Monday, May 26, 2014

Legends, Oddities & Mysteries - including UFO experiences in New Brunswick by Dorothy Dearborn

Illustrated by Carol Taylor
Published by Nimbus Publishing

This little book is a fast read of short stories. Good one to read while in a waiting room or coffee shop. My copy is 122 pages long. I'm not too sure that legends is the right word, these might more rightly be called folklore but then legends are born in folklore. Certainly the book contains many oddities, best known perhaps is the Magnetic Hill, a well-known tourist attraction, and certainly the "gull" doors of the Bricklin car were odd at the time. Ahead of its time, but through excessive spending it went the way of the Dodo bird. I actually remember it. Some of the stories are well-documented and these are dealt with by the Dorothy Dearborn in her own unique voice as well as the voices of the actual witnesses.

Real people made contributions to the author and granted permission to use their names. To me this puts a truer light on the oddness of the incidents. One of the quirkiest and humorous stories is "The Great Submarine Chase of 1914". A particularly strange legendary one is "Kingston's Lunar Rogue and Mysterious Stranger". Several of the stories are quite amusing. There are ghost stories, stories of buried treasure, facts, and finally a section on UFOs in New Brunswick. I've heard that the Maritimes are a hot spot for UFOs and even USOs so it seems natural these stories would be included. All said, the book is quite interesting although most of the stories are only a couple of pages or so long. A fascinating look into New Brunswick's unique history and lore.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dangerous Wind: a Carol Golden Novel by Alan Cook

Reviewed from Kindle e-book

Well documented and thought out presentation of deceit and revelation of conspiracy

Alan Cook often combines a bona-fide murder mystery and adventure story with reality...a well documented and thought out presentation of deceit and revelation of conspiracy. This book is no different, in fact as it delves into international financial institutions and governmental bailouts, I would say he has done a great deal of research on the subject.

This is the 3rd book in the series. If you have not been following the adventures of Carol Golden, she is still trying to recover memories she has forgotten having suffered amnesia. Now, after a quick "abduction" while buying chocolates for her grandmother, she finds herself again facing the man who helped her regain what memories she has. Now she is about to go undercover with these two agents (her abductors and now team-mates) to locate, and possibly kill, a man she has been told was her lover in college. A man she has no recollection of. A worldwide seven-continent chase ensues, making this one of the most interesting chase books I've read.

Her former mentor has said that the man they are looking for is trying to bring down the Western World; she has been told this man is financially ruining the countries by security transactions causing banks to lose billions and possibly causing banks to fail. Cook's books usually contain the use of logic and/or mathematics puzzles and games, as played out by Carol in solving mysteries and personally, I enjoy these. In this case she is able to break an important code. But all is not as it seems. Is she on the right side or the wrong side? Has she been duped? Unbelievable end twist! I really enjoyed this book with its suspense, characters, some humor and most of all its glimpse of the world.

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Published by Forge Fiction

Politicians do make for strange bedfellows...and this may be the strangest yet.

Hank Phillippi Ryan writes power-driven fiction that mimics the high-stakes political and investigative reporting theme that just may be closer to the truth than we want. She knows exactly what she is writing about from her own life experience of investigative reporting. The main character is Jane Ryland, former top reporter for television who has been blackballed for not revealing her source in a high profile murder.

Taken on a six-month trial by a newspaper editor who happens to believe in her, she finds herself whisked away to political rallies, interviews and press releases. She also interviews the Lassiter's wife for background. At the same time, her good friend Jake is investigating a series of deaths that may or may not be connected to each other and just may be vindicating Jane for not revealing her source which got her fired from her last job along with an unbelievable debt.

Non-stop action in this story, don't put it down, you might miss something! This book is fascinating in its tension, thriller action and mystery. Who is the stunning but elusive Mrs. Wilks? Is there a serial killer? Just when you think you have the answers, the story takes a 180 and starts you on a new thread. The final answers are surprising. Will Jake and Jane throw caution to the wind and begin a relationship? Well, that will have to be another story.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Alive After Friday by Rod Hoisington

Reviewed from print book

Blockbuster beginning to this latest of the adventures of Sandy Reid. Blocked in by an SUV and a truck, her little Miata convertible doesn't have a chance, nor does Sandy. She realizes too late that this isn't just a traffic jam. She is being abducted, blindfolded and ducktaped across her mouth. Meanwhile, her law partner and boyfriend Chip, are waiting for her to celebrate winning a very large lawsuit, $400,000 in fact, half of which is coming to Sandy. On the other hand, the abductors want to relieve her of all of that money.

Taken to the swamps of Florida, kneeling in muck still unable to see or speak, with a gun against the back of her head, Sandy is just waiting for the final moment. But it isn't her that will be killed if she doesn't get them the money, it is Chip and it is within two days. Rod Hoisington certainly knows how to get the reader's attention.

On her release from her captors it's off and running for Sandy as she frantically tries to round up the money with her law partner, co-recipient of the award, while at the same time trying to solve who "Dick and Jane", who take great care to not be seen, are. Of course, Sandy is one tough cookie, and she is determined to solve the crimes of abduction and extortion, but finds herself blocked in every direction. But getting the money and placing it in almost plain view is not the best plan in her mind, and soon it is clear it was the worst possible plan. Because there is now a dead body and the money is gone.

Warned off from investigating as usual, of course she will not leave it up to the law! This is too important, if "Dick and Jane" didn't get the money, Chip has only hours to live. Where first there seem to be no leads, soon she racks up too many in her panic. With her lawyer partner and friend Martin trying to keep her safe, he has his hands mighty full.

Rod Hoisington knows how to keep us on the edge of our seats. A unexpected and sudden loss, some hilarious confusion, dead bodies, and a little help from the police, all are packaged into a bundle of too many strings, but with her cop friends, Martin her professional partner, almost diametrically different in character, and her own out-of-the-box methods, one finally pulls the right string. Great surprise ending! Are there changes in store? I couldn't put the book down, and it's not often that I will read a book at one go. Intriguing 5th installment of the Sandy Reid series, one of the best.