My list of 2020 books is here
2021 Book #1 - Hi Five by Joe Ide, this is the fourth book in Ide's
series about a fascinating character named IQ, a private investigator
who solves crimes and other problems. One of the plugs on the book cover
flap, by Wilder Davies of Time magazine, accurately sums up the books
this way: "Joe Ide's IQ novel are an electrifying combination of
Holmesian mystery and SoCal grit."
In this book IQ is being blackmailed into helping a man he despises: Angus Byrne, the biggest arms dealer on the West Coast. If IQ does not help Angus' daughter, Christina - the number one suspect in the murder of her boyfriend, of which she is the sole witness and it doesn't help that she has multiple personalities, none of whom saw the whole thing - than Angus will injure IQ's girlfriend so she will never play her violin again, ruining her career. IQ rises to the challenge but it's not easy interviewing each personality and trying to piece together what exactly happened.
The book has lots of good twists and turns and intriguing characters but, overall, I was underwhelmed. I was a big champion of the early books in the IQ series but this one was missing something and I can't quite identify what is is. It's still a good book - I give it an 8 - but I gave past books in the series 9's.
Book #2 - Bombshell by Stuart Woods. I have a theory, which seems to generally be true based on past readings, and that is that when best-selling authors start taking
on co-writers, the quality of the books go down. This book is a good example of that. This book is the fourth book in his Teddy Fay novels with Parnell Hall as the co-writer.
I predicted most of the plot twists before they happened and some of the story was just too implausible to accept
I interviewed Stuart back in 2010 - https://blogcritics.org/an-interview-with-stuart-woods-author/ and enjoyed the interview and the book the interview was promoting,
Santa Fe Edge. That said I give Bombshell a 6 - i found it more of a bomb than a bombshell.
Book #3 - Black Ice by Andrew Lane. This is the third book in the Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins series, an excellent Young Adult series written in conjunction with the estate of
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I find this a fun series, seeing a young Sherlock still learning many of the skills he will become famous for having in later life, such
as being so gifted at deducing information. In this book Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother, has run into some problems, including being accused of murder. The book
has good character development and some excellent plot twists. I give the book an 8.
Book #4 - The Sentinel - This is the latest Jack Reacher thriller by Lee Child but it's cowritten by his younger brother, Andrew Child.
If memory serves Andrew is going to continue the series for a while without Lee. It will be interesting to see what, if anything changes with Andrew doing Reacher novels by
As the novel gets going Reacher sees a man about to walk into an ambush and Reacher being Reacher he just had to stop that. The man he helps, Rusty Rutherford, the town's former IT manager, claims he's innocent but seemingly everyone in town blames him after a cyberattack locked up the town's data. Rutherford wants to clear his name and in trying to help him Reacher runs into all kinds of trouble as bad guys are trying to hurt or kill them.
There's plenty of fighting, Lee Child is great at describing choices made in fights, plot twists and all kinds of other hijinks. This is far from the best Jack Reacher novel so i'm only giving it a 7
Book #5 - Invasion of Privacy by Christopher Reich- Good techno thriller about the aftermath after a FBI agent is killed and his wife suspects she's being lied to about what really happened. She's right - she is being lied to and woe to those who stand in her way. I've never heard of the author before but he definitely shows promise plus the book has plugs for the author from James Patterson and Lee Child. The book caught my attention
because it's based in Austin, TX, where I live so that meant I both felt a connection to it plus watched for any geographical errors, of which I spotted none. The book has lots of good plot twists. I give it an 8.