Nebraska and New York


Welcome to Cooper by Tariq Ashkanani

From GoodReads: In this explosive thriller of bad choices and dark crimes, Detective Thomas Levine knew his transfer was a punishment—but he had no idea just how bad it would get. Cooper, Nebraska, is forgettable and Det. Levine’s career has. But when a young woman is found lying dead in the snow, choked to death, her eyes gouged out, the disgraced detective is Cooper’s only hope for restoring peace and justice.
ME: Wouldn't call this an explosive thriller, but it's a good read and listen.

Book Beginnings: They ask me to tell them a story. Friendly words, spoken by tired men wearing crushed suits, over lukewarm coffee in a paper cup and a bagel that was cold long before it ever reached me. Tell us a story. A red-hooded girl visits her grandmother. I think they’ve heard that one before. The problem is, I was never any good at telling stories.

Friday 56: Anyway, we all know where this is going. Mom got raped, Mom got pregnant, Mom went out and bought herself a handgun and blew Robert’s brains so far up the wall of his apartment building the cleaners would need a crane to get it all off. 

Cleopatra's Dagger

From Amazon: New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park—the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.
ME: Picked this up without paying close enough attention that it wasn't an Ian Hamilton mystery. Lawrence's dialog in this book seems still and unnecessarily formal. And the story is OK, at best. This book is certainly not as good as the Edinburgh stories - Twilight, Dusk, and Midnight. And the reader is not nearly as good, either.
Book Beginnings: Oh, they were soft, so soft . . . and so beautiful— pliable as raindrops, their limbs round and white as bone china. But he knew they were evil— Jezebels, Salomes, Delilahs, all of them. They lured men with sweet siren songs, entrapping them with their wicked ways— either by withholding their favors or by letting them taste the splendors of heaven, lulling their victims into a senseless stupor until it was too late. They were spiders, and men were but hapless insects struggling vainly to escape their sweet, sticky webs.

Friday 56: 
Panicked, she dashed to the other side of the dirt pile, and saw Carlotta on the ground in what appeared to be a dead faint. Toby stood over her, licking her face frantically. As Elizabeth knelt beside her, something at the bottom of the hole caught her eye. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she peered down at the object, now visible from this angle. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw what it was.

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