The Relaxation Station
The Easy Radio Book Club

Here's what we're reading now. Recommendations include:

   Die Again by Tess Gerritsen. Get ready. It's never pretty when Rizzoli and Isles are on the page. Gerritsen does not shy away from the realism of a crime scene or an autopsy. At times gruesome, Gerritsen says the only way to understand how it feels to be a detective or medical examiner is to write honestly. A retired physician, Gerritsen knows of the human body and the awful things people can do to it. Set alternately in Boston and six years ago in Africa, there are multiple murders. The first victim hung from his feet and cut open like an animal brought down on the hunt. Page turner? Non stop. (sr 1/15)
   No Fortunate Son by Brad Taylor. Charleston's own Brad Taylor continues his Pike Logan series. Pike works for a semi official US Government agency preventing terrorist attacks, but this time his job is to rescue one unimportant hostage close to him and his boss. There are other VIP hostages, but Pike Logan cares about just one. Saving the others will be possible, but not his objective. Guns, gadgets, and political maneuvering keep the pages moving rapidly. Full of energy and action, Taylor never fails to satisfy. (sr 1/15)
   A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd. Set in the days leading up to World War One, this Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery depicts The British people unprepared and unwilling to consider the prospect of war. On a fine summer day, Ian Rutledge proposes to Jean Gordon. The same day the Arch Duke of Austria and his wife are murdered. And then there are multiple murders to be sorted out, all connected somewhat obviously,  but it's the how that frustrates Inspector Rutledge.
This is the latest in a wonderful old England murder mystery series.  Previous books have been set in post war England. This is the first showing the character development of Inspector Rutledge prior to his horrific war experience. (sr 1/15)
  "The Girls of Atomic City" by Denise Kiernan. I picked this one up at one of my favorite bookstores, Malaprops of Downtown Asheville. A fascinating account of the women working through WWII at Oak Ridge, TN on the Manhattan Project. It's a slice of life on the home front not often covered, but so critical to the war effort. From rationing to discrimination and segregation, long work hours to recreation, this story is of a time and place too often overlooked.
 (sr 12/14)
"Things Half in Shadow" by Alan Finn is a mystery of Spiritualists and Mediums in the city of Philadelphia near the turn of the century. A newspaper reporter is assigned the task of debunking them, but all is not as it may seem.  A murder, a hidden past or two, a ghost? An exceptionally entertaining book. (sr 12/14)
"When Books Went to War" by Molly Guptill Manning is a surprisingly tender and emotional book about books. A little known history of the critical role books played during World War Two, and the relief and comfort they brought to soldiers all over the world. (sr 12/14)

A Few Favorites from 2014...

"Full Force and Effect" by Mark Greaney continues the Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan series. Big, thick, complicated, intense, and addicting! A strong entry in the series and we look forward to the continuing adventures of President Jack Ryan, and his son Jack Jr.
"The Long Way Home" by Louise Penny is wonderful. Period. For those of us who hadn't enjoyed previous Penny books, this is a great introduction and made me an instant fan. Lyrically written, beautifully composed, lusciously rendered, this is a work of art in mystery. (sr)
David Liss has written numerous historical fiction novels, and they are all wonderful experiences, mostly set in the 17th Century. "The Day of Atonement" is the story of a young boy driven from Lisbon, one day to return seeking vengeance on the Priest responsible for the death of his parents during the Inquisition. His agenda changes, often due to his terrible judge of character, other times due to changing perspective. There are vivid fights, descriptive atmospheres, and at times ugly, but truthful historical narratives. Simply fascinating and captivating. (SR - 11/14)

This is the 19th Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. And it's the same as the others. Meaning it's a great story with a character we know well, roaming around the country, finding and solving problems. Jack Reacher is consistent, and there are no ridiculous changes in personality or life experiences. He is what we expect, and that makes the series completely, totally engaging. (SR - 10/14)
"Blue Labyrinth" was my introduction to Special Agent Pendergast, although this is #14 in the series. So I'm wondering what took me so long? This is a terrific mystery thriller drenched in historical, scientific, and procedural detail. Agent Pendergast finds his estranged son dead on his doorstep. From New York City, to the desert of Nevada to Switzerland and South America, this mesmerizing novel is well written, well paced, and will certainly begin my adventure through the previous 13. (SR - 10/14)

Jojo Moyes new novel, One Plus One is the story of an odd, troubled little family and a rich, troubled man who end up on the road together heading toward a math competition. Sounds a little odd itself, but believe me, the journey of the novel and the journey of reading this book is enormously engaging and worthwhile. Set in England, the characters are full of depth, emotion, and complexity, and the story rings clear and true without a false step through the book. This is a thoroughly complete novel. It is funny, emotional, troubling, and ultimately satisfying. Interview with Jojo Moyes on July 7th. (sr 7/14)
"Natchez Burning" by Greg Iles. Wow. Big, thick, complicated, and full of passion. From the early 1960's through post Katrina in Natchez, Mississippi this is the story of secrets, racism, family, murder, and determined investigation. A truly outstanding book.

"Glorious" by Jeff Guinn, is the name of a silver mining town in Arizona. This isn't a cowboy western with a gunfight at sundown on main street. Cash McLendon is on the run from some trouble in St. Louis, has never ridden a horse, has never fired a gun, and doesn't know a thing about the west. However there a bad guys (without the black hats) and red eye whiskey, beans, and dusty street. The folks of Glorious are hanging on to their tough lives by a thread, but are determined to hang on despite the intentions of a ranch owner planning on taking over every bit of the town. The first of three in a series, this is a fantastic western for those of us who aren't particularly fond of westerns! (sr - May 2014)