The Gatekeeper – Michelle Gagnon

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The Gatekeeper (Kelly Jones, #3)
by

Michelle Gagnon (Goodreads Author)
15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 30, 2020


I chose this book more out of curiosity than anything else. In Googling or searching my own name on different websites I sometimes come up with the name Michelle Gagnon. We are from different places and walks of life but may be related somewhere down the genealogical road. Her book, The Gatekeeper gets praise from best selling Author Lee Child…I’ve often wondered how an aspiring author gets a plug like that.
Anyway, I found The Gatekeeper a bit tough to get into and keep track of with two sets of (four in total) protagonists who worked at building the story from different angles. The problem was compounded by my own writing – my creative wheels interfered with my reading wheels. It seems I have a hard time keeping the two separate so when I’m in the writing mode, I’m not reading much.
The plot was descent but I think it’s been done to death…special agents racing to stop the terrorists from setting off bombs in major US cities. And throw in a kidnapping to add the level of stress and compassion.
Although predictable, the story still worked and managed to be entertaining, but I won’t be racing out in search of another of my long-lost cousin’s novels.

Saving Faith – David Baldacci

15157Saving Faith
by

David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)
15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 19, 2020


I’ve read much better by Baldacci and was disappointed that I had a hard time getting into this novel. Admittedly, some stories are difficult that way, trying to understand the plot and the introduction of new characters. In this case, I found way too much fluff and back story, to the point that I had to skim ahead through the first quarter of the book.
Granted, some history and back story go to character development, but I don’t believe we need to know how a certain character behaved in grade school if it has nothing to do with the overall plot. Having said that, I found the characters in Saving Faith likeable. And having said that, personally, I found some of their actions and dialogue a bit sappy and unlikely in the real world.
Maybe I’m being a bit critical but that is what reviews are all about. Baldacci acknowledges certain professionals who aided him in his research and the writing of this book. If that’s the case then I have to wonder if perhaps they were holding back or what world they are living in. I see the book was written in 1999 and I know for a fact the world was not such a gentile place back then.
The book does get better in the second half, but with the exception of one nice twist, it was very predictable.

Die Trying – Lee Child

die tryingDie Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) 
by

Lee Child (Goodreads Author)

15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 23, 2019  

 

I’ve read several of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels now and I can easily say this was my least favorite. It wasn’t anything in particular that stopped me from a better review and adding a star to the rating. I guess it comes down to personal taste and this story didn’t have the right flavor for me. It’s only the 2nd book in the Reacher series so perhaps it didn’t contain the ingredients I usually find palatable in Child’s writing.
The story is descent, with good characters, but the plot seemed too familiar, maybe lacking enough spice to make a great dish. It was an entertaining read that I ripped through quickly, but only because I had nothing better to do.

The Narrows – Michael Connelly

the narrowsThe Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10; Harry Bosch Universe, #13) 
by

Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 17, 2019  

 

What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Harry Bosch? He’s my kind of cop with an attitude similar to mine when I was on the job, but I surely didn’t take it home with me or let it keep me up at night.
Having read several books in the series I wish I’d stated from the beginning, but I stumble across them while I’m travelling and trade them up as I go.
Michael Connelly knows how to tell a good copy story, his characters and police procedures are spot on. He makes it easy to love the good guys and hate the bad ones.
In this novel Bosch teams up with FBI agent Rachel Walling, after they discover they’re both working the same case from different perspectives. I enjoyed the crossover with the Terry McCaleb story.
The plot builds speed quickly and it kept me flipping pages quick enough to act as a paper fan to keep me cool in the extreme heat here in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Michael Connelly?

The Broker – John Grisham

the brokerThe Broker 
by John Grisham (Goodreads Author)

15204490

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.

A Darkness More Than Night – Michael Connelly – Harry Bosch/Terry McCaleb

darknessA Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #9) 
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 14, 2018  

 

I didn’t plan on reading two of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books back to back, but it was the next available title in the pile. I was surprised by this one and it took me a few chapters to realize it was another crossover book with one of the author’s other protagonists, Terry McCaleb, the FBI profiler. He was portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Bloodwork.
The story is mostly about McCaleb, who comes out of retirement to help police profile and track a new serial killer. Bosch appears later in the story, involved in a murder trial of his own where he says the killer confessed to him.
McCaleb and Bosch had worked together on a case in the past. Without giving away the story I can say their paths cross again in an unexpected way where one of them becomes subject of an investigation. There are a couple nice twists to keep you flipping pages.
My only disappointment was in how the ending left the two main characters, but in considering their individual personalities it was only fitting.