Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Quiet Game by Greg Iles

When recently widowed Penn Cage leaves Houston with his young daughter and returns to his hometown seeking peace, he finds something very different. Natchez, Mississippi, is the jewel of the antebellum South, a city of old secrets and older money. Upon learning that his father is being blackmailed, Penn finds himself reopening the most highly charged murder case in the town's history, searching for the evidence that could bring down the judge who nearly destroyed his father years ago. As the town closes ranks against him, Penn is joined by Caitlin Masters, a young newspaper publisher, on a deadly quest to find answers to one of the darkest chapters of American history, a quest that pits them against the FBI, a band of brothers still fiercely guarding the tainted legacy of J. Edgar Hoover. But Penn's most dangerous journey must be made alone--into the abiding mystery of his own past, into the mind and heart of a woman he lost twenty years ago, and who still has the power to save or destroy him.

An amazing book. I almost put it down in the beginning because it appeared 'evil'. But I stuck to it and found that I couldn't put it down. The feelings are charged, and the characters are brought to life. Strong characters that were living larger than life. I really enjoyed this book.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Night Sins by Tami Hoag

One error in judgment...that’s all it takes for a family’s life to be torn apart. Dr. Hannah Garrison is on her way out the hospital door to pick up her son, Josh, when an emergency car accident prompts her to be late. An hour and a half later, when she finally arrives at the ice rink to retrieve her son, he’s no where to be found. It soon becomes apparent that this is more than a missing child case. Something much more sinister is at work...a psychopath, delighting in an evil game, taunts police, steering them in a myriad of directions where everyone in this peaceful Minnesota town is a potential suspect. Is it the maintenance man from the ice rink, Olie Swain, who unbeknownst to anyone is a convicted pedophile? Or perhaps it’s the overly zealous deacon, whose piety has led him into his own maddening world. Or maybe it’s even Josh’s own father, Paul Kirkwood, who is having an affair with the neighbor’s wife.

In an unlucky turn of events, it falls upon the hands of Agent Megan O’Malley to sort out the twisted details of the case. Being the first female investigator on the force, she’s got everything to prove and no one who believes she’s competent, except for Chief Mitch Holt. Working under such intimate circumstances, Megan and Mitch soon become romantically involved, a secret that could destroy both of their careers. Not to mention the fact that Chief Holt is still battling the demons of a tragedy in his own family. Is he too close to the case to perform his job? Will Megan’s overwhelming drive to succeed put her own life in danger?

Night Sins has enough twists and turns to keep you riveted from cover to cover of its 540 pages. Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, Tami Hoag unveils a new, juicy tidbit that’s sure to have you second guessing. There is a sequel to this novel, entitled Guilty as Sin. So, don’t expect ALL the details to be tied up into a tidy package at the end. If, however, you love to be left guessing, Night Sins is definitely for you.

I really liked this book, but wish I had read it before Guilty As Sin. The books have a definite order and I read them backwards :(. I started reading this one and was very confused because I thought I had read it before... all of the details and story line were familiar. That's because Guilty as Sin had all of the final conclusions to this book. Oh well, if you're going to read them be sure to read Night Sins first than Guilty as Sin. Quick read.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guilty as Sin by Tami Hoag

Although the publisher is curiously silent about this important detail, Tami Hoag’s thriller picks up the action where her previous novel, NIGHT SINS (1995), concluded. In the earlier story, rural Deer Lake, Minnesota, was shattered by the abduction of eight-year-old Josh Kirkwood. The first suspect, a known child-molester, committed suicide before he could be questioned about where the boy was hidden. During the continuing investigation, state investigator Megan O’Malley was captured, blind-folded, and nearly beaten to death by a ski-masked assailant. She was saved by the timely intervention of Deer Lake Sheriff Mitch Holt, who gave chase and shortly arrested a suspect—college professor Garrett Wright, a neighbor of the Kirkwood family. As NIGHT SINS concluded, Wright was protesting his innocence and Josh Kirkwood had suddenly returned home unharmed, but unable to say where he had been or what happened to him.

