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Beiträge von Michael Butts
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Michael Butts (Berkeley Springs, WV USA)
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Tripwire (Jack Reacher)
Tripwire (Jack Reacher)
von Lee Child
  Taschenbuch

7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Jack's Back, 18. September 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Tripwire (Jack Reacher) (Taschenbuch)
When you enter the world of Jack Reacher, Lee Child's indomitable ex-MP, you never know what to expect. You can certainly expect exciting action scenes, plenty of fisticuffs, and a large dose of graphic violence. "Tripwire" is no exception. The book is an excellent read. Reacher finds himself caught up in the investigation of a star helicopter pilot missing in action in Vietnam and assumed dead. The boy's parents, in grief for thirty years, send a PI to find Reacher, only to have the PI killed hours after meeting with Reacher. From that point on, the plot twists and turns, always sustaining your interest. Although the ending is easily predictable from the start, it's fun riding along with Child on the inevitable denouement. Hook Hobie is an extremely nasty villain and presents a formidable challenge to Mr. Reacher. His henchman are likewise pretty despicable. Some of the supporting characters are really well written, particularly the victimized Marilyn Stone and her real-estate agent friend, Sheryl. Marilyn displays quite a bit of spit and vinegar and loyalty to her milktoast husband, and plays a hard game with Hobie, for a while. Sheryl, meanwhile, displays a tremendous amount of loyalty to her friend.
A great book but some additional points of concern or discussion. I have found it hard to accept Jack Reacher's obvious inability to function "normally" in the world. A drifter at heart, he doesn't seem to want to belong in anyone's world----he falls in love at the drop of a hat, but is not willing to make any commitments, always seeming self-centered in his inability to be "tied down." He doesn't have a job, he's never had a home of his own, and he avoids reality as it were a plague. While this makes for a dynamic and "legendary" type of hero, it leaves Reacher the man hollow and almost apathetic. Finally, in "Tripwire," his romance with Jodie awakens Reacher to these facts and as the book comes to a close, he starts acting like a human being, thinking of settling down, having a house, etc. I'm sure "Running Blind" will pick this up and hopefully develop it. Jack Reacher is a great character, and I like him, but if he becomes a little more human, it will make him even more likeable.
Disappointments: What happens to Marilyn, Chester, and William Curry. They are pivotal victims in the climactic scene, and at its resolution, we don't know what happens to them. The Stones part in the novel are integral to the plot, and we come to care about what happens---especially to Marilyn. This lack of resolution is downright criminal, Lee!
Also, where did Hobie get his contacts in Hawaii and Hanoi? It's never explained---they just exist. Hobie doesn't seem to have a "worldwide" scam going, just a local one.
And what about Tony, his mysterious "is he gay?" aide? What is their relationship, and how did it begin? Tony intimates he's known Hobie for a long time, but there's never any connection between the two. Tony obviously cares a great deal for Hobie, but there is no development of this relationship.
Maybe minor quibbles, but I feel valid ones.
At any rate, if you've followed Jack Reacher this far, as I have, you will undoubtedly want to read "Running Blind," which I will start soon!


Nightshade
Nightshade
von John Saul
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 19,35

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Saul Returns to the Family Frightfest!, 1. August 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Nightshade (Gebundene Ausgabe)
John Saul got started writing masterful tales of families that go beyond being merely dysfunctional. I have often wondered if Mr. Saul had a good childhood, after reading his novels focusing on evil children, weak parents, stifling relatives. John left that behind for a while, but returned with the rather disappointing "Right Hand of Evil," and now his latest shocker, "Nightshade." Since the plot has been discussed several times, no need to summarize. Suffice to say, this is a nasty little novel, full of incest, sexual frustrations, murder, gore, and extremely unlikeable characters. Saul is very good with this genre, and he is at his best in this novel. Although there are lapses in suspense and evidence of some "padding," the novel works as an eerie ghost story----and you have to ask, are we dealing with possession or split personalities? Who is the child in the beginning of the book? What happens at the end with Kelly and Matt? As usual, Saul infuriates us with the demise of one of the most likeable characters in the book, but he has always done this. You know when you read a John Saul book, no one is safe from the grim reaper. But enjoy the book for what it is---an offering from a master at creating really unearthly families!


