Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Book Description:

Published: June 12, 2012

Something is wrong in Niceville. . .
A boy literally disappears from Main Street. A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.
Nick Kavanaugh, a cop with a dark side, investigates. Soon he and his wife, Kate, a distinguished lawyer from an old Niceville family, find themselves struggling to make sense not only of the disappearance and the robbery but also of a shadow world, where time has a different rhythm and where justice is elusive.
. . .Something is wrong in Niceville, where evil lives far longer than men do.
Compulsively readable, and populated with characters who leap off the page, Niceville will draw you in, excite you, amaze you, horrify you, and, when it finally lets you go, make you sorry you have to leave.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I loved this book from the very beginning.  It’s a combination of a black comedy,ancient-but still active hatreds, pure evil and paranormal activity.

So much happens in this book so here are some high points:

  • Rainey Teague vanishes one afternoon in the sleepy Southern town of Niceville. Several days later, he is found in a place where it seems impossible for him to be. (a grave)
  • The Teagues are one of the four families who have ruled Niceville since its founding and that bitter feuds, going back a century or more, rage among them.
  • Two bank robbers are pursued by police as they make off with more than $2 million dollars.
  • Their confederate, stationed on a hillside, proceeds with military precision to shoot and kill the drivers of all four police cars in pursuit of the robbers and also downs a news helicopter.
  • Kate Kavanaugh, an idealistic lawyer, is married to Nick Kavanaugh, formerly of the Special Forces, now a “ruthless but fair” lawman with a taste for vigilante justice that leaves suspected criminals unlikely to sin again — or perhaps even to walk and talk.
  • For decades, people have vanished from Niceville at a rate far above the national average. In the course of this novel, several more leading citizens go missing.
  • There is talk of a curse on the town, and outside Niceville looms Crater Sink, an apparently bottomless body of water that Native Americans have long considered a source of evil. Many of the missing, it is feared, might have somehow met their fate in Crater Sink.
  • We witness demonic, truly frightening deaths (“darkness flew at him, black wings, razor-edged beaks, claws ripping, yellow eyes with a green light, a crushing force thick with rage and hate. The feeding began”),
  • We meet many twisted characters. A leading citizen has for years been photographing his teenage daughters with a camera hidden in the ceiling of their bathroom. A dentist dispenses overdoses of happy gas to make young female patients “unwitting models in erotic photo-essays.” We see a drunken father “teaching his toddler how to pull-start a gas-powered weed whacker.” We’re then warned, unnecessarily, “It wasn’t going to end well.”
  • Most of the twisted characters meet their just demise and justly so while others remain alive at the end of the tale.  Just which ones, you’ll have to read the book for yourself.

Five stars *****

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Horns by Joe Hill

Book Description

January 30, 2010

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

Review –
I don’t know what I expected when I started listening to this book by Joe Hill(Stephen King’s son) but what I got was a freaky, dark fantasy about a young man  waking up the morning after a drunken party with horns growing out of his head. He discovers that the horns somehow give him the power to make people do things and  when he touches them he can see all the bad things in their past. He has been blamed for the death of his girlfriend ten years earlier but his guilt could never be proven but the whole town thinks he did it. His brother, Terry, under the influence of the horns tells him who really did kill her and that sets the course for the rest of the book. It is about revenge and justice.
I liked it very much but not as much as I thought I would.
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Gotcha (The Sisterhood #21) by Fern Michaels

Book Description:

Published: June 25, 2013

Sometimes, justice is a long time coming. That’s the case with Julie Wyatt, whose story strikes close to home for the original founder of the Sisterhood, Myra Rutledge, and her best friend – and fellow Sister – Annie. Julie is convinced her greedy daughter-in-law Darlene had something to do with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her son Larry’s death. She desperately wants to get a confession out of Darlene – and to ensure the safety of Larry’s daughter, Olivia. As Myra, Annie, and their cohorts dig deeper into Darlene’s shady dealings, events unfurl in a way that no one could have predicted, bringing to light the true meaning of loyalty and courage-and the kind of friendship that can create miracles…

Review-

I was really  disappointed with this installment of the Sisterhood Series. It just didn’t have the same energy as the others, but it was a pleasant read for a hot Summer day.

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The Confession by John Grisham

An innocent man is about to be executed.

Only a guilty man can save him.

For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.

Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.

But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?

  
Review – I listened to this as an audiobook and it was long, 12 discs long,  I found the first half to be somewhat repetitive and it began to get on my nerves.  One can take legal jargon and processes so long before it becomes boring.  The second half of the book made up for any short comings the first half had and it went full speed ahead.
 This was a very good story but sad.  I could see what was going to happen and I just wanted to say “No, No, No.”, but without the sadness the story would only be half told.
  
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you’re a John Grisham fan give it a try.