Friday, July 4, 2008

Triple Delight

Sounds like an interesting dessert ... right? Could of been but since this is not a dessert blog it probably is not. I have been on vacation for the 4th of July week and have had some extra time to read. During this time, I have read three very interesting books.
The first scoop was the first book in a series by Lee Child. It is called "Killing Floor" and it features the sleuth Jack Reacher. This is NOT the first book I have read about Jack Reacher but according to the Lee Child website, you can read these books in any order.
Jack Reacher is a drifter - now. He grew up in a military family and then he joined the military. He was in the military police up until he was discharged six months ago. Now he is traveling and he decides to stop in a town called Margrave (Georgia) in search of information about an old musician.
His first morning there he gets arrested for suspicion of murder. He gets sent to the state prison over the weekend and gets attacked by two separate groups. When his alibi gets checked out, he is released and he is just about to leave town when he learns the person who was murdered was his brother. He is now determined to learn who murdered his brother and why. The police chief and his wife are brutally murdered and things in this town do not add up. During his investigation, an attempt is made on his life - twice. The family of another character and a female deputy disappear.
Reacher learned the reason his brother was murdered is linked to a counterfeiting case he was investigating. He learned who most of the players who were involved in this town. And he learns an FBI man is also involved. This was an almost perfect counterfeiting case because the paper used to make the counterfeit one hundreds was actually real one dollar bills collected from all over the country. With some help from another detective in Margrave, he is able to blow the case. And although he has some feelings for the lady deputy, he must move on.
The other part of this delight was two scoops of J.A. Jance and her sleuth J.P. Beaumont. They were the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. "Injustice For All" opens with Beau on vacation - a vacation to get over the loss he experienced in the first book of the series. A man is murdered at the resort where Beau is staying and is discovered by a lady who was a colleague of the man. As a detective, he becomes unofficially involved in the murder. As a man, he becomes "involved" with this woman - the wife of a political candidate seeking a divorce. She ends up dead in an apparent DWI accident but Beau finds it difficult to believe this was an accident.
Beau has to return to work and must balance his unofficial investigation of these murders with some other official cases he is involved with. An attempt is made to implicate him with the murder of the wife of the first victim. And then the case is "officially" closed when a suspect is found dead and a suicide confession is found. Things do not add up so Beau continues his unofficial investigation. He learns the political candidate (and his father) both had opportunity and motive for the murders. He gets taken at gunpoint by the political candidate and ends up in a walk in freezer with the candidate's father on election night. Here he learns the whole story and he escapes with the older man to go and take custody of the political candidate. In the melee that occurs, the old man is killed. Beau chases the other person and gets shot at but the candidate ends up falling to his death.
The second book with J.P. Beaumont in it was called "Trial By Fury". It was another good book picking up later. Just a note - these reviews do NOT include some side stories that make the books interesting reading as well. In this book, a murder victim is found near a sports stadium. The murder victim turns out to be the coach of one of the high school teams who played in the stadium the previous night. His pregnant wife becomes one of the suspects when a photo of the coach and a cheerleader in a motel room are discovered. But the list of suspects expand to include the father of the cheerleader and the principal at he school.
It is not until Beau's partner disappears that the real suspect is learned about - a counselor at the school who is also the faculty advisor for the cheerleaders. Beau frantically searches for information about this lady and discovers where her mother is in the hospital. From information he gets from the hospital, he followups his investigation to discover the house where the suspect is. He gets there to find the suspect leaving with his "drugged" partner in a van.
The van crashes and the suspect dies. Beau's partner is left in critical condition. Beau learns more about a relationship of the first murder victim and the suspect from letters recovered by the wife of the first murder victim. They apparently had a relationship that was torn apart when the suspect learned about the photo of the cheerleader and the coach.
The book ends with Beau on leave - taking care of his partner's two daughters. This is an interesting story initially introduced in the first book of the series that develops further in the second and third books of the series.
I would suggest all of these books as good reading materials.

No comments: