Sunday, October 6, 2013

Meet Michael Bennett: A James Patterson Series

Michael Ledwidge

James Patterson is best known for his novels about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the protagonist of his Alex Cross series. I'd like for you to meet another strong male character and one of New York's finest, Detective Michael Bennett. Patterson co-writes this series with Michael Ledwidge, son of Irish parents, born and raised in the Bronx. Ledwidge is a graduate of Manhattan College and is married with two children. The partnership with James Patterson has produced an exciting, spell binding detective series with winning storylines and an interesting cast of characters.   

Tick Tock
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

NYC's #1 detective, Michael Bennett, has a huge problem. A rash of horrifying crimes tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and terrorizing everyone living there. A bomb set in one of New York's busiest places is discovered before it explodes. But relief turns to terror when the police realize it is just a warning of greater devastation to come.
The city calls on Detective Michael Bennett, pulling him away from a seaside retreat with his ten adopted children, his grandfather, and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine. Not only does it tear apart their first vacation since Michael's wife Maeve died—it leaves the entire family open to attack.

Immediately, it becomes clear that these crimes are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind. Bennett enlists the help of a former colleague, FBI Agent Emily Parker. As his affection for Emily grows into something stronger, his relationship with Mary Catherine takes an unexpected turn. All too soon, another appalling crime leads Bennett to a shocking discovery that exposes the killer's pattern and the earth-shattering enormity of his plan.

Step On A Crack
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Detective Michael Bennett is about to take on the most sinister challenge of his career. The nation has fallen into mourning after the unexpected death of a beloved former first lady, and the most powerful people in the world gather in New York for her funeral. Then the inconceivable occurs. Billionaires, politicians, and superstars of every kind are suddenly trapped within one man's brilliant and ruthless scenario.
Bennett--father of ten--is pulled into the fray. As the danger escalates, Michael is hit with devastating news. After fighting for many years, his wife has succumbed to a terrible disease. As New York descends into chaos, he has lost the great love of his life and faces raising his ten devastated children alone--and rescuing 34 hostages.

Day after day, Bennett confronts the most ruthless man he has ever dealt with, a man who kills without hesitation and counters everything the NYPD and FBI throw at him with impunity. As the entire world watches and the tension boils to a searing heat, Bennett has to find a way out--or face responsibility for the greatest debacle in history.

Run For Your Life
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

A calculating killer who calls himself The Teacher is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York's elite, it is a call to terror.
Only one man can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Mike Bennett. The pressure is enough for anyone, but Mike also has to care for his 10 children-all of whom have come down with virulent flu at once!

Discovering a secret pattern in The Teacher's lessons, Detective Bennett realizes he has just hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history. From the #1 bestselling author comes BE AFRAID, the continuation of his newest, electrifying series.

Worst Case
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

One by one, children of New York's wealthiest are taken hostage. But the criminal doesn't crave money or power--he only wants to ask the elite if they know the price others pay for their luxurious lifestyles. And, if they don't, he corrects their ignorance--by killing them.

To Detective Michael Bennett, it becomes clear that these murders are linked and must be part of a greater, more public demonstration. With the city thrown into chaos, he is forced to team up with FBI agent Emily Parker, and the two set out to capture the killer before he begins his most public lesson yet--a deadly message for the entire city to witness.

From the bestselling author who brought you the Alex Cross novels comes James Patterson's most action-packed series yet. With the heart-pounding suspense that only Patterson delivers, WORST CASE will leave you gasping for breath until the very end.

