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Gail Cooke (TX, USA)
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The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
par Andrew Sean Greer
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 9,67

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A MAGICAL JOURNEY, 2 juillet 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells (Broché)
Who among us has not wondered how different our life might have been had we been born at another time? Imaginative writer Andrew Sean Greer explores that possibility in this time-traveling tale which transports the troubled Greta Wells between three very different periods of time. She will find the same characters she knows in her present life but very different Gretas.

While Greta is living in New York City in 1985 she is dealt two shattering blows. First, she is heartbroken by the AIDS death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and her lover, Nathan, leaves her for another woman. Unable to cope with two such devastating losses she falls into serious depression and turns to electroconvulsive therapy to find relief. This begins an unexpected result - magical time travel following each of her sessions. She sleeps only to awaken in a very different life. Under the care of Dr. Cerletti she usually awakens to a new world every Thursday and Friday. The time spent in each of these worlds varied, sometimes a day, at other times a week. She was powerless to dictate the length of her stays.

When she awakens in 1941 Felix is alive and Nathan is her husband. In 1918 Nathan is away at war, Greta finds a handsome young lover, and Felix is alive although very much hiding his homosexuality. Quite obviously, no period is perfect, each has its challenges as well as its rewards. Perhaps most moving of all are the times involving Felix, as we’re reminded of the difficulties faced by gay men in years past.

For Greta each of these time periods proves to be just as full of pitfalls as the one she actually inhabits. It is for her to choose which one will be her own.

Andrew Sean Greer (The Confessions of Max Tivoli) has once again taken us on a magical journey - enjoy!

- Gail Cooke


The Heist: A Novel
The Heist: A Novel
par Janet Evanovich
Edition : CD
Prix : EUR 27,08

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 INTRODUCING A TERRIFIC TEAM, 1 juillet 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Heist: A Novel (CD)
The estimable Janet Evanovich who gave us so much pleasure with her Stephanie Plum stories as well as a slew of other writings teams up with screenwriter Lee Goldberg who wrote the Monk series to introduce a new adventure series starring FBI Special agent Kate O’Hare. As if that weren’t incentive enough to give a listen to this audio book it’s read by a narrator without compare - Scott Brick. This gentlemen has received so many awards that his mantle sags. Our prediction? The Heist is going to be verrrry popular.

With the initial offering in this series Kate is paired with scam artist par excellence Nicholas Fox. She’s been hot on his trial and finally succeeds in catching him only to have him escape. Of course, it’s been quite a kick for Fox to have been chased by a beautiful woman, and he’s not about to let their relationship end. Believe it or not he convinces the FBI to pair him with Kate in order to catch investment banker Derek Griffin who took off with a mere 500 million of his company’s money. Don’t know where he’ll spend it because he’s hiding out on a private island in Indonesia.

Capturing Griffin is far from a piece of cake but with the help of some able sting-masters who trick Griffin’s attorney into telling where he is Kate and Nick feel like it’s a possibility ...despite the fact that all other FBI agents are hunting for Nick. So it’s up to Kate not only to get Griffin but also to save Nick from her eager colleagues. Quite an order!

Now, toss in some heart-stopping chases, pirates, plus a bit of comedy and you have a can’t-stop-listening-to tale. Kate and Nick are a winning pair, so enjoy!

- Gail Cooke


Lost
Lost
par S. J. Bolton
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 34,56

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A COMPLEX, MULTILAYERED THRILLER, 27 juin 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Lost (Relié)
The story is chilling; the storyteller, S. J. Bolton, is extraordinary. While random murder is horrific, what could be more heartrending than the killing of 10-year-old boys? Yet that is precisely what’s happening in south London. The boys are found with their throats slashed lying together as if asleep. Websites pop up about the boys, and someone by the name of Peter Sweep posts about Dracula while criticizing DI Dana Tulloch’s investigation of the heinous crimes.

Early on we hear the voice of Dana:

“I shouldn’t say this,” said Dana. “I wouldn’t to anyone else. I haven’t the faintest shred of___”

“Dana, just say it.”

“I think it’s a woman.”

“Silence for a heartbeat, then, “Oh?”

