Monday, July 6, 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 ~

The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner ~ Near the start of Edgar-finalist Gardiner's solid follow-up to The Dirty Secrets Club, San Francisco forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett examines Ian Kanan, a distressed airline passenger who turns out to be suffering from anterograde amnesia, which makes it impossible for him to form new memories. Kanan, who's sure that his family has been kidnapped and he's been poisoned, disappears from the hospital before Beckett can learn more. When she starts digging into his background, Beckett discovers not only that Kanan was a security consultant for Chira-Sayf, a nanotechnology company, but that he may have been exposed to Slick, an experimental bioweapon. Along with her SFPD contact, Lt. Amy Tang, and para-jumper boyfriend, Gabe Quintana, Beckett races to find Kanan before the people he's pursuing unleash Slick on San Francisco. Gardiner more than compensates for the sometimes implausible plot with her effective use of Kanan's amnesia and her heroine's resourcefulness.

The Justice Game by Randy Singer ~ Christy Award–winning novelist and lawyer Singer (Directed Verdict) lets the action sprint out of the gate with a murder in the first few pages. With murderer and victim dead, the moral issue of gun control takes center stage in the book, with a number of side dilemmas. The opposing counsels in the gun control case are young, ambitious lawyers, and both have hidden sins that could sink their careers. A law firm that both worked for further complicates the action. Singer piles the moral and plot complexities a bit too high; the backstories of main characters Jason Noble and Kelly Starling are relevant, but the tangled relationship between Jason and his cop father bogs down the action. The legal-thriller genre lends itself to the pattern of conversion that evangelical Christian novels require, and Singer offers logical character developments that aren't heavy-handed. The only stock feature in this well-plotted novel is the generic, fakey-sounding names (Brad Carson, Kelly Starling). But that's a quibble about a book that will entertain readers and make them think—what more can one ask?

The Last Summer of Her Other Life by Jean Reynolds Page ~ Jules Fuller, the unsinkable protagonist of Page's pleasant if heavy-handed novel, thought she'd left her North Carolina childhood far behind when she moved to California and found work in the movie business. But when her mother falls ill, she's pulled east, pregnant at age 39 by an ex-boyfriend. Soon, her mother dies, and Jules stays at home, speaking to the high school drama class and trying to figure out what kind of mother she might make. But then Vick, a troubled teenage boy, accuses her of molesting him, and Jules's meditative seclusion becomes a quest to clear her name. As Jules faces the charges against her and tries to unravel Vick's troubled past, she finds her own path to motherhood more tangled than ever. Though the plot has a few unlikely turns, Page's knack for characterization brings it back down to earth and helps nudge things toward an appropriately affirmative ending.

Everywhere She Turns by Debra Webb ~ When Dr. CJ Patterson returns to her Southern hometown, she finds herself surrounded by a series of long-buried secrets—and a killer who seems to know her better than she knows herself…Drugs, prostitution, robbery, homicide—these are four terms that Dr. CJ Patterson learned all too well growing up on the seamy, forgotten streets of inner-city Huntsville, Alabama. Fiercely determined, CJ worked hard to forget where she came from and become an emergency medicine resident at a prestigious Baltimore hospital. But when her younger sister—the only family she ever had—is murdered, CJ is drawn back into the painful past she thought she’d left behind. Her unrelenting investigation uncovers a highly sophisticated web of shocking family secrets, dark obsession, and brutal violence and a killer who will stop at nothing to keep her from learning the truth…..

Purses and Poison (Haley Randolph Mysteries) by Dorothy Howell ~ At the outset of Howell's sprightly sequel to 2008's Handbags and Homicide, handbag-obsessed 24-year-old Haley Randolph is working part-time at L.A.'s Holt's Department Store, owned by her quasi-boyfriend, Ty Cameron, to pay back the debt she's accumulated—buying designer handbags and clothes, of course. When fashion model Claudia Gray, Ty's former girlfriend, turns up dead in a women's restroom at Holt's, the police soon determine that Claudia ate poisoned fruit from a fruit bouquet from Edible Elegance, Haley's mom's company, sent to the victim. To eliminate her mom as a murder suspect as well as herself, Haley launches her own investigation while dealing with her relationship with Ty and another new boyfriend. While some readers may decide the author ends too many chapters with the exclamation Oh, crap, Howell has concocted a solid mystery sure to appeal to younger, fashion-conscious mystery fans.

5 comments:

Literary Feline said...

All of these sound so good, Lori! I hope you enjoy them!

MISSY said...

Ooooh, I would like to read The Last Summer Of Her Other Life...I'm adding it to my list.
Happy Reading!

jennala9 said...

I'm hoping to read The Memory Collector this week. And I need to get a copy of the new Jean Reynolds Page book. I love her books!

Also, I have an award for you here

Becky W. said...

I am SO jealous! You always seem to get the good ones!

I'd never read Meg Gardiner before, and I just finished The Dirty Secrets Club. I loved it, so I'll be looking forward to your review of this one!

Heidi V said...

The Memory Collector sounds very interesting, I can't wait for your review on it.