Friday, July 28, 2017

Ghosthunting Oregon by Donna Stewart

Started: 7/25/17
Finished: 7/27/17
Year: 2014
Pages: 223
Genre: paranormal
Grade: B+
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR
Blurb (from back cover): "Join us on a journey to some of the most haunted and fascinating places in Oregon! In Ghosthunting Oregon, author and paranormal researcher Donna Stewart visits more than 30 haunted sites throughout the Beaver State, from Portland to the coast to Columbia River Gorge. All of the places she covers are open to the public, so you can test your own ghosthunting skills if you dare.
"Join Donna as she explores each site, investigating eerie rooms and dark corners, talking to people who swear to their paranormal experiences, and providing you with first-hand accounts. Places you will go to include: Edgefield Manor-where you may encounter one of the many ghosts who were residents of the old poorhouse. Heceta Head Lighthouse-said to be the most haunted lighthouse in Oregon. Shanghai Tunnels-where the ghost of former prostitute Nina may appear and ask you to help her escape. White Eagle Saloon-where guests who stay in the former boarding house rooms do not always sleep alone.
"Ghosthaunting Oregon is a one-stop source for everything that goes bump in the night in the state, regardless of whether you just want to read about the locations or pull out maps and head out to visit them yourself. In addition to chapters on 32 haunted sites throughout Oregon, it includes detailed information on 'Visiting Haunted Sites,' a list of 50 'Additional Haunted Sites,' and useful 'Ghostly Resources.' So buckle up for a Haunted Road Trip that you will never forget."
Opinion: I enjoy the paranormal and learning the history behind alleged haunted sites. This book includes history and personal encounters from the author or people that she has interviewed at the sites. Some I had heard of and have visited (odd feelings at some of them) and some new ones that I had not heard of but now want to check out. If you're a fan of the paranormal and/or want to learn more about some interesting places in Oregon, then I would recommend this book.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

Started: 7/3/17
Finished: 7/24/17
Year: 2013
Pages: 429
Genre: Mystery
Grade: B
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR shelf
Blurb (from back cover): "Mickey Haller gets the text 'Call me ASAP-187,' and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays. But when Mickey discovers that the victim was a prostitute he once thought he had rescued, he knows there is no way he'll let this one go. The case is suddenly about more than the guilt or innocence of the defendant-it's about finding out what happened to a woman he cared about. Instead of saving her, Mickey might have been the one who put her in danger.
"Now Mickey must follow his gut instinct directly into a dangerous world of intrigue and double-dealing to get justice for both of her clients, living and dead. As he faces the 'gods of guilt'-the jurors who will deliver the ultimate verdict-he's forced to struggle with his personal demons for a shot at his own redemption."
Opinion: I have read several of Connelly's books and this one is similar to the others-good lawyer mystery. There were several little twists that seemed to be added just because. No real rhyme or reason and that was disappointing. Either they should be been developed or just not added-that's the reason for the B. Still an overall decent read.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Fall by John Lescroart

Started: 7/6/17
Finished: 7/12/17
Year: 2016
Pages: 425
Genre: Mystery/lawyer/thriller
Grade: B+
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR shelf
Blurb (from back cover): "A teenage foster child plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco's Stockton tunnel. But did she fall...or was she pushed?
"Homicide inspectors focus their attention on a naïve middle school teacher who is also an advocate for foster children. When elements of his story seem to fall apart, Rebecca Hardy, now an associate at her father's law firm, finds herself drawn into the young man's defense.
"As the case rushes forward to trial. Rebecca and her father, attorney Dismas Hardy, find themselves battling not only an aggressive prosecutor and a disinterested police department, but their own client, who insists on going to trail immediately. And when a dying man's last words cast a surprising new light on the evidence and problems develop with a key witness, Rebecca and Dismas begin to glimpse the intricate web that connects a dead teenage foster child to the complex political and judicial machine that runs San Francisco."
Opinion: This was a great lawyer mystery. The court scenes were not overwhelming as some other authors. The mystery had some very interesting twists and turns-one in particular, I wasn't expecting. I would definitely recommend.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Started: 2/2/17
Finished: 7/5/17
Year: 2011
Pages: 849
Genre: Thriller
Grade: B+
Reason for reading: grabbed off TBR shelf
Blurb (from book jacket): "It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away-a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer.
"Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, is like-like Harry's, like America's in 1963-turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession-to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
"So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there's Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in live, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore.
"Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying."
Opinion: A different type of thriller from King. This one doesn't deal with rabid dogs or haunted cars.  This time it's time traveling and what happens when you change the past. I liked how King incorporated some of the kids from It and made them a part of the story. This was a rather fast-paced book despite it 800+ pages.

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Started: 6/21/17
Finished: 6/27/17
Year: 2017
Pages: 321
Genre: Mystery
Grade: B
Reason for reading: review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from book jacket): "Nobody knows that happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blond teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her pare0st were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend, Brad Stockton-black and from the wrong side of the tracks-was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he's maintained his innocence all along, time is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.
"Brad might be in a bad way, but Roxane isn't doing so hot herself.  While she's still reeling from the death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah's vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father's unsolved cases involving another teenaged girl.
"The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blond teenagers who've turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case-hers included."
Opinion: An interesting mystery. Some decent plot twists which add to the depth. Some details of Roxane's personal life were not needed and did not add to the story. I would recommend this to any mystery fan.