I, Michael BennettJames Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous Mexican crime lord in a deadly chase that leaves Bennett's lifelong friend Hughie McDonough dead. From jail, the prisoner vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City-and to get revenge on Michael Bennett.
 To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, on a much-needed vacation to his family's cabin near Newburgh, New York. But instead of the calm and happy town he remembers from growing up, they step into a nightmare worse than they could have ever imagined. Newburgh is an inferno of warring gangs, and there's little the police-or Bennett-can do to keep the children safe.
 As violence overwhelms the state, Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. A partner in his investigations, federal prosecutor Tara McLellan, brings him new weapons for the battle-and an attraction that endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine. A no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-floor, action-packed novel, I, Michael Bennett is James Patterson at his most personal and most thrilling best.
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
A crime lord has declared war on America. Only Detective Michael Bennett knows why.
Manuel Perrine doesn't fear anyone or anything. A charismatic and ruthless leader, Perrine slaughters rivals as effortlessly as he wears his trademark white linen suit. Detective Michael Bennett once managed to put Perrine behind bars, the only official in the US ever to accomplish that. But now Perrine is out, and he has sworn to find and kill Bennett and everyone dear to him.
Detective Bennett, along with his ten adopted children, their nanny, and his grandfather, are hidden safely on a rural California farm, with guards courtesy of the FBI's witness protection program. Perrine begins to embark on an escalating series of assassinations across the country, killings whose brazenness and audacity bring into question the possibility of safety and law in the US. The FBI has no choice but to ask Detective Bennett to risk it all in Perrine's war on America.
With explosive action and fierce villainy that rivals James Bond movies at their best, GONE is the next astounding novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

James Patterson's "Private" Series

Recently I was introduced to "Private", another series by famed author James Patterson. The Alex Cross series made me an avid fan of the author and I was looking for something to fill in the gap when additions to the Cross series were being developed. I followed the Women's Murder Club with Lindsay Boxer for a while and also found NY Detective Michael Bennett. My new journey with "Private" was exciting and well worth my time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sophie Kinsella's Chick Lit Novels

Meet Author Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella is a pseudonym that Madeleine Wickham started using once she published Confessions of a Shopaholic. Although Wickham had previously published seven other books under her real name, her Kinsella books were much more popular, so she has stuck with the pseudonym. All of her books fall into the genre "chick lit" -- light, humorous books about modern women and their misadventures in life and love.

Wedding Night

Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don't want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. There will be no dates and no engagement - just a straight wedding march to the altar! Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met. But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben's rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene. Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember or one to forget?

I've Got Your Number

I've lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happily ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Remember Me

With the same wicked humor and delicious charm that have won her millions of devoted fans, Sophie Kinsella, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Shopaholic & Baby, returns with an irresistible new novel and a fresh new heroine who finds herself in a life-changing and utterly hilarious predicament….

When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she's in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she's about to find out just how much things have changed.

Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all.

Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?

Can You Keep A Secret?

Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She's always been a v. nervous flyer. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So, naturally enough, she starts telling the man sitting next to her - quite a dishy American, but she's too frightened to notice -all her innermost secrets. How she scans the backs of intellectual books and pretends she's read them. How she does her hair up like Princess Leia in her bedroom. How she's not sure if she has a G-spot, and whether her boyfriend could find it anyway. How she feels like a fraud at work - everyone uses the word 'operational' all the time but she hasn't a due what it means. How the coffee at work is horrible. How she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. If ever there was a bare soul, it's hers. She survives the flight, of course, and the next morning the famous founding boss of the whole mega corporation she works for is coming for a look at the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma looks up and realises... It's the man from the plane. What will he do with her secrets? He knows them all - but she doesn't know a single one of his. Or... does she?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Mystery: Linda Howard, Lisa Gardner, Nora Roberts

Shadow Woman
Linda Howard

Linda Howard's new novel is filled to the brim with heart-stopping suspense and intrigue, as one woman's search for answers takes a dangerous turn . . .

Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and doesn't recognise the reflection staring back at her in the mirror. She isn't suffering from amnesia; she remembers who she is, what she did the day before, her parents, where she grew up - everything. But who she is, is not who she sees. Alarmed, she begins searching her house for something - anything - that will match what she remembers. There is nothing. And yet there is nothing in her life that seems abnormal, except herself. She could be crazy, but her instincts are telling her this isn't the case. Some women might make an appointment with a psychiatrist, but Zette isn't 'some women.' Deep inside she knows she isn't the face in the mirror, and that she has to find out the truth, before it's too late . . .
To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.

Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.

Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.