In GUILTY AS SIN, the focus shifts to Assistant County Attorney Ellen North, who is prosecuting the case against Garrett Wright. Beyond the sheriff’s statement that Wright is the man he pursued from the building where Megan O’Malley was being beaten, there is no physical evidence to connect Wright to either O’Malley’s assault or Josh Kirkwood’s kidnapping.

Two additional developments make Ellen North’s job more difficult: Her boss has granted best-selling true-crime writer Jay Butler Brooks full access to the investigation, and Garrett Wright’s high-powered defense attorney is Ellen’s ex-lover—the man who betrayed her trust and cost her an earlier case. To make matters worse, while Ellen is developing her case against the incarcerated Wright, another eight-year-old boy is kidnapped and then murdered in a neighboring town. Ellen starts to receive anonymous telephone calls taunting her that she is part of a game she does not understand and suggesting that her own life is in danger.

While GUILTY AS SIN contains enough chills and puzzles to satisfy the average fan of this genre, the real impact of the story is seriously diminished for anyone who has not read NIGHT SINS.

Great book. It brought to mind someone that sticks to their gut feelings as everyone else is jumping ship. Trying to prove it is a whole other story. The book was kind of slow in the middle with you just wanting something to happen, but then near the end it starts to explode and you can't get enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

None of the neighbors really knew Jason and Sandy Jones. She worked days as a teacher; he worked nights as a reporter. And, they doted on their four-year-old precocious daughter. So, why were their doors made of steel, and the windows blocked in the relatively safe Southie neighborhood of Boston? That only came to light, when Sandy disappeared from their house, leaving behind their daughter. And, Jason insisted she never would have left Ree.

But, there's something suspicious about Jason Jones' reaction to his wife's disappearance, and Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren is determined to discover if he killed her. He has almost no reaction to her disappearance, only caring about Ree, who might be the only witness. And, isn't it always the husband?

But, there's also no blood, and no proof Sandy was killed. And, Aiden Brewster, the neighbor down the road is a registered sex offender. What about the brilliant thirteen-year-old boy who is totally in love with his teacher? Everyone knows teachers get caught with their students nowadays. And, why did Sandy run off with Jason in the first place, a few years after her mother's death?

Who are the Joneses, those secretive people who lived behind steel doors? Jason Jones knows he'll be the primary suspect. The husband always is. Aiden Brewster knows he'll be suspected, and his life is over. The sex offender down the road is always the suspect. D.D. Warren isn't at all happy with her choices.

So where is Sandy Jones? The Neighbor will keep readers in suspense right until the final chapter. I'll admit, I was hooked. That doesn't mean I'll read more suspense now. It means Lisa Gardner's latest book is intriguing, with constant red herrings. Good luck in guessing the ending.

Another real thriller.... thanks Tammy. Don't start this book unless you have time to finish it lol. It twisted and turned right up to the end. Very intriguing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bones by Jonathan Kellerman

Bones is one of Kellerman’s better efforts in recent years. It’s definitely not one of his best (check out “The Butcher’s
Theater” and “The Conspiracy Club”), but it’s an improvement over “Compulsion” and “Obsession.”
In “Bones,” Delaware is wittier and more energetic and seems to have a renewed passion to solve the case at hand, which has a lot of tentacles.
A young woman’s body is discovered at the Bird Marsh nature conservancy near Marina Del Rey in California. Los Angeles homicide detective Milo Sturgis, a mainstay in the Delaware stories, investigates, and he soon uncovers a horrible scene. More female bodies are found — they’re all prostitutes. A serial killer is apparently on the loose. Sturgis calls in Delaware for assistance.
At this point, it looks like a paint-by-numbers mystery. But the most recent victim is a talented young musician from the East Coast. Her name is Selena Bass, and she had been employed by a wealthy family, the Vanders, to tutor a musical prodigy.
This strange twist puzzles Delaware and Sturgis, and the two launch a wide-ranging, bumpy investigation that leads them to all corners of L.A. They first discover that the Vanders are nowhere to be found, and the Vanders’ estate manager, Travis Huck, seems to be a little suspicious.
“His sad, crooked mouth straightened into a position of neutrality, at odds with the tension around his eyes,” writes Kellerman, describing Huck during the duo’s questioning. They soon realize he has a criminal background.
Sturgis, playing the starring role for once in a Kellerman novel, and Delaware don’t settle for the obvious, however, and unearth more startling details about the marsh deaths.
Not surprisingly, there are some surprises in the investigation, which leads them down a path with some combative characters and a brooding sense of violence.

