May 4th, 2014

lost in a book

Book 95: The Visitor by Lee Child

Book 95: The Visitor (Jack Reacher #4).
Author: Lee Child, 2000.
Genre: Action. Thriller. Crime.
Other Details: Paperback. 512 pages.

It’s tough being a high-flying woman in the Army. Very tough. When Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cook are found dead in their own homes—in baths filled with Army-issue camouflage paint, their bodies completely unmarked—Jack Reacher is under suspicion. He knew them both—and he knows that they both left the Army under dubious circumstances, both victims of sexual harassment. A former U.S. military policeman, a loner and a drifter, he matches the psychological profile prepared by the FBI, and is arrested by ambitious Special Agent, Julia Lamarr.

But when the body of another woman, Sergeant Lorraine Stanley, is discovered, killed with similar precision, Reacher is released. Everyone fears there is a serial killer on the loose. But the FBI have strong persuasive powers, and before long Reacher finds himself heavily involved in the murder investigation. What have these women got in common and why is someone out to do them harm?
- synopsis from author's website.

This was published in USA under the title Running Blind.

In this outing Jack Reacher is pressured into assisting the F.B.I. in their hunt for a serial killer and so this novel was closer to a police procedural than later ones I have read in the series in which Jack is very much the lone wolf exacting his own kind of vigilante justice. Yet there is a sub-plot where he does get an opportunity to stir up trouble for some baddies. He is also considering his future following events in the last novel. Although these work fine as stand-a-lone books, I rather like reading in sequence for this kind of aspect of character development.

Overall, it was an interesting case and while I worked out some aspects, the final reveal came as a complete surprise. A fast, engaging read.

Lee Child's web page for 'The Visitor/Running Blind' - contains print and audio excerpts.
UP Coast Perhaps

Introductions - and books of this year

Hello there, everyone!

I recently resurrected my livejournal, and was thrilled to find this community. I'm a chronic multi-book reader, and have been stuck in the mire of a 1,100+ page book for most of this year - seriously slowing me down from finishing other books. Thankfully, I have a book club to pull me out of the doldrums.

So, here's a short version of all the books I've finished this year.

1. "The Plant Powered Diet" b. Sharon Palmer

Not really a "diet book," this is all about the nutritional value of plant-based foods (fruit, veggies, grains, etc.) I'm interested in nutrition, and this was a great read. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to become healthier, but isn't really in the mood for the onslaught of emotional scarring from participating in the diet industry.

2. "Typhoid Mary" b. Anthony Bourdain

I first came across the story of Typhoid Mary over at the webcomic "Hark! A Vagrant." My book club is full of other people who are really interested in historical oddities, and so we had all heard about Mary Mallon before. All in all, I would definitely suggest reading a different book about Typhoid Mary. Bourdain's perspective as a fellow cook was interesting, and it's own form of revisionist history, but he also doesn't go into nearly the depth I was hoping for.

3. "Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships" b. Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

This was an absolutely fascinating read. Sexual relationships are fascinating - if they weren't, you wouldn't find some kind of love story in almost every novel, movie, tv show, short story, and poem. It's everywhere! This book gave me a particularly unique view on the topic of monogamy being a cultural manifestation, rather than a biological bias, through their discussion of the mating behavior of primates. I do think, however, that it's very obvious that they are not anthropologists or historians. Ryan and Jetha are, respectively, practicing psychologist and psychiatrist. Their discussion of Victorian sexuality is very obvious - though this did pique my interest in Charles Darwin's biography. Apparently, he was so scarred by his mother's death that he had intense psychological issues, and even forgot the existence of the word "mother" in a game similar to Scrabble.

Anyway ... that's not nearly as many books as I thought I had read this year. I think it's because 1Q84 is taking SO MUCH DAMN TIME. RAAAR. But if I read 25 pages a day for the next 12 days, I'll have it FINISHED. That will be quite the triumphant post.
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    "Go It Alone" b. Beck