Live to Tell is haunting. Lisa Gardner combines children with severe mental health issues, a pediatric psyche unit and alternative treatment practices that involve communicating with the spirit world to create a seriously disturbing but engrossing suspense thriller. Of all the Gardner books I have read thus far, (I’m at number three), Live to Tell is the best but creepiest. The psychotic children are the most extreme and unsettling element to this story. I know I have written this before, but what in the world is going on in Gardner’s head to create such horrendous plots?
Life at the Marmont is not my typical read. The book is comprised of short snippets about various people who have worked, lived, or briefly visited the Chateau Marmont. Although slow at times, probably because some of the starlets were unknown to me, I really enjoyed this glimpse into old as well as new Hollywood. I particularly liked reading how the Sunset Strip transformed. It began as absolutely nothing, commonly referred to as “No Man’s Land.” Slowly development was sparked and posh, glitzy nightclubs like the Brown Derby and restaurants such as the Trocadero arose. In the 1960’s hippies claimed The Strip with scruffy, unpolished appearances, protests and psychedelic music, bringing an unheard of ruckus to the hotel. Maybe being an LA native and hence proud of my city or because Hollywood is my backyard I gravitated to this little gem. Life at the Marmont is a piece of history not worth missing.
The Wonder Bread Summer is a nonsensical adventure filled with bizarre, stupid, damaged characters. The premise was extraordinarily unrealistic, yet Jessica Anya Blau created a strangely entertaining read perfect for the beach or pool. Countless reviews promise that Blau would have readers laughing aloud. Unfortunately, I failed to get the humor. Even with the lack of humor this was a unique story.
Broken Harbor was such a slow read. It has taken me half of June to complete and two days to write the review. The first hundred and fifty pages take place in the murder victim’s home with the detectives slowly, tediously reviewing the scene. I began to wonder if the entire story was going to take place in the home. Sadly the story continued to disappoint. The motive for the murders seemed unlikely. The creature in the attic was the most interesting element. However, the obsession with capturing it would never have been tolerated. The perspective of Scorcher’s green partner was just ridiculous. I would have rather seen this detective succeed and be an asset to Scorcher. Finally, the case sparks tragic family memories, which impacts Scorcher and his sisters. This story line is poorly executed. I adored Tana French’s first book, Into the Woods. Unfortunately, her last two have not thrilled me.