Friday, February 08, 2008

Recent Reads

One of the few good things about being home sick with a cold is being able to get more reading in between sleeping, of which I've been doing a lot of. I've also been doing reading. So I've two recent reads to share.

Strangers in Death by JD Robb

Why this one: It's no secret I adore these books. While I get a bit tired of most series after a while, the In Death books are a true exception. As soon as I finish one, I look forward to the next in the series.

Level of Steam: I could still keep the thermometer at 18 and feel comfortable - despite having a nasty cold

Barnes & Noble Blurb: Technology may be different in 2060 New York, yet the city is still a place of many cultures and great divides. And as ever, some murders receive more attention than others - especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman, found in his Park Avenue apartment, tied to the bed - and strangled - with cords of black velvet.

It doesn't surprise Lieutenant Eve Dallas that Thomas Anders's scandalous death is a source of titillation and speculation for the public - and humiliation for his family. While everyone else in the city is talking about it, those close to Anders aren't so anxious to do so. Fortunately, because Dallas's billionaire husband, Roarke, happens to own the prime real estate where Anders's sporting-goods firm was headquartered, she has some help with access. Before long, she's knocking on doors - or barging through them - to look for the answers she needs.

But the facts don't add up. Physical evidence suggests that the victim didn't struggle. The security breach in the highly fortified apartment indicates that the killer was someone close to Anders, but everyone's alibi checks out, from the wife who was off in the tropics to the loving nephew who stands to inherit millions. Was this a crime of passion - or a carefully planned execution?

It's up to Dallas to solve a sensational case where all involved guard secrets from one another - and strangers may be connected in unexpected, and deadly, ways.

My Thoughts: After (I think I counted right) 33 In Death books now, counting the short stories, I love this last one just as much as I did the first one. While this one didn't have any new revelations in either Eve or Roarke's past, nor did it have any angsting on Eve's part or the horrible nightmares, it was still a very enjoyable read. For those looking for something new in the relationship between either our main couple or Peabody and McNab - they may be in for a bit of a disappointment. There was however further developments in another relationship that has developed over the course of the books.
Rather this one focused more on the mystery than the romance. But that was just fine with me. Unlike others in the In Death books, we see fairly soon who the culprit is and the book focuses on how Eve can prove it.
Strangers in Death wasn't as gruesome as some of her other books and after reading the following book - I was just as glad.
There were some very sweet and tender moments between Eve and Roarke as they examined the deep and passionate love and need they have for each other.
Eve continues to push Peabody along, this time making Peabody appear on Nadine's show.
We get to see Eve interact with another bosses wife this time - and that's a hoot.
There are books in this series that I've loved more than others but there's no question I've loved them all to one degree or another. This one I did as well.

And one more thing - the shallow, self important part of me is tickled pink to see I'm one of the first to read and offer my opinion on this one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Die for Me - Karen Rose

Why this one: I read and really enjoyed Count to Ten and wanted to read more by this author.

Level of Steam: Tepid

Amazon Blurb: The first victim is found in a snow-covered Philadelphia field. Detective Vito Ciccotelli enlists the aid of archaeologist Sophie Johannsen to determine exactly what lies beneath the frozen ground. Despite years of unearthing things long buried, nothing can prepare Sophie for the matrix of graves dug with chilling precision. The victims buried there haunt her. But the empty graves terrify her-the killer isn't done yet.
He is cold and calculating, the master of a twisted game. Even with Vito and Sophie hot on his trail, he will not stop. One more empty grave must be filled, and one last scream must be heard-the scream of an archaeologist who is too close for comfort and too near to resist...

My Thoughts: This one is classed as Romantic Suspense but I found it much more loaded on the Suspense side than the romantic. I'll be honest - I didn't enjoy it as much as I did Count to Ten. I found the graphic nature of the murders a bit disturbing and not enough of the romance to really counterbalance it. I'm not used to reading books quite this heavy duty. I was also slightly bothered by the fact that we got into the victims heads before they were brutally tortured. That made it a bit tougher too. Of course, this cold could me making me more week kneed than usual.
Still - she's a good writer and I have two more of her books that I'm looking forward to reading

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


jmc said...

