The Day After Never by Russell Blake takes place in the Southwestern United States. America is torn apart by a pandemic flu that kills a large portion of the population. Anarchy rules in this Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian novel. Pockets of civilization dot the countryside barricaded against the lawless groups that roam; looking for easy prey.
“As with most black swan events, so named because they were unpredictable singularities, the combination of the super flu – regardless of whether brought to the U.S. by refugees, illegal immigrants, or returning servicemen – and an economic meltdown had never been envisioned. There were simply no scenarios for it, and when it happened, civilization had unraveled far faster than anyone would have believed.”
In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Piem, young Flavia de Luce plays detective when she discovers an almost dead man in her family’s cucumber patch. He died shortly, but not before uttering an unusual word that she know must be the key to the mystery. Her investigation intensifies when someone close to her is arrested for the crime. And she is inclined to seek answers from an incident a long long time ago at a school attended by the accused.
It was over a decade ago when I discovered American hero, Scot Harvath. Harvath is the epicenter of Brad Thor’s novels about the secretive men and women who keep this country safe. While the series’ are novels, I hope that there are such people dedicated to the safety of our country. I look forward to each summer when Mr. Thor blesses us with another Harvath novel. There are only a few authors who consistently thrill me with their novels. As much as I read and rate books, Brad Thor’s books make most action thrillers pale in comparison.
So if you’ve read any of my book reviews, you already know that summer is an exciting time for me. Usually each July, Daniel Silva gifts us readers with a new novel featuring Israeli superman, Gabriel Allon. I am not sure how Mr. Silva has maintained the high level of quality of his novels (this is the nineteenth installment)! As you also may be aware, I read a lot of books…this is the 58th book this year. I found myself liking many books and giving the generous ratings on Goodreads. Then I get to The New Girls and it’s like being attacked. I mean I cannot put this book (Kindle) down. It doesn’t seem like enough to give it a meager five stars.
The Redbreast is a thriller set in Scandinavia where Harry Hole is an ordinary man with very strong investigative instincts. Never considered one of the elite because of his personality, he is nonetheless a worthy detective. In Redbreast he discovers that someone purchased a very expensive weapon in his tiny town. This intriguing purchase seems to be of interest to no one but him. While his superiors focus and try to force Harry to focus on other issues, he cannot get past the fact that this weapon is somewhere nearby and about to be used.
Author David McCullough hails from my hometown of Pittsburgh so I feel a connection to him. Okay, not really, but I’ve enjoyed many of his books. If you love historic settings and details, you have to have read some of his books. The Pioneers is subtitled “The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West.” In this case “West” is Ohio. The book heralds the settlement of communities in and around what is now Marietta, Ohio. Being from Pittsburgh, I truly enjoyed the references to the Ohio River and Pittsburgh itself.
So I am obviously behind the times only just discovering Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. I had heard about them, but I tend to shy away from very successful, “popular” novels as they often leave me wanting. So when I decided to reach for one of these novels (see what I did there?), I went back to the beginning…and it had one heck of a beginning…
Keep It Quiet by Richard Hull follows the Secretary (manager) of a British gentlemen’s club, the Whitehall Club. When a member seems to be murdered the Secretary is embroiled in intrigue and cover-up while still trying to please his members…all very British!
“You can’t have murders in decent clubs. It does the place no good – no good at all. Best to let sleeping dogs lie.’ He went to Morrison’s funeral quite happily, and returned from it in so cheerful a frame of mind that he even thought he could find a bye-law as to the sherry which would satisfy Cardonnel. A closer examination, however, brought disillusionment. It was then that he opened the letter.”
“From an early age I have known that I am a favorite of the gods, particularly of the great god Horus to whom I pray. How else could I have been gifted from birth with so many talents and virtues? How else have I been able to survive so many terrible perils and mortal dangers that would certainly have destroyed any lesser being? How else have I been able to stay so young and handsome and my mind so sharp when all those about me wrinkle, turn gray and fade away with age? There is something about me that has set me aside from most other mortal men.”
In Camino Island a group of thieves make off with priceless, hand-written manuscripts. The owner is hesitant to alert the world fearing that the writings will disappear forever. The authorities act fast and apprehend many of the criminals, but not all and not the manifests. Fast-forward to the tiny, Florida town of Santa Rosa where a popular bookstore owner dabbles in rare books. Could he have obtained the manuscripts? A struggling novelist who has roots on the island is convinced to go undercover.