Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

Title: The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
Publisher: Free Press
Published: March 2011
ISBN: 9781451621747
Pages: 416

Fjallbacka, Sweden is an idyllic fishing village.  Rich city folk pay tons of money for summer homes here.  People that live there rarely want to leave.  All is not as it seems though.  Small towns can hold big secrets.  You know the saying, "Two people can share a secret -- if one of them is dead."  Someone has taken that to heart.
Erica Falck returns to her hometown to settle her parents' estate after their death in a car accident.  She didn't expect to find the frozen corpse of her childhood best friend.  Despite all signs pointing to suicide, Erica feels like Alex wouldn't and didn't kill herself.
Patrick Hedstrom is the officer assigned to the case.  Hobbled by an incompetent supervisor,  he tries to uncover why someone would kill, and in Fjallbacka.  With ingenuity and some prompts from Erica, he works slowly but surely to solve the mystery.
The mystery is complicated by the fact that in a small town like Fjallbacka everyone seemingly knows each others business.  Can there be any secrets worth killing for?  Who would have such a secret?  Why murder now?  Horrific deeds come to life despite the best efforts of several people including the murderer to keep them hidden. 
There was lots of extraneous info  in this book.  The characters constantly repeating each others ideas or withholding information from each other.  There are several sections showing either Erica's or Patrick's angst regarding the other.  The multiple viewpoints, one of which isn't revealed until later in the book, can be very distracting.
Overall,  the book was well done.  The main characters were pretty well done and had pretty clearly defined personalities.  The plot was suspenseful and had several interesting twists.  It's a great beach read that keeps you interested but is low maintenance.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

** This review was based on a book provided by the publisher.**

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, & Science at Sea

Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea

Title: Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, & Science at Sea by David Fisichella
Publisher: Leapfrog Press
Published: 4/15/2010
ISBN: 9781935248101
Pages: 232

Seven-tenths, the percentage of the earth covers the earth, is also apparently David Fisichella's magic number.  On the verge of divorce, frustrated with his job, and looking for something new, David Fisichella is confused by how to change his life and move forward. He answers an ad for sight guides for blind sailors and  begins the second chapter of his life.

At a reception for the Carroll Center for the Blind and one of its Outward Bound programs, he meets Amy Bowers, an oceanographer. She has macular degeneration - a disease which is gradually taking her eyesight.  They start a relationship and Amy invites him on a voyage.  After their first voyage, the couple gets married.  As Amy's vision worsens, David gains more knowledge and experience and essentially becomes her eyes.

The first voyage was pretty much by the book.  Nothing eventful happened.  During the second voyage, they cross the equator and are "hazed" into club for those who've crossed the equator.  They also endure a pirate attack that gets pretty scary.  Still reeling from the pirate attack, the entire ship is devastated to hear of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Overall, I loved the fact that David  was willing to take his life in his hands. He disliked the way his life was going and took actions to alter all the things he disliked. He was willing to embrace new challenges and roll with the punches. For me, part of the charm of this book is the fact that he's not a professional writer, but rather a man who has had some extraordinary experiences and wants to share them.  

Minor irritations – He expresses disappointment that Durban, South Africa is more like San Francicso, ie a major cosmopolitan city than a jungle or war zone, which fits his idea of Africa. The safari they take feels like the truer Africa to him. On the second ship, he characterizes the Jamaican mate's accent of the Raven as a “ganja-mon accent.” Really!!!! However, after coming ashore on September 12, 2011 and being confronted by a group of Djiboutian men, he seems to realize the amount of privilege he has as an American.

**This review was based on a reader copy provided by the publisher.**

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Books Galore

I have several books just waiting to be read.
Blind Man's Alley by Justin Peacock
Book of Rumi
The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
Under the Dome by Stephen King
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones