Trust No One by Paul Cleave

Trust No One by Paul Cleave; 2015; $26.00; 342 pages; Atria Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-7917-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 7/22/17-7/29/17

Why did I read this? A coworker was reading it and knew I read mysteries and asked if I read it.  He wanted to talk about it, so I read it.

Mystery writer Jerry Grey, who writes as Henry Cutter is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  He is having trouble separating what happened in his books from real life and some one is taking advantage.  He keeps waking up away from the facility he has been parked in and in rooms with dead bodies and covered in blood.  It is somewhat disturbing trying to figure out what is real and what is not, I hope that I do not succumb to either of the diseases.

Grade-B, I figured out about halfway through the book who was taking advantage of Jerry’s misfortune.  Also I was severely disappointed in the ending of the story.

The Sons of Slabtown & Tales of Westside Sports by Donald R. Nelson

The Sons of Slabtown & Tales of Westside Sports by Donald R. Nelson; 2016; $25.00; 145 pages;DNelsonbooks, Portland, OR; 978-0976282396; purchased from the author at the Oregon Oldtimers & Active Association Banquet; 2/18/17-2/21/17

Why did I read this? Because I am interested in baseball and the city I live in.

The audience for this book is probably very limited.  This is the story of the neighborhood in Northwest Portland that produced some major league baseball players, chief among them Boston Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky.  There were several other players that made major league rosters and had cups of coffee in the majors.  It is an interesting history of a neighborhood from the beginning of the twentieth century to mid century.  Living here there is much that was very interesting and several old timers that I have met including Vince Pesky, who signed my copy the night I purchased it.  Also John Leovich who I got to visit  with on the Oregon Coast at his restaurant.  This is actually a scrapbook with captions.

Grade-B

House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg

House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg; 2016; $28.00; 352 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-5949-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 2/2/17-2/7/17 

Why did I read this?  I have read much by Brad Meltzer across multiple genres and liked them.

Hazel and Skip are in the desert with their father, Jack Nash, host of the House of Secrets.  Think Robert Stack on unsolved mysteries or John Walsh on America’s most wanted.  There is a terrible accident and Hazel has little remembrance of who or what she was prior to the accident.  Much like Steve Berrys’ books this mixes history and modern day espionage.  I found it enjoyable but much less compelling than previous books by Mr. Meltzer.

Grade B

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead; 2016; $26.95; 306 pages; Doubleday, New York, NY; 978-0-385-54236-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 1/22/17-2/2/17

Why did I read this?  A co-worker recommended it (although she doesn’t remember doing so) and the Corner Reading Society decided to read it during the coming year.

Cora and Caesar decide to escape the brutality of the Georgia plantation on which they are slaves.  Caesar has found a contact that will put them on the underground railroad.  Even as they escape and make new lives for themselves they live in constant fear of slave hunters and other whites, who would do them harm in a myriad of ways.  Each chapter is from the point of view of the characters, encompassing some we don’t hear about or from until their chapter arrives.  It is a complex story that incorporates some fantistical elements such as how the train runs.  I think it is a story that would take several readings to really understand the story.

Grade B, I had difficulty following the story at a couple of points due to the structure of the novel.

Curse of the Infidel by Richard Marcinko

Rogue Warrior, Curse of the Infidel by Richard Marcinko and Jim Defelice; 2013; $26.99; 367 pages; A Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York, NY; 978-0-7653-3294-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 11/17/16-11/23/16

Why did I read this?  Because I find the author amusing and the books are full of fantastical action.

Coincidences abound in this latest installment in the supposedly fictionalized accounts of incidents in the authors life.  Radical Islamic terrorists, corrupt financial institutes, illegally produced pharmaceuticals,  colorful personalities and lot of action and Mr. Murphy all play central roles.  The plot is convoluted but easy to follow and there is no way to explain it, but if you are a fan of Scott Horvath, or Mitch Rapp, here is the source of some of what they do.

Grade-B, the colorfulness of the characters is starting to gray the plots are getting more and more fantastical.