Sandra Brown’s Lethal

Lethal by Sandra Brown | LibraryThing

Brown, S., Slezak, V., & Hachette Audio (Firm). (2011). Lethal. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781609419172

Reasons for Reading : Since I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading Sandra Brown books, I requested her latest through HCPL. I read both the hardcover and audiobook version of Lethal.

Summary : Widow Honor Gillette lives with her four year old daughter, Emily, on a remote property outside a small Louisiana town. When Emily tells Honor there’s a sick man in their yard, Honor goes out to offer aid to the ill man, she discovers Lee Coburn. Coburn is on the run under the suspicion of killing seven people the previous night. He swears to Honor that she and Emily will not be hurt provided that Honor does as Coburn tells her. Beyond this point, Honor questions the trustworthiness of all in her life.

Review : Before I delve into the negatives, let me mention a few things I truly appreciated in this book. 1) Brown notes at the end of the novel that much of the action involved cell phones. I enjoyed what she expressed about this and since it’s post-novel, I’m not saying anymore. 2) Not always, but often, Brown spoke of her characters “cursing profusely” (Brown, 2011) rather than reveal what choice words characters employed. 3) Brown shines when it comes to dialogue. I believe she has an ear for it.

However, this wasn’t my favorite Sandra Brown book. She had some really nasty characters in Lethal. Also, I found some of the answers to the mysteries with rather unlikely. Lastly, the following comment isn’t about Brown but rather about the narrator. This guy didn’t read the female dialogue in falsetto but I dreaded each time little Emily spoke. He shouldn’t ever do child voices.  

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song : Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou – YouTube

Setting  : Louisiana

You might also like:

  • Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown
  • Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts
  • Open Season by Linda Howard
  • Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
  • Still Waters by Tami Hoag
For more on Sandra Brown’s Lethal, please click on the following links

Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman | LibraryThing

Hoffman, A. (1995). Practical magic. New York: Putnam. 9780399140556

I admit – I approach Alice Hoffman with trepidation. My freshman English teacher assigned us the task of reading At Risk, a story of a young gymnast who contracts AIDS from a blood transfusion. After finishing, I cried and cried. Twelve years later, I read Blue Diary as one of her characters bore the name Jorie (like me). Okay, so she doesn’t write the happiest literature. Yet, numerous colleagues and friends encouraged me to read Practical Magic. It pleases me that I managed to read this book without copious tear shed.

When their parents die in a fire, sisters Sally and Gillian Owens come to live with their eccentric aunts in a 200-year old house built by their ancestress, Maria Owens. Their aunts are witches and help many “upstanding women” by casting spells on the sly.

Sally and Gillian grow up without rules but virtual outcasts. Gillian elopes, heading west of the Mississippi while Sally falls in love with a local guy, Michael, marries, and has two daughters – Antonia and Kylie. Michael dies and Sally blames the family heritage – witchcraft. Sally and her young girls move to New York. Ultimately, Gillian nor Sally can outrun their roots and must admit who they are and what they can do.

While bittersweet at times, Practical Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman work. Hoffman created clear, likable, and relatable characters in Sally and Gillian. Her vivid settings acted as characters as well.  My favorite part came towards the end and involves Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet and the girl next door.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Places : Massachusetts, New York, Arizona

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For more on Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, check out the following sites:

J.D. Robb’s In Death Series

Ericksen, S., & Robb, J. D. (2004). In Naked in death. Brilliance Audio on compact disc. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio. 9781593558284

Ericksen, S., & Robb, J. D. (2004). In Glory in death. In Death, #2. Grand Haven, Mich: Brilliance Audio. 9781593558314

McMurdo-Wallis, C., & Robb, J. D. (2001). In Immortal in death. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books. 9781402515385

Robb, J. D., & Ericksen, S. (2006). Rapture in death. Brilliance Audio on compact disc. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio. 9781423313533

Robb, J. D., & Ericksen, S. (2001). Ceremony in death. Grand Haven, Mich: Brilliance Audio. 9781423313717

With a new car and a new CD player, I once again became  an “audiobook reader.” So, I chose to give Nora Roberts’ turn as J.D. Robb a shot.

The “In Death” series offers a bleak look at the future. The main character is Eve Dallas, a thirty-year old NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) lieutenant in the year 2058. Before we become depressed though, I’d like to say Dallas’ world is a phoenix rising from the ashes of the Urban Wars a few decades before Naked in Death. Technology is grand and inspiring and people regularly do business “off planet.”

