2006: #99 – The English Assassin (Daniel Silva); #100 – Final Target (Iris Johansen); #101 – Vital Signs (Robin Cook); #102 – A Death in Vienna (Daniel Silva); #103 – Velocity (Dean Koontz); #104 – A Stroke of Midnight (Laurell K. Hamilton); #105 – Amber Beach (Elizabeth Lowell); #106 – A Place Called Wiregrass (Michael Morris)
The good news is, I’ve passed the 100 book mark! Bad news is, this is going to be a doozy of an entry because I’ve been slacking.
Book #99 was The English Assassin, the 2nd book in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. The back of the book reads:
Gabriel Allon had done much in his lifetime. A sometime Israeli spy by trade, an art restorer by preference, he knew more than he wanted to know about death and betrayal and secrets, but that didn’t keep him from being surprised by the scene before him now.
An assignment to clean an Old Master at the home of a millionaire banker had led him to a house in Zurich, and standing in the room now, he smelled the odor of salt and rust, felt the dampness of the carpet beneath his feet. He touched his fingers to the carpet and brought them to his face. He was standing in blood. And he knew his life would never be the same.
Before he is through, Allon will find himself swept into a spiraling chain of events involving stolen art, a decades-old suicide, and a dark and bloody trail of killings – some of them his own. The spy world he thought he had put aside will envelope him once again. And he will battle for his life against the assassin he himself helped train, and who will demonstrate to his teacher just how much he has learned.
Another good entry in this series. I wish they’d make one of these into a movie! The focus in this one moves away from the Israel/Palestine conflict and more into ramifications of the Holocaust. It’s a nice switch. My one complaint is that I didn’t really care for the female lead in this one. She was sort of on the flighty and annoying side. Not Gabriel’s type at all!
Book count: 99
Pages in book: 416
Page count: 41,720
Words in book: 88,629
Word count: 12,328,599
Book #100 was Final Target, by Iris Johansen. The back of the book reads:
No sooner does Melissa Riley arrive at her sister’s isolated Virginia country home than she finds herself drawn into a drama she never expected. Years earlier, her sister, the renowned Dr. Jessica Riley, had pulled Melissa out of the darkness of severe catatonic trauma. Now she’s attempting to do the same for the daughter of the President of the United States.
The last thing young Cassie Andreas saw was an organized team ruthlessly murder her nanny and the Secret Service agents on duty to protect her. And to free Cassie from the terrors in her own mind, Melissa and Jessica must risk their own safety and sanity and place their trust in a mysterious, charismatic man.
Michael Travis made his fortune in the international underworld. He risked everything to save Cassie during that terrible night of bloodshed. And he has entered into a secret bargain with the president to get revenge. But does he really want to help? Why? Or is his show of concern all a treacherous charade?
Melissa and Jessica have no choice but to accept Michael Travis as their ally – even when he proposes a dangerous plan that will put all their lives on the line. Because far away from the safety of Virginia, an international game of deadly intrigue is under way. It is a game of powerful and dangerous underworld figures whose specialty is getting what they want – and whose means to do it is murder. And of one killer in particular who is obsessed with the very thing at the heart of Cassie’s nightmares.
This was good, but not exactly what I was expecting. I listened to it in the car (and later discovered that I had the hardcover!), and I didn’t particularly like the female reader. I guess I just prefer male readers! Anyhoo, it was a pretty good story if you can suspend belief when it comes to the psychic stuff. I generally liked the interaction between Melissa and Michael, and a death about halfway through the book surprised me.
Book count: 100
Pages in book: 352
Page count: 42,072
Words in book: 77,170
Word count: 12,405,769
Book #101 was Vital Signs, by Robin Cook. The back of the book reads:
Here is Robin Cook’s most controversial medical thriller-the shocking story of experimental fertilization, the passion to create life, and the power to destroy it.
This was typical Robin Cook. I’m not sure I found the main character’s obsession with finding the truth to be believable. Also, it was a relief when he finally introduced a colorful, likable character about 3/4 of the way through.
Book count: 101
Pages in book: 352
Page count: 42,424
Words in book: 116,548
Word count: 12,522,317
Book #102 was A Death in Vienna, the 4th book in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. The back of the book reads:
Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to investigate a bombing and uncovers a portrait of evil stretching across sixty years and thousands of lives-and into his own personal nightmares.
Much like the two before it, this book focuses not on Israel and Palestine, but on continued ramifications of the Holocaust. Another stellar entry in the series. New love interest for Gabriel in this one, who appears to maybe be more permanent. I still want Jacqueline to come back!
Book count: 102
Pages in book: 416
Page count: 42,840
Words in book: 91,482
Word count: 12,613,799
Book #103 was Velocity, by Dean Koontz. The back of the book reads:
Bill Wile is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car. If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours.
It seems like a sick joke, and Bill’s friend on the police force, Lanny Olson, thinks so too. His advice to Bill is to go home and forget about it. Besides, what could they do even if they took the note seriously? No crime has actually been committed. But less than twenty-four hours later, a young blond schoolteacher is found murdered, and it’s Bill’s fault: he didn’t convince the police to get involved. Now he’s got another note, another deadline, another ultimatum…and two new lives hanging in the balance.
Suddenly Bill’s average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare. Because the notes are coming faster, the deadlines growing tighter, and the killer becoming bolder and crueler with every communication-until Bill is isolated with the terrifying knowledge that he alonehas the power of life and death over a psychopath’s innocent victims. Until the struggle between good and evil is intensely personal. Until the most chilling words of all are: The choice is yours.
