The 19th Christmas by James Patterson

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

In the 19th book of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series, Lindsay Boxer and her friends are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. But when a criminal known as “Loman” starts planting false clues and using multiple criminals to mask his true intentions, Lindsay and her colleagues must use all their knowledge and expertise to try and figure out the true plans before Christmas.

I have now read all the books in the Women’s Murder Club series, and while they are all enjoyable, quick reads, I feel like the beginning books were much stronger than the last few. But I will still keep reading the series, because I love the four women characters and how they all come together to solve crimes.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC PATTERSON)

Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Dixie Wheeler is a woman whose aura is permanently bruised by the fact that her father murdered her three brothers and mother, leaving her the lone survivor among a breakfast table of corpses. Wheeler, known as Baby Blue for the song playing on a continuous, ear-piercing loop when found by police, has since grown up but can’t scratch the itch that there’s more to her family’s morbid history than meets the eye. When her childhood home is on the market, she moves in and tries to recreate the past as best she can to aid her memory. When Wheeler begins hearing irregular sounds upstairs, sees objects in places she didn’t leave them and a particular pillow that ends up here, there, and then in the oven, she begins to think she’s losing her mind. I was exasperated for her, and wondered did she do it? Why doesn’t she remember? What’s up with these blackouts? I had serious doubts about the innocence of one of the main characters but the ending was more complex and satisfying than I could have imagined. This is T. Marie Vandelly’s first novel and I hope she plans to keep writing!

Available through Bridges Library System


One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

Five teens with seemingly little to no connection to each other serve detention together one day, but before their time is up, one of them is dead. The question that plagues the characters, as well as the reader as the point of view switches from witnesses Bronwyn to Cooper to Nate to Addy, is: Who is responsible for Simon’s death? The only other person in the room was their teacher; he had left to check on a car crash that happened right outside the classroom window just as Simon drank from a cup laced with peanut oil, to which he was fatally allergic. Secrets from each character’s life – Cooper, the jock; Addy, the princess; Bronwyn, the brain; and Nate, the criminal – are revealed as the story progresses, several of which come to light through Simon’s gossip blog. But how can these secrets be published when Simon, the only person with administrative access to the blog, is six feet under? In their attempt to find out the truth, the four survivors of that fateful detention become unlikely friends and allies as one of them gets arrested for Simon’s murder. This novel will speak volumes to teen readers about the implication of spreading truth and lies, and how to avoid the pitfalls of stereotypes.
Karen McManus drew upon her love of the film “The Breakfast Club” to create a modern-day reincarnation whose thrilling pace and intriguing character development will be sure to linger long after the reader finds out the truth – about everything.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MCMANUS)

Leverage Season 1 (2008)

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

The first of a five season run, “Leverage” is a crime show like you have never seen before, but will want to binge start to finish. Former insurance investigator Nate Ford knows all the cons in the book, both from his job and from growing up with a con artist for a father. When his son dies due to Big Business not being willing to pay for his treatment, Nate quits his job and forms a team of the best crooks he knows; a grifter, a hacker, a thief, and a retrieval specialist. Together they act as modern-day Robin Hoods, pulling elaborate cons against Big Business and governments to help the little guy.

The cast has great chemistry from the start, each with their own individual backstory and personality that turns what could have been a depressing premise into a show that not only holds your interest with intricate plots, but that will make you laugh during every episode. With its unique twist to the Robin Hood theme, “Leverage” is a show that everyone should try!

Available through the Bridges Library System

Cold Pursuit (2019)

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Quick Review: When will people learn to stop messing with Liam Neeson’s family!

Longer Review:
Meet Mel Coxman (Liam Neeson), town-proclaimed “Citizen of the Year.” Coxman is an ordinary man, grieving the untimely loss of his son whose death was cast off by the medical examiner and authorities. Deemed an overdose and told he never really knew his son, Coxman’s sole objectives become truth and justice. He is a formidable man, far more sinister than characters Neeson has played in other films precisely because he lacks “a very particular set of skills.” He is like you or me but fueled by unimaginable pain and rage which settles him on a level the viewer can identify with. It is human nature to protect and defend your loved ones, how far would you go for yours?