I enjoyed the storyline and the mystery was intriguing, but it was a little muddled in the middle. I would recommend this book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, ...moreA foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

I LOVED this book. The friend that loaned it to me did it kind of off handed saying... 'don't know if you'll like this book. It jumps around a lot.' So I must say it covers a time from the early 1900's, 1975 and 2005 - and going back and forth among the times. I did read it in a short period of time and didn't find it hard to keep the characters in order. The story line was good, the characters well described and the mystery was very fasinating. Let me know if you read it and what you think of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snowflake or Raindrop?

I love when they ask 5 questions and know everything about you. At least both outcomes are pleasant.

You Are a Snowflake

You are a deeply emotional person. You have a sensitive and tender heart.

You are so in love with the world. You are blessed, and you never forget it.

You won't be deterred from your destiny. You know what you were meant to do in this life.

Your still waters run deep. There is a lot more to you than meets the eye.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rules of Play by Nora Roberts

This book has two books in it and as I read the reviews I noticed that a few people were upset because the books had been published singly before and they felt tricked into buying a book they had already read.

I really loved this book. It's amazing and so romantic. We start with the first story which is Opposite Attract with Ty and Asher. They had been lovers 3 years ago but Asher had left Ty to marry someone else. Ty who thought he'd been played by Asher came face to face with her at the tennis championships. And a knew romance started with heated nights in each others arms. But Ty still didn't know why Asher had left him 3 years early and was trying to figure it out. But Asher had a big secret that she didn't want Ty to know about, but as their new romance gets more intense. And secrets are too close to get revealed and change everything between them.

The second story The Heart's Victory which I absolutely adored is with the sexy and determined Lance and the grown and beautful Foxy. Foxy had been in love with Lance since she was 16 years old. But Lance would only make her feel like she was an annoying child and push her away. Heartbroken Foxy decided to forget him. But even though six years had passed since she had laid eyes on Lance when she saw him again she knew she never stop loving him. But Foxy felt at a loss because she thought that Lance just wanted to take her to bed but her thoughts change dramatically on the night that Lance asked Foxy to marry him. Once married they discover passion never felt before.

These were quick reads that would be great for a day at the beach. Not a lot of mystery or intrigue. I'm not a big fan of romance novels, but they were good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Peanut

Peanut turned 4 on the 23rd. Can't believe how fast the years are going by. Happy 4th Birthday Peanut - thanks for sharing your special day with us. Love you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Punkin

Today is my 3rd granddaughter's birthday. Happy Birthday Punkin. I can't believe she's one already. She's just adorable and has been walking for over 2 months already. Look out world.... here she comes.

What's Your Social Style

I found this interesting quiz over on my daughter's blog. I always get pulled into these.... very interesting.

You Are Charming

You've got tact and grace. You always know what to say and how to act.

You are a smooth talker. You know how to light up a room with your wit and how to talk yourself out of sticky situations.

You know how to diffuse an argument, and people often call on you to keep the peace.

When other people humiliate themselves, you know how to smooth everything over. And it's rare that you say or do anything embarrassing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mackinac Island 2011

Every year we like to go to the Straits State Park in St Ignace MI. From there we take the ferry over to Mackinac Island. We've also made a tradition of leaving this creature of comfort home and travel light with our little pup tent.

Crazy I know, but we like to rough it to be reminded of how good we have it. And believe me... we have it good. Our first challenge was finding our air mattress... the first year we did this with little rubber mats and that was a big mistake. Don't know who we loaned our nice air mattress to, but I hope they remember it's ours and return it lol. We had to take our old one and it loses air. It was fine for one night and then we pumped it up again for the second night. Yup, we had to pack our bikes in the car too. It was packed.

The campground is at the base of the bridge. That solid looking thing at the bottom right is tarps and stuff... they work on this bridge every year and it appears to be in great shape.

