Summer Reading B2G1 Free
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Customer Comments

Katherine Adams has commented on (21) products.

Forced Out by Stephen Frey
Forced Out

Katherine Adams, September 7, 2009

The dramatic "Three men. Three secrets. One chance at redemption" tag line attached to this book is too cliche for this terrific thriller. All of the characters are so well-drawn that you find yourself understanding the motives of even the worst kind of people -- guys like a Mafia assassin named Johnny Bondano, who's never gotten over the death of the only woman he loved.

And forget trying to guess what will happen as author Stephen Frey brings Bondano, 63-year-old former Yankee scout Jack Barrett and a strange, but talented minor league baseball player named Mikey Clemant together in a game where nothing is predictable.

The supporting players in this novel are anything but stereotypes. Barrett's 33-year-old daughter lives with him and affects the direction Frey leads his readers, as does 16-year-old MJ, who befriends Barrett after they both lose their "box boy" positions at a supermarket.

Too many writers try -- and fail -- to keep readers involved with separate story lines that should merge into a satisfying book. But Frey describes his characters so well that it isn't until the last few pages that you see how well everyone fits together in this tale.

This is one of those rare gems that is quite a bit better than advertised.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



The Likeness by Tana French
The Likeness

Katherine Adams, July 22, 2009

Wow. Author Tana French's great writing traps readers who enjoy mysteries with a jolt of psychologicial suspense.

"The Likeness" features Det. Cassie Maddox, a former undercover cop now fighting domestic violence crimes. She's persuaded to give undercover work another shot when a young Ph.D student, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, is murdered. Cassie easily slips into the role of Lexie, her double, convincing Lexie's four housemates to believe she is their (now-dead) friend.

The housemates, all high-brow literature students, have created eerie family-style relationships, spending little time at college with anyone outside their group. But they make life seem so cozy that Cassie forgets that these four friends are possible murder suspects. She infiltrates Lexie's world so well that she begins to lose focus, putting her job -- and life -- in danger.

French doesn't surprise readers with aha! moments, but her writing is so strong, and the characters so well-developed, that you go along meekly (as does Cassie) for a very scary ride. I can't wait to read her first book, which also featured Det. Maddox.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



The Likeness by Tana French
The Likeness

Katherine Adams, May 31, 2009

Wow. Author Tana French's great writing traps readers who enjoy mysteries with a jolt of psychologicial suspense.

"The Likeness" features Det. Cassie Maddox, a former undercover cop now fighting domestic violence crimes. She's persuaded to give undercover work another shot when a young Ph.D student, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, is murdered. Cassie easily slips into the role of Lexie, her double, convincing Lexie's four housemates to believe she is their (now-dead) friend.

The housemates, all high-brow literature students, have created eerie family-style relationships, spending little time at college with anyone outside their group. But they make life seem so cozy that Cassie forgets that these four friends are possible murder suspects. She infiltrates Lexie's world so well that she begins to lose focus, putting her job -- and life -- in danger.

French doesn't surprise readers with aha! moments, but her writing is so strong, and the characters so well-developed, that you go along meekly (as does Cassie) for a very scary ride. I can't wait to read her first book, which also featured Det. Maddox.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross
Don't Look Twice

Katherine Adams, March 4, 2009

Since Andrew Gross has a solid fan base, (especially since he co-authored books with James Patterson), I feel less guilty "commenting" on his work.

Simply put, "Don't Look Twice" doesn't even qualify as a good beach read. The plot is well-described by the publisher. Detective Ty Hauck and his teenage daughter are grabbing an ice cream cone when a barrage of bullets takes out the store's window, missing them, but killing the the guy standing behind Hauck in line.

Was Hauck the target? The owner of the store? Or as Hauck finds out at the end of a chapter, the victim wasn't just any bystander. Gross writes, "They were staring at a Department of Justice ID."

Chapters later, he ends with this sentence: "She was staring at an automatic gun."

Then later, "She froze. There was $427,000 in it."

This style of writing was great in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. But there's a difference between simplicity and thinking your readers are simple-minded.

His overuse of italics to reaaally emphasize a character's dialogue is truly distracting, as are his too-often-used exclamation points.

It doesn't help that the plot isn't that compelling; the characters aren't memorable.

When you find yourself trying to count how many pages don't use italics ... well, I want to be drawn into a plot, not mesmerized by the misuse of punctuation.

If you're a fan of Gross, good for you. At least you're reading. But I don't think I'll be adding his work to my library. The title works for me, though: "Don't Look Twice." I won't. Promise.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
Hold Tight

Katherine Adams, February 11, 2009

Even if you're a fan of Harlan Coben (I am, admittedly), he really yanks readers around in this thriller. But what a terrific way to trick us all into thinking "I know what's going on..." No, you don't.

This book starts out as the story of concerned parents Tia and Mike Baye, who install spyware on their teenage son Adam's computer when his behavior changes in unexpected ways after a friend commits suicide.

When Adam disappears, characters and events that seem unrelated tighten the plot into a startling ending. Truly startling.

You wonder how all the characters will recover from the events that unfold -- the mother of the boy who died, Adam, his parents, his sister, a local police investigator, a teacher at Adam's school, and a remorseless killer.

"Hold Tight" was a great title for this roller coaster disguised as a good read. It's a joy ride, all right, but don't be surprised if you utter "oh, geez" when you finish.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



1-5 of 21next
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.