Completed Book Challenge 2014

completed book challenge

Another year, done and dusted! Here are the new books that I have made it through this year. I managed some rereads in between, but I cannot count those again. It was most enjoyable. Thanks to all who gave me recommendations that I got to, it was lovely!

1. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

2. The Perfect Husband (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #1) – Lisa Gardner

3. Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1) – Linda Castillo

4. One False Move – Alex Kava

5. Windmills of the Gods – Sidney Sheldon

6. Night Shift – Stephen King

7. The Third Victim (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #2) – Lisa Gardner

8. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

9. Unseen (Georgia #5) – Karin Slaughter

10. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

11. Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder #2) – Linda Castillo

12. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) – Stephen King

13. Horns – Joe Hill

14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

15. An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

16. Mailman: A Novel – J Robert Lennon

17. Whitewash – Alex Kava

18. Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

19. The Rolling Stones: 50 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood

20. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

21. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

22. Drive – James Sallis

23. Looking for Alaska – John Green

24. Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Sidney Sheldon

25. The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) – Thomas Harris

26. Under the Knife – Tess Gerritsen

27. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

28. Dracula – Bram Stoker

29. Dead Until Dark (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1) – Charlaine Harris

30. Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon



That was the original challenge. I finished all of those and then decided to up it to fifty.

31. Living Dead in Dallas (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #2) – Charlaine Harris

32. Paper Towns – John Green

33. Club Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #3) – Charlaine Harris

34. One Scream Away (Sheridan #1) – Kate Brady

35. Dead to the World (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4) – Charlaine Harris

36. Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) – Isaac Marion

37. Dead as a Doornail (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #5) – Charlaine Harris

38. Heart-Shaped Box – Joe Hill

39. Definitely Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #6) – Charlaine Harris

40. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

41. All Together Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #7) – Charlaine Harris

42. Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

43. From Dead to Worse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #8) – Charlaine Harris

44. The Bad Place – Dean Koontz

45. Dead and Gone (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #9) – Charlaine Harris

46. A Drink Before The War (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

47. Dead in the Family (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #10) – Charlaine Harris

48. The Villa – Nora Roberts

49. Dead Reckoning (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #11) – Charlaine Harris

50. Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

Well, there we have it folks. I know I have some recommendations that were given to me, they are on my list, they will most likely make the new year’s challenge 🙂 Thanks so much to everyone who read, commented and recommended, it is much appreciated!

Review: The Third Victim – Lisa Gardner

the third victim lisa gardner cover

FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #2

A perfectly peaceful day in Bakesrville, Oregon is shattered when someone walks into school and opens fire on the unsuspecting students. Officer Lorraine “Rainie” Conner is called in by her boss, Sheriff Shep O’Grady, and instructed to act as the primary on the school shooting. Confused, he explains it away as having two children in the building and being unable to be objective because of it. Arriving at the school, Rainie is shocked. Parents are screaming and crying, children are running, and there is no sign of Shep. Entering the school with a rookie cop, EMTs are wrecking the crime scene. People need saving and Rainie leaves it be. Later, however, while clearing the school, Rainie finds thirteen year old Danny O’Grady holding his father at gunpoint, and is heavily shocked and confused. Arresting the youth on the spot, Rainie has no idea what to do. Danny confesses more than once about the slayings, and soon his parents have lawyered him up and he is not talking to anyone.

State detective Abe Sanders is called in to assist with the investigation, but instead all he does is point out how flawed Rainie and her experience is, and asserting his views that Shep was in on everything and that Danny is guilty and will be charged as such. Reeling, Rainie manages to take assistance from Supervisory Special Agent Pierce Quincy with the FBI when he makes his appearance due to the fact it a) caught his eye and b) is an area of expertise for him. Rainie refuses to accept that Danny killed his favourite teacher, Miss Avalon, and shot those two little girls to death because he had a few issues at home what with his parents being on opposing ends and theoretically divorced, though neither will admit to it and make it official. Rainie is strangely drawn to Quincy, who is dealing with some rough family drama of his own when he arrives. Rainie is suffering with past dealings when what Danny is going through opens wounds – she herself was accused of murdering her mother fourteen years ago, and despite being cleared the rumours still run rampant.

The more that Rainie digs into the case, the more certain she is that someone else was involved with the events. Quincy eventually starts to get onto that train, too. The O’Grady’s are having a very hard time dealing, and Becky, Danny’s younger sister, does not seem to be recovering from what happened, and will not say one word. The family is under a lot of stress, and Rainie is trying desperately to deal with her past as well as get to the bottom of what happened at the school on the morning of the 15th of May. Melissa Avalon seems to have been the primary target of whatever went down at the school. Danny is not talking to anyone, Quincy is trying to help Rainie confront her past and whatever it is that happened to her, and the case is getting more and more complicated, proving that Danny must have been manipulated by another person, though he is guilty of doing what he did, he had a little push, too.

What caused Danny to shoot up a school? Did Danny shoot up a school? Is there really a mystery man in black, a suspect that the police had almost crossed off the list seeing as a bunch of hysterical children reported that they saw him? What will happen to the O’Grady’s now that their son is a monster and a menace in their peaceful little town? Will Rainie and Quincy start something, or are they destined to admire but never to progress? Will Rainie face what happened fourteen years ago? What exactly did transpire that day that she arrived home to find her mother dead?

