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Terry's Picks

Book Cover for Trouble Kellerman, Jesse

Jonah is just a medical student trying to get home in New York, when he hears a woman scream. In an attempt to save the woman from the man attacking her, Jonah inadvertently kills him. This is only the start of Jonah's problems in this thriller involving murder, sex, and deception. He ends up having a sexual affair with Eve, the woman he saved, but she’s not the woman she appears to be. Complicating matters further, Jonah also feels obligated to help take care of his former girlfriend who is now mentally ill. From vivid descriptions of operating room endeavors to the dark accounts of Eve’s sadistic desires, this chilling novel of suspense is sure to make Jesse Kellerman a novelist to watch-- a writer with his own bold, contemporary style.
Recommended by Terry, September 2007
Book Cover for The Good Husband of Zebra Drive McCall Smith, Alexander
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

This is the latest installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Precious finds herself investigating the mystery of three suspicious deaths, her assistant resigns, and her husband decides to do some investigating of his own. In addition, Charlie, the garage assistant, embarks on his own taxi business. Finally, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni begins to wonder if he is exciting enough for his wife. For those looking for the brand of humor and warmth in his characters only McCall Smith can dream up, this addition to the series does not disappoint.
Recommended by Terry, June 2007
Book Cover for The Pale Blue Eye Bayard, Louis
The Pale Blue Eye

Set at West Point in 1830, this unique mystery features as one of its main characters, none other than Edgar Allan Poe. When a murder and mutilation of a young cadet occurs, a retired police officer, Gus Landor, is summoned from his cottage to do the detective work. He drafts the young Poe, who is also a cadet, as his assistant, and together they try to solve not one murder, but eventually two. And who is stealing hearts from the bodies? Landor and Poe form a bond of friendship because of their mutual intellect (and their love of alcohol) but soon questions arise between them and distrust threatens to destroy their alliance. Poe is a wonderful character and the best part of this book, although the mystery itself is inventive and will keep you guessing. But Poe's personality is just as you would imagine a dark poet's to be. He continually mourns for his mother who died when he was just a young child, and he falls in love with the sister of a fellow cadet (this cadet, by the way, seems to be the prime suspect in the case), lamenting that he'd rather die than live without her. Bayard's beautiful language only adds to the Gothic quality of the work.
Recommended by Terry, April 2007
Book Cover for Next Crichton, Michael

This was a frightening book. Imagine a world where a university can own your cells, and, therefore, those of your offspring. Also, ocean creatures are genetically engineered to have corporate logos on them. There are transgenic creatures such as humanzees that think and talk like humans, but are aggressive like chimpanzees. Parrots can carry on a conversation and do math, and wild orangutans can curse at observers in Dutch. Through several story-lines, Crichton presents these and other possibilities, and the ethical questions that surround them. He has done lots of research in the field of genetic engineering, so his stories are not creepy because they are only science fiction, but because they are real extrapolations of science today. Anyone who reads this book will realize that we are just a stone's throw away from such frightening realities, and that we must address such topics now, before we really do find ourselves in such a world.
Recommended by Terry, March 2007
Book Cover Nevada Barr
Track of the Cat

Anna Pigeon, a Law Enforcement Ranger in national lands near El Paso, stumbles upon the body of another ranger in a remote area of the park. Evidence at the scene makes it appear the ranger was killed by a mountain lion. After other "accidents" occur in the park Anna realizes that not all the evidence in the death of the ranger fits a cat attack. Anna begins to piece clues together and, because of her investigation, soon finds that her world of peaceful tranquility in the wilderness has become more violent than the old life she left behind.
Recommended by Terry, February 2006
Book Cover Koontz, Dean

Bartender Billy Wiles leads a fairly reclusive life, spending spare time only by himself and with his fiance who lies in a nursing home in a coma. That is, until he finds a note on his windshield: If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours. While not sure whether or not it is a joke, he does confide in a friend. But the next day a schoolteacher is found murdered. Then his friend is murdered. When Billy receives a second note, he realizes he cannot go to the police because evidence of the murders has been planted in his house. For the next few days, Billy finds himself doing things he never imagined doing-- breaking into houses, hiding corpses, destroying evidence, and stalking a killer that keeps souveneirs of his murders in formaldehyde in glass jars. But can he find the killer before the killer murders his fiance, the only person that makes him want to be alive? Velocity is a fast-paced thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
Recommended by Terry, November 2005
Book Cover Schlosser, Eric
Fast Food Nation

If the low wages of restaurant workers, anti-Union practices of fast food corporations, dangerous slaughterhouse conditions, and government lobbies for big business don't make you want to stop eating fast food, certainly the descriptions of how dirty our meat supply is will. Although the book begins with a brief history of the fast food industry and a description of how it became such an integral part of American culture, it then points out "the dark side of the all-American meal". After reading this you will never look at McDonald's the same way again, and you will understand the true "price" of a fast food hamburger.

Recommended by Terry, July 2005
Book Cover Evanovich, Janet
Metro Girl

Alexandra Barnaby's life is hum-drum until her brother calls her long-distance and a woman screams in the background. Then he disappears and Alex's (Barney's) life becomes anything but ordinary. She travels to the Florida Keys to find him and finds herself caught up in a mystery of international intrigue. With Hooker, aka Nascar guy, Barney sets offshore into Cuban territory to save her brother's life, dodging angry Cuban gold seekers and cops along the way. The novel is classic Evanovich with loads of mystery, laughs in the style of sexual innuendo, and a bit of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this new set of characters even though I'm already addicted to the Stephanie Plum crew of Evanovich's most popular previous books.
Recommended by Terry, January 2005

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