Available through the Bridges Library System

The A List by J.A. Jance

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

This is the latest book in the Ali Reynolds mystery series.

This book flashes back to 2012, when Ali was a Los Angeles TV newscaster and interviewed a desperate mother trying to find a kidney for her dying son, Evan. Since the mom used artificial insemination from a fertility clinic, the odds of finding a match were low. To their surprise a viewer saw the broadcast and had a son that looked exactly like Evan. Then more and more half siblings were discovered and a medical nightmare emerged, revealing that the fertility doctor used his own sperm, instead of anonymous donors.

Years pass and the doctor ends up in prison. He wants revenge for the people he feels were responsible for his conviction. His prison connections and his mother’s money enable him to put out hits; and now Ali is the last person alive on his arm-tattooed Annihilation List.

J.A. Jance is one of my favorite authors. This book includes tidbits from the previous story lines, so it can be read as a stand-alone. I highly recommend reading this fast-paced, page turning series.

Located in Fiction (FIC JANCE)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

I normally don’t write reviews on adult fiction books but this novel by Alex Michaelides is so compelling that I wanted to share.

Alicia’s life seems idyllic. She is an accomplished artist and happily married to her husband. One evening her husband comes home and she shoots him in the face five times. She refuses to speak in her defense or ever again. She is sentenced to a mental institution.

Theo Faber narrates the story. He is a psychotherapist and engineers his way into becoming Alicia’s therapist. He is desperate to try and “help” Alicia. Why won’t she talk? And why does Theo feel so connected to her?

This is a gripping tale about mental illness and marriage. Do we really know anyone? This novel is so full of twist and turns that it will keep you guessing. This book is perfect for really anyone, but certainly those who love suspense and mystery.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC MICHAELIDES)

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

I found Shari Lapena’s most recent novel An Unwanted Guest similar to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which encouraged me to try another of her novels, A Stranger in the House. It is similarly structured with short chapters and numerous characters that have plenty of motives. Reeling from injuries and amnesia caused by a serious car accident she can’t remember, Karen is in constant fear of…something. Even in her own home, the hairs on her neck stand up as she notices objects shifting positions by a hair’s breadth with no explanation. Police begin doggedly visiting her, alleging her involvement in a crime she also fails to remember. Karen battles her sanity, memory, and conscience which gradually become the only things that will ensure her freedom. This is excellently written and could bear a sequel if Lapena ever felt like continuing with these characters. I would be interested in Tom and Karen’s relationship, if they could make it to the other side still just as much in love with one another or if after everything they’d part ways.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC LAPENA)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

The sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible series follows Ethan Hunt and his team as they try to track down missing plutonium in order to stop a rogue faction from setting off dirty bombs. Along the way they are teamed up with a CIA agent (Henry Cavill) who monitors the team, since the team lost the plutonium in the first place. The entire team travels the world to stop the bombers and save the world. Surprising characters pop up in unexpected places which puts more pressure on Ethan and the IMF team to stop the danger. With each car chase and fight the team gets closer to their goal, but also starts to discover that they might have a traitor in their midst.

This was the perfect action movie to watch on a cold winter night. I enjoyed the plot and all the action, but it might have been slightly too long. At over 2.5 hours, I felt they could have cut some of the fight scenes slightly shorter. But I enjoyed the movie and it kept me mostly entertained. While Tom Cruise is the star of the show, I found myself rooting for the supporting characters Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and these characters did not disappoint.

Located in DVDs (DVD MISSION)

Mile 22 (2018)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

An action-packed movie from start to finish, Mile 22 follows a CIA task force that has to travel 22 miles to get an asset to safety. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg as the leader of the CIA task force, and supporting characters are played by John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, and Ronda Rousey. While they attempt to travel the 22 miles, there are many fights and roadblocks, and there is a twist at the end that possibly sets the movie up for a sequel. You will probably like this movie if you like a lot of action, and not much plot. But it was entertaining and kept me interested for an hour and a half. One note, I had to turn the subtitles on because I had a hard time understanding the limited dialogue.

Available through the Bridges Library System