Monday, April 27, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here's what I got ~

Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield (for review) ~ After tossing and turning all night, thirty-nine-year-old Lisa Barkley wakes up well before her alarm sounds. With two daughters about to start another year at their elite Upper East Side private school and her own career hitting a wall, the effort of trying to stay afloat in that privileged world of six-story town houses and European jaunts has become increasingly difficult, especially as Manhattan descends into an economic freefall. As Lisa looks over at her sleeping husband, Sam, she can't help but feel that their fifteen-year marriage is in a funk that she isn't able to place. She tries to shake it off and tells herself that the strain must be due to their mounting financial pressures. But later that morning, as her family eats breakfast in the next room, Lisa finds herself checking Sam's voicemail and hears a whispered phone call from a woman he is to meet that night. Is he having an affair? When Lisa shares her suspicions with her best friend, Deirdre, at their weekly breakfast, Deirdre claims it can't be true. But how can Lisa fully trust her opinion when Deirdre is still single and mired in an obsessive affair with a glamorous photographer even as it hovers on the edge of danger? When Deirdre's former college flame, Jack, comes to town and the two couples meet to cele-brate his fortieth birthday, the stage is set for an explosiveT series of discoveries with devastating consequences. Filled with suspense and provocative ques-tions about the relationships we value most, Best Intentions is a tightly woven drama of love, friendship and betrayal.

Little Lamb Lost by Margaret Fenton (for review) ~ Social worker Clare Conover honestly believed she could make a difference in the world until she gets the phone call she's dreaded her entire career. One of her young clients, Michael, has been found dead and his mother, Ashley, has been arrested for his murder. And who made the decision to return Micha3l to Ashley? Claire Conover.Ashley had seemingly done everything right-gotten clean, found a place to live, worked two jobs, and earned back custody of her son. Devastated but determined to discover where her instincts failed her, Claire vows to find the truth about what really happened to Michael.What Claire finds is no shortage of suspects. Ashley's boyfriend made no secret that he didn't want children. And Ashley's stepfather, an alcoholic and chronic gambler, has a shady past. And what about Michael's mysterious father and his family? Or Ashley herself? Was she really using again? Amidst a heap of unanswered questions, one thing is for certain: Claire Conover is about to uncover secrets that could ruin lives-or end her own.

Deadlock by Iris Johansen ~ An especially far-fetched plot and unconvincing dialogue mar this romantic thriller, set primarily in Afghanistan and Russia, from bestseller Johansen (Dark Summer). Emily Hudson, a U.N. artifacts expert, is trying to track down a vicious criminal who may have stolen Zelov's hammer. Hidden inside the old mallet is a treasure map to the long-lost riches of Russia's assassinated Romanov family. Helping Hudson is a rough-and-ready CIA tracker, whose physical charms prove irresistible to the usually proud and independent Hudson. As is Johansen's wont, the romance competes head-to-head with the chase, with annoying effect. Love scenes and hokey romantic dialogue closely follow or precede those of perilous action. On one page, Hudson will be steely and adept, then, on the next, fragile and feeble. By the time the plot hits the homestretch, many readers will have a hard time taking it seriously

Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (for review)~ Kim , a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.

THE EXECUTION of JUSTICE by MICHAEL PHELPS ~ A depiction of a detective, who’s professional like expands while his personal life suffers, Mike Walsh is a patrol cop with a stable marriage and a so far unfulfilled desire to have children. He is good at this job, dedicated to preserving the peace and well respected by his peers. When his mentor Jack needs a new partner, Mike is offered the position of detective within the department. Considering it an enormous opportunity, Mike accepts and this is the story of his daily challenges.Although Mike and Jack are on the trail of a brutal serial killer of women and an increasingly violent gang of thieves, there is no buildup to a climatic end. While the police are meticulous in gathering evidence against the serial killer, unlike other stories, there is no corresponding meticulous buildup of tension. Therefore, it is inaccurate to describe this as a thriller, while there is action; it is not of the form where the tension is slowly ratcheted up.Mike discovers that his new position puts a good deal of strain on him and his marriage, for now he feels personally responsible for the capture of the villains. In order to gather the evidence, it is now necessary for him to attend autopsies and examine the murder victims in great detail. This creates mental baggage that he brings home; he often works late and comes home mentally and physically exhausted.Despite the lack of a buildup to a climax, this is still a book that will keep your attention if you enjoy stories about the daily routine of being a robbery/homicide detective. The cover announces that this is the debut novel of a “Detective Mike Walsh” series of novels. Given this good start, I believe it will be a successful one.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (for review) ~ From failure to fusilli, this deliciously hilarious read tells the story of Giulia Melucci's fizzled romances and the mouth-watering recipes she used to seduce her men, smooth over the lumps, and console herself when the relationships flamed out. From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all. She suffers each disappointment with resolute cheer (after a few tears) and a bowl of pastina (recipe included) and has lived to tell the tale so that other women may go out, hopefully with greater success, and if that's not possible, at least have something good to eat. Peppered throughout Giulia's delightful and often poignant remembrances are fond recollections of her mother's cooking, the recipes she learned from her, and many she invented on her own inspired by the men in her life. Readers will howl at Giulia's boyfriend-littered past and swoon over her irresistable culinary creations.


Kaye said...

Wow,Lori, you got some teriffic books. Enjoy!
My mailbox is here

LuAnn said...

You got some great reads!

Kristi said...

This is the second mailbox I have seen Best Intentions on - it looks really good!

Enjoy your books!