JP is our youngest grandson who turned five in September. He and his mom and dad lived with us while they were building their house a year ago. Though they’ve moved into their new house now, we still get to pick him up from preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the afternoon with him. Next year he’ll be in kindergarten all day. He’s so full of fun and remarkably wise for his years!
For Blogging A to Z, I’ll be sharing some of our many conversations over the last few years. I hope you enjoy.
Last week on the one day it was actually not raining, snowing or below 40 degrees, we took JP to the park. He still loves it and always wants someone to swing with him. So I’m swinging next to him on the big boy swings now and he just needs a push and then pumps as high as he can go.
JP: Look, Nana, I’m flying like a plane. Or a bird. Wait, I know something from Captain Underpants.
Me: I don’t think I ever saw that movie. What part do you mean?
JP: Some people are on a bus and they say, “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a chicken salad sandwich.” And it IS a chicken salad sandwich! Flying in the air! (Wherein, much giggling ensues! And we chant it over and over as we swing in the sort of nice, almost Spring like weather…)
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I know my friend, Lynn, just reviewed a mystery set in Alaska, but this happens to be one I just read and it also happens to be set there, too. I wouldn’t say it focuses on the scenery much, though!
This new series by Brenda Novak began with last fall’s prequel novella entitled Hanover House and you can find my review here. Her Darkest Nightmare is the first full length book in a series that promises to be a creepy and disconcerting psychological study of psychopathic murderers. In fact, each chapter begins with a chilling quote from real life serial murderers such as Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz or Ray Ramirez.
You don’t have to read the prequel as this novel can stand alone, but Hanover House provides a more in depth look at what happened to make psychologist Evelyn Talbot decide to push for funding a maximum security prison in the wilds of Alaska to house psychopathic mass murderers so she and other doctors can study them and hopefully find some idea of what makes them do what they do.
Evelyn was held prisoner for days, tortured physically and mentally by her seemingly normal high school boyfriend after he killed and posed the bodies of three of her friends — in the room with her where she was being held. She managed to escape, his family helped the boyfriend escape, and she’s been looking over her shoulder ever since, unable to stop trying to find out how she could have been taken in by someone who seemed so “normal” and turned out to be a vicious murderer with no conscience.
In this second installment, Evelyn and her staff have been conducting interviews and therapy sessions when one inmate insists that she and others are in danger, but he will only give her more information if she talks with him without a guard present. She takes a chance on speaking with him and he tries to convince her that something evil is going on within the prison — but he’s a psychopath, right? So how reliable is he? Then severed body parts are found, one in Evelyn’s bed, and it’s obvious something evil is going on…and Evelyn is sure it has something to do with her old boyfriend who is still on the loose.
If you like books with the thrill of scary, don’t read it in an empty house without the lights on, this is definitely one for you! There’s also a touch of romance with the seven years younger, only Alaska State Trooper in the area, whose Inuit nickname Amarok means wolf. The next installment coming soon is tentatively entitled Hello Again.
I’m delighted to introduce the first book review by a librarian friend of mine who will be guest posting on my blog. I think I promised you early this year that Lynn would be doing this, but apparently she was too busy travelling and swimming and just plain relaxing after she and her husband both retired to get any work done for the blog! She’s on board now, so watch for her reviews to pop up on a regular basis…
Upcoming reviews will probably be mysteries, but I’ve told her I’m open to anything she’d like to post and that as a former librarian, we look forward to reading her opinions on whatever books she chooses!
Lynn’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I hadn’t discovered the Hunter Rayne mysteries I would never have known about the mosquitoes in Alaska, 35 varieties of them. That turned out to be useful information for my trip to Alaska this past summer.
Hunter Rayne is a former officer of the RCMP. A serious case of burnout causes him to retire from the force and take to the road as a long-haul trucker. Despite his change of careers, Hunter can’t seem to help tripping over dead bodies and other mysteries on his routes through western Canada and Alaska. His detective skills won’t allow him to stay out of an investigation.
Equipment breakdowns and personal baggage (an ex-wife and emotionally distant daughters), complicate things but Hunter, like the Mountie he was, always gets his man.
Slow Curve on the Coquihalla is the first title in this series, followed by Ice on the Grapevine. I believe there are four in the series so far. It’s not necessary to read them in order, but if you don’t you will miss a bit of the character development and the slow revelation of what contributed to Hunter Rayne’s departure from the police force. The setting will make you want to plan a trip to Canada or Alaska, but don’t forget to pack your mosquito repellent.
Reading is the gift I give to me
And not only for birthdays…
Books take me down roads
To places I’ve not been
Envelop me in times not always my own
Bring wonderful new friends and experiences
And allow me to dream
Now all I need is more time to read…
~ Diane D.
(My A to Z Challenge theme is birthdays.)