Monday, September 21, 2009

Body Dump by Fred Rosen

First sentence:

"Eight women were missing."


"In October 1996, women began vanishing off the streets of Poughkeepsie, New York. All were young, pretty and petite. Most were hustlers and crackheads. By August 1998, as the toll reached eight, a victim's mother said bitterly, 'When they find one they will find them all.' She didn't know how horrifyingly right she was.

At the height of the manhunt, prostitute Christine Sala, hysterical, told police she had barely escaped being strangled by Kendall Francois, 27, a 6'4", 300-lb middle school hall monitor whose slovenly personal hygiene had earned him the nickname 'Stinky.' When caught, Francois said that he'd killed the women because they hadn't given him all the sex he claimed he'd paid for.

Investigators in white bio-hazard suits entered the house where Francois lived and found eight female corpses, almost all decomposed. Some were placed in plastic bags together in the attic. Others lay in shallow graves in the crawl space under the house. It was such a tangle of rotting flesh and bones, even the investigators couldn't tell how many bodies there were. Now, sentenced to life in prison without parole, the man whom others dismissed a smelly oaf had finally been unmasked as one of the most bizarre serial sex-killers of modern times." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was an interesting book about the efforts of the local Poughkeepsie city and town police to catch the serial killer, Kendall Francois.

Date read: 9/19/2009
Book #: 47
Challenges: 999 Challenge, Non-Fiction Five Challenge 2009
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Nonfiction

ISBN-10: 0786011335
ISBN-13: 9789786011339
Publisher: Pinnacle Books
Year: 2002
# of Pages: 289
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Mailbox Monday - September 21

Every Monday on The Printed Page, people list the books that arrived the previous week. Here's what arrived at my doorstep:

Max Brooks. World War Z (via BookObsessed exchange group)
John Crowley. Little, Big (via BookObsessed swap)
Joanne Harris. Five Quarters of the Orange (via BookObsessed swap)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville

First sentence:

"In an unremarkable room, in a nondescript building, a man sat working on very non-nondescript theories."


What is Un Lun Dun?

It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.

My thoughts:

This was a wonderful book filled with quirky and interesting characters. I liked how Mieville played with descriptions and turned London into UnLondon. I especially admired Deeba's courage and her insistence that sometimes prophecies may not come true exactly as written.

Date read: 9/13/2009
Book #: 46
Challenge: Support Your Local Library Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genres: YA/Urban Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0345495160
ISBN-13: 9780345495167
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2007
# of pages: 429
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing page

Monday, September 7, 2009

Green Rider by Kristen Britain

First sentence:

"The granite was cold and rough against the gray-cloaked man's palms."


"On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a "life and death" message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission "for love of country." As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man..."

Karigan's promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book. I liked how Karigan gradually learned about her role in the fight for the kingdom of Sacordia between Zachary and his brother Amilton. I also liked the interactions between the characters Karigan and the friends she makes. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, First Rider's Call.

Date read: 9/7/2009
Book #: 45
Series: Green Rider, #1
Challenge: 999 Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0886778581
ISBN-13: 9780886778583
Publisher: DAW
Year: 2000
# of Pages: 471
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Sunday, September 6, 2009

999 Challenge - VIII. First in a Series

To see my complete 999 Challenge list, go here.

  1. Jonathan Stroud. The Amulet of Samarkand -- finished 1/30/2009
  2. Jefferson Bass. Carved in Bone -- finished 4/2/2009
  3. Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball. Acorna: The Unicorn Girl -- finished 5/9/2009
  4. Keith Ablow. Denial -- finished 9/4/2009
  5. Glenn Cook. The Black Company
  6. Matthew Cook. Blood Magic
  7. J. Calvin Pierce. The Door to Ambermere
  8. Robert Jordan. Eye of the World
  9. C.J. Cherryh. Foreigner

Denial by Keith Ablow

First sentence:

"I shot up, sweat dripping down my face."


"He's in deep.

A series of grisly murders has forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger on the case of a lifetime and the fight of his life against a brutal killer with a horrific trademark and his own howling demons of sexual compulsion, self-destruction, and. . . denial." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

At first I wasn't sure if I would like the book as the main character, Frank Clevenger, was not the most likable person. But as the story progresses and Frank has to both solve the crimes and face the reason he tends to self-destruct, I got more interested in how the story would end. I look forward to reading more about Frank and his friends and enemies in the next book, Projection.

Date read: 9/4/2009
Book #: 44
Challenge: 999 Challenge
Series: Frank Clevenger, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0312965966
ISBN-13: 9780312965969
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Year: 1997
# of Pages: 358
LibraryThing page