Hide and Seek – James Patterson

hide n seek

Hide and Seek 
by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 06, 2019  

 

It was nice to read a novel that was actually written by Patterson himself, before he started publishing underlings with cookie-cutter stories. I’d forgotten that the man can weave a good tale.
Hide and Seek is a murder/mystery story that moves along at a good pace with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested.
The different points of view bring you closer to the characters and let you inside ‘their’ story.
I liked the main character and it was easy to root for her throughout the book, whether she was guilty or not.
Hide and Seek is a good book and easy read.

The Broker – John Grisham

the brokerThe Broker 
by John Grisham (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 02, 2019  

 

I’ve read four other Grisham novels, with mixed reviews. I’ve also seen many of the movies made from his books and perhaps The Broker needs a few Hollywood twists to liven it up.
The story is about a Washington lawyer/power broker who’s greed lands him in jail. A presidential pardon gives his a second chance at life, but the CIA must hide him so other governments don’t kill him.
Without giving away all the backstory I thought this would be an action-packed spy thriller full of drama or intrigue. I was wrong. The author wasted about one hundred pages describing the Italian lessons the main character had to take while in hiding. Grisham said in his author’s notes that he was enthralled with Italy. I wished he would have spent half those pages describing food instead of Italian verbs.
The story dragged on and became predictable in the end. In thinking about the book and this review I was generous in giving it three starts. I’ve read much better from Grisham.

Jack Reacher – Night School

night schoolNight School (Jack Reacher #21) 
Lee Child (Goodreads Author),

Dick Hill (Narrator)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 30, 2019

 

I zipped through this one in four sittings, I think. It’s the first Reacher novel I’ve read where the story takes place while he’s still in the army. In this one he’s on a mission to save the world, instead of some anonymous person along the back roads of America.
There’s the usual action and fight scenes and even a couple sex scenes. I like the way Lee Child describes the smutty stuff, almost with military precision, and not like fifty shades of pornography.
The book is well-paced and it steadily picks up speed as the action and story unfold. One of my editors explained a writing trick in which the author uses short or brief sentences to speed things along. I completely understand it, having been caught up to the point where I didn’t want to put the book down. It works.

Bill Bryson – Neither Here Nor There

here nor thereNeither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 28, 2019  

 

I’ve known about Bill Bryson for some time and saw a movie about his last travel adventure, but had never got around to reading any of his material. I had ‘Neither Here Nor There’ collecting dust at home with my two shelves of other books to read, and since I was about to leave on a travel adventure myself, I took Bill’s book along to pass the down time when not engaged in sightseeing, eating or drinking.
Having traveled solo like Bryson did in this book, I can truly appreciate his adventures and misadventures in an era before the internet, cell phones, and GPS. Like him, I still love unfolding a map to plan the next day’s route. Bryson is the type of person who is comfortable in his own skin and has no qualms about travelling alone.
He is a good writer, with a sarcastic sense of humor, and an unquenchable thirst for metaphors. The book is more of a collection of snippets from the various cities and towns along his route. He likes to pound the pavement and sit in local watering holes or cafes to get a good feel of each and every place his visits.
Being the author of my own travel book, with some similarities, I generally liked the read, but found it a bit awkward at times – especially when the author went off on one of his rants. His American arrogance toward the rest of the world showed through on more than one occasion. I’m not saying that Mr. Bryson is predjudice against all foreigners, from what I’ve experienced in my travels it’s just the way some Americans are. They love to travel, but expect everything, like food, to be the same as home.

Stocking Stuffers for Readers

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It’s coming. Christmas will be here before you know it. If you’re wondering what to get that person who’s hard to buy for, and they like to read, then consider getting them an autographed copy of one of my books, or a complete gift set of my Norm Strom Crime Fiction Series.

Any of my books are online through sellers like Amazon, or available at PB Books or Juniper Books, in Windsor. I will be selling and signing books at several functions and craft shows from now until Christmas. Click HERE for a complete list of the events.

If you want to see my individual books and read their intros please click HERE.

The Secret Servant – Daniel Silva

secret sevantThe Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Sep 14, 2018  
I’ve read a few of Daniel Silva’s novels now, and I’ve become a fan of his spy thrillers and Israeli Intelligence character Gabriel Allon. The stories are action-packed, and take us to different countries around the world. Most plots revolve around terrorism.
The Secret Servant has the Mossad and the CIA working together to hunt down bad guys and kidnappers in Amsterdam and London, England. I like how Silva’s main character relies on his support team to get things done, unlike the superhero characters of some novels.
The stories in this series are fictitious, but right on the mark with it’s tales of terror before and after 911. Allon is infamous hunting down and executing the Islamic terrorists who were responsible for Black September, the massacre at the Munich Olympics.
The story’s pace is quick and it keeps the reader flipping to the next page.

Extreme Measures – Vince Flynn

extreme measuresExtreme Measures (Mitch Rapp, #11) 
byVince Flynn

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jun 05, 2018  

 

This was the first Vince Flynn novel I read and have to admit it was pretty good. In some ways, as a political thriller, it was too predictable, but realistically I think it accurately portrayed the terrorist versus constitutional rights issues America is faced with today.
The characters too may be predictable, but the author easily gets the reader to cheer for the good guy, resent his adversaries, and want to wipe the bad guys off the face of the earth.
Extreme Measures is a fast-paced spy thriller that will easily keep you flipping pages.

The Murder House – James Patterson/ David Ellis

23717678._SY475_The Murder House by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)David Ellis

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 24, 2018
Every once in a while I pick up a James Patterson book somewhere, mostly to check out what he and his stable of writers are up to. It’s not hard to find one, according to the Washington Post his publisher says that Patterson’s name is on the cover of one in every twenty-one books sold in the U.S.
Gee, I’d be happy having my name on the cover of one in every hundred thousand.The Murder House is a good story. It’s characters are easy to love and hate. They play off each other well, giving the plot plenty of suspense. I made the mistake of putting the book down for a couple months, and I’d forgotten what was going on, but it was easy to get back into and I wasn’t disappointed that I picked it back up. It’s good read with a respectable pace.

The Target – David Baldacci

targetThe Target (Will Robie, #3) 
by David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 27, 2018  ·

 

I haven’t read a lot of Baldacci, but I can say this book was my least favorite so far. The two protagonists were cookie-cutter type American super spies who save the world with their every breath. I felt the story steered too far away from the main plot with the introduction of sub-plots that really didn’t add much depth to the overall story.
In my opinion the author went overboard in describing the miserable life the antagonist had in a North Korean prison. I’m not squeamish by any means, I just tired of the to-numerous descriptions of human torture and degradation.
The story moves along quickly and is not a bad read, if you’re into a mindless thriller.

Writing With Cold Feet – Kathrin Lake

cold feetWriting with Cold Feet: The Secrets of How to Write When You Are NOT Writing 
by Kathrin Lake (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 17, 2018  

 

I had the pleasure of meeting this author at a her launch of another of her books, The Happy Hammock. My wife won a paperback copy of Writing With Cold Feet.
Being a fellow writer I read this book in which the author reveals her secrets of how to write when you are NOT writing.
I think the book was written more for beginners or those who are learning to write, but even as a seasoned author I picked up a few useful tips.
The book addresses various pitfalls aspiring writers run into such as judgement, feedback, muse, and simply telling your story.
The author has other teaching books and does writing retreats in two countries.