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We had an interesting August Crime & Beyond meeting. Mainly because we met in the kiddie room. Luckily, we weren’t forced to sit on cushions on the floor (or the strange hippo shaped horse thing, although we threatened to put a few members in time out on it). It seems that the library has displaced us for a few months since the large room upstairs is being used. We will be meeting in the kiddie room on the first floor for the September, October, and November meetings. December will be at my house as usual.

TrophyHuntByCJBox

We welcomed new member Joan M. (aka Knitter #3). Joan used to be the owner of the Platt Park mystery bookstore Murder by the Book, so she knows a bit about the genre and has met and schmoozed with many of our authors. One item she shared with us is that she gave C.J. Box the idea for his book Trophy Hunt and is mentioned in the acknowledgments for it.

At the August meeting, we discussed The Guilty by David Baldacci. The Guilty is Baldacci’s 4th book in the Will Robie series, and he has written several books in the Camel Club and King and Maxwell series as well – the latter having been a TV show starring Rebecca Romijn. All in all, the author has written 32 novels for adults.

The book got mostly good reviews and the majority of votes (17 out of 21) where scores of 7 and above (one 9.5, four 9s, one 8.5, seven 8s, one 7.5, and three 7s). On the lower side we had one 6.5, two 6s and one 4.5 (this was Joan and she wanted to start out her Crime & Beyond career by letting us know she’s not afraid to go against the grain – you go girl, we like when a book gets conflicting scores, more to talk about).

On the positive side, we like Baldacci’s writing, we thought the twist was clever (that Victoria was Laura). Judy reported that there was enough killing, which we know is always an issue with Judy. Too few bodies and she gets bored and stops reading. I loved Jay’s comments: “not 100% plausible” and “great.” The fact that those two things can be from the same critique makes me smile because it shows how much we like to suspend reality (Jay, you can stay on the listserv). Raj liked that Laura had such a long plan (revenge and served cold and all) and the book kept her in suspense. We liked Reel’s character and the friendship she had with Will, even if Harry Burns wouldn’t agree that men and women can be friends.

Janine, who can soon be seen dancing the Highland Fling with swords,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZCT8H-Hpbc

RocketScientist

had no problem with the ending being too far-fetched and loved the descriptions in the book. Pat was reminded of Gone Girl because of Laura and her plot. Jose liked the storyline and the fact that the assassin couldn’t do his job because of killing the girl. Made him human. He liked the father/son part of the story between Will and his Dad. Jeff thought the book was ok but likes the Camel Club Series. I don’t know if you can ever please those Rocket Scientists who graduated from Purdue, though.

Bruce had mixed feelings because he loved the sharp shooting but didn’t like how it veered into kiddie porn. Also on the not so positive side, we had a couple of people who followed along with the first 2/3 of the book but thought it died on the vine in the last 1/3. Joan thought Baldacci was throwing stuff against the wall to see what would stick, and Lorraine commented that the book read like a Lifetime movie of the week and the dialogue was soap opera like and clichéd. Everyone seemed to be nauseous and she could have done with less of that. Denise remembers the exact location where the book lost her and became too unbelievable, it was on page 301. Dennis and Terri had a problem with the fact that no one recognized Laura even with her plastic surgery, hair color and eye color change. Janice didn’t think the book was as entertaining as, say, an Evanovich book (don’t get Joan started on Janet, though).

Many of us followed the red herring that the girlfriend had left town because she was preggers with Will’s baby. Amy felt that the book read like a Lincoln Lawyer book, but since she gave it a 7, that can’t have been all bad. I also wrote “Daisy’d” next to Amy’s comment but for the life of me I can’t remember what made her feel that way.

Joan, for an explanation of “Daisy” see the link for our Wiki site below. I highly recommend you take a look, we often refer to the phenomena and this explanation will put you on the same page with the group.

http://crimeandbeyond.wikia.com/wiki/Daisy

We passed around the sign-up sheet for leading the discussion and bringing the snacks (see below). Let me know if I have any other takers for open slots.

Date Book Lead Snack
August 22 The Promise by Robert Crais Kerry Ashley
September 26 The Crossing by Michael Connelly Dave Janine
October 24 The Travelers by Chris Pavone Kim
November 28 Redemption Road by John Hart Amy
December 15 Ink & Bone by Lisa Unger Kerry ALL
January 23 The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith Denise
Dennis
February 27 Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

Final note: I won’t be at the September meeting because of a scheduling conflict, so Dave is leading AND bringing snacks. The book is The Crossing by Michael Connelly. Thanks in advance Dave, maybe someone will save the hippo/horsey seat for you. Please take notes so I can do a follow-up report.

Thanks,

Kerry

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