection Express

Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano is an interesting thriller with lots of twists and turns. At least that's what a note I wrote immediately after I finished reading it said. A couple of weeks later I only vaguely remember this book. That's not a good sign.

What I do remember of the book is a rather complicated story. I remember I read it quite quickly so it must of been interesting. I didn't make note of any major nitpicks so I must have been enjoying it.

The story revolves around a computer hacker named Elroy Coffin. There are a number of what the book blurb calls "criminal masterminds" floating around. You can't be too sure if Coffin is working for one or not. Some of those criminal masterminds are a little too cliched: too crazy, too immoral and too fond of hearing their own voices.

There's a lot of violence in this book and the high body count that goes with it. Fairly typical for thrillers. Towards the end, it gets kind of silly with a revelation that shows that Coffin may have been involved with the project at hand for many years but he didn't know it.

Even though a lot of the details of the book haven't stuck with me, I'm going to say I liked the book. I finished it fast. I think I read it in one day. I'm probably going to read it again. I can't say that about a lot of the books I've reviewed that I do remember clearly. I would gladly read another book by Stephen Romano.

I've also learned that I have to write the review right after I finish the book. Live and learn.

I received a  review copy of this book.

Friday, November 9, 2012


1222 by Anne Holt (translated by Marlaine Delargy) is the kind of book I usually stay away from. I hate reading translations. I always feel as if I'm missing something. I think that if I could read it in the language it was written in it would be so much better. Of course I have no proof of this. I just think that no translation can be perfect.

The other reason I wouldn't normally read a book like 1222 is because it takes place in the snow. I hate snow. That's why I live in Vancouver. Very little snow here. Not like Norway. The book starts off with a train accident near a mountain village with a storm approaching. The survivors have to take refuge in a hotel that is soon all but buried in snow. Brrrr.

This is a murder mystery and soon people start dying. It just so happens that an ex-cop is among the passengers. She's confined to a wheelchair but her brain is still intact. Hanne Wilhelmsen is another one of those anti-social, hard as nails, female cops like J. D. Robb's  Eve Dallas Or Carol O'Connell's Mallory. I don't understand why female cops can't be happy, social, well adjusted people. Do they all have to be so broken?

Despite the fact that it takes place in the cold, cold snow, I liked this book. It's filled with interesting characters. Many of them are not exactly as they seem. By the end of the book, I not only wanted out of the damned hotel but I wanted to know whodunit. I liked it so much that I might be temped to read others in this series.

The one nitpick I have is with the word "cripple". It is used a number of times, usually by Hanne herself. It is not a word that is used today. It's not socially acceptable and it really bothered me.

I received a review copy of this book.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Romeo Spikes

Romeo Spikes by Joanne Reay is part mystery, part police procedural and part epic struggle between good and evil. Detective Alexis Bianco works for SCURO which is a clandestine group that handles supernatural crime.

The book introduces a group of evil supernatural beings called the Tormenta. They push humans toward suicide. As their victims die they suck the remaining "life span" out of the body by kissing them. Bianco and her partner Lola - a renegade Hunter - track down Tormenta and kill them.

There's a lot going on in this book. The "Brothers" who train the Hunters have their own rules and they don't always fall in line with the "good" side of the good vs evil struggle. For a first novel, Romeo Spikes is quiet accomplished.  It's a good story with good pacing. My only nitpick is that the traitor inside the Brothers' organization is a bit too obvious.

I received a review copy of this book.