Touch and Go
Lisa Gardner

#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family.

This is my family: Vanished without a trace. . . .

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you'd find in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by all. A perfect life.

This is what I know: Pain has a flavor. . . .

When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes' home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their cell phones and electronic devices remaining. No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive. Just a perfect little family, gone.

This is what I fear: The worst is yet to come. . . .

Tessa knows better than anyone that flawless fronts can hide the darkest secrets. Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes' innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices. Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family? And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth: Love, safety, family . . . it's all touch and go.

Whiskey Beach
Nora Roberts

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it's home...

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of - but never arrested for - the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife.

He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall. Abra Walsh is always there, though. Whiskey Beach's resident housekeeper, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist, Abra is a woman of many talents - including helping Eli take control of his life and clear his name. But as they become entangled in each other, they find themselves caught in a net that stretches back for centuries - one that has ensnared a man intent on reaping the rewards of destroying Eli Landon once and for all...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Milhone: Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton (Romantic Suspense)

Notorious Nineteen
Janet Evanovich

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don't just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don't do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton's premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it's on Stephanie to track down the con man. The problem is, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff's lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it's hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Plum is forced into working side by side with Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money - or maybe just desperate - Plum accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly special-forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again - a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid's dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did it? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck , she'll have to remember: no guts, no glory. . . .


V Is For Vengeance (Book 22-Kinsey Milhone Series)
Sue Grafton

A spiderweb of dangerous relationships is at the heart of this daring new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

Kinsey on Kinsey: "I know there are people who believe you should forgive and forget. For the record, I'd like to say I'm a big fan of forgiveness as long as I'm given the opportunity to get even first."
-from V is for Vengeance

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A dying old man cared for by the son he pummeled mercilessly. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring racking up millions in stolen goods. A brutal and unscrupulous gangster. A wandering husband, rich and powerful. A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt thinking he can beat the system. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers that may be worse than the pain of his loss. An elegant but ruthless businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the spider at the center of the web.

And Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.

V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.

Kinsey and Me
Sue Grafton

In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey's origins and Sue's past.
Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator's past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.

The same feisty voice and witty apercus readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton's telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

James Patterson and J.D. Robb: February 2013 Mysteries

Alex Cross, Run
James Patterson

Kill Alex Cross was "Patterson at the top of his game" (Washington Post). Alex Cross, Run is even better.
DON'T LOOK, ALEX CROSS: Top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his skills in the operating room, and for his wild, no-expense-spared "industry parties," bringing in underage exotic dancers and models for nights of drugs, champagne, and uninhibited sex. That is, until Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem's lavish soirees and ruins his fun. Now Creem is willing to do anything to avoid going to jail.
DON'T THINK, ALEX CROSS But Alex doesn't have time to dwell on that case. A beautiful woman has been found murdered in her car, a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found hanging from a sixth-floor window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. When a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send Washington D.C. into an all-out frenzy.
JUST RUN Alex is under so much pressure to solve these three grim cases that he hasn't noticed that someone else investigating him-someone so obsessed and so twisted that they'll do anything-
ANYTHING- to get the vengeance they require. Alex Cross, Run is James Patterson's most unrelenting story yet-a white-hot, sensational thrill ride with the most extreme and gripping characters Patterson has ever brought to life.

12th of Never  -Women's Murder Club #12

James Patterson

It's finally time! Detective Lindsay Boxer is in labor--while two killers are on the loose.

Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.

A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in-and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.

Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

Delusion in Death #35
J. D. Robb

It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks . . . until something went terribly wrong. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is trying to sort out the inexplicable events. Surviving witnesses talk about seeing things - monsters and swarms of bees. They describe sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and rage and paranoia. When forensics gives its report, the mass delusions make more sense: It appears the bar patrons were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and illegal drugs that could drive anyone to temporary insanity - if not kill them outright. But that doesn't explain who would unleash such horror - or why. And if Eve can't figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it's airborne. . . .


Calculated in Death #36

J D Robb  

On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.

A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn't seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . .