Monday, June 30, 2014

Mount Dragon by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

First sentence:

"The sounds drifted over the long green lawn, so faint they could have been the crying of ravens in the nearby wood, or the distant braying of a mule on the farm across the brown river."


"Mount Dragon: an enigmatic research complex hidden in the vast desert of New Mexico. Guy Carson and Susana Cabeza de Vaca have come to Mount Dragon to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest scientific minds on the planet. Led by visionary genius Brent Scopes, their secret goal is a medical breakthrough that promises to bring incalculable benefits to the human race. But while Scopes believes he is leading the way to a new world order, he may in fact be opening the door to mass human extinction. And when Guy and Susana attempt to stop him they find themselves locked in a frightening battle with Scopes, his henchmen, and the apocalyptic nightmare that science has unleashed. . . ." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This is a good thriller with lots of twists. I liked the mix of desert survival challenges with virtual and physical computer hacking.

Date read:  6/30/2014
Book #: 21
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 0812564375
ISBN-13: 9780812564372
Publisher:: TOR
Year: 1996
# of pages: 478
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fastnet, Force 10 by John Rousmaniere

First sentence:

"When the gale swept over Ireland during Monday night, it seemed like any other summer storm that catches a few boats out in the Western Approaches to England."


On August 11, 1979, 303 yachts began the 600-mile Fastnet Race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Fastnet Rock off the Irish coast and back. It began in fine weather, then suddenly became a terrifying ordeal. A Force 10, sixty-knot storm swept across the North Atlantic with a speed that confounded forecasters, slamming into the fleet with epic fury. For twenty hours, 2,500 men and women were smashed by forty-foot breaking waves, while rescue helicopters and lifeboats struggled to save them.

By the time the race was over, fifteen people had died, twenty-four crews had abandoned ship, five yachts had sunk, 136 sailors had been rescued, and only 85 boats had finished the race. John Rousmaniere was there, and he tells the story as only on who has sailed through the teeth of a killer storm can. In a new introduction for this edition, he discusses the effects of the tragedy and whether it could happen again today." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This is an exciting book about storms and the people who battle them. I especially liked learning about the life boats and helicopters and the men who rescued all they could.

Date read: 6/25/2014
Book #: 20
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Nonfiction, Adventure

ISBN-10: 0393308650
ISBN-13: 9780493308655
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Year: 1980; 2000 (this edition)
# of pages: 266
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

First sentence:

"Wilson sat on the balcony of the Bedford Hotel with his bald pink knees thrust against the ironwork."


Graham Greene's masterpiece The Heart of the Matter tells the story of a good man enmeshed in love, intrigue, and evil in a West African coastal town. Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife, Louise, for whom he cares with a fatal pity.

When Scobie falls in love with the young widow Helen, he finds vital passion again yielding to pity, integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor—a vortex leading directly to murder. As Scobie's world crumbles, his personal crisis makes for a novel that is suspenseful, fascinating, and, finally, tragic.

Originally published in 1948, The Heart of the Matter is the unforgettable portrait of one man, flawed yet heroic, destroyed and redeemed by a terrible conflict of passion and faith." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book about an assistant police commissioner facing a moral dilemma. I especially liked the interactions between Scobie and Helen and between Scobie and Wilson.

Date read: 6/15/2014
Book #: 19
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0142437999
ISBN-13: 9780142437995
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 1948 ; 2004 (this edition)
# of pages: 255
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason

First sentence:

"They were able to guess his age, but had more trouble determining which part of the world he came from."


"A dark-skinned young boy is found dead, frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The boy's Thai half-brother is missing; is he implicated, or simply afraid for his own life? While fears increase that the murder could have been racially motivated, the police receive reports that a suspected paedophile has been spotted in the area.

Detective Erlendur's investigation soon unearths the tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland's outwardly liberal, multi-cultural society, while the murder forces Erlendur to confront the tragedy in his own past." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this mystery set in Iceland. The possibilities kept me guessing right until the end.  I look forward to reading earlier books in this series.

Date read: 6/2/2014
Book #: 18
Series: Reykyavik Murder Mystery #7
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0099542323
ISBN-13: 9780099542322
Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2009
# of pages: 344
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page