Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris

Genre:  Fiction

Published by:  Little,Brown and Company

Pages:  Hard Cover

Rating:  8 JAGS

Zoe Ferraris’s Kingdom of Strangers is a gripping story of murder and mystery in a world of religious segregation and virtue in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. Local Police Inspector Ibrahim Zahrani is called to investigate a mass grave of women who were butchered by a serial killer that is targeting foreigners who work for the wealthy Saudi citizens.

 Ibrahim himself is guilty of committing acts of adultery that are punishable by death, and has realized that the recent disappearance of his mistress might possibly drag him further into the serial killers web.  The only person he can turn to for help is Katya, a lab technician, who happens to be a woman. Katya must navigate the fine line of disobedience and compliance while working between both investigations in order to stop a killer and help one of the few men who doesn’t practice the religious fervor of Shiria law, which is predominate in Middle Eastern culture. 

Kingdom of Strangers is an excellent read. This story is a compelling page turner that allows you to peek into a culture where women are considered subservient, and honor and Allah are the true currency.   I highly recommend this book. A good read and true definition of a great story.
A definite purchase new.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

The 500 by Matthew Quirk

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Little Brown

Pages: Hard Cover

Ratings: 4 JAGS

One part Grisham’s The Firm, (Especially the tail end of Chapter 14 where you can’t help but picture Tom Cruise and the Quaker Oats actor in a heated exchange.) one part Wall Street the movie, The 500 is an action packed thriller that reads like Joseph Finder’s novel Paranoia

Mike Ford, recent Harvard Law School graduate and son of a grifter con-man, is courted by the powerful Washington DC think tank The Davies Group. The 500 of Washington’s most powerful members and game changers of the U.S. government use The Davies Group to lobby and monopolize power and policy. Mike realizes his rise to the circles of Washington’s elite comes with a price, and with that, a world of cons, marks and ultimately death that he has been trying desperately to leave behind.

Great last minute airport or poolside read. With a release date of June 5th, Matthew Quirk’s The 500, is being championed as the next Brad Meltzer and David Baldacci. The screen rights have also been picked up by 20th Century Fox. This is a definite quick vacation read.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ninety Days by Bill Clegg

Genre: Non-Fiction

Published By: Little Brown, Company

Pages: Soft Cover

Ratings: 5 JAGS

Depressingly good! Bill Clegg revisits his struggle as a recovering addict in this sequel to his best-selling novel, Portrait of an Addict as aYoung Man. The story begins where Addict left off, raw, emotional and a poignant climb to redemption of personal journey to stay clean and sober for 90 days. 

Clegg continues with his paragraph prose and invites the reader on a ride exploring the faults of personal recovery and how a simple 90 days can turn into a life time of hardship and regret. In this story, Bill befriends allies in a series of meetings and ultimately finds the strength to beat relapsing not from the differences of addictions, but the simple truth that he will always be an addict struggling to stay clean. 

Dark and heart-wrenching, Ninety Days is a triumphant tale of rediscovery and strength of how Bill Clegg managed to beat the siren call of a crack pipe and regain footing with just one day at a time.
Personal favorite as oppose to his earlier work, I would still not purchase new. Instead, wait for a copy at your local resale bookstore. The $25 you would use to purchase this work could easily be used to buy a bag of books from a resale shop and still walk away excited about this read.

A definite quick read, worth the 5 bucks if you wait for it at your local yard sale, resale bookstore or Kindle it for the price savings.