Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Camel Club by Daivd Baldacci

Synopsis :

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as "Oliver Stone," they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the "truth" behind the country's actions. Their efforts bear little fruit --- until the group witnesses a shocking murder ... and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy.

Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil --- an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

After ready The Collector by David Baldacci recently, I was most excited to get hold of another title that features the same group of most interesting 'misfits'. This, in fact, is the first book of the series and it was good as it introduces and brought depth to some of the characters that wasn't really in the focus in The Collector which was book number 2.

The Camel Club is very different from The Collector. The thrill here is more espionage in nature.  There's an investigation on a murder but that was just a small part in the overall storyline.

Overall, I still like The Collector better but The Camel Club is a close favourite and I am looking into exploring other titles by David Baldacci which features these characters.  Can't wait to look for the other titles.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Synopsis :

The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. 

On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

Hello...it's been quite a while.  I also do not know what I have been doing recently as I have not been reading much and have not being doing much of anything lately.

Anyway, I just finished a couple of books with The White Tiger