Book Club--February Reads

Currently reading:    The burning edge by Rick Mofina (2012).  From the book cover:  A single mother becomes an eyewitness to murder.  Pressured to land an exclusive, journalist Jack  From theGannon chases the elusive thread of an anonymous tipster.  With every instinct telling Jack the story is within his grasp, he risks everything to reveal the chilling truth…before the cold-blooded killers can take the next step in their vengeful mission.  I am on page 104 of 378 and the basics are:  the mom stops at a gas station on her way home from selling the family cabin at a lake and while she is inside 4 guys on motorcycles rob the armored car service that is there to service the ATMs.  They kill the 3 guards and also the FBI agent that is next to the mom.  They get away with $6M.  Jack Gannon is the lead reporter for what is the equivalent of the AP.

 Have read:    In Desperation by Rick Mofina (2011):   From the book cover:  Eleven year Tilly Martin is dragged from her suburban bedroom.  Her monther, Cora, pleads for mercy but the kidnappers are clear:  if they don’t get their $5M back in 5 days, Tilly dies.  If anyone contacts police, Tilly dies.  Turns out Cora is the estranged sister of reporter Jack Gannon.  I thought it was interesting how it all tied together.

Mofina is OK…there is always a very sinister plot in the books though.  A prior one I read by him (I think) was about a middle east terrorist that had developed a material that blew up when a modified camera took a picture.  The goal was to get her boyfriend’s kid up next to the Pope during a visit to the US and kill the Pope.  Of course the Mom of the boy had the FBI looking for him because he was missing, turns out that Dad had returned from fighting in the middle east with a new girlfriend and had taken the boy.

I just discovered another book I have started by Rick Mofina  they disappeared or something like that where a family is vacationing from Montana to New York and the 10 year old’s backpack gets mixed up at the airport  with a “courier”.  They exchange backpacks but there is something missing from the “couriers” backpack so he is killed (the 10 year old had emptied the backpack at the hotel, that is when he discovered it wasn’t his).  Then the wife & 10 year old get kidnapped from Time Square while the dad is buying batteries for the camera…not sure yet on this one.

Thanks [redacted for privacy] for this new author to check out.  I don't think I've ever read any Mofina.  I've been re-reading one of my favorite spy/mystery writers Barry Eisler.

Thriller writer Barry Eisler, international thriller writer and creator of the John Rain Series

His main character is John Rain, a very complex, but believable character.  Rain is an assassin, but he only kills people when they deserve it!  He does it for "good" reasons.  Sometimes things get a little too graphic for me, but Rain often uses methods that leave no trace of injury.  I'm currently reading one of his new books that features a different character--Livia Lone, a Thai woman who has escaped human traffickers but has to find her sister who is still in the hands of the captors but she doesn't know where she is.  I'm really struggling because I want to read it so badly but it is also painful to read, knowing that this really happens to young girls and boys.  Of course, I have to find out how she saves her.  I don't know why I read such intense stories sometimes!  I guess I get a little too involved!

The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2 by Rick Ridgeway (1980). Considered a "mountaineering classic," about the first successful attempt on K2 by a team of American climbers in 1978, I'm really surprised that I had a hard time reading this book. I just couldn't ever get into the flow, and I didn't look forward to reading every night in the way I usually do. I still think this is one of the books you need to read if you want to learn more about the dynamics of teams, especially ones with strong, varied personalities in life-on-the-edge situations.

Trapped by Alison Aimes (2015). In this sci-fi romance, Bella West and her colleagues, both scientists and military, crash on a prison planet while trying to look for a way to save the people on a dying earth. When deserted by the surviving military members, Bella makes an agreement to exchange "anything" with one of the prisoners if he protects Bella and her two surviving scientist colleagues from the prisoners and other creatures on his planet. Kind of a rocky start to an interesting relationship. First book by the author.

Mischling by Affinity Konar (2016). Mischling is the word used to describe people of mixed Aryan and Jewish ancestry during Hitler's Third Reich. Pearl and Stasha are fictional twins used to tell the very real, very horrific story of what happened to the children forced to participate in Josef Mengele's experiments in Auschwitz. What happens when one of the twins disappears? What happens when the concentration camp is liberated by the Russians, and the remaining sister is left to travel through a war-torn world with a boy who also lost his twin? This story is one that will stay with me, particularly since writing a fictional account based on something sacred to so many people takes a strong talent.