Wither
Wither
von J G Passarella
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen Wither Thou Goest...., 30. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wither (Taschenbuch)
Once upon a time in a little town called Windale, Massachusetts, three witches were hanged by the neck until dead. They were Elizabeth Wither, Rebecca Cole and Sarah Hutchins. And these were not poor, innocent women executed because they look cross-eyed at some leering magistrate. These women were bad, really bad. Especially the Widow Wither. (Try saying that five times in a row fast!). And as any good witches should, they didn't die when they were hanged. No sirree..good thing, too, as there wouldn't have been a book by this wonderful writer J. G. Passarella (two writers? according to the copyright).
"Wither" is a spell-binding foray into a nightmare world of withcraft and chicanery. This is an excellent first novel, and one that will greedily consume much of your time as you struggle to read it in just one sitting.
As in horror king Stephen King's earlier books, the premise of "bad things not happening to good people" is thrown out the window with maniacal relish! You don't know who's going to come out ahead in this one. Suffice to say, the villainesses are rotten to the core; the writing is economical and original; and the characters fleshed out just right.
Read this one with the lights on (as if you could read it with them off?), but enjoy---it's one of the best horror novels in years!
Michael Butts for MikeRachelButts


Vespers
Vespers
von Jeff Rovin
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Book to Sink Your Fangs In to, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Vespers (Taschenbuch)
"Vespers" recalls many of the great fifties films of mutated insects like "Them," "Tarantula," "The Deadly Mantis", etc. Set in the thriving metropolis of Manhattan, the onslaught of killer bats is a thrilling horror mechanism. The addition of the giant bat, in spite of what other reviewers say, is a great twist. As in any book of this type, the characterizations are secondary to the monster and the attacks. I found the characters very interesting, and Rovin's pace is tight and enjoyable. I anxiously awaited the movie version of this book, and have yet to see it materialize. I hope the dreadful "Bats" with Lou Diamond Phillips doesn't discourage the ultimate filming of "Vespers." It would be a great fun flick!


Fatalis
Fatalis
von Jeff Rovin
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Here Kitty Kitty, 29. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fatalis (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Since Harriet Klausner has already laid out the plot and some of its "secrets", I won't spoil any more of the plot for you. This is a very good book, although I liked Rovin's first book, "Vespers" a little better. It is obvious from the start that the predators are sabre-tooth cats, so there's no real suspense in that in itself. However, Rovin cleverly unfolds his plot in a tense and effective manner. Rovin does very well in establishing characterizations, even in those characters whose presence is only to be victims of the cats. The characters of Jim Grand and Hannah Hughes are very well developed, and readers can identify with their personal "hangups". Grand's devotion to his departed wife is especially credible and touching; it shows how hard it is to let go of someone you loved deeply. Hannah is feisty, yet vulnerable, too. Sheriff Malcolm Gearheart is a little too cliche and predictable, but offers the necessary antagonism. The denouement is chilling and upbeat, which is nice in these days of cliffhanger endings. All in all, a good read.


Angelique's Descent (Dark Shadows)
Angelique's Descent (Dark Shadows)
von Lara Parker
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen A Fun Nostalgic Journey, 28. Juli 2000
Ah..the memories I have of Lara Parker and "Dark Shadows." I got hooked on it as a teenager. The four years Ms. Parker was on the show were teen heaven for a lovestruck young male! Her presence on the show was inestimable. While many of the other actors stumbled through their lines and looked to the camera for cues, Ms. Parker showed a professional finesse that the others just couldn't match. And those eyes..ah, those eyes! But, the book! It's not great literature, by any means. Her foray into Angelique's tormented youth and subsequent fall into witchcraft are overdrawn and histrionic. But, if you are a fan of the show and seize any opportunity to travel those Collinwood corridors again, the book is well worth the read. Lara, you should still make movies. Think of all the great "character roles" you could play now! But keep writing; your greatest fan is awaiting another opportunity to share in your nostalgia, too!


