Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

15 10 2010

I just finished reading the first book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay.  I have been dying to read this book ever since I became hooked on the tv series.  I am pleased to say it did not let me down.  The characters were nicely fleshed out, the story developed gracefully and I love psycho killer Dexter just as much in the book as I do on the show.  It was a great pleasure to pick up the book and feel like I was meeting old friends because the characters and their actions were so familiar.

The other great thing about this book is it checks off another one on the Killer Thriller Challenge and I didn’t even realize it was on the list until I looked it over the not that long ago.  I can’t wait to read the next one!!! Luckily, it is sitting on the shelf, just begging to be cracked open.

This book is part of my personal library.

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Update on the Killer Thriller Reading Challenge

6 10 2010

I have now read book 7 and 8 on the list. They are:  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and The Shining by Stephen King.  I can’t really say I took to either of them.  The Agatha Christie book was just not for me, and the end of it was so lame, and far-fetched I couldn’t believe anyone actually goes out of their way to read her  books.  At least I can say I have read it and add it to my list.

The Shining, which I was thoroughly expecting to be engrossed in really did not grab my attention.  It was a great book.  Probably Stephen Kings best, certainly a melding of what he does best – horror and psychological thriller.  Considering that I once was a die-hard King fan I was very surprised not be a big fan of this one.  I just wasn’t and I was amazed at how dated it was.  I know all writers are of their time and have to use their current time and place as a reference point but this book just felt past its prime.

I do remember that I loved the movie, I may have to watch it again.

I am about to start reading Truman Capote’s In Cold  Blood.  This one I have read before and it is a chilling account of a true story.  I think this one will definitely be worth rereading.

Both books were borrowed from the library.





The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

5 09 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles is number 10 on NPR’s 100 Best Killer Thrillers list.  What I want to know is why?  I hated it!  I was bored and uninterested the whole way through, thank goodness it is a really, really short book.  Even though it is less than 200 pages, and I thoroughly expected to finish it in a day, it took me nearly 3.  I could not stay with it, in fact I almost put it down and just skipped it completely.  In all the years that I have been reading with abandon I have never been interested in reading a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  And, no, it is not because it is a classic, I have read plenty of classics and have loved many of them.  It was just thoroughly bland.  I know there must be many people who would not agree with me , this is indicated by its place on the list.  Oh, well, I can say I have read it, and now I know I will never read another.

I am now on my 3rd from the list and hope to write about that one here soon too.

Book borrowed from the library.





The Killer Thriller Reading Challenge

31 08 2010

A friend of mine recently contacted me to say she had found this great reading list on the NPR website.  It is the Top 100 Killer Thrillers.  She challenged me to a reading race and how could I say no?  I have read about 30 of them and she has only read about 5.  We have agreed to reread any we have already read with the exception of anything by Dan Brown for me and Pet Sematary for her.

Since we will both be taking most of these books out of our respective libraries we will not be reading in any particular order.

The entire reading list is below: (the strike throughs show my progess)

  • 1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris Finish 08/31/10
  • 2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • 3 Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
  • 4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
  • 5.In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  • 6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
  • 7. The Shining, by Stephen King
  • 8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
  • 9. The Hunt tor Red October, by Tom Clancy
  • 10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Fin 08/02/10
  • 11.Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  • 12. The Stand, by Stephen King
  • 13. The Bone Collector, by Jeffery Deaver
  • 14. Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
  • 15. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown
  • 16. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
  • 17. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
  • 18. Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane
  • 19. The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth
  • 20. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  • 21. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
  • 22. It, by Stephen King
  • 23. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
  • 24. The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
  • 25. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
  • 26. The Alienist, by Caleb Carr
  • 27. Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris
  • 28. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
  • 29. The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
  • 30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson 
  • 31. No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
  • 32. Gone Baby Gone, by Dennis Lehane
  • 33. Gorky Park, by Martin Cruz Smith
  • 34. Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin
  • 35. Subterranean, by James Rollins
  • 36. Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy
  • 37. Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King
  • 38. Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane
  • 39. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carre
  • 40. The Poet, by Michael Connelly
  • 41. The Boys from Brazil, by Ira Levin
  • 42. Cape Fear, by John MacDonald
  • 43. The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker
  • 44. Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
  • 45. Dead Zone, by Stephen King
  • 46. The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon
  • 47. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carre
  • 48. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
  • 49. Tell No One, by Harlan Coben
  • 50. Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn
  • 51. The 39 Steps, by John Buchan
  • 52. Blowback, by Brad Thor
  • 53. The Children of Men, by P.D. James
  • 54. 61 Hours, by Lee Child
  • 55. Marathon Man, by William Goldman
  • 56. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  • 57. 206 Bones, by Kathy Reichs
  • 58. Psycho, by Robert Bloch
  • 59. The Killing Floor, by Lee Child
  • 60. Rules of Prey, by John Sandford 
  • 61. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • 62. In the Woods, by Tana French
  • 63. Shogun, by James Clavell
  • 64. The Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • 65. Intensity, by Dean Koontz
  • 66. Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming
  • 67. Metzger’s Dog, by Thomas Perry
  • 68. Timeline, by Michael Crichton
  • 69. Contact, by Carl Sagan
  • 70. What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman
  • 71. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 72. The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • 73. Charm School, by Nelson DeMille
  • 74. Feed, by Mira Grant
  • 75. Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child
  • 76. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay
  • 77. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
  • 78. The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders
  • 79. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
  • 80. The Brotherhood of the Rose, by David Morrell
  • 81. Primal Fear, by William Diehl
  • 82. The Templar Legacy, by Steve Berry
  • 82. The Hard Way, by Lee Child [tie]
  • 84. The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
  • 85. Six Days of the Condor, by James Grady
  • 86. Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
  • 87. Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith
  • 88. The Eight, by Katherine Neville
  • 89. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
  • 90. Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming
  • 91. Bangkok 8, by John Burdett
  • 92. The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva
  • 93. Hardball, by Sara Paretsky
  • 94. The Club Dumas, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • 95. The Deep Blue Good-by, by John MacDonald
  • 96. The Monkey’s Raincoat, by Robert Crais
  • 96. Berlin Game, by Len Deighton [tie]
  • 98. A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith
  • 99. Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
  • 100. Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain




