Sunday, February 27, 2011

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Port MortuaryPort Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's 18th Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead. In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she enlisted in the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy--a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce in the private sector.

As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta's new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked insider the Center's cooler. Various 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen. These suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. She realizes that she is fighting a cunning and cruel enemy that is invisible as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die.

In Port Mortuary, Patricia Cornwell brings Scarpetta together with Marino, Benton, and Lucy in an intimate way that is reminiscent of the early novels, and we welcome a voice we haven't heard in years. The point of view is Scarpetta's, and this is her story.

My Review:

Kay Scarpetta goes down a dark path here, seeing everyone--including her loved ones--as set against her. Each of her relationships seems suspect to her, and this paranoid feeling overshadows the mystery.

Kay's depression wears her down throughout the book--and it wore me down too. This is a difficult, angst-ridden installment and the first one I didn't enjoy reading. (And I've read them all.)

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Fair Game by Josh Lanyon

Fair GameFair Game by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A crippling knee injury forced Elliot Mills to trade in his FBI badge for dusty chalkboards and bored college students. Now a history professor at Puget Sound university, the former agent has put his old life behind him-but it seems his old life isn't finished with him.

A young man has gone missing from campus-and as a favor to a family friend, Elliot agrees to do a little sniffing around. His investigations bring him face-to-face with his former lover, Tucker Lance, the special agent handling the case.

Things ended badly with Tucker, and neither man is ready to back down on the fight that drove them apart. But they have to figure out a way to move beyond their past and work together as more men go missing and Elliot becomes the target in a killer's obsessive game...

My Review:

I enjoyed this. The mystery kept me guessing and I found myself hoping that Elliot would make peace with the injury that caused him to leave the FBI. I was also rooting for him to allow his ex, Tucker (who is still with the Bureau), back into his life.

I didn't think Fair Game was quite on par with the Adrien English series (also by Josh Lanyon)--especially since I just finished those books and I'm missing Adrien! But this was still a fun read, and I'd be happy to spend more time with Elliot and Tucker in a sequel.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Dark Tide by Josh Lanyon

The Dark Tide by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:

As if recovering from heart surgery beneath the gaze of his over-protective family wasn’t exasperating enough, someone keeps trying to break into Adrien English’s bookstore. What is this determined midnight intruder searching for?

When a half-century old skeleton tumbles out of the wall in the midst of the renovation of Cloak and Dagger Bookstore renovation, Adrien turns to hot and handsome ex-lover Jake Riordan -- now out-of-the closet and working as a private detective.

Jake is only too happy to have reason to stay in close contact with Adrien, but there are more surprises in Adrien’s past than either one of them expects -- and one of them may prove hazardous to Jake’s own heart.

My Review:

When Adrien finds a decades-old corpse boarded up under his floor, he just can't bring himself to leave it for the police to solve alone. So he turns to Jake, who's out of the closet now and working as a P.I. For the first time, it seems like these two have a chance to build a lasting relationship. But only if they can come to terms with their past.

Adrien and Jake track down witnesses in this cold case, keeping me guessing till the end. At the same time, they try to figure out where they stand with each other. But Adrien's mother and step family are there to help, and Guy, Mel and Angus all play a part.

The Dark Tide provides plenty of closure, but don't read it by itself! Start from the beginning of the Adrien English series.

I was apprehensive when I started this series; I loved mysteries, but I had never read a gay romance before. I didn't know how I'd handle the explicit scenes. Well, I only keep my eyes half-closed now. (And they don't dominate the book anyway.) And after this satisfying finale, all I can think about is how much I'll miss Adrien!

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mystery) by Josh Lanyon

Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mysteries)Death of a Pirate King by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Blurb:

#4 in the acclaimed Adrien English Mystery Series by award winning author Josh Lanyon. Gay bookseller and reluctant amateur sleuth Adrien English's writing career is suddenly taking off. His first novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned by notorious Hollywood actor Paul Kane. But when murder makes an appearance at a dinner party, who should be called in but Adrien's former lover, handsome closeted detective Jake Riordan, now a Lieutenant with LAPD -- which may just drive Adrien's new boyfriend, sexy UCLA professor Guy Snowden, to commit a murder of his own!

My Review:

Adrien is in transition here, coping with his new step-family, a turn in his writing career, and his deepening relationship with Guy. Not the best time to witness another murder--or to try solving it with his ex, Jake Riordan. Adrien may have been keeping his distance from the closeted, married cop, but it's clear the man is still under his skin . . . and that kept me turning the pages just as much as the mystery!

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