Movie Cat (Big Mike Mystery)
Movie Cat (Big Mike Mystery)
von Garrison Allen
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 14,34

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Where Oh Where Has Mikey Gone?, 28. Juli 2000
All of Garrison Allen's "Big Mike" mysteries/comedies are some of the best and most entertaining reading I've encountered in some time. What's interesting about 'Movie Cat' and all of the Allen mysteries are that the murder and whodunit are secondary to the witty and crazy characters populating the books. Penelope and all of her cohorts are funny and of course Big Mike is the primo cat in detective fiction. The food fights, the things he does to Tweedledum and Tweedledee are priceless feline encounters. So, where is the latest Garrison Allen installment? I noticed only two reviews for this book---how sad! Come on mystery readers, have a little, no a LOT of fun. Grab up all the Big Mike mysteries and have yourself one heck of a good time!


Skeleton Crew (Lindsay Chamberlain Mysteries)
Skeleton Crew (Lindsay Chamberlain Mysteries)
von Beverly Connor
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 15,30

5.0 von 5 Sternen Can't Wait For Another Installment!, 25. Juli 2000
For years I searched for Ms. Connor's books. No book store seemed to stock them! I can't understand why? I finally got wired and found them. This is one of the best mystery series I've read. It was well worth the wait. This last installment is the best one. The way that Ms. Connor weaves the past and present together for a triple mystery is great. She ties up all the stories together very neat and nice. Lindsey is a great hero, very human. Her love life is always interesting, Ms. Connor gives you the pay off in this one that you hoped for in another book. Very nicely done, author's usually don't make you wait for the romance pay off.
I would suggest that you start at the beginning of this series. Ms. Connor does tie each book to the next and her development of one character may be in another book. But it is there, plus it is fun to watch an author develop over each book.
Now a word to the publisher, GET BEVERLY CONNOR'S BOOKS OUT TO THE PUBLIC! She is a great read and could made you a lot of money if people knew about her.


Furnace
Furnace
von Muriel Gray
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen What a Great Book!, 24. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Furnace (Taschenbuch)
Furnace is one of my favorte reads. Ms. Gray captures a great hero in this book. You understand him and what makes him tick. She also captures the area that this book takes place in very well. Even though she doesn't name "real" places or people, I knew where she was, because I grew up in that area off of Interstate 81. Ms. Gray did a wonderful job of making her people and places come alive. She has a great understanding of the "back" area of rural Virginia. The plot was good. Reminded me of the old movie "Curse of the Demon", but taken further in plot. She surprised me several times. Her sub-plotting kept me on the edge of my seat too. Very good read.


False Memory
False Memory
von Dean Koontz
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 19,64

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Guilty Pleasure, 24. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: False Memory (Gebundene Ausgabe)
First of all, shame on all those customers who feel it necessary to give away certain plot mechanisms (LIKE THE VILLAIN, FOR GOSH SAKE!); this is one thing that really irritates me about reviewers who have no regard for the people who haven't read the book, and spoil the surprise for them. Anyway, back to FALSE MEMORY. Dean Koontz is undoubtedly a prolific and smart writer. He doesn't pretend to be a great writer; he is successful because he is an ENTERTAINING writer, and "False Memory" with all of its implausibilities, loop holes, and seemingly endless scenes, is still a darn good read. The characters of Dusty, Martie, Skeet and Fig Newton are very likeable and readers should empathize with the horrible plight they have been placed. Also, the character of Susan Jagger is a remarkably sympathetic character, in a very small but important supporting role. The story opens with Martie taking her agoraphobic friend Susan to the remarkable Dr. Mark Ahlstrim. Next thing you know Martie confronts her own phobia: autophobia, fear of oneself. Now that's one to knock your socks off. Granted, the scenes in which Martie rushes through the house to get rid of any potential weapon are a little too long and overwrought, they establish the depth of her paranoia. Koontz reveals the villain early in the book, and even though you know what's going on, you don't have all the gory details until a showdown late in the book with Dusty's parents. And the villain of this piece (I WON'T TELL!) is one of the vilest Mr. Koontz has presented us with. And you know what's nice--Koontz doesn't try to make us feel sorry for the guy because of his pathetic childhood existence. Nor does Koontz leave us hanging with any loose ends in this one. That is certainly refreshing after having just finished Stephen Dobyns' "Boy in the Water" and Peter Straub's "Mr. X". Mr. Koontz has learned through his years of successful writing that ultimately you have to please your audience; scare them, puzzle them, but don't leave them hanging in the air with presposterous literary shenanigans. Congratulations, Dean, on "False Memory." It's one of your best works!


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