The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

31 08 2010

The Graveyard Book is a children’s book written by Neil Gaiman.  This book really took me by surprise.  I thought that the way it started was very grisly and far too frightening for a children’s book.  In fact, I was so disturbed by the opening chapter that I almost put it down.  Boy, am I glad I kept on reading!

This book is certainly for a more mature child, one that is used to reading things that might be disturbing to think about or to imagine.  The first chapter opens with the murder of the entire family of the child who is eventually named Nobody (Bod) Jones, and for the killer’s hunt for him (a child of only 2).  However, as the story developed I found myself enchanted with the idea of the plot and also with the characters, especially those of Bod and his “guardian” Silas.  And then toward the end when you find out about the “Jacks”, the action really starts to move and the whole book comes together.

The cast of characters is great and what creative and daydreaming child would not want to have as much freedom as Bod, as many special powers, and so many loving caring souls looking out for him.

For me this book is about the strength of the pure and unjaded soul of childhood.  It is too bad that as Bod grows up he has to lose his special powers and his adopted “family” but we all have to grow up and go out in the world.  At least Bod’s life will continue to be a great adventure.

This book was borrowed from the library.





The Passage – Justin Cronin

30 08 2010

I recently finished reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.  I have to admit that I knew there was a lot of publicity and hype around this book, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  It wasn’t until I saw it listed on a post-apocalypse reading list that I decided to try it.  Also, it happened to be on the shelf at my library when I was looking for something to read.

Let me just say that reading this book was a very fortuitous accident.  It has been a long time since a book has gripped me like this one did.  So much so, that I found myself dreaming about it in between bouts of reading it.  Believe me, I only put it down so that I could sleep.  This book was all consuming. 

Yes, there were parts that were rather simplistic, and parts that I wish had been expanded upon but overall this was a compelling book and one that is very entertaining.  Also, despite the subject matter there were parts that were definitely meant to be humorous. 

The beginning reminded me a lot of Firestarter by Stephen King which is one of my all time favorite books.  The rest was purely original.  Some people are saying this is a vampire book, but you know what, based on the current sub-genre of vampire books that are popular, ie. sexy, friendly, animal eating, super heroes, this is not a vampire novel.  This is an original book that holds its own and will probably create its own sub-genre just like cyber punk created a sub-genre of Sci-Fi.

It is hard to say I loved a book like this, how can you love a book about the hopelessness of the end of the world as we know it?  All I can say is that I want more and I can’t wait for the next two books in the series.





Why Do I Read This Trash?!?

22 04 2010

Ok, I admit it, I am a huge fan of vampire novels and movies.  I have been since I discovered Interview with the Vampire in the university bookstore when I was buying my text books.  (I am not going to say how long ago this was.)

I love the Sookie Stackhouse books and can’t wait for True Blood to start again in June.  I also enjoy The Vampire Diaries.  I love the original Dracula by Bram Stoker and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) movie is one of my favorites. 

Some vampire books are spooky, some are scary, some are about loners others about vamps as an organized group of beings almost like us just immortal, all of them are sexy in one way or another but I think the books by Hamilton are overly sexed.  They use the vampires or other fantasy beings; fairies, lycanthropes, necromancers as a cover for what they really are, bodice-ripper romances with an urban, modern twist that border on pornography.

The first one I read was  Danse Macabre and although I am definitely not prudish, I was ready to put it down.  Of course I didn’t, I liked the story line, I kept hoping that the story would get more developed.  I recently read two more books by Laurell K. Hamilton – Divine Misdemeanors and Flirt – both of them are mystery/thrillers but both of them disappointed me becaues instead of developing great plots they got side-tracked into sex and then the sex took over.  I know to some of you out there this doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but if I want to read porn I will get something from the erotica section of the book store.

Every time I read a book by Hamilton I tell myself never again, then I see one in the library and I think what the heck, give her another try after all she has a huge fan base and she is always on the best seller list so there must be something good about these books.  Well, I just can’t see it.  It’s too bad, I wish I could come away from the books at least feeling entertained but I don’t even get that.  I actually feel that all I have done is indulge my prurient interests and over-indulged in voyeurism.

So, the next time I see one and am tempted to pick up, I will have to tell myself “just say no”, and walk away.

Both books were borrowed from the library.