Somehow, the thought that a woman might be the killer makes the crimes even more unthinkable. While trying to recover from a traumatic ordeal Lacey Flint is taking time off from her job with the London police force. Lacey’s next door neighbor is Barney, an 11-year-old boy who has been searching for his mother, a woman he has not seen since he was four-years-old. He also spends time with his friends trying to solve the crimes as he believes his father may be responsible. It made sense to him because his dad is fascinated by Dracula, and two of the bodies were found on his boat. Obviously, Barney has a lot on his plate and thinks maybe Lacey can help him. But, Lacey is fighting demons of her own. She will have nothing to do with the man who loves her, she doesn’t trust her therapist, and begins cutting herself.

Dana observes Lacey’s behavior and thinks she might be the serial killer of the boys. Hence, whether she likes it or not or is ready or not Lacey is irrevocably drawn back into police work. And everyone is running out of time.

With Lost Bolton once again displays the mounting suspense and complex, multi-layered plotting we have come to expect from her.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke


Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm
Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm
par Mardi Jo Link
Edition : CD
Prix : EUR 27,08

4.0 étoiles sur 5 BOTH GRIT AND HUMOR IN THIS MEMOIR, 18 juin 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm (CD)
A classically trained actress Karen White has distinguished herself as an accomplished narrative artist. No matter the genre White inhabits the text with ease and elan. She now has over 100 audio books to her credit and multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards. Her interpretation of this audio’s lead character is stunning! The book is subtitled “From Broke to Badass on A Northern Michigan Farm,” and White captures every syllable delivering a can’t-stop-listening-to reading.

Bootstrapper is a memoir that makes us want to hum “I Am Woman.” She faced almost insurmountable obstacles, with grace, grit and humor. In the summer of 2005 Link’s dream of enjoying happy, simple farm life blew up in her face. She and her husband of 19 years have declared it’s over, which leaves her with three boys and bills, bills, bills. She decides to remain in the 100-year-old farmhouse in northern Michigan, and raise her boys there.

Needless to say that’s tough with a capital T. But Link takes on the task of being farmer, breadwinner and mother, and feeds those growing boys on what grew in their vegetable garden, one hog, and a year’s supply of day-old bread (which she won in a zucchini-growing contest).

This is a touching account of what one woman can accomplish, of how her strength and stick-to-itiveness saved her home and family.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke


The Kill Room
The Kill Room
par Jeffery Deaver
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 21,84

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A DARK TALE OF ESPIONAGE AND EGOS, 15 juin 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Kill Room (Relié)
Jeffery Deaver is simply one of the best thriller writers working today. His prose scorches, sears - in another writer’s hands shattered glass would be just that - “shattered glass.” In Deaver’s hands it is “Glass turned to a million crystals of blowing snow...” Imagery par excellence! This in addition to his ingenious plotting makes reading his books highly pleasurable for thriller fans. The Kill Room, the latest installment in his series starring forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme is one more triumph.

Government sanctioned murders? A frightening thought but this is a Deaver book and no holds are barred. An American citizen who has sought safety in the Bahamas is shot by a skilled killer who targeted him from a mile away. The victim, Robert Moreno was well known for his anti-American sympathies. Also killed were his guard and a reporter who was interviewing him. Enter Nance Laurel, the New York assistant district attorney, who believes that the assassinations were orchestrated by an undercover government agency. How to prove this? The assistance of quadriplegic Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs is needed.

This assignment proves a bit more problematic for Rhymes than with most investigators because the crime scene is well over 1,000 miles away. The Bahamian police are uncooperative to say the least so Rhymes flies to the Bahamas only to find the crime scene devoid of any evidence....in fact, the room has been thoroughly cleaned and is now being painted. As if uncooperative police weren’t roadblocks enough Rhymes soon finds that he has become a target.

While Deaver has received numerous accolades and awards for his books, my favorite has to be the British Thumping Good Read Award. Well put. The Kill Room is a thumping good read - don’t miss it.

- Gail Cooke


If You Were Here: A Novel of Suspense
If You Were Here: A Novel of Suspense
par Alafair Burke
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 20,27

4.0 étoiles sur 5 SUSPENSEFUL UNTIL THE FINAL PAGE, 12 juin 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : If You Were Here: A Novel of Suspense (Relié)
Following on the heels of her impressive suspense tale, Long Gone, imaginative novelist Burke brings us yet another artfully plotted, unputdownable story, If You Were Here. So aptly titled because intrepid, impulsive New York City journalist McKenna Jordan believes she has sighted a friend who disappeared a decade ago, Susan Hauptmann.