Can you see the size of this barge going under the bridge? And it fits under the bridge! The bridge is 5 miles long. Every year on Labor Day they close half the bridge to car traffic and open it to foot traffic. We've hiked it a couple of times. Nice tradition, but we kind of steer clear of crowds these days.

We woke up Saturday morning and took the ferry across. We get out of town pretty quick because it is packed with tourists. Once out of town the 8 mile path around the island is very easy to manuever. We stopped here at Mission Pointe to relax for a minute and enjoy the view. They were setting up a wedding at the gazebo and the men in their white formal wear were waiting around for quite a while.

If sitting watching sailboats isn't relaxing I don't know what is.

We spotted a lot on inukshuk around the island this year. We first learned what they were on our trip to Alaska. They are stone figures to signify someone was here before or you are on the right path. This one behind us was very tall.

The fort is still there lol. We like to rest on the lawn out front after our 8 mile trek around the island. You have to be ready when the cannon fires or it might wake you up :)

A cute little light house on our was back to St Ignace.

There were lot of wild flowers all around the island. Of course the formal gardens are always lovely, but I enjoy the beauty of nature when you find it unexpectedly.

Found this in my pictures. It's my new garden art. Our daughter in law brought over a bottle of this a while back and I liked the bottle. Didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I just kept it simple and stuck it in the ground. Beautiful peaceful blue and the message is perfect... RELAX. I'm thinking I need more garden art :) Yup, the deer ate our hostas again this year.. frustrating... relax!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian

From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Midwives, and Skeletons at the Feast comes a novel of shattered faith, intimate secrets, and the delicate nature of sacrifice.

"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about . . . angels.

Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parents' murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice’s daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen – who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.
But then the State's Attorney begins to suspect that Alice's husband may not have killed himself. . .and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.

Secrets of Eden is both a haunting literary thriller and a deeply evocative testament to the inner complexities that mark all of our lives. Once again Chris Bohjalian has given us a riveting page-turner in which nothing is precisely what it seems. As one character remarks, “Believe no one. Trust no one. Assume all of our stories are suspect.”

I really like the way Bohjalian (wish I knew how to pronounce that name :)) unfolds a story. He really goes into each characters thoughts and feelings, giving each persons take on every situation. So, basically you're seeing the same story from several points of view and wondering all along who's telling the truth. And, once again the truth is in the final sentence. So no reading the end first, it would ruin everything.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trace by Patricia Cornwell

"Kate Scarpetta, a former Chief medical examiner in Virginia, Richmond, now resides in South Florida. She, along with her good friend, Marino, also formerly of Virginia, are summoned to her former workplace by the new chief medical examiner, Dr. Joel Marcus. Scarpetta and Marino are asked to investigate the murder of a 14 year old girl named Gilly Paulsson. While trying to pry the details of the murder from Gilly's game-playing, supposedly grief-stricken mother, Scarpetta and Marino must deal with Dr. Marcus' political machinations in his attempt to destroy Scarpetta's unassailable reputation and cover up his own incompetence. Then, Marino gets seduced into playing a game with Suz, Gilly's mother and is wrongly accused of rape. An added twist occurs when a construction worker is run over by a tractor and killed on site of her old building. Somehow, the same trace evidence found on the worker's body is also found in Gilly Paulsson's mouth.

Meanwhile, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta's lover, and Lucy, Scarpetta's niece, are investigating a seemingly unrelated case of attempted murder of Henri, Lucy's employee and friend. Lucy runs The Last Precinct, which is an undercover organization which investigates FBI-calibre cases in confidence.

