absolute power and all that entails

First Family by David Baldacci; 2009; $27.99;449 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0446-53975-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 3/30/18-4/2/18

Why did I read this?  Because I enjoy David Baldacci’s books and am reading my way through his many series.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are contacted by the sister in law of the First Lady.  When they arrive to meet with her, they find her dead, her husband knocked unconscious and one of their daughters missing.  The action runs all over the southeast part of the United States and runs through the FBI, the Secret Service, the Oval Office, mailboxes, etc and the US Army and a vengeful old man.  While King and Maxwell are investigating and dealing with a bunch of duplicitous people a tragedy befalls Michelle’s family.  This tragedy ties up loose ends from the previous stories and gives us some insight into her character.  This is  another thriller from Baldacci that I look forward to reading more of.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  The story stretches to the highest point of the United Government and that power has corrupted those at the top.

Batting 1.000

Maggie by Charles Martin; 2006; $15.99; 307 pages; Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN; 978-1-59554-055-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol HIll; 3/28/18-3/30/18

Why did I read this?  Because Pat Conroy passed away and Charles Martin is moving up to be my second favorite author ever.

This is the sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance  which thoroughly gripped and moved me.  After the events of the previous books things change again for Maggie and Dylan and their friends.  Maggie and Dylan have to try and figure out how to reconnect after what happened in D3 and deal with new challenges that come through their friends and the choice of livelihood.  Once again Martin writes a book that is a slice of life this is part thriller, part motivator and damm good.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I have now read three books by Charles Martin and he has managed to make me cry while reading all three books, so in baseball parlance he is 3 for 3 or batting 1.000.  He also grabbed me by referencing Pat Conroy and baseball in the story.    




The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry; 2018; $28.99; 340 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-14022-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 3/25/18-3/27/18

Why did I read this?  Because it is Steve Berry’s newest book and I have read all his previous books and enjoy the way he intertwines historic events with the current day.

Cotton Malone meets someone he met back at the  beginning of his time with the Magellan Billet.  He meets them with files he has been saving for the last fifty years or so.  The majority of the book is set around the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and details the corruption of the FBI, and J. Edgar Hoover.  Hoover was a racist who hated King and did everything in power to facilitate a fall from power.  Illegal wiretaps, lies, misinformation and other sleazy methods.  This story provides a alternate theory of the killing of this civil rights icon.  There is a bigger degree of suspension of disbelief than I could deal with.  Most of the story is suspenseful and thrilling but the conclusion left me cold.

Grade 8/10

What is with the title of the review?  Berry’s purpose is to write an intriguing story by positing an alternative to the accepted narrative, however I had a problem buying into the alternative.

do not get on his bad side

The Terminal List by Jack Carr; 2018; $26.00; 408 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-8081-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 3/23/18-3/25/18

Why did I read this?  I read a glowing review of it at The Real Book Spy.  The author is a former Navy Seal, so that is a recommendation to me to at least give it a try.

James Reece and his team are tasked with tracking down a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan.  They are not given sufficient time to properly plan the mission and are ambushed by the Taliban.  Reece and one other member of the team are the only survivors.  As he talks to the doctors he finds that every member of the team has a brain tumor.  It seems peculiar that every member would have the same type of tumor, but he is told to move on.  He goes home and reconnects with his wife and young daughter.  As he is readjusting to not being in a war zone, the only other survivor, commits suicide.  Things don’t add up for Reece though and he begins to investigate and as he does those close to him are harmed.  This drives him deeper into the investigation and as he finds those responsible he adds them to the Terminal List.  With help from a muckraking journalist, a Mexican millionaire and some others he begins to take revenge on those responsible.  The parties responsible see him coming but can’t get away.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  James Reece is a man driven to do some very bad things by those responsible for destroying his life.  You would not want to wrong someone like this.


Adiskidegsbeko bizits, auzogabeho heriotza

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson; 2006; $15.00; 271 pages; Penguin Books, New York, NY; 978-0-14-312481-8; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 3/18/18-3/22/18

Why did I read this? I am reading my way through the Walt Longmire series.  I really like the way Craig Johnson constructs a story.

An old woman in a nursing home dies and Longmire’s predecessor thinks it might be a homicide.  As Walt begins to investigate long dead ghost begin to manifest and long simmering feuds come to a boil.  The story has everything that I love about the series, Native Americans, a laconic sheriff who is caught between the old west and the modern day.  I love the way Craig Johnson writes.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  The woman who dies and prompts the investigation is an old Basque woman and the title is a Basque proverb that means, “a life without friends, means death without company.”

an mos that only one person can fill

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer; 2018; $28.00; 416 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-5952-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 3/15/16-3/18/18

Why did I read this?  Because I really like Brad Meltzer and what he writes.

Zig is a mortician at the most important mortuary in the United States, the mortuary at the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Maryland.  The mortuary there is responsible for the bodies of those killed in combat in the U.S. Military, they take great care in preparing those bodies for the families.  One night he receives a body from Alaska that brings memories of his late daughter flooding back.   He notices that there is something there that should be missing.  That takes him all over the eastern United States and back in time to a simpler life.   The mystery involves false identities, large amounts of cash and Harry Houdini and his bluebook.    It is an engaging mystery that is very intriguing with all the historical background.

Grade- 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  MOS is Army speak for Military Occupational Specialty, the MOS for Army Artist in Residence can only be filled by one person at a time.