Higher Authority by Stephen White

Publication Info: Paperback edition, Feb 2006 by Signet Books. (Originally published in hardcover 2004 by Viking Books. Book # 3 in the Alan Gregory series.

Higher Authority

I recently moved into an apartment building in Denver, CO, that has, among other great features, a small library. While stuck inside during Wednesday’s “bomb cyclone” snowstorm, I perused the shelves and found Higher Authority.IMG_0514

One nice thing about a random book collection is finding an author or series I’d forgotten about. I wish I’d gotten my hands on book #2 in the series, but I decided (for once) not to be persnickety about reading this series in order.

Alan Gregory isn’t the main character in this book, rather it is his girlfriend, attorney Lauren Crowder, who is featured. Lauren travels to Salt Lake City to visit an old friend, Robin Torr, to get legal help for her sister, Teresa. Teresa claims she was sexually assaulted by a prominent person and wants to bring a lawsuit against her. Although they realize this case could gather some notoriety, none of them were expecting the danger they found themselves in.

With locations in Denver, Utah and New Mexico, I was familiar with all of the settings, which added to my enjoyment of the book. I’ll have to track down more books in this series.

Highly recommended for readers of mysteries and suspense.

Off the Grid by C.J. Box

Publication Info: Published March 2016 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.  Kindle edition, checked out of my local library. Off the Grid is #16 in the Joe Pickett series.Off the Grid

I’m almost caught up with this series. Actually, I’ll be sad when I get to # 19, Wolf Pack, which is Box’s latest entry in the series, because then I’ll have to wait until he writes and publishes the next one!

Governor Rulon’s time in office is about to end, but he sends Joe out on one more mission — to find out what’s going on out in the Red Desert area of Wyoming. Much to Joe’s surprise, the Governor wants him to find his old friend, Nate, to help with this mission.  Meanwhile, Sheridan, the usually predictably good daughter, gets herself into a bit of a mess right smack in the middle of the problems in the Red Desert, requiring Nate to come to her rescue. Without giving too much away, it was good to see  Nate finally get a bit of a break in this book. The poor guy has been on the run since book 3, Winterkill.

C.J. Box was in Denver at The Tattered Cover autographing books, which I unfortunately just missed in the midst of my move here. He does come here now and then, so I hope to catch him next time!

Highly recommended for mystery fans and those who like stories set in the west.

The Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly

The three books in this series, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose make up a marvelously engrossing family saga series. The series spans three generations of a couple of families during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although most of the series takes place in and around London, particularly London’s East End, some of the characters travel to America, Africa and Asia.the Winter Rose

The characters are rich and full of life. They experience despair and joy. They find love, lose it and find it again. I found myself really wanting things to come out all right for them. Usually it did, but sometimes it didn’t.

I listened to the Audible.com version of all three novels, narrated by Jill Tanner. While continuing to recover from my broken foot (still healing), I found myself subject to bouts of insomnia. These books kept me company and I cared more about the troubles of the characters than my own.

Highly Recommended for fans of General Fiction, Family Sagas and Romantic Historical Fiction.

Wild rose

tea rose

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Chief Inspector Gamache series, #9. Publication Date: August 2013 by MacMillan Audio (Audible.com). Other editions available.

Brief Summary: There are two story lines in this novel. One follows the murder of Myrna’s friend, Constance; the other works to shine a light on the reasons behind the warehouse incident (from a previous book) and the apparent downfall of Inspector Gamache. While the stories don’t really intertwine, they do provide interest that neither alone could quite make work. How the Light Gets In

Comments: I love the lyrical, descriptive writing in this series as well as the incredibly deep, perceptive insights into the characters. Sometimes I find the plotting a bit muddy, but the writing is what keeps me coming back. I thoroughly enjoy listening to the narration by Ralph Cosham.

I was prepared to give How the Light Gets In a 4-star review until I got toward the end and edged my rating upwards. There were things that happened that made me sit up and take notice – some incidents I found incredibly poignant. I don’t think someone unfamiliar with the series would react the way I did, but for those who have come to know and love the residents of Three Pines, I think you won’t come away untouched.

Highly recommended for readers of the Inspector Gamache series. Those looking to read this mystery series full of depth and insight should start with the first book, Still Life.