As Kay Scarpetta and Marino sift through the rubble that is left of her former place of employment, Scarpetta finds that not only is the building falling apart, so are the capabilities of the new chief medical examiner and the morale of her former staff. One former staff member, in particular, seeks revenge against Dr. Scarpetta and her feisty niece Lucy for causing his disability, a lung condition which makes it difficult to breathe. While Scarpetta and Marino attempt to circumvent Suz's games, and Benton and Lucy get closer to the truth about Henri's attacker, the killer methodically sets up his final revenge. "

Another good read by Cornwell. Coincidence... small world... just weird... some of my thoughts while reading this. Who would think in this small world of ours that so many lives will cross and for what weird reasons. Great read.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell

Always packed with unrelieved tension and constant surprises, a new novel from Patricia Cornwell is cause for celebration. Virginia's chief medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta, is called in to examine the remains of a woman found in a landfill, her body dismembered in the same expert way she'd seen before. And while Scarpetta is investigating, the bold killer contacts her through the Internet, inviting her to download the police photos, and signs off with the chilling name, deadoc. When Scarpetta and her niece discover that the victim was exposed to a rare smallpox-like virus before she died, she realizes that they re up against a killer with access to an incredible arsenal of deadly force -- and now it's directed at her!

This novel was real scary for me. The thought that someone could destroy a whole city or country through disease is just too real a possiblity to look the other way. Lots of details and again another serial killer - or is it? Copy cats are always a possibility. Great Read

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Worse Case by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Alex Cross has Washington, DC. The Women's Murder Club has San Francisco. Detective Michael Bennett has all of New York City—chaos capital of the world.

Best case: Survival
The son of one of New York's wealthiest families is snatched off the street and held hostage. His parents can't save him, because this kidnapper isn't demanding money. Instead, he quizzes his prisoner on the price others pay for his life of luxury. In this exam, wrong answers are fatal.

Worst case: Death
Detective Michael Bennett leads the investigation. With ten kids of his own, he can't begin to understand what could lead someone to target anyone's children. As another student disappears, another powerful family uses their leverage and connections to turn up the heat on the mayor, the press—anyone who will listen—to stop this killer. Their reach extends all the way to the FBI, which sends its top Abduction Specialist, Agent Emily Parker. Bennett's life—and love life—suddenly get even more complicated.

This case: Detective Michael Bennett is on it
Before Bennett has a chance to protest the FBI's intrusion on his case, the mastermind changes his routine. His plan leads up to the most devastating demonstration yet—one that could bring cataclysmic ruin to every inch of New York City. From the shocking first page to the last exhilarating scene, Worst Case is a nonstop thriller from "America's #1 storyteller" (Forbes).

Liked the book. The serial killer is trying to bring social awareness to the forefront by exploiting wealthy family's children. He is really bitter about the rich and all that they have which he thinks they received on the backs of the poor. Great 'pageturner'.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Hero's Hero

This is a little early, but life is about to get real busy and I didn't want to miss this opportunity :) Happy Memorial Day!!

A Hero's Hero

So Many Soldiers
Living On The Street
Their Spirits Broken,
With Defeat.

What Must They Think
When They Look Around
Eyes Passing By,
Staring At The Ground?

Does Anger Fill Them
When We Turn Away,
From The Debts We Owe
That Should Be Repaid?

What If At That Moment,
Just Once, Instead
We Saluted In Honor,
Right Hand To Head?

To Let Them Know
They Are Not Ghosts,
Thanking Them For Being
Braver Than Most.

If Everyone Would
Show Them Grace
We Just Might Find
Their Pain Erased.

For All The Heroes
Still Fighting To Live
And For Heroes Like You,
Who Continue To Give.

IF You See Someone
Who Is Really Lost
Please Stop And Remember
What Our Freedom Cost.

I found this poem on a bookmark I received from the Veterans Administration. As a country we do not treat our Veterans with the dignity and respect that they deserve. It's time to give them better. Freedom isn't Free.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Petite Dessert Test

I found this little quiz over at Sweetly B Squared. Kind of fun huh? Love this tart thing with the little fruit on it and just a touch of chocolate. YUM!

You Are Colorful

You believe that there is a lot to still be discovered in this world, and you're hoping to find some of it.

You are an adventure seeker, but you're also realistic. You want an adventure to improve your life.

You are an extremely independent person. You know what's best for you and your life.

You are surprisingly easygoing. You like to keep everything as low-pressure as possible.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler

My name is Avocet Abigail Jackson. But because Mama couldn't find anyone who thought Avocet was a fine name for a child, she called me Bird. Which is okay by me. She named both her children after birds, her logic being that if we were named for something with wings then maybe we'd be able to fly above the shit in our lives. . . .
So says Bird Jackson, the mesmerizing narrator of Connie May Fowler's vivid and brilliantly written, Before Women Had Wings.