Okay, I'm dying to know -- how'd you get your hands on this two weeks before release date? I thought Roberts/Robb had strict release dates?

Kristie (J) said...

I have no idea! Really. I pre-ordered it from Chapters back in December 'cause it's cheaper to order in online than getting it in the store and it just arrived in my mailbox a couple of days ago.
Yikes though - I didn't realize she was strict about release dates.

meljean brook said...

I'm sooooo jealous!!

I think she usually does have a hard sell date, just so that she'll place as high on the list as possible. But sometimes, they let them go through early (I think B&N is especially bad (good for fans? *grin*) at this.)

I can't wait to read it -- and I have Die For Me on my TBR. I've become a huge Karen Rose fan.

meljean brook said...

Oh oh -- I should qualify that, though: the release dates come from the publisher and are its and the bookstores responsibility to enforce ... they don't come from Roberts. And although some authors are kind of, um, not-very-nice to readers when they hear someone has purchased before release dates (which just makes me do a :headdesk: ) I doubt NR will be thinking evil thoughts at you :-D I could be wrong, of course, but her personality never strikes me like that.

nath said...

LOL, and here I was holding my review back because it was way too early. Well I hope that Indigo won't get in trouble for this ^_^; but nice review Kristie. I enjoyed it too :)

as for Die For Me, it was definitively not as good as Count to Ten. The balance in Count to Ten was way better :P

Kristie (J) said...

Meljean: LOL - she doesn't strike me as the type either. It's just that other than driving way to fast specially on the highway and occasionally not wearing my seat belt (I hate them in winter) if going short distances, I generally try not to break many rules. Well - other than the one about sending in taxes - I'm still lax on that one too. I'm still waiting to be hauled off to jail on that one. Tax evasion - just like Martha Stewart I am, well no, I don't do the housy kind of things she does either.
But I did very much enjoy it - the book that is - not the tax evasion stuff.

Nath: DFM wasn't bad - it's just that I'd like my sex and violence on a equal basis if I have both. Although it did make Strangers in Death rather tame in comparison as far as violence went - reading first Die for Me and then Strangers in Death right after that.

Katie(babs) said...

Roarke and Eve are my ultimate romances couple.
"Go over" LOL

Casee said...

I feel like such a blonde. It took me forever to find the 'Post a Comment' link. lol

I completely agree w/ you about Die For Me. After meeting Vito in You Can't Hide, I was rather disappointed with Die For Me. It seems to me that Rose is leaning more toward mystery with each passing book.

Kristie (J) said...

Well Casee LOL - I'm glad you found it!!
I've only read the two Rose books so far but I hope she sticks with the romance part of romantic suspense. I don' think if she moved to just suspense, I'd follow. That's what happened with Tami Hoag. I used to read her romances and then a few of her romantic suspenses but then stopped reading after a while. And I hate to say it - but I'm a tad worried about Linda Howard too!

Katie: It's wonderful to see an ongoing marriage like we do in the In Death books. That's one reason I don't think I'll ever tire of them!

Lori said...

You should read the first few Rose books, Kristie. A bit more romance in them. But she is definitely heavy on the suspense and the creepy factor. I dig it :)

Jace said...

I'm sorry that Die For Me didn't quite work for you. I loved it. *grin* Now I'm off to look for Count To Ten.

Brandy said...

I will admit that Die for Me is one of Karen Rose's most intense books. And I am SOOOOO jealous you were able to read Strangers in Death so early! *g*

Julia said...

Darn, I haven't read these connection books yet from Karen Rose, although I have all the books collected and waiting in my TBR pile to read them. I just need the "mood" to tell me to pick up the first book....

For some reason, I can't remember if I already read Stranger in Death or not. Your review doesn't bring memory to me. Or maybe I did read it but just didn't remember what happen in the book *shrug* ;) :)

Good reviews!