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Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

Blood Memory, by Greg Iles

Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 9:02 AM

Normally, when I choose an audio book, I make sure it's unabridged. If you get an abridged book, you never know what gets lost from the author's original vision. In my desperation to find an author that begins with the letter "I" and avoiding the chic lit selection at the library, the abridged version of "Blood Memory" found its way into my hands.

The main character of "Blood Memory" is Catherine "Cat" Ferry, a forensic odontologist, someone who studies bite marks and the clues they provide. While working on a case to find a serial killer in New Orleans, Cat faints at the scene of the crime, an incident that is embarrassing for someone used to grizzly crime scenes. After being suspended from the FBI, Cat retreats to her childhood home. When some of her forensic chemicals are spilled in her bedroom, it raises questions about her father's supposed suicide that occurred when she was a child.

Right in the beginning of this book, I didn't like Cat Ferry. Okay, she has a cool career, but she's also having an affair with a man who is married and has children. She's pregnant with his child, and her idea to recover from her alcoholism is to take valium. The mystery is pretty darn interesting, though, so I kept listening. Iles does a great job of setting and character development, so that after a while I could almost sympathize with Cat. Of course, then she'd pop another valium, rub her tummy and say, "Just one more, baby girl," and I'd remember why I don't like her. Nevertheless, Iles does a brilliant job of weaving together a very complicated plotline and giving it a tidy, satisfactory ending--which is what you hope for from every suspense book, but all too often, doesn't happen. I give this one a B+, and may even check out another Greg Iles book sometime.

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Haven't read that one by Iles. I did read "Footprints of God" which I liked pretty well (B+). Then I read "Sleep No More". It was pretty far out there; people taking over other people's bodies, their souls making the jump between bodies during sexual activity. It was just too wierd for me so I haven't read any more of him. (A for writing skill; D for content). His books ARE original, but I like plausible novels for the most part.

I think shorter books might be good for your list so here are some suggestions.

When you reach the L's I recommend Lois Lowry's "The Giver" if you have not read it. It's a wonderful book, IMHO. The book is one of those that stays with you long after. It's a shorter book with powerful meaning encapsulated in a great story.

In the O's George Orwell's "1984" is tough to beat, as is "Animal Farm". I am getting ready to read "Animal Farm" again since it's been over 40 years and I still think about it. I read "1984" again last year after reading it many years ago. "Animal Farm" is short so that would be great for your alphabet list. (His real name being Eric Arthur Blair, he actually belongs in the B's but I think we can ignore that since he's better known under his pen name.)

In the R's you have Ayn Rand. Her "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are a major classics, and they're so relevant today, but they're too LONG for your project. She wrote a lesser known short novel "Anthem" which is far better for your project. I loved them all.

I enjoy your posts. Thank you.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 10:09 AM

OH, I thought of a couple more coming up in the alphabet.

M is for Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" was made into a movie recently. It's a great book but might give you the blues until right at the end. It's also a great story of a father's love.

P is for Gary Paulsen's "The Hatchet". Though it is frequently recommended for middle school ages, I found it to be an entertaining adventure story, as were the sequels, "The River", "Brian's Winter", "Brian's Return", and "Brian's Hunt".

Just more ideas. Thanks for your blog.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 12:05 PM

Great recommendations, Boomer62! Reading wise, I'm on "Mercy" by Toni Morrison right now, but I'm WAY behind on writing. Baseball fever is severely cutting into both my writing and sleep schedule. "The Road" was on my bookshelf but another family member snagged it before I got to read it. Gary Paulsen's books are EXCELLENT! Planning to read "Hatchet" with my boys when we finish "The Boy Who Saved Baseball," by John Ritter. Any suggestions for N? I'm stumped.

-- Posted by saveryhinze on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 2:34 PM

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