Google Tracker

Friday, December 28, 2012


The Day Trader (Pub. 2002) is one of the best books I've read in the past six months--it definitely makes my top three.  This is Stephen Frey's seventh novel, and from checking out his website he's written a total of nineteen published novels to-date.  I really loved this story (my first read of this author's works)--for several reasons, and will be checking out his other books ASAP!

Day Trader is a combination finance thriller/who-done-it.  I have to admit that it's been a while since I've read a finance thriller, so I think that was part of the juice for me - it was a nice change. It appears from his other titles that this genre is Frey's specialty, and he is in the finance industry himself (or was, back in the day). Frey does a fantastic job of inserting factoids related to stock market trades in an easy-to-absorb way, weaving them in amongst the real meat of the story in a quick in/out way.  I felt like I learned quite a bit about the stock market while being greatly entertained, which is always the ultimate for me in any book I read (learning facts while being entertained).

The story moves at a perfect pace and will suck you in from page one, whether you enjoy Wall Street stuff or not.  By page 20, the MC, Augustus McKnight, has been blackmailed by his boss for using company euqipment at his low-paying job to do day trades, and threatened with divorce by his wife of eleven years.  It only gets better from there.  I read this 347-pg (paperback) book in less than eight hours.  I would have finished it sooner but I fell asleep, aarrggh.

The story is written in first-person, present tense, which often times can ruin a book for me, but the author does such a smooth job of it, I didn't even really think about how he was writing the story per se. Frey uses first-person to the best degree, deep POV, while somehow still giving us a good hard look at the other supporting characters.  The author makes Augustus McKnight come to life in a very real way, but yet subtly, nothing feels forced or fake or overwrought.  And yet, the story is so well thought-out, the details of the plot, the characterization, as well as those great factoids, are all woven together in an irresistable way.  The prose is simple, yet spot-on.  The who-done-it is not easy to figure because Frey gives us several possibilities for the culprit and on top of it, he manages to pull off a couple surprises we have no way of seeing coming toward the end of the book that really kick this story to the tenth power.

Clear you calendar when you pick this book up because you won't want to put it down!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


HOLIDAY IN DEATH (Pub. 1998) is the 7th novel of the In Death series. I have read all of the books in this series and this is one of my favorites. I had somehow missed reading this one along the way, and picked it up because it's the holidays. I'm sure glad I did - it was a great read for a lot of reasons.

The author does a fantastic job of keeping the tension and suspense up, along with a fast pace. Robb also manages to give us strong characterization while she spins a tale of mystery and death that will hold your interest throughout the story. I wasn't sure who had committed the murders until the very end of the story, when Eve Dallas learns the killer's identify. It was a surprise, but handled in a way that was believable.

What I love best about the In Death series are the characters, Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke. The author has given them such painful, troubled pasts and yet they are both living and loving to the fullest in present day. I love it that Roarke is the richest man in the universe but married to a murder cop. It's fun to peek into the high life of luxury he's given them, and to see Eve constantly bristling against it, preferring the simple things she was used to before she lucked into marrying Roarke.

The author has also managed to flesh out the supporting characters in such a well-rounded and intriguing way they are almost as fun to read about as Eve and Roarke. And on top of all the great writing, JD Robb gives us good mystery/murders, in a full-on clue-digging detective style that makes these stories read like the 'real deal', and not just some girlie-fied romantic suspense.

If you haven't dipped into this series yet, you are missing out.