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Saxton Reads! & Reviews

We invite the public to post reviews to our catalog by logging into our online catalog. Reviews will then be posted to this blog. Comments can be added to existing posts or may be added as separate reviews on our catalog
NOVEMBER 24, 2008
Salvation in death ~ J.D. Robb

****bas bleu 
27 and Still Going Strong

I think of the books in the J.D. Robb "In Death" series like I think of chocolate truffles: absolutely addicting. Once I finish reading one, I impatiently wait for the next one to be published. Although Robb is a prolific author, her books cannot come quickly enough for her fans. In this 27th book of the series, Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) does not fail to deliver. The setting of the novel, 50 years into the future, depicts a very realistic New York City. Eve Dallas is a tough, hard-boiled police lieutenant who is married to Roarke, possibly the wealthiest and sexiest man in the world. The dynamics between these two characters, as well as the interplay with the supporting characters, is what keeps Robb's fans coming back for more and more. This time around, Eve clashes with the Catholic Church when she investigates the death of a priest who was poisoned via the sacrament during a funeral mass. Entertainment Weekly refers to this series as "Law and Order:SVU-in the future." Like the TV series, each book reveals more nuances of the main and supporting characters. One criticism of this novel might be the brief mention of the supporting characters. I missed the interplay between Eve and Summerset, the antics of Galahad (Eve and Roarke's self-indulgent cat), Mavis, Nadine, and all of the "girlie" things (such as thinking about clothes, shoes, hair, and makeup) that push Eve to the limit. The plot of Salvation in Death was more linear than Robb's previous novels, with less of the by-play and subplots that readers have come to anticipate. Nonetheless, I am eagerly awaiting Robb's next release, when in addition to the mystery and suspense, we will hopefully be entertained by Louise's upcoming bachelorette/bridal shower; Mavis's outrageous hair, makeup, and clothes; and, as always, the sizzle of Eve and Roarke's relationship.

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NOVEMBER 17, 2008
Tis" the Season ~ Lorna Landvik

*bas bleu - Lorna Landvik Light

I loved all of Lorna Landvik's previous books and thought that many of them should have been made into movies. In fact, I had the entire cast selected for Patty Jane's House of Curl!
I hesitate to even refer to 'Tis the Season as a novel; it is perhaps a novella at best. Landvik was not successful with the book's format, which is written as a series of emails between and among the characters. The plot is clumsy and trite (think National Enquirer headlines in the grocery store checkout lines), and the characters are so undeveloped that the reader has a difficult time seeing them as anything more than cardboard cutouts.
Having recently read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, perhaps my expectations were too high. I found that book charming and engaging, with its well-developed characters and format of exchanged letters.
I call 'Tis the Season "Lorna Landvik Light." If you are a true fan of the author, spare yourself the disappointment of reading this book.

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NOVEMBER 12, 2008
Paradise City ~ Lorenzo Carcaterra


I wasn't quite certain what I wanted to read in between this month's book discussions. I was browsing through our stacks when I came across Lorenzo Carcaterra. I have read two of his books and found his non-fiction book Sleepers, fascinating. So I picked up Paradise City and read it in two days. It's an easy read, fast paced, great dialog, interesting characters. Given this, I still can't give it more than a 3 star rating as the plot is a bit thin, the ending, a bit unrealistic, and what starts as a fun ride becomes sappy. And yet, the story was still fun. Who wouldn't love reading about a crime family to rival the mafia. The main character, Lo Manto is a Naples cop who lives life and savors good Italian cooking, both with gusto. He's a thorn in the side of The Camorra (they're real), an organized crime family with a presence in Italy and New York. The Camorra have been hit hard by Lo Manto's interference and lure him to New York to take him out by kidnapping his niece. On his arrival he's teamed with a tough female cop, Jennifer Fabini, who is like no woman Lo Manto has ever been partnered. Two characters I wished would have been more fleshed out were a young, homeless teen named Felipe (maybe another story?), and an english bulldog with bite, owned by an old blind man. Lots of action, bullets flying, street talk, nasty guys, over the top violence and a saga of revenge and justice. Carcaterra has written for Law and Order and knows the streets of New York. I think I'll try his Apaches, about New York city cops on the take. The soon to be released, Chasers is a follow-up to Apaches.

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