Friday, July 17, 2015

flower net

flower net
red princess #1
lisa see
published 1997

The first body was found in ice: the U.S. ambassador's son, entombed in a frozen lake outside Beijing's Forbidden City. Thousands of miles away, in the heat-baked hold of a Chinese smuggling ship, another corpse is uncovered, this one a red Prince, a scion of China's political elite. Suspecting the deaths are linked, the American and Chinese governments pair ambitious attorney David Stark and brilliant detective Liu Hulan to uncover a killer and a conspiracy.

The only other book I've read by Lisa See is Snow Flower & The Secret Fan and I loved it!  I was looking for something to listen to while I did some work and saw she had a trilogy of crime novels.  Flower Net is the first, introducing Liu Hulan and David Stark who met in America when they were both working at the same firm.  I think.  I can't remember exactly!  I know they were in love once, but Liu gets word that her mother is sick and she returns to Beijing.  Family obligations have her remaining in Beijing, never returning to American and from what I could gather, never contacting David again until murders oceans apart appear connected and the two must work together.

The story itself was mostly interesting and I'm not sure if it was the narration of the book or the book itself that didn't enthrall me, but I wasn't in love with the book.  I'm pretty sure it was the narration.  And the strange background music that kept going on.  I think I'll try the next book in actual book form.

rules of prey

rules of prey
lucas davenport #1
john sandford
published 1989

The "maddog" murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent.  He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled.  Each clever move he makes is another point of pride.  But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport - a dedicated cop and serial killer's worst nightmare - is brought to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.

It has been over 20 years since I first read this book and started the wonderful journey through John Sandford's prey novels.  These are among my most favorite books and after the last few books I kept thinking, I should re-read this series.  So that's what I'm doing.  One down, twenty-five to go.

I love the way that Sandford has Davenport thinking.  Even though he's fishing he's plotting out what he's going to do to trap this guy.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes shit hits the fan, but it's always entertaining.  I sit there sometimes and try to figure out if and how he's going to get away with stuff he pulls.  It's fantastic.

I love that it's been so long that I've forgotten the details enough that the book is still fun to read.  There are still surprises and at the same time there's the familiarity with the characters.  I did get a little sad when certain characters who met their demise later in the series showed up, but like greeting old friends, it's nice to see everyone.

This is certainly a great introduction to Lucas.  It has all the things about him that I love about him and I remember why I love this series and kept reading it for twenty years!

one kick

one kick
kick #1
chelsea cain
simon & schuster
published 2014

Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred. And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again. But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past.

I was soooo disappointed in this book.  Loving Chelsea Cain's Archie & Gretchen books I had high expectations I suppose, but I thought she really missed the mark with Kick Lannigan.

The story is jumbled, missing pieces which I assume it's because the book is part of a series and she wants to keep the reader interested throughout the next few books.  But for me, it only made me frustrated and made characters seem flat and unfinished.

And Kick.  Oh, I was most disappointed in her.  She talks for pages and pages about how many ways she can kill or incapacitate a man.  How she can take care of herself, she'll never be a victim again, etc. And yet every dangerous instance she finds herself in she is over powered, outgunned, out manned and just plain out of her league.  She prepares endlessly for 'every' situation, but then fails at every turn and must be saved by a man!  It was so utterly disappointing.

I'm not even sure I have enough interest in the book to continue with the series.  We read this book for our book club and the ones who hadn't read Cain's other series seemed to like it much better than I did.  So maybe a lot of it was my high expectations, but still....I wanted more from Kick.

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