Einstein's Beach House by Jacob Appel

Started: 6/19/17
Finished: 6/21/17
Year: 2014
Pages: 188
Genre: Short Stories
Grade: C
Reason for reading: won book on LibraryThing.com
Blurb: a collection of fictional short stories
Opinion: I'm not an avid reader of short stories but this collection wasn't too bad. One story in particular, I had a hard time distinguishing that it was being told from a female point of view and that bothered me. Overall a decent collection.

Without Mercy by Jefferson Bass

Started: 6/13/17
Finished: 6/19/17
Year: 2016
Pages: 372
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Grade: B
Reason for reading: review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from back cover): "Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton's latest case proves to be his most bizarre and merciless: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found scattered in the woods of nearby Cooke County. The victim, a young male under the age of thirty, had been chained, hand and foot , to a tree on a remote mountainside. As Brockton and his longtime graduate assistant, Miranda, dig deeper to establish his identity, they uncover warning signs that long-simmering hatred is about to explode in violence.
"Then, in the middle of the troubling investigation, the unthinkable happens. Sadistic serial killer Nick Satterfield-the most frightening criminal Brockton has ever foiled-escapes from prison, bent on wreaking vengeance. And he's had two decades to prefect his plan.
"Killing Brockton isn't enough. Satterfield wants to make his nemesis suffer first by destroying everything Brockton holds dear: his son, daughter-in-law, grandsons-and even Miranda.
"Desperate to save those he loves, Brockton is torn between the forces that have guided his life and career-the pursuit of justice and the quality of mercy. If he can't reconcile the two, which will Brockton choose in his ultimate moment of truth?"
Opinion: As with the other Body Farm books, this is a great thriller. The story behind the man who was murdered and hung on a tree is an interesting story all within itself. Adding the component of Satterfield adds to it. Definitely well worth the read.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Escape from Dannemora by Michael Benson

Started: 5/10/17
Finished: 5/24/17
Year: 2017
Pages: 207
Genre: True Crime
Grade: B
Reason for reading: review for LibraryThing
Blurb (from back cover): "It was one of the biggest crime stories of the decade-two deadly killers, desperate and on the run. After months of planning, Richard Matt and David Sweat cut, chopped, coerced, and connived their way out of a maximum-security prison in the wilderness of upstate New York and managed to elude police for three weeks, sending the region into lockdown. Veteran true-crime writer Michael Benson leads us along the story's every wild path to dig out a tale of adventure, psychology, sex, and brutality. Escape from Dannemora examines the strange case of Joyce Mitchell, the long-time prison employee who had a sexual relationship with at least one of the killers, and who smuggled them tools and aided in the escape, while they cooked up a plan to killer her husband. In the end, Benson looks closely at conditions at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New Tor, a crumbling Gothic pile now under investigation for charges of drug trafficking and brutality.
Opinion: A good read for any true crime fan or anyone who lives near Clinton Correctional Facility. This isn't like most true crime novels since it also includes a strong look at the prison system and its faults.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub

Started: 4/7/17
Finished: 5/9/17
Year: 2017
Pages: 373
Genre: mystery
Grade: B-
Reason for reading: review for MyShelf.com
Blurb (from back cover): ""We shall never tell.' Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy travels to her ancestral hometown to trace her past. In Mundy's Landing, she connects with long lost relatives-and a closet full of skeletons going back centuries.
"In the year since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty murders, she-like the village itself-has made a fresh start. But someone has unearthed blood-drenched secrets in a disembodied skull, and is hacking away at the Mundy family tree, branch by branch..."
Opinion: I have to admit that I got lost/confused in the first few chapters. Eventually I caught onto Corsi Staub's writing style (even though I've read other books by her) and enjoyed it. There was an interesting twist to some murders and looking back, I should have caught onto it earlier

Monday, May 08, 2017

Ghost Hunter's Guide to Portland and the Oregon Coast by Jeff Dwyer

Started: 4/20/17
Finished: 5/3/17
Year: 2015
Pages: 268
Genre: Paranormal
Grade: A
Reason for reading: TBR pile
Blurb (from back cover): This comprehensive guide to the haunts and history of Portland and the surrounding areas explores more than ninety spectral sites. From the haunted Heathman Hotel to the restless souls of the Lone Fir Cemetery, from the wailing spirits trapped in the Shanghai Tunnels to the mournful Grey Lady of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, the storied past of the Oregon Coast can still be experienced. Relive the region's days as a series of frontier towns through the Gold Rush, wars, and modern times. This companion to publicly accessible sites includes ghost-hunting instructions and tips, as well as helpful checklists for getting the most of your next supernatural encounter."
Opinion: Saw this book at Powell's and had to buy it since I moved to the Portland area fairly recently and want to learn more about the history. This book contains some interesting spots, some that I was aware of and had some of my own paranormal feelings, and others that I was not aware of and really want to check out. A great book that I will be keeping.