Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime...and the reading is easy (Part 1)

After a dry spell when I started many books and finished none, I read three fabulous books in a row. Whew...I was worried that I had fallen out of love with books.  So here they are, in no particular order.

City of Dreams by William Martin tells parallel stories. In the present, antiquarian bookseller and unlikely action hero Peter Fallon accepts a challenge to locate a cache of New Emission Money. These bonds were issued to finance the fledgling American economy in the 1780's. They may now be worth billions. In the past, a street boy and a prostitute fall in love during the American Revolution and their fates are forever tied to those same bonds. The backdrop to both stories is New York City and offers a fascinating peek at the city of the past and of the present. The mystery of the present day features amusing twists and lots of action.  But the real heart of the book is the love story of Gil and Loretta and their fabulous city of dreams.

WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer is the sequel to WWW:Wake.  In Wake, the world wide web becomes sentient.  His awakening as Webmind is the result of a new technology which allows 16 year old Caitlyn to see after being blind her entire life.  In Watch, Caitlyn begins the hard task of teaching Webmind to understand human concepts like compassion, morality,and love.  At the same time, governments around the world discover Webmind and set out to destroy him because he is a security risk and potential terrorist tool. This is a clever and thought provoking tale from the author of one of my favorite books: Flashforward. A satisfying conclusion also hints at another book to come.

Jeffrey Deaver's The Burning Wire is another mystery featuring brilliant investigator Lincoln Rhyme. Rhyme is confined to a wheelchair but with the help of his brilliant partner Amelia Sachs he is able to track down murderers using forensics and logic.  Electricity looms large in this installment: a murderer is using the power of the grid to kill innocent people all over Manhattan.  Ironically, the instrument of death is also part of what keeps Rhyme alive.  As Rhyme and Sachs struggle to track down the killer, Rhyme's own health is in jeopardy and the killer keeps one step ahead of them.  A pretty satisfying mystery which will give you pause every time you plug in your toaster!

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