The sighting took place on an indistinct video showing NYC’s latest heroine - a woman who pulled a teenage boy from subway tracks just as a train was shooting toward him. McKenna only had a fast glimpse of her face but believes it is Susan. After all, Susan had been a close friend of hers, and a friend of Patrick’s, McKenna’s husband. Susan was a West Pointer as was Patrick. Even ten years ago Susan had been a bit of an enigma - she was forced into military life by her father, a general. On campus she was without fault. Yet after hours she could easily turn into a flirtatious gal eager to hook up with fellows she met in bars.

McKenna becomes determined to prove that the woman who saved the young man and Susan are one and the same. But when she shows the image to Patrick he discourages her, saying it couldn’t be Susan and suggests McKenna is imagining things, trying too hard just as she did several years ago which caused her not only embarrassment but the loss of her job.

Ignoring Patrick McKenna begins to search on her own which later reveals manufactured emails, the reopening of a decade old Manhattan police shooting, and ultimate danger for Patrick and herself.

Burke has crafted an innovative plot that keeps readers guessing until the end.

- Gail Cooke


The Perfume Collector
The Perfume Collector
Prix : EUR 6,71

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A BEWITCHING, MYSTERIOUS TALE, 9 juin 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Perfume Collector (Format Kindle)
Looking for a summer read that has everything - mystery, romance, secrets, gorgeous settings? Here ‘tis! The Perfume Collector is the story of two vital, strong, fascinating women. Each has an opportunity to tell her tale, one of which begins in the 1920s, the other in the 1950s. We are witness to a remarkable journey through New York, London and Monte Carlo until at last their two stories converge.

Grace Munro is a former debutante from an aristocratic family. Despite that she has little interest in society, fashion or appearances. She has an intellectual bent and feels alone in the world in which she now lives with her ambitious husband, Roger. She has one dear friend, Mallory, who vainly tries to change her to fit the expected mode.

When Grace receives a letter from a Parisian barrister telling her that a women she does not know has left her a posh apartment and a bulging investment portfolio, she is positive there has been a mistake. Nonetheless, she has found some troubling information about her husband so she does a very un-Grace like thing and hops a plane to Paris to find out about this odd letter.

Then the author takes us back in time to the roaring twenties in New York City where we hear from Eva D’Orsey. Even as a teen Eva is amazing. She’s an orphan, a brilliant young girl who finds work as a housekeeper at a prestigious New York hotel. She has a gift for numbers. Eva meets two men at the hotel who will determine the course of her life. One is a gambler, an unlucky one who takes Eva to Monte Carlo to count cards for him. The other is a young man, Andre, the protégé of Madame Zed, a Russian woman who teaches him how to create perfumes. He has a gift for this and eventually opens a perfume store in Paris.

With the help of an attractive French attorney Grace has been trying to solve the mystery of Eva, the woman who has left her such a generous legacy. Precisely who was she and what is her connection to Grace? To answer this question Grace is led to Andre’s now closed perfume shop.

The Perfume Collector is a bewitching story filled with carefully kept secrets, surprises, and new opportunities. Don’t miss it!

- Gail Cooke


Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey mysteries) (English Edition)
Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey mysteries) (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 10,99

5.0 étoiles sur 5 STERLING MIX OF HISTORY AND MYSTERY, 3 juin 2013
An absolutely riveting tale of truth and fiction by a master storyteller, David Morrell. As has been said, "Page-flipping action, taut atmosphere, and multifaceted characters." That and oh so much more as Morrell takes us back to gas lit London so ably that we feel the fog and watch our step so we don't slip on the cobblestones.

The year is 1811 and a vicious series of killings terrorizes London and all of England. Some 43 years later Thomas De Quincey who wrote "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" reappears in London. In less than a week the heinous killings begin again. De Quincey knew the thoughts of a killer so well as was seen in his book. Could he be responsible for the recent deaths?

Murder As A Fine Art is a thinking man/woman's tale rich in history, action packed, stunningly written. Don't miss it!


Flora
Flora
Prix : EUR 6,66

5.0 étoiles sur 5 WONDROUS AND HEARTBREAKING, 31 mai 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Flora (Format Kindle)
Unsparing and compassionate may appear to be contradictory but not in the hands of the ever wondrous Gail Godwin. As distinguished a writer as John Irving has called Flora “a luminously written, heartbreaking book.” It is indeed. Written by the keenest of observers and filled with fully realized characters, even those that might be considered minor, Flora will take hold of your thoughts and heart.

Our narrator is a young girl, Helen Anstruther, who is “going on eleven.” It is she who will later realize the unalterable consequences of decisions once made. But for now it is the summer of 1945, a long, often lonely season in the mountains of North Carolina. It is an especially lonely and confusing time for Helen who has been without a mother for a number of years, recently lost Nonie, the grandmother she adored, and minus her father who has gone off to do “secret work” in Tennessee. The girl is left in the care of Flora, a 22-year-old relative. Helen’s best friend comes down with polio and father orders Flora and Helen to remain in the house lest they also be stricken.

The rundown house itself which was once a home for “Recoverers” (from tuberculosis or alcohol addiction) in Helen’s grandfather’s time becomes a companion/symbol for Helen. She dreams of somehow having enough money to restore it. Flora tries diligently to please Helen but the harder she tries the more she becomes an embarrassment in the girl’s eyes - Flora talks too much, she’s an ignorant country girl. Helen is snobbish, rude to Flora and a thoroughly unlikable child until the reader learns more about her.

Much of this we discover through words of the adult Helen who has become a writer. That now long ago summer is one that transformed her, one she will never forget and neither will we as Godwin thoughtfully carries us to an unexpected denouement.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke


The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder
The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder
par Andrew, Dr Rose
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 21,63

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A LONG HIDDEN SCANDAL NOW REVEALED, 24 mai 2013
Most of us are very familiar with the story of Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson - his abdication because as he put it he was not able to carry on without the woman he loved by his side. Actually, we are just now learning what has been hidden from the public for decades - Edward had loved several women but none as audacious, clever or glamorous as Marguerite Alibert, often dubbed the highest ranking courtesan in Paris.

As a young man Edward is described as “physically and emotionally a late developer” with “comparatively weak social skills.” He was small in stature; today he might be described as a nerd. Evidently, for a few years Edward “remained a he-virgin with no obvious interest in female company.” That is until he met Marguerite. Edward was totally smitten and no match for the conniving Marguerite who was more accustomed to accommodating royalty and pashas than an awkward young man. Abandoned by her parents Marguerite’s early childhood was spent in state institutions. Next she was placed in the home of a wealthy Parisian lawyer where she was quick to learn the mode and manners of the well-to-do. She became pregnant at the age of 16. It wasn’t long after that she became a prostitute in a fashionable Paris district where she learned much - she polished her manners, her elocution, her dress. She became the kept mistress for several wealthy benefactors including the Duke of Westminister who introduced her to Edward in 1917.

It was wartime and while Edward spent much of his time behind the lines in comfortable chateaus, he was now eager to have a French mistress. Marguerite was a dominatrix, which much suited Edward’s temperament and he wrote her long letters, which in addition to swearing his devotion to her included details about the conduct of the war. The letters would later haunt him as Marguerite had blackmail in mind but was willing to wait. When their affair ended Edward thought he would not hear from or about Marguerite again - how wrong he was.

When staying at London’s Savoy Hotel with her Egyptian husband she shot him in the back of the head and claimed self-defense. She said he attacked her - how one manages to shoot an assailant in the back of the head would be quite a trick, wouldn’t it?

Nonetheless, the royal family worried that should she go to trial Edward risked having their affair and his actions during the war revealed - a disaster! Marguerite had the damning letters. To what lengths would the Royal Household go to safekeep the reputation of the Prince of Wales?

Andrew Rose, a historian and barrister in London for twenty years, has done a yeoman’s task in bringing the true story of this royal affair to light. After so many years The Woman Before Wallis outdoes contemporary scandals. Needless to say it’s also can’t-put-down reading.

- Gail Cooke


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