Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross 2) by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Kiss the Girls Alex Cross 2
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
pages: 481
published: 1995
first line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider,Washington D.C.’s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

my thoughts:

After having read and really enjoyed Along Came a Spider I knew I had to read the second in the Alex Cross series. Kiss the Girls starts off where Along Came a Spider left off, but it is definitely a stand alone read. There are a few references to characters and occurrences from the first novel but nothing that would confuse a reader. The ending wraps up nicely while leaving room for the next installment.

At the start of Kiss the Girls  there is a serial who calls himself “Casanova” and has been abducting and torturing beautiful and successful young women in their early twenties. Alex Cross is a Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist who has been called to go to South Carolina with his partner to the scene of the latest murder by Casanova. This is the third victim. Cross has also just been notified that his niece Naomi Cross is missing. He fears Casanova has taken her.

As the story flows, the detectives realize there are two killers working together and that this spree has been going on for over a decade. Casanova has a partner, The Gentleman. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase with twists and turns as the detectives try to find the missing women and the case hits close to home for Cross as he tries to find his niece.

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Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Along Came A Spider
author: James Patterson (Twitter)
pages: 449
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
published: December 1, 1993
first line: The Charles Lindbergh farmhouse glowed with bright, orangish lights.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars!
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blurb:
Discover the classic thriller that launched the #1 detective series of the past twenty-five years, now one of PBS’s “100 Great American Reads”

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. He works and lives in the ghettos of D. C. and looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. He’s a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. But he also has two adorable kids of his own, and they are his own special vulnerabilities.

Jezzie Flanagan is the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she’s got an outer shell that’s as tough as it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the “crime of the century,” is playing at the top of his game. Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Gary Soneji is every parent’s worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross’s nightmare. And now, reader, he’s about to become yours.

my thoughts:

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Hellooooooo everyone. I am still here. I have to begin this post by saying that I miss you guys and I miss blog-land but I am still on major vacation/summertime mode. I am going to try to catch up online this weekend and hopefully by next weekend I will have an updates and mailbox post.

Anyway, onto my thoughts on Along Came A Spider by James Patterson a.k.a. my favorite book of 2018 so far. This book was fantastic and once I was finished reading I had a serious book hangover.

The New York Daily News says:
“James Patterson is to suspense what Danielle Steel is to romance”.

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The Body in the Ballroom by R.J. Koreto

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source: copy via Partners In Crime Book Tours
title: The Body in the Ballroom: An Alice Roosevelt Mystery
author: R.J. Koreto
pages: 293
genre: historical mystery
published: Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)
first line: St. Louis wasn’t half bad.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

President Teddy Roosevelt’s daring daughter, Alice, leaps into action to exonerate a friend accused of poisoning a man just about everyone hated.

Alice Roosevelt, the brilliant, danger-loving daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, has already risked an assassin’s bullet to solve one murder. She never expected to have to sleuth another, but she’d never pass up the opportunity, either. Anything to stave off boredom.

And such an opportunity presents itself when Alice is invited to a lavish ball. The high-society guests are in high spirits as they imbibe the finest wines. But one man, detested by nearly all the partygoers, quaffs a decidedly deadlier cocktail. An African-American mechanic, who also happens to be a good friend of former Rough Rider-turned-Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, is suspected of the murder-by-poison, but Alice is sure he’s innocent and is back on the scene to clear his name.

From downtown betting parlors to uptown mansions, Alice and Agent St. Clair uncover forbidden romances and a financial deal that just might change the world. But neither Alice nor her would-be protector may survive the case at hand in The Body in the Ballroom, R. J. Koreto’s gripping second Alice Roosevelt mystery.

my thoughts:
The Body in the Ballroom: An Alice Roosevelt Mystery was a nice historical murder mystery centered around former president Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter Alice and her Secret Service Agent/Bodyguard Joseph St. Clair. This book is second in the Alice Roosevelt series but stands fine as a stand alone read. While at a ball a member of high society, Lynley Brackton dies after taking a poisoned drink. His wife later claims she knows the drink was meant for her. Alice and St. Clair try to solve the mystery because someone they know is being wrongfully accused.

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Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae

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source: ARC via Meryl Moss Media
title: Eight Goodbyes
author: Christine Brae
published: Vesuvian Books (August 28, 2018)
first line: The only benefits of travelling a gazillion miles a year is the braided cord separating those with preferred airline status from the rest of the passengers.
pages: 279
rated: 3 1/2 of out 5 stars
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blurb:
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.”

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

my thoughts:
Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae was nice contemporary romance. Tessa is a successful romance author and she meets Simon on a plane. He is a scientist and the two start to keep in touch via Twitter and What’sApp for a few months. Simon flies out to visit Tessa on one of her book singing tours to spend some time with her. One thing leads to another and these two have great chemistry and begin a long distance fling, but each is trying to not get too attached.

“Every goodbye served only to increase the intensity of his feelings for her.”
-p. 173, Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae

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Meltdown by GP James

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source: ARC courtesy of Meryl Moss Media
title: Meltdown
author: G.P. James
published: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing (May 15, 2018)
pages: 393
first line: His hazel eyes grazing the dials and gauges on the sage metal walls through the plate-glass window teleported him back to the seventies, making him feel older than thirty-eight, like he had been on the job for that amount of time and was cusping the turn of his sixth decade.
genre: environmental thriller/suspense/action
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

The Pace of the Bourne Identity
The Technical Depth of Michael Crichton
The Universal Magnitude of Dan Brown

A timely thriller illuminating facts regarding the state of the world’s energy crisis, climate change, and the quandary of nuclear energy–inspired by events in Fukushima, unexpected earthquakes across the planet, and the deterioration of nuclear power plants worldwide.

Bear Mountain Nuclear Energy Center sits one mile outside the active Ramapo fault line, thirty-five miles from the center of New York City. The fault line rocks causing a massive earthquake in the town of Peekskill; power is clipped and control of one of the reactors at Bear Mountain is abruptly lost.

Plant supervisor Trace Crane fights to save the reactor while his wife Avi searches for their daughter in the destroyed Northeast. As the condition of the reactor plummets and radiation is released into the environment, Trace is left to choose between saving the nuclear plant, the East Coast, and the twenty million residents of the NYC metro area or finding his family and saving himself.

my thoughts:
Meltdown by G.P. James was a tense thrill ride that posed many “what if” scenarios. Trace Crane works as an engineer at the Bear Mountain Nuclear Energy Center in upstate NY. He is married to Avi and they have a young daughter named Brooklyn. As the book takes off, Trace is on vacation mode as he is only working half day on this Friday before he heads to Connecticut for the weekend to relax with his family. This morning however the active Ramapo fault line rocks and sets off an earthquake. As a result, the poorly maintained Bear Mountain nuclear plant is now leaking nuclear waste into the environment. Houses are damaged, people are killed and mayhem ensues in the surrounding areas of New York and New Jersey. In a race against time, things go from bad to worse as Trace struggles with trying to do his job and keeping everyone safe or running off to find his family and evacuating.

“No one ever imagined a quake of that magnitude striking the East Coast, except, clearly, the scientists. Seismologists knew something everyone else didn’t-the Ramapo fault zone was a seething leviathan that could explode at any moment. Now it had. Trace experienced the chilling realization that their operating licence shouldn’t have been extended twenty years past the reactor’s design life.”
p.26, Meltdown by GP James

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