Kill the Angel by Sandrone Dazieri (a book blurt)

This is the second of a book series about an emotionally damaged savant, Dante Torre, who is unlike any other hero. The first book, Kill the Father, is when we are introduced to Dante, who as a child was abducted and spent much of his years growing up isolated in a silo. While there, he developed his skills and sharpened his senses, as means to survive and eventually escape. The second book has an antagonist whose years from birth to puberty resemble Dante’s early isolation. Unlike Dante’s, the antagonist’s fate takes an evil turn that results in multiple tragic events. Through Deputy Police Chief Colomba Caselli, a traumatized law enforcer who experienced her own share of violence earlier on, Dante finds himself once again helping solve a crime that begins with a train full of dead bodies. Set in Europe, the story is full of fascinating characters and twists that make you want to skip sleeping.

The list below is in the order I’ve read Dazieri’s books. Expect this to grow as I enjoy more of his work.

Kill the Father
Kill the Angel

Double Entry by Don Sweeney (a book blurt)

The story immediately sets up to what will lead to a murder and a case of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Toward the end, I didn’t want to put the book down because I had to know if the wrongly accused will be vindicated against the odds. This is a debut book by a lawyer who not only writes expertly on courtroom scenes, but in a very compelling way, too.  The main storyline, intriguing subplots, and R-rated sex scenes all come together into a cohesive and smooth read. Weaved in are some interesting facts about pearls, a quirky scientific cellular material, and a way to cheat using technology. Although this is the writer’s first novel, he has published a short story in a literary magazine. What’s even more inspirational to me is that several years back, the author and I were in a writing group together, along with four or five other aspiring scribes.  Today, three in our group have had at least one work published, so I am fortunate to have been in the company of talented writers.

Recommend the book to your local library. To read it immediately, go to

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper (a book blurt)

Every week I go to the library to pick up movies or books I’ve reserved. I also do a quick browsing around to see if anything interesting might catch my attention, and this book sure did. I decided to start reading it as soon as I got home and I finished it close to four hours and 284 pages later. A pleasant surprise was finding that the different settings in the book included Budapest of all places, among other European countries I that I recently visited; it was interesting to recognize so many places. However, the story was equally captivating. It’s about a highly regarded forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Lily Dominick, whose life takes a twisted turn after seeing an unusual patient, a criminal who claims not to be human. Rather, he says he was artificially created by an ambitious, but misguided scientist.

The patient’s claim is not so much what makes Lily sees him as different from all the heinous criminals New York delivers to her office. Rather, it’s his claim of being at the scene when her mother was murdered. At only six years of age, Lily witnessed her mother’s violent demise. As their conversation continues, the details he provides, and his startling claim of being her father, starts the story spinning into a suspense full of uncertainty and supernatural events. The story also explains how the legends of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula came to be told.

Well-written and engrossing, the book makes me want to read more of what Andrew Pyper has written. This is a beginning of a new readingship. I am listing the books below as I finish reading them.

The Damned


Gone Again by James Grippando (a book blurt)

This is the 13th of a book series featuring Jack Swyteck, a defense attorney, who at the beginning of his career defended death row inmates for some agency. As the series continues, we see Swyteck eventually getting his own law practice and jumping into and out of romantic relationships. This particular story line touches on the subject of adoption.  Since this is a suspense story, the focus is on the darker side or challenges of such subject. Interesting twists here as we try to learn what happened to an adopted 17-year-old. Is she still alive? Suffice to say this is one of the more interesting stories in the Swyteck series.

In my earlier review of one of Grippando’s books, I listed all the books I’ve read in the order they were published, including all of the previous Swyteck books. So check out the list if you wish to read his earlier works:
Cash Landing by James Grippando

Subsequently, I’ve read Grippando’s new publications, which I will continue to list below as I finish reading them.

Penny Jumper
Most Dangerous Place
A Death in Live Oak

Criminal Activities (a movie blurt)

This film has a story line that is not what it seems. A real twister about four former high school classmates reunited by attending the funeral of one of their old chums. After the funeral services, the four get together for coffee and somehow bring up a get-rich scheme that can only work if they are willing to capitalize on it together. One of the friends, played by Dan Stevens, offers to front the money, while another, played by Michael Pitt — who so happens to be in financial services — gives it the green light. The deal turns sour and they have to pay up to John Travolta’s mob character, Eddie, who gives the four friends an out if they do something for him. As the story gets better, the situation gets worse for the four.

The Watcher in the Wall by Owen Laukkanen (a book review)

This is the fifth of a book series that features FBI Agent, Carla Windermere, who earned the nickname, Super Cop, because of her arrest record, among other reasons. She’s teamed up with Kirk Stevens, a state investigator, who at one time sat in a Minneapolis precinct in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) division. In this installment, he is now sharing an office with Carla at an FBI office based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Continue reading

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell (a book review)

This is another addition to the long-running Kay Scarpetta book series about a forensic medical examiner. The newest release starts out with a reminder of one of the memorable characters in the series–a diabolical character who makes you think she is always a step ahead of our heroine, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a woman of many talents and skills. Although not a practicing lawyer, Scarpetta has a law degree in addition to a medical degree. She’s a certified scuba diver, as well as a gourmet chef. She has her own forensic business now and lives in a posh neighborhood in Cambridge, Mass. with her handsome, highly intelligent FBI agent husband, Benton.
Continue reading

The Stranger by Harlan Coben (a book review)

This story observes suburban life pretty well. It’s about a seemingly happy family whose life gets disrupted after a stranger tells the husband something he didn’t know his wife did two years before. After confronting her about the revelation, the story starts taking different twists. It is suspenseful and engrossing, especially in the middle of the book when things start to become “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice in Wonderland would say. Continue reading

The Fixer by Joseph Finder (a book review)

This is a thriller set in Boston with references to the Big Dig, a fiasco of a highway/tunnel project that ran way behind schedule (try over 8 to 10 years, depending which viewpoint you take) and racked up the cost to over $20 billion (still not fully paid to date). Although that in itself is criminal, there are many other criminals in the story. Much of the story is about Rick Hoffman, a thirtysomething journalist who finds himself out of a high-paying job and homeless. He goes back to his family home, which has become a big fixer-upper because his father has been in a convalescence facility for 18 years due to a stroke that left him unable to speak or care for himself. His mother has long been deceased and his only sibling, a sister, lives in Seattle. Continue reading

The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer (a book review)

This book is the third of a series about a young Archivist named Beecher White, who gets involved in the many intrigues going on in the White House. The underlying mystery about how his father had died is revealed in this book, and tied to the mystery of two dismembered arms, each planted in a strategic place that implies it’s an attempt to assassinate the President of the United States. You also get to know more about the other characters introduced in the first two books. If I give even a hint of what happens, I will end up spoiling a good read. Continue reading