Maybe someday she can kick Gretchen Lowell

One Kick, A Kick Lannigan Novel by Chelsea Cain; 2014; $25.99; 306 pages; Simon & Schuster, New York, NY; 978-1-47674978-5; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 8/29/14-8/31/14

Kathleen Lannigan is abducted from her home at age 6 and held for 5 years by a pedophile who forces her to star in child porn movies.  The movies are the most profitable child porn ever produced and make enemies of a couple of pedos.  At age 11 Kit as she is known is freed by the FBI.  10 years after being freed she has learned many self defense techniques from Karate, Throwing Stars, Num chucks, and her Glock.  She is brought into help find a new couple of abducted children, by a mysterious man known only as Bishop, who has access to all kinds of resources to help find the children.  It turns out that he is also a former child abductee who was left for dead and his brother disappeared.  Kicks’ past comes back to haunt her and taunt her, but she stands up to it and kicks its ass.

Did I like it?  Yes, it was an exciting read and well written.  The characters are well rounded and realistic.  It is a another book that defines pageturner from Chelsea Cain.


What is with the title of the review?  Gretchen Lowell is the star of another series by Chelsea Cain, it would be interesting to have Gretchen and Archie interact with Kick, James and Bishop.

Sketches from the Highway

Building the Columbia River Highway, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done by Peg Willis; 2014; $19.99; 187 pages; The History Press, Charleston, SC; 978-1-62619-271-3; 979.54W735b; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Sellwood; 8/7/14-8/8/14

Peg Willis presents her research about the Columbia River Highway as a series of sketches about the people who promoted, planned and built the Columbia River Highway.  Some of the sketches are only four lines long. This would not be accepted as a paper in most high school or college classes, it is as if she did her research and published that.  There is no way that I would have turned a paper in like this.  The accounts of the people and the construction are tied together very loosely, there is no context for some of the chapters.  The subject matter was compelling but the structure of the book was lacking.

Did I like it?  I was very interested in the subject matter but the way the book was structured made the story less than compelling to me.


What is with the title of the review?  This is simply a series of character sketches about the people involved in the planning and construction of the highway and then a sketch about each section of the highway.  There is no cohesiveness to the story.

won’t be reading the second one

Murdermobile, A Portland Bookmobile Mystery by B.B. Cantwell; 2013; 191 pages; 978149280711; Shilshole Bay Books; Seattle, WA; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Library Outreach; 4/10/14-4/10/14

Hester Freelove McGarrigle is the librarian aboard the Portland City Librarys’ last remaining bookmobile.  The former library director is found murdered in a closet onboard the bookmobile.  Then begins a romance between Hester and the police detective assigned to the case.  Oh he also investigates the crime with help from her.

Did I like it?  Not really, it was very obvious to me very quickly who the murderer was, the story had too many coincidences in and there were two many unanswered subplots left dangling like a participle at the end of a sentence.

 Grade -C

What is with the title of the review?  This was the first in a series and I will not be reading the second.

Did you know there is an island in Lake Oswego?

Let Me Go? by Chelsa Cain; 2013; $25.99; 358 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-0-312-61981-7; Mystery; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 9/28-9/29

Why did I pick this up?  Because I have read the previous books in this series, and have talked to Chelsea Cain at several Wordstocks and she is appearing at this years Wordstock

What is the story?  Gretchen Lowell, the serial killer known as The Beauty Killer is on the loose in Portland again.  At the same time police detective Archie Sheridan is investigating the death of a DEA agent in the Pearl District.   Susan, the Herald reporter, is taken hostage by the drug dealing kingpin and Archie and Gretchen team up to rescue her.  Archies’ head gets messed with by Gretchen as usual but he seems to have an epiphany about life and some of the people in his life at the end of the story.

Did I like it?  Yes, once again Chelsea Cain has written a gripping page turner.  Gretchen as serial killer takes a back seat to the story of drug dealing.


What is with the title of the review?  There is a small island near the edge of Oswego Lake in Lake Oswego that was originally owned by the Jantzen family and a large party of the story takes part on the island or revolves around it.


portland to petco, day one

Back in February my friend Robert Jones, founder and CEO of Tren*, told me that he had an event to attend in San Diego, CA on June 12.  He wanted to know if I would drive down with him, as he didn’t want to drive the whole way by himself.  His son, Philip, would accompany us but he doesn’t drive.  I began to make arrangements to take time off from work, which was fun (not).  I had to make arrangements for someone to cover for me, which involves moving people around a bit since I am the only paid employee at the bookstore.  I took Friday off to do laundry, pick up a few things I still needed for the trip and pick up some things for Ruth Ann.  We had run out of dog food for Sith and I filled up the car.  I took my change that I had been accumulating since I returned from my reading vacation** last year.  I am not accumulating as much change since I stopped drinking Coca-Cola on April 25+. I took it in to the local US Bank and had them count it and deposit in my account, $142.62. Robert and I went out to Tigard Friday afternoon to pick up the Chevy Captiva we would be driving.  We live in Northeast Portland and I asked Robert why we were going all the way to Tigard to pick up the car.  We saved $100 in taxes by going outside of Multnomah County, the trip was worth in my estimation.  I got almost everything packed and ready to go by the front door, left the computer out till this morning and didn’t load up the cooler until this morning.  Robert and Phil showed up right at 8AM and we loaded up the Captiva, we were on the road by 8:30 and didn’t stop until Eugene, we went to the Best Buy, because we needed to pick up a memory card.  Then we got on the road and I gave Robert a history lesson on World War, interspersed with other bits of trivia.  Like as we crossed the Willamette River in Eugene on I5 I pointed to the hill where Steve Prefontaine met his end.  We drove on to Grants Pass where we stopped to gas up and have lunch.  We ate at the Subway in downtown Grants Pass in the shadow of the Caveman Statue.   From Grants Pass we continued south on the Redwood Highway, just before crossing into California we passed the Great Cats World Park and the Tiger Preservation Center outside of Cave Junction.  We crossed over into California just before two pm.  We came down 101 and saw two herds of elk just along the road, more elk in one day than Richard Smouse has seen in all the times he has been hunting.  Drove through Crescent City looking for the anchor that had been tossed into town in the 1964 tsunami, but didn’t see it.  I noticed that the ocean seemed to have a  saltier smell than the water off the Oregon Coast.  We crossed the Klamath River bridge which has two golden bears at each end.  We stopped at Trees of Mystery, I remember going past the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe when we would drive up 101 from California to Medford to visit Grandparents, Aunts, Uncle and Cousins.  It was a beautiful drive through some awesome redwoods, some so close to the road that it was if the repeated passage of vehicles had shaved it to the side of the road.  One of the both entertaining was as we went over the Little River we were listening to Little River Band sing Night Owl.  We arrived in Eureka about 4:30 and checked into our room and then went to dinner at Applebees and watched the OSU Beavers and K State Super Regional College World Series game.  When left the restaurant the score was 2-1 OSU.  We came back to the room and watched K State score something like 5 straight runs and win in 10 innings.  We then proceeded to utilize almost every outlet in the room to charge two computers, three phones, a camera, an ipad and an ipod.  I read the story of Barrington Bunny to Robert and Phil, Robert read a poem about Mt. Tamalpais to us.  Phil is watching youtube, Robert is sleeping and I am finishing this up.  I will read a little of Robopocalypse and go to sleep.

*Theological Research Network/**I go to my cousin Johns’ place every year and spend a week reading/+My friend Diana challenged me to drink less soda, so I stopped drinking soda on April 25, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought.