8. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Episode 1: Section 9 by Yu Kinutani, Translation by Andria Cheng, Adaptation by Michael Braff, 248 pages, Graphic Novel, Paperback, 2010 (Ghost in the Shall: SAC, Book 1).
“In a time when consciousness can be digitized and uploaded to the network, only the “standalones” remain outside the system.” In the manga tied to the television show, Public Security Section 9 is a special forces group that report directly to this futuristic Japan’s Prime Minister. They are called this time to intervene in an odd hostage situation involving some high-powered members of government and cybernetic geisha, with a removable cybernetic brain as the key. I’m not used to reading back-to-front, right-to-left, but it wasn’t hard to do once I got used to it.
9. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Episode 1: Testation by Yu Kinutani, Translation by Andria Cheng, Lettered by Paige Pumphrey, 277 pages, Graphic Novel, Paperback, 2010 (Ghost in the Shall: SAC, Book 2).
Section 9 is called upon to stop a renegade military tank operated by the brain of its creator. Lots of pages of rolling wheels and onomatopoeia (sound words) make for a quick read, but overall a disappointment.
10. The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen, 464 pages, Mystery, Paperback, 2011 (Jane Rizzoli Series, Book 9).
A murder in Boston’s Chinatown 19 years ago is looked into once again; some believe the original determination, murder/suicide, was wrong and are not above leaving body parts sliced and diced to get the story out so as to find the fate of the daughters who went missing. For a while, I thought the author had watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon too many times and had left Detective Jane Rizzoli in a fantasy work instead of a crime drama. But then things started to have real-world explanations, and I felt it gave the story a richness I loved.
11. Judgment In Death by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts), 356 pages, Mystery, Paperback, 2000 (In Death, Book 11).
A dead cop, an Internal Affairs investigation, and a mobster that would like nothing more to destroy Roarke all contribute to Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ difficulties this book. A gruesome series of murders of cops presumed to be on the take becomes her case after a violent overkill in a strip club owned by her husband. It was a tight futuristic crime story and the marital conflict played out beautifully.
12. Betrayal In Death by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts), 355 pages, Mystery, Paperback, 2001 (In Death, Book 12).
Lieutenant Dallas is pulled out of a party for an upcoming auction her husband, Roarke, is hosting for an aging actress and the charity she wishes to start. A member of his hotel’s housekeeping staff has been murdered; it’s the work of a known high-priced assassin. Eve has to work in between all the interested parties, and fast – all signs point to this being the big job before the assassin retires and disappears forever…and who knows how big a finale he actually plans.