GRADE 7Certainly a step up from her last work and finally more focus on her main character, Quincy. I mean he theoretically should feature prominently (the series is named after him even), and the last book he waltzed in and out within a few pages. The story was engaging and kept you interested, though it was rigidly laid out. There was a slight romance aspect to it though it was overshadowed by the suspense and the rest of the story, which I prefer. I don’t particularly like books steeped in romance and everything fluffed up around it. It was great to learn more about Quincy, and also sad to see the things that people do to one another in the midst of a tragedy. They band together, but they can also be harsh (as was evidenced by the salad Sandy O’Grady fed little Becky – it was dreadful). This was not a bad read, and moved along nicely. I have hope for the series if the second book was so much better than the first. It was interesting to hear how Rainie dealt with her past, as well as what exactly happened when it came about. Sanders made me giggle every now and then. He was pompous and egotistical and all that, but just how absurd he could be made me laugh at times. There were a lot of heavy things going down in this book, though I would say it was a reasonably good book that is worth looking into at some stage if you are looking for a new crime series. I will wait to see how the series progresses further.

Review: The Perfect Husband – Lisa Gardner

lisa gardner the perfect husband book cover

FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #1

Theresa Beckett escaped her abusive family and married a monster. A monster she had no idea existed until she shared her “I do”, and he stepped in and started to ruin her life, the evil that she had known seemingly much better than the evil she was now lumped in with. Jim Beckett is attractive, a respected man of the community, a police officer and completely in love with Theresa. That is the image that he portrays. After the wedding, her life is picked apart by Jim, who will break her down until she is no more. Though he assumed control of her life and moulded her into exactly what he wanted, she started to grow suspicious of his outings, his shifts as a police officer and the method he used to injure her. After having their first baby, Samantha, Theresa is horrified to learn that Jim expects her to have another child, and the suggestion crops up but two months after Sam’s birth.

Years later, Theresa’s name is now Tess Williams and she forces her way onto J.T. Dillon’s property in Nogales, Arizona, adamant that the mercenary train her. He is a drunk, sarcastic and prickly, nasty and completely disinterested in what she has to say. However, Tess is determined to learn how to defend herself. She will never again fall prey to her husband or men like him, and needs to protect herself from him this time. Jim has bust out of prison and is on the run after being convicted a serial killer and responsible for the brutal rape and murder of ten women, and Tess is positive that he will come after her again to finish the job this time. Special Agent Pierce Quincy of the FBI is sure that, being a pure psychopath, Jim will need to restore his ego and teach Tess a lesson. This time, however, Tess will not have to face the monster alone. The police will be there. Tess has no faith in that, seeing as last time their protection basically left her to be killed.

J.T.’s mostly estranged sister Marion MacAllister turns up and intrudes on the couple, Tess just having convinced J.T. to train her, though he is under the assumption that her real name is not Angela, as she so simply put out there, and is sure that there is more to the story than she is letting on. Marion and J.T. argue constantly, butting heads over their past that Marion will not acknowledge and that J.T. refuses to let go of. J.T. relents and pushes Tess to train hard, and with Marion’s incessant snooping, she makes the discovery of Tess’s real identity. J.T. hears who she is, and realises how much trouble Tess is actually in, and redoubles his efforts to get her ready on time, and now realises why she has refuses police protection for herself, though she placed Sam with Lieutenant Lance Difford, who will keep her baby safe.

Jim is on a warpath, intent on finding his traitorous wife, and leaves a body count in his wake. Quincy is trying his damndest to stay on top of Jim’s movements and predictions to ensue as to where he will be next. Will he be able to work out Jim’s pattern? Will he be able to find out where Jim holed himself up the last time they attempted to hunt him down, the place that kept him hidden for six months before he made his fatal move on Tess? Will J.T. be able to train Tess in time? Will this terrible fear and cruelty end now what with Tess preparing to fight her husband? Will Jim be recaptured and returned to prison? What is the budding relationship between Tess and J.T. going to turn into? Will J.T. and Marion ever sort out their disdain for one another, find their way back to each other?

GRADE 6Based on the title alone this is not something I would ever have picked up from the shelves. However, a friend highly recommended it if I enjoyed Tess Gerritsen, so I decided to check it out. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and Jim Beckett was sufficiently nuts to keep you involved. Everyone seemed to have a terrible screwed up and emotional past with dreadful occurrences, but that was fine. Marion’s blind loyalty to the colonel was sickening. I must say though that at times the relationship between J.T. and Tess annoyed the hell out of me. It was stunted and strange, jumping around inexplicably. She arrived at his home distraught, angry and on a mission, and virtually from the off he is thinking about sex and she is thinking about returning it. A woman with the type of experience with men that she had is not going to be jumping the first guy she claps eyes on. I don’t know, I thought there was a lot of unnecessary sex written into the story, though if you look beyond that the story is very solid, decently written and presented and incredibly interesting. Jim Beckett was quite the evil, dark, messed up and resourceful man, and seeing the things that he would get up to kept me reading. It isn’t a bad book, and if you can just skip through the useless sex scenes, you will get a rather good story that is worth checking out.  It is the first Lisa Gardner book that I have ever read, and it was sufficient enough to have me check out some more.