I have a real love/hate relationship with Dean Koontz. I don’t particularly care for some of his more supernatural stuff. However, this was just a good old-fashioned thriller. The situation Billy finds himself in is rather chilling, and the revelations at the end were surprising. It was good enough to bring me back to Koontz after a long hiatus.
Book count: 103
Pages in book: 416
Page count: 43,256
Words in book: 92,804
Word count: 12,706,603
Book #104 was A Stroke of Midnight, the fourth book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series. The back of the book reads:
I am Meredith Gentry, P.I. and Princess Merry, heir to the throne of Fairie. I have departed the safe haven of Los Angeles to face the peril and deception of my first home, the Unseelie court. There, my enemies are many, and my guards may not be able to protect me from the treachery of the unseen foes that will stop at nothing to keep me from the throne.
As for my quest to produce an heir and thereby save myself and all that is faerie from utter destruction – well, I am still trying. As pregnancy becomes ever more urgent, I must leave the protected beds of the Queen’s Ravens and lay with other men, men whose designs and allegiances remain in question. And a night of delirious passion will transport me and my new lovers to another place, the mysterious dead gardens – an event that portends great unrest in the forces of magic.
In order to save myself and those I love, I must walk into the very mouth of danger, and visit the Goblins in their lair – as well as the cunning King Taranis himself, who has an astonishing proposal for me. For I alone hold the power to rescue the universe, even if it requires aligning with my greatest and most dangerous of adversaries. But I’m running out of time. . . .
My comments on the last book in this series pretty much echo my feelings on this one: “This was pretty par for the course for this series. Lots of weird sexual situations, not much plot. You really don’t notice how *little* plot there is, until you get to the end of the book and realize that it only covered a couple of days. I wasn’t real fond of the way this one ended â€” it was very abrupt. No real resolution. I have a feeling that once I read the next one, I’ll feel like the two should have been one book.” Just change that last sentence to read “once I read the next one, I’ll feel like the three should have been one book.”
Book count: 104
Pages in book: 416
Page count: 43,682
Words in book: 142,952
Word count: 12,849,555
Book #105 was Amber Beach, by Elizabeth Lowell. The back of the book reads:
Honor Donovan is a shrewd businesswoman, yet she has been shut out of Donovan International by her father and four brothers. When her favorite brother Kyle vanishes, along with a fortune in stolen amber, Honor’s questions are ignored by the Donovan males. Defying them, she heads to the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest in search of answers. Honor needs a guide because she knows nothing about running a boat — and she knows nothing about Jake Mallory until he answers her ad. One of the things she doesn’t know is that Jake is much more than a fishing guide. Until Kyle disappeared, Jake was brokering amber deals in the Baltic for Donovan International. Honor is completely unaware of the old wars, new politics, greed, and stolen amber that have lured ruthless, high-stakes players from around the globe. Jake wants no part of the intrigue, or of a Donovan woman in his life, but he suspects the Donovans have set him up to take the fall for Kyle’s treachery. The way Jake sees it, some Donovan is going to pay for his troubles, and it just may turn out to be Honor.
I thought this was just all right. I went into it expecting just a romance, so I wasn’t expecting much out of the plot. However, I was *so* glad when they finally had sex, because I was getting a little tired of the constant mention of the sexual tension. I really didn’t feel like reading about how tight his pants were every time he looked at her. What an easy guy! Really, this was very thin on plot, and the conclusion was too neat and tidy for my tastes.
Book count: 105
Pages in book: 384
Page count: 44,066
Words in book: 106,250
Word count: 12,955,805
Book #106 was A Place Called Wiregrass, by Michael Morris. The back of the book reads:
Erma Lee and her granddaughter, Cher, flee to the town of Wiregrass, Alabama, to escape the past and start over — or so Erma Lee thinks. Erma Lee forms an unlikely friendship with Miss Claudia, and elderly socialite who is hiding a few details about her own past. Life in Wiregrass is different for Erma Lee and Cher, for here they find mercy and promise — until, that is, the day Cher’s convict father arrives in town, forcing all three women to come to terms with buried secrets.
This was an excellent first novel. I found Erma Lee’s actions and thoughts very believable, considering what her life has been like. I did get a little frustrated with some of her behavior, and the book gets a little god preachy in the middle, but the rest of the book makes up for it. A sad but hopeful ending.
Book count: 106
Pages in book: 368
Page count: 44,434
Words in book: 106,362
Word count: 13,062,167
1,000,000 words surpassed â€” 2/2/06
2,000,000 words surpassed â€” 2/14/06
10,000 pages surpassed â€” 3/10/06
3,000,000 words surpassed â€” 3/16/06
4,000,000 words surpassed â€” 4/3/06
5,000,000 words surpassed â€” 5/30/06
50 books surpassed â€” 6/12/06
20,000 pages surpassed â€” 6/29/06
6,000,000 words surpassed â€” 6/29/06
7,000,000 words surpassed â€” 7/21/06
8,000,000 words surpassed â€” 8/18/06
30,000 pages surpassed â€” 9/3/06
9,000,000 words surpassed â€” 9/6/06
10,000,000 words surpassed â€” 9/27/06
11,000,000 words surpassed â€” 10/9/06
40,000 pages surpassed â€” 11/3/06
12,000,000 words surpassed â€” 11/4/06
100 books surpassed â€” 11/17/06
13,000,000 words surpassed â€” 12/5/06