February wasn't a terribly productive reading month but with the quilt show early in the month I didn't have as much reading time. So I'm calling this month quality over quantity. There wasn't a dud in the bunch!
What have you read this month that you would recommend?
Enemy of the State
By Kyle Mills, Narrated by Scott Brick
This is the 16th installment in the Mitch Rapp series and the second written by Kyle Mills. In this installment Rapp discovers that elements of the Saudi government are funding ISIS.
Kyle Mills has done a good job of replacing Vince Flynn in this series but this one didn't hold me as well as the last one. I think some of that has to do with replacing George Guidall with Scott Brick as the narrator. I used to love Scott Brick but his narrating style has become.....I don't know....arrogant? He narrates every book with an angry and arrogant persona that may or may not be appropriate. Hopefully they will bring back Guidall for the next one.
The Rival Queens
by Nancy Goldstone, Narrated by Suzanne Toren
If you live in the US and didn't specifically study history, you probably didn't get a lot of French history. At least that's my story. So when I saw this book on Audible I thought I'd give it a try.
This is the story of Catherine of Medici and her daughter, Marguerite de Valois. This is Renaissance France and it was full of political intrigue orchestrated by Catherine de Medici within her own family.
This book is very interesting and some non-fiction books read like fiction but this ins't one of those. You have to be a history lover to enjoy this book. But if you like history, this is a very interesting book.
In Farleigh Field
By Rhys Bowen, Narrated by Gemma Dawson
It's WWII and a soldier with a failed parachute has fallen to his death near the home of Lord Westerham. One of his daughters secretly works code breaking and the vicars son secretly works for MI5. They are asked to investigate.
This is part historical novel and part romance but the romance part is reasonable underplayed. I did not have high expectations but I really enjoyed this book. It moves at a good pace and has some interesting characters. The narrator has some criticism in the Audible reviews but I actually liked her. If you are going to listen to the book be sure to listen to the sample to see if the narrator's voice will bother you.
I liked it well enough to listen to another by Bowen.
Two Kinds of Truth
By Michael Connelly, narrated by Titus Welliver
#20 in the Harry Bosch series where we also get a good does of his half-brother, Mickey Haller.
As I was listening to this book I was also trying to figure out why I like this series so much and I think I've narrowed it down to a few things:
1 - Harry Bosch never does anything that seems out of character. I think it's difficult for a writer to get that right. Sometimes it would be easier to have the character do something totally different just to move the plot along. Connelly keeps Bosch in charater, which I appreciate.
2 - The storylines are mostly plausible.
3 - There's no magic. These storylines move along and develop. There are no major period of time skipped where we find out that the hero solved the crime in his sleep or tripped over evidence. Those kinds of books are written by lazy writers.
Harry Bosch is a reliable detective who does the dirty work. In this book he's trying to solve a cold case, a new double homicide related to Russian drug gangs and is caught up in an old case where he's being accused of planting evidence. As always, it's a great read and I love Titus Welliver (who plays Bosch in the TV series) narrating.
The Girl Who Was Taken
By Charlie Donlea, Narrated by Nina Alvamar
HS Grads Nicole Cutty and Meagan McDonald went missing from a summer beach party. Two weeks later Meagan stumbles out of a bunker but Nicole is never found. The book open at 18 months later and Nicole's sister is a forensic pathologist. A body come in that seems to be tied to her sister's disappearance. meanwhile Meagan has written a book about her ordeal to appease her parents but is working to recover her memory of exactly what happened to her.
This was a surprisingly riveting book. It goes back and forth in time between the period around the abduction and current day. Several candidates are introduced that might be involved but the ending surprised me. They didn't do a great job of explaining why the person abducted these girls but, in the end, that's not the important piece of information.
When the book started I thought he narrator's young female voice was going to annoy me but she was perfect for these 2 young female characters.
A Column of Fire
By Ken Follett, Narrated by John Lee
If you like historical novel sagas then you already know Ken Follett and have probably already read all of his books. To me he's as reliable as James Michener, Edward Rutherford and Bryce Courtenay.
This book is the third in the Kingsbridge series but it's really a stand alone novel. There are some references to the previous novels but that's it. That's good too because the books came out so far apart it would be impossible to remember the others. This one is set in the 1500's during the reign of Queen Elizabeth but much of it is set in France. Coincidentally, Catherine and her daughter in The Rival Queens (above) figure prominently in this one. The focus is the clash between the Protestants and Catholics of that time. As always, the characters are well developed and the historical aspects are very well researched.
The narrator is John Lee and he's one of my favorites. I could listen to him reading a cookbook.
we have found that we read the same kinds of books quite often and this month I have read 3 of these. I don't get the audio though like you do and I think having the person that plays Bosch on the show read the book would be great. It took awhile for me to get used to picturing him playing the part but I eventually did. I read Farleigh Fields and liked it and also the Vince Flynn book but didn't like this one as much as some of the others. I will be looking for The Girl that was Taken sounds interesting
3/1/2018 10:17:38 am
I'm listening to Prairie Fires. It's about the life and times of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Lots of info about the economic, agronomy and political times as well as the family. Very interesting
3/1/2018 01:09:30 pm
Vicki - as always, thank you for your candid book reviews. I appreciate your perspective and your outlines without giving away the ending. Thanks again!
3/1/2018 09:12:29 pm
GET OUT, there is a TV series of Bosch? I love Connelly, introduced to by you; I've had to stop listening at night in bed cause I'm too engaged and NOT sleeping.
3/5/2018 05:44:18 pm
I credit you with turning me on to Michael Connolly books - love them. Wasn't aware that Vince Flynn was replaced - could be why DH has a like/not like relationship. Wonder now whether he liked the original author or prefers the new one....will have to pay attention to find out.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.