Monday, July 25, 2011

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly is the debut novel of the police detective character Harry Bosch who we have all grown to love.
The Black Echo
Harry Bosch at this point has been demoted from the L.A Homicide squad to the lesser Beverly Hills squad.

On attending a suspicious death, he recognises the body of a fellow 'tunnel rat', on of the elite squad of soldiers whose task it was to search for Viet Cong soldiers in the burrows beneath many Vietnamese towns and cities during the Vietnam War.

 He always keeps keeps meticulous 'Murder Books' - the names for the police records of the circumstances surrounding a murder - and through his own records he is able to link this death to an unsolved bank job involving breaking into the vault via tunnels.

The FBI become involved and Harry Bosch with his brilliant detective skills builds up a case and his suspicions.

This is a superb books, well-written, action packed and fast-paced, and if you have never read Michael Connelly before, this is as great an intro as any.

I am Nujood, Age 10, and Divorced by Nujood Ali

Nujood Age 10 Divorced
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is the true story, told in the first person narrative, of a young girl growing up in Yemen, who was forced into child marriage by her impoverished parents.

Repeatedly raped before she had even reached puberty, this young girl showed remarkable strength in not only breaking away from her husband, but then persuading the courts with the help of an activist lawyer to grant her a divorce.

Woman of the Year in Glamour Magazine in 2008, and referenced in National Geographic in July 2011, Nujood Ali is at last free to pursue the remains of her childhood and gain an education, while graphically informing the world just what is going on in some countries of the world today.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is a short book but you will want to read it in one sitting. Apart from shocking you, it makes for compulsive reading.

Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman

Innocent Monster
Innocent Monster
A mystery/thriller, Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman is another case for retired Brooklyn private investigator Moe Prager.

A page turner, the story flows smoothly with an exquisite ending. The story is about an 11 year old child prodigy artist who has disappeared, and Moe, now a successful wine dealer, only agrees to help because his estranged daughter, Sarah, asked him to.

The little girl has been missing for three weeks and Moe fears the worst. Hi investigations bring him into contact with some shady dealers from the world of art, where a dead painter's work takes on a leap in value. Her own parents are shady too, and seem to be holding back information from Moe.

Innocent Monster is a page turner you will not want to put down. Cleverly-written, it will hook you in and keep your there until the story reaches its final conclusion.

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life
  Click on the photo above to read more

Unmissable, A Stolen Life details the confusion felt by the author, Jaycee Dugard, during her 18 years in captivity by monster Phillip Garrido.

While it is very difficult for us to understand what it cold be like to be stolen from your family at the tender age of 11, and held in captivity for an incredible 18 years, this really happened to Jaycee and this book is her way of trying to exorcise the demons in her head, while laying bare those emotions and happenings to try and help us understand what it was like.

Just as importantly, parts of the proceeds of this book is going towards a charity Jaycee has set up, called The J A Y C Foundation, to help other captivees. Believe it or not, it happens more often than we know, and no-one can offer help and advice to someone who has suffered such a fate better than those who have experienced it.

A Stolen Life pulls no punches. Beautifully written it will help you understand what it feels like to spent your young life with no human contact, except for occasionally seeing the one man, and to be left for hours and hours in dark dusty places with nothing more than the insects for company.

A Stolen Life is exactly what it was. Can you imagine being shut away at the age of 11, not to be freed until you are 29?

Buy this book now.

Here is the index of the table of contents to give you an idea of what to expect.

Author's Note 
The Taking
The Secret Backyard
Alone in a Strange Place
The First Time
First Kitty
The First "Run"
Easter: Phillip on an Island
Learning I Was Pregnant
Driving to a Trailer
Waiting for Baby
Taking Care of a Baby
Second Baby
The Starting of Printing for Less
Birth of Second Baby
Raising the Girls in the Backyard
Nancy Becomes "Mom"
Pretending to Be a Family
Discovery and Reunion
Firsts for Me
The Difficult Parts of Life
Finding Old Friends
Therapeutic healing
Meeting with Nancy
Therapeutic Healing with a Twist