July 30, 2014

Cross by James Patterson

Synopsis:
Forensic psychologist Alex Cross's storied career in private practice, with the FBI and as a Washington, D.C., cop has brought him into contact with all kinds of seriously disturbed killers, but his 12th outing from bestseller Patterson (after 2005's Mary, Mary) may be the ultimate in lunatic deadliness. Beginning with a flashback to the murder of Cross's wife, Maria, Patterson quickly introduces Michael Sullivan (aka the Butcher of Sligo). What follows is a frenetically paced series of brutal rapes and killings by Sullivan, once employed by the mob as a freelancer and now at war with them. Cross juggles being a single parent and being involved in the dangerous game of tracking serial killers until he finally decides to give it up for his family. Needless to say, he's drawn back into the game when it promises a chance of finding Maria's killer. Cross's competence and vulnerability make a stark contrast with Sullivan's sadistic mutilations and psychological manipulations of his victims. Fans know that Cross will survive, but at what cost?
 This was one of the most interesting books in the series so far. We finally got some more insight into Alex’s life with his dead wife Maria. Her murder was finally explained to us.
She has been an important part of the whole series without actually being in it, so finally being almost introduced to her character and getting to read about her death made this one of the best books in the series.

The man that Alex and Sampson are hunting down is absolutely insane, but he is good at what he does. It makes it a lot creepier, especially at the end when it is clear that this man really has no soul.
The Butcher is scary and his crime scenes are gruesome; Definitely one of the craziest villains so far.

There was no slowing down once this book took off. It was a very addicting read.
It was interesting seeing Alex quit his long-time career and focus solely on conducting therapy sessions. It was so much different than the rest of the books, but as the saying goes “old habits die hard,” and we see that Alex can never really escape his past.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quote: “Because you’re Dr. Cross, and I’m the murderer.”

July 28, 2014

Purified by Brian Robert Smith

Synopsis:
“There’s no use trying to escape. You’re miles from anywhere. You have no clothes, no food, no money... You’re dead, Mason.”

As far as everyone else is concerned, Mason Bushing died over a year ago, but now he’s running from Dr. Harlow who is secretly conducting an unauthorized experiment for a drug he calls Purify. It saved Mason’s life, but Mason is focused on getting what he wants most—his old life back. His plans change when he realizes his wife is more interested in the insurance money she inherited than seeing him alive. His best friend doesn’t believe his story, and the police intend on charging him with fraud and assault after he almost kills his wife’s boyfriend.

Warren is a detective who’s assigned the case. He’s been on personal leave because his wife died. His investigation turns up suspicions of lying, disturbing coincidences, and related homicides.

When Mason becomes the prime suspect, he’s forced to run again.

Imagine having to run from someone who saved your life. Imagine everyone thinking you’re dead, but you’re really alive. Questions, accusations, conspiracies… murder. What if this was all caused by a drug that’s creating the next physical evolution of man? What would you do if you were Purified?
 Purified – Do you ever dream of a life where no disease can harm you? Your body is immune to everything trying to attack it?

This sounds great until you realize that you have to come to the brink of death in order to get noticed by the Purifier.
The crazed ex-military doctor who started his own underground experiments.

Even worse, you don’t know what is happening to you until you are already purified, you have no say in the matter.

I originally picked up this book because it was July’s Book of The Month in a Goodreads group I am a part of. I saw the cover and was instantly intrigued. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by the cover, but I do it anyways.

I was not disappointed.

As a debut book for Robert Smith, it went very well. The beginning had a bit of a weird pace to it. There were a lot of really quick scenes. But after those first few chapters, it settled down and started to read at a nice pace.

The story was really intriguing. It was new to me, I haven’t experienced a story like it before. It hooks you by making Mason’s struggle really interesting. You would think that having a second chance at life would make someone happy, but he hates it. He already lost his old life, and everything just keeps going downhill from there.

There weren’t any dull moments, which was a definite plus, it just keeps moving along at full speed until the end.
The characters were all pretty likable in their own ways, which made it an even more positive reading experience.

I expect many good things to come from Robert Smith after this novel.

Horror/Thriller fans should definitely give it a shot.

4/5 Stars

July 27, 2014

IT by Stephen King

Synopsis:
The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a fa├žade of traditional small-town values.
This was my first experience reading a King novel, and it was an interesting experience for sure.
I have never seen the movie, and I didn’t even really know what the book was about aside from the clown that wreaks all sorts of havoc.

The first thing I really noticed was how long the chapters are. I don’t know if this is just King’s style, or if it is just this book, but it made it really difficult to read large chunks of the book at a time. It took me almost a full year to finish it.

The story was obviously super intriguing. The parts where Pennywise shows up were the most entertaining by far, he was so creepy and annoying.  I really wish that the story revolved more around him and his antics, and I wish that the whole thing was just about a creepy/annoying clown terrorizing these children.

That is why I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. It starts getting a little to weird when it starts revealing what is really going on below Derry. Even then, it is never really resolved for me. It is sort of along the lines of fear is only in your head, and when you enable it, it becomes real.

I did enjoy reading the book, but I enjoyed finishing it even more. The main gang of kids were great characters, and of course Mr. Pennywise. The supporting cast didn’t really do anything for me.

Final thoughts:
I wish the sections/chapters would have been shorter. That is my biggest complaint.

It is more enjoyable to read this when it is raining.

My favorite character was Ben.

3/5 stars. Good book, just such a chore to finish!


Memorable Quotes: “TV monsters and movie monsters and comic book monsters were not real. Not until you went to bed and couldn’t sleep; not until the last four pieces of candy, wrapped in tissues and kept under your pillow against the evils of the night, were gobbled up; not until the bed itself turned into a lake of rancid dreams and the wind screamed outside and you were afraid to look at the window because there might be a face there, an ancient grinning face that had not rotted but simply dried like an old leaf, its eyes sunken diamonds pushed deep into dark sockets; not until you saw one ripped and clawlike hand holding out a bunch of balloons”

“Scars can’t come back. They either are or they aren’t”

“”Whatever it was, It’s here again, in Derry. IT.”


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