Starstruck by a dime-store picture of Jesus, Bird fancies herself "His girlfriend" and embarks upon a spiritual quest for salvation, even as the chaos of her home life plunges her into a stony silence. In stark and honest language, she tells the tragic life of her father, a sweet-talking wanna-be country music star, tracks her older sister's perilous journey into womanhood, and witnesses her mother make a courageous and ultimately devastating decision.

Yet most profound is Bird's own story--her struggle to sift through the ashes of her parents' lives, her meeting with Miss Zora, a healer whose prayers over the bones of winged creatures are meant to guide their souls to heaven, and her will to make sense of a world where fear is more plentiful than hope, retribution more valued than love. . . .

Although I didn't come from an abusive home I really related to Bird's situation. The 'feelings' that she spoke of seemed to really ring true for me. At a very young age I knew we weren't rich, but I never realized how poor we were. Now that I'm older and can see the whole picture I really see just how poor we were. My older siblings really lived through a lot more, but I remember all the other girls in school had much nicer cloths than we did and they could get involved in school activities because they had supportive parents. My parents were not 'bad', but because there were nine of us, they didn't have the individual time to spend on each of us.

This was a very well written book and like I said I could really 'feel' what she was portraying. It brought a whole new perspective to some of the other things I've read lately. I remember a few books that spoke of Dad being a pilot and all that comes with that kind of finances and another book that spoke of buying a new home and how Mom was home cooking and baking - I was trying to remember those things in my life and they just weren't there. At a time when there were very few Mom's working mine had a full time job and we were on our own after school til someone got home.

This book reminds me a lot of my past and makes me really appreciate all that my Mom did to protect us and keep us safe. It brings to light all that could have gone wrong that didn't. Although we didn't have a lot we had each other and there was kindness and lots of fun.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's your mothering personality type?

I saw this fun quiz over at Sweetly B Squared and thought it might be fun. Check it out.

I'm a "Happy Together" Mother!

(Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

I have a highly developed sense of family and what it takes to be happy in life.

What's your mothering personality type? Take the MotherStyles quiz at!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark

At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave.

Olivia has in her possession letters from her deceased cousin Catherine, a nun, now being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church—the final step before sainthood. In her lifetime, Sister Catherine had founded seven hospitals for disabled children. Now the cure of a four-year-old boy dying of brain cancer is being attributed to her. After his case was pronounced medically hopeless, the boy’s desperate mother had organized a prayer crusade to Sister Catherine, leading to his miraculous recovery.

The letters Olivia holds are the evidence that Catherine gave birth at age seventeen to a child, a son, and gave him up for adoption. Olivia knows the identity of the young man who fathered Catherine’s child: Alex Gannon, who went on to become a world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents.

Now, two generations later, thirty-one-year-old pediatrician Dr. Monica Farrell, Catherine’s granddaughter, stands as the rightful heir to what remains of the family fortune. But in telling Monica who she really is, Olivia would have to betray Catherine’s wishes and reveal the story behind Monica’s ancestry.

The Gannon fortune is being squandered by Alex’s nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with philanthropy.

Now their carefully constructed image is cracking. Greg, a prominent financier, is under criminal investigation, and Peter, a Broadway producer, is a suspect in the murder of a young woman who has been extorting money from him.

The only people aware of Olivia’s impending choice are those exploiting the Gannon inheritance. To silence Olivia and prevent Monica from learning the secret, some of them will stop at nothing—even murder.

Clark’s riveting new novel explores the juxtaposition of medical science and religious faith, and the search for identity by the daughter of a man adopted at birth.

This book reminded me of an Agatha Christi mystery. Good read in a dorky kind of way. I do like reading about how people live. Olivia was a meticulous old lady... no children how could her house be dirty? Dr. Farrell also single and house neat as a pin.... guess that's just a dream of mine - a clean house. I don't even have an excuse anymore! Oh well, too many other things to do - like read books.

I've told myself no more books before I do some of the projects that I have started or bought stuff to make. Gotta clean up before I want to be outside in the garden.