Enemy of the State, A Mitch Rapp Novel by Kyle Mills

Enemy of the State, A Mitch Rapp novel by Kyle Mills, created by Vince Flynn; 2017$28.99; 388 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-8351-2; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 10/5/17-10/8/17

The Saudi’s have pissed off the President of the United States and he unleashes Mitch Rapp on them. However as with the IMF if Mitch is captured the President will disavow any knowledge of him. Mitch assembles a team to assist him in his endeavor, many of whom we have met in previous adventures.  They come from all sides, friends and enemies, only people Mitch can trust.  Since he has resigned from the service of his country, (wink, wink)  gets no official help from the Agency or from Scott Coleman and his crew.  The action goes from Langeley to Africa to Saudi Arabi and back.  Mitch saves Saudi Arabi and prevents an ISIS takeover of the kingdom.

Grade A

Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben; 2017; $28.00; 349 pages; Dutton, New York, NY; 978-0-525-95511-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 10/4/17-10/5/17

Why did I read this?  Because I have read every book that Harlan Coben has ever written (as far as I know).  I would probably read his to do list.

Nap Dumas is a small town detective who is like a dog with a bone when it comes to an investigation.  His brother Leo and his girlfriend died there senior year when they were hit by a train, or so they said.  Also that night Nap’s girlfriend Maura disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.  After a policeman is murdered, the crime scene yields Maura’s fingerprint, which results in the unearthing of a conspiracy that has remained hidden since the death of Nap’s brother 15 years before.  Nap’s investigation comes at the price of his strongest relationships at work.  The villain is not who you think it is.

Grade-A

 

Empty Branch by Marilyn Weisenburg

Empty Branch, Finding Hope Through Lament by Marilyn Weisenburg; 2017; $17.99; 270 pages; Credo House Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI;978-1-625860-79-8; purchased from the author at a signing;10/1/17-10/3/17

Why did I read this?  Marilyn is a good friend and we were on the edges of what was going on.

The week before I read this I was visiting with the author’s son and he told me that I was going to cry reading this.  He was right I didn’t make it to the second page before I couldn’t breathe because I was crying so much.  This is a story of unimaginable loss, as Marilyn and Jim’s son David was killed in Iraq on September 13, 2004.  This is the story of how Marilyn, her family and friends leaned on the arms of their eternal father. There are no simple answers given here, it is a story of extreme emotion and lament and how hope was found.  I don’t think that there is anyway I can convey the emotion that permeates the book.  As Marilyn said it is difficult to read when you are reading about people you love going through a difficult time.

Grade-A

 

 

Thunder in the Mountains by Daniel J. Sharfstein

Thunder in the Mountains; Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein; 2017; $29.95; 613 pages; W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY; 978-0-393-23941-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 9/18/17-10/1/17

Why did I read this?  I have always been a fan of Chief Joseph and always to learn more about the people that we have displaced.

An interesting story of two men who lived parallel lives during a time of great change.  General O.O. Howard, founder of Howard University fought in the Civil War on the Union Side and then headed up the Freedmen’s Bureau during reconstruction.  He believed in the betterment of the freed slaves but did not believe in that same equality for the indigenous people of America.  Chief Joseph was one of many leaders of a band of Nez Perce peoples. He was not the War Chief that conducted the war, he came to be acknowledged as the leader after the War Chiefs died.  I did not realize that the battles took place over such a vast territory.

There is more information here than needed, especially on C.E.S. Wood, the generals aide. I wish the book would have concentrated on more just the actual action and not be so much biography of the palefaces that threatened a way of life, disingenuously ignored laws and treaties, and lied.

Grade B

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Darktown by Thomas Mullen; 2016; $26.00; 371 pages; 37Ink, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-3386-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 9/14/17-9/17/17

Why did I read this?  I saw it on a list somewhere and it looked interesting.

In 1948 Atlanta adds eight African American Police Officers to their force.  However since it is 1948 they are partnered with only another African American Officer.  They are led by a ostracized sergeant who helped clean out some corrupt officers.  They are only allowed to stop other African Americans, they can’t investigate anything, their testimony is discounted in court, most of the white officers don’t accept them.  Some of the white officers are even out to get them off the force by nefarious means.  When an accident involves a white man and an African American woman, who then turns up dead, two of the officers investigate on the side and end up teaming up with one of the white officers to investigate.  Since it is not official much is done on the sly and therefore some things are in a grey area.

Grade-A

Zero Day by David Baldacci

Zero Day by David Baldacci, 2011; $27.99; 436 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0446-57301-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 9/10/17-9/14/17

Why did I read this?  I had picked up the newest book in the series while Ruth Ann was in a fabric store and I was without a book.  I had read Baldacci before and liked him and I liked the main character, so I thought I would read through the series.

John Puller is a member of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), he is the son of an legendary general, the brother of a former Army officer who is now in prison convicted of treason, the son of a mother who has been missing since he was eight.  His father is suffering from dementia and moves in and out of our reality.  There is a murder of an Army colonel in a rural West Virginia coal community which hides more questions than answers.  Someone in government is trying to cover up past mistakes while someone else is trying to take advantage of those mistakes.  Puller and a small town police force are caught in the middle and trying to avert a cataclysmic disaster.  The author throws in a few twist that are unusual, the main character is engaging and the supporting cast is cast in shades of gray as are so many people.

Grade A

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid; 2017; $26.00; 231 pages; Riverhead Books, New York, NY; 978-0-7352-1217-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 9/7/17-9/10/17

Why did I read this?  It was recommended by someone and it turns out that it will be the Everybody Reads book for next year.

Two young people in an anonymous Middle Eastern country, which is going through a civil war, fall in love and have to deal with religious fundamentalist and family.  As they grow closer and the war draws closer to them they hear of doors that will take you places.  Doors that will take you through space to somewhere else.  Their relationship ebbs and flows as they past through multiple doors and have to deal with their own attitudes about some things and relationships with others as they pass through the doorways.

This looks at refugees and how they relate to those around them and how those who live in the lands they seek refuge in view them.

I have a problem with magical realism stories so it was not something that I really got into.

Grade-B

Enduring Courage by John F. Ross

Enduring Courage, Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross; 2014; $27.99; 375 pages; St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY; 978-1-250-03377-2; purchased from Multnomah County Library, Title Wave Used Bookstore; 9/2/17-9/7/17

Why did I read this?  Because Eddie Rickenbacker was one of my first heroes growing up and I think was the first autobiography I ever read.

This is sort of a semi biography covering three main times in Mr. Rickenbacker.  First is Eddie’s interest in cars and his career as a race car driver, then his time in World War I as a pilot and the Ace of Aces and thirdly the time he was on a secret mission for the President and his plane crash landed in the Pacific and he was adrift in a raft for 24 days before being rescued.  The times between these events is covered lightly as is his early childhood and later life.  By focusing on these three time periods I found out more about Eddie than I had previously known.

Grade A

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar; 2017; $25.00; 171 pages; Cemetery Dance Publications, Forest Hill, MD; 978-1-58767-610-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 9/2/17-9/2/17.

Castle Rock is the scene of another eerie adventure.  Gwendy is given a box that dispenses chocolate animals that curb your appetite and much more.  It also dispenses mint 1981 Morgan Silver Dollars and has multiple buttons on it which do bad things, Gwendy pushes one button one time and something awful happens.  Over time the box is nothing more than a presence in her life, one that she doesn’t even acknowledge for years but still feels its effects.

Grade B

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips; 2017; $25.00; 275 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0-7352-2427-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library; Hillsdale; 8/3/017-9/2/17

Why did I read this?  Because I read a good review of it.

Joan and her four year old son Lincoln, are visiting the local zoo when they hear gunshots.  Several teenagers want to have their names be remembered forever so they have decided that they will go on a rampage at the zoo.  Joan takes her son and hides at various points throughout the zoo.  She encounters other survivors and even encounters one of the shooters.

Grade A

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