..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Breathless by Dean Koontz

Breathless by Dean Koontz

Grady Adams and his Irish Wolfhound, Merlin, are out for a walk on a Fall afternoon. He comes out in a meadow and sees two beautiful white creatures cavorting together in play. Creatures he's never seen before...and then they run off.

A local veterinarian, Camillia Rivers, goes to a horse farm on a job and she and the family watch in awe as all the horses, dogs, cats and goat stare in a trance at what? They don't know.

Meanwhile Henry Rouvroy goes to visit his twin brother, Jim, and his wife, Nora, on their farm. The visit has an evil motive and Henry walks an exact opposite path of Grady Adams and Camillia Rivers.

Dean Koontz always has a bit of the supernatural in his books and if you don't like that, don't read him. But I really like his writing. His "good" characters have such redeeming characteristics.

Grady Adams has a bad past and so does Camillia Rivers, and, yet, they are the "good characters" in this tale. Henry Rouvroy, who had a life of privilege and wealth, is the "evil character" in this tale. From horrible things come good people. From wonderful things come bad people. The circumstances of our pasts can make or break people no matter how good or bad they were. All of us have seen people like this and I thought Koontz used this as the linchpin of his story.

I also like how he contrasted the "good" characters versus the "bad" characters with even the little things. For instance, the story starts with Grady Adams and Merlin walking from the dark of a forest into a golden, light dazzling meadow to see 2 wonderful, new creatures. At the same time, Henry Rouvroy walks from the sunny afternoon into the huge dark barn to kill two wonderful creatures. Another time, Grady Adams is sitting quietly in his kitchen with the lights off and staring out the window drinking his cinnamon flavored coffee. At the same time, Henry is sitting in the kitchen in the dark staring inwardly at the cellar door drinking bad wine.

It's just little details that heightened the comparison. And he inserts some nice turns of phrase:
"he sometimes seemd to be a shadow, too, but one not tethered to its source."

"Henry Rouvroy picked up shotgun-shattered fragments of his face from the bathroom floor...He paused repeatedly to study reflections of his stare in the silvery shards before throwing them away. He saw nothing in his eyes, ..."

"As much as he loved the law and money and himself, he loved nothing more than pulling people's strings. He was born to be the master of his universe...Preoccupied with the details of universe management and with thoughts related to the oncoming changes in his life, he was all but oblivious of the beauty of the forest." (A little Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities.)

I recommend this book to anyone.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
A Van Dorn Detective Agency Mystery
As you know by now, I'm a fan of Clive Cussler and have read most, if not all, of his books and I eagerly anticipate each new arrival. Thankfully, he's a prolific writer and usually comes out with 2 books per year.

Most of his books have started off with a Prologue from an event in history and then comes up to modern times with mystery, thrills and adventure. Lately, he has come out with a new series idea that are historical thrillers. The first one, I think, was The Chase introducing the Van Dorn Detective Agency and his main character, Isaac Bell. In The Wrecker, we are returned to the turn of the century with the Van Dorn Detective Agency and Isaac Bell. In this series, his Prologue begins the book with a mystery in the "future" of 1934, and then the book picks up in 1907 to begin the story. It is a year of financial panic and labor unrest. Osgood Hennessy is a wealthy railroad man giving Commodore Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan a run for their money. He is building transcontinental railroad lines from the Atlantic to the Pacific and steamrolling his competitors in the process. In 1907, his company is pushing to finish the Cascade Cut before the winter snows stop all work.

But there is a saboteur at work whom they call The Wrecker. He is bent on destroying the Cascade Cut. But why? What does The Wrecker have to gain by it? Who is paying him to blow up tunnels, cause train wrecks, cutting telegraph wires? Is he backed by unions, bankers, competitors? And how will Isaac Bell be able to cover the thousands of miles of track to protect his client's interests and the working men who are in danger. Who is the master mind?

Isaac Bell travels the rails with fast paced adventures from San Francisco to New York City. Plenty of explosions, train wrecks, shoot outs and a little bit of romance. I enjoyed this book like I have all his others and recommend it for all ages.

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