Book Review: The Other Son

51tncx1id4l-_sx327_bo1204203200_ The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 

When this book became available on Blogging for Books, I requested it right away. Soderberg’s novel The Andalucian Friend was a good read.  I enjoyed it and thought that this sequel would be a enjoyable.  Not so.

From the publisher:

From the moment Hector Guzman entered a coma, Sophie Brinkmann has regretted joining his crime family. Hector’s right hand, Aron Geisler, is doing all he can to keep the sinking ship afloat and keep Sophie in their steely grip. But when Hector’s brother is murdered in Biarritz, Sophie gains the upper hand, and intends to use it.

Sophie becomes a player in a game where the rules are constantly changing, where loyalty and friendship are rendered meaningless. In order to survive, she must look inward and find her inner darkness. If not, she will be swallowed whole by the forces closing in on her: vengeful mobsters, cunning detectives, charismatic arms dealers, and possibly her own son.

It was difficult to get into the novel and I wouldn’t recommend this book at all if you haven’t read The Andalucian Friend.  Although many of the same characters were present, it was difficult to remember exactly what role they played in the first book and to put them in their proper place in this book.  The Other Son is probably worth it if you want to keep up with the story and the characters (none of whom are the least bit likeable), but frankly I found that I don’t really care what happens to these people.  If you are a fan of  The Andaludcian Friend and read this book, let me know what you think.

Book Details:  Published by Crown (July 21, 2015), 400 pages, ISBN: 978-0770436087.

Women and Thrillers

This morning I stumbled across an article in The Telegraph, entitled “Are women hardwired to love thrillers?”  Interesting.  The article particularly caught my attention because thrillers used to be the mainstay of my reading list, and probably still is to some extent.  Lately though, thrillers just aren’t thrilling.  For example, this past fall I tried to read Tim Johnston’s Descent, but found that it just didn’t hold my attention.  Descent was a book that should have been a terrific read from all accounts out there on the Internet.  Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes also received good reviews, but in both the case of Descent and Broken Monsters there were large sections of the book that I just skipped.  The movie Gone Girl was good, but when all was said and done, I was glad that I didn’t read the book and saw the movie instead.  Thrillers should be thrilling!  When you read a thriller, it should be just that and every page of the book should keep you glued for what comes next.

The closest I have come to a thriller that held my attention lately and kept me reading was One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.  Seskis’ book has a twist to it that is VERY surprising.  This may be the problem with most thrillers lately.  They have gotten a little formulaic and many readers can figure out the ending before the writer gets there.  The twist to the end has been done before and I’ve already read it or the action sequences just drag on too long.

While I agree with Rebecca Whitney, the author of The Telegraph‘s article and the author of The Liar’s Chair, that thrillers and crime novels are especially interesting to women,  I need something new and even scary.  A book that won’t have me skipping large sections to get to the end.

Any suggestions?

Agent X

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Agent X is a fast-paced read that is tough to put down.  There are no slow spots in this spy thriller!

Steve Vail, a Chicago bricklayer arrives in Washington to take Kate Bannon, the FBI’s new assistant director, to an important New year’s Eve function.  They never arrive.  Kate is summoned to a clandestine meeting where both she and Steve are asked to find out who Calculus is and also where he is.  Calculus is a Russian embassy staffer offering to name Americans feeding information to Russian intelligence.  Steve and Kate must identify the spies and bring them in before the Russians get to them first.  Steve Vail quickly begins to solve the many puzzles that Calculus uses to conceal information.

The puzzles are great and Boyd ties the action and the clues together well.  The romance between Vail and Bannon is not overdone as is so often the case in thrillers involving male and female protagonists.  My only complaint is that I figured out who Agent X was before he was revealed in the novel.  Boyd just missed a five-star review from The Booklover on this one technicality!

Book Details: Published by William Morrow (February 8, 2011), 400 pages, ISBN: 0061826986