Lt. Eve Dallas investigates homicide on (and off) the mean streets of New York City. She’s a phoenix herself; having been found as an eight year old girl on a Dallas, Texas street with a broken arm and covered in blood.  A social worker names her “Eve Dallas.” Before this, she lived with her abusive father that she only recalls in the aforementioned nightmares.

Eve grows up in the foster care system. As an adult, Eve joins the police force in 2051. While working on a homicide case involving murdered licensed companions (legal prostitutes), Eve meets Roark, an Irish multi-millionaire, who romances her.

As anyone can see, I’ve continued with the series and I’m working on the fourth book, Rapture in Death. Having read Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb would be my preference. There’s continuity, the futuristic aspects, and a bit of grit. While I hope there are no events such as the Urban Wars, I look forward to traveling to Mars and parents receiving government paychecks for being parents.

I strongly recommend reading these in order.

Three out of Five Pearls

Word Bank: Check out the Glossary on J.D. Robb’s site.

Places: New York City, Dallas, Texas, East Washington, New Los Angeles, Ireland, Mexico, Mars, “Off planet”

For more on J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series, please check out the following sites:

Twentieth Century Ms. Robin Hood with a Vendetta – Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts

Goodreads | Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts

Roberts, N. (1989). Sweet revenge. Thorndike, Me: Thorndike Press. 0-89621-931-5

Princess Adrianne of Jaquir is as multifaceted as the jewels she has been stealing for a decade. The daughter of a fallen Hollywood star and a Middle Eastern king, the notorious thief “The Shadow”/ Adrianne plans to avenge the atrocities done her mother, Phoebe Spring, by Adrianne’s father, King Abdu of Jaquir. Playing the part of the very public celebrity philanthropist, Adrianne essentially steals baubles and beads from the fabulously wealthy to give to the poor (charities for abused women, orphans, the destitute, etc). Adrianne aims to pull of The Shadow’s biggest feat, taking The Sun and the Moon, Abdu’s wedding gift to Phoebe. The Sun and the Moon is a phenomenally costly necklace bearing a large diamond (The Sun) and a large pearl (The Moon). Yet, will Adrianne be able to make the biggest heist of the Twentieth Century? Will she be intercepted by Interpol’s reformed thief of legend, Philip Chamberlain?

Like a Western hero/heroine, the thriller’s hero is a loner. Since Adrianne is a cat burglar wanting to make her father pay, she works alone. Adrianne does tell her Godmother, Celeste Michaels, some of what she is doing. However, Adrianne’s alter ego – The Shadow, is kept hidden from all others. When Philip Chamberlain comes into Adrianne’s life, Adrianne does not trust Philip. Sweet revenge definitely falls into the crime/ caper sub genre. The reader is given great detail of how Adrianne goes about relieving people of their jewelry. Due to the fact that Adrianne’s mother, Phoebe, was abused and her wedding gift was kept from her, Adrianne is a sympathetic character. Her efforts to regain what belongs to her mother seems justified. Additionally, Adrianne’s “victims” seem to deserve to have their gems taken.

I decided to read Sweet revenge for two reasons: it was recommended by Saricks and it was written by Nora Roberts. Saricks recognizes the book as a crime/caper thriller. Also, the prolific Nora Roberts knows how to tell a story. Nevertheless, I did not enjoy this book much. In the beginning of the book, Roberts employs sins such as rape and violence to evoke sympathy from readers. Yes, these actions do make Abdu quite despicable and Adrianne appears right in her actions. Such things as rape and violence make my stomach turn. However, I found it sad that Adrianne was so fixated on hurting her father. Also, I did not care for ugly light in which Islam was presented in this book. While Roberts does bring in non-Islamic characters behaving abominably, I found Roberts’ treatment harsh and cruel. I did appreciate that Roberts provided years throughout the book. As in Sue Grafton’s series, the current action takes place in the late 1980s. This book was written in the 1980s and was not hampered by technology. Thus, Adrianne and others had a lot of leeway within the book.

I might recommend this book to people who enjoy Nora Roberts and romantic suspense. While I would prefer to read other books, even some other books by Roberts, I can see that female fans who enjoy page turners would like Sweet revenge.

Two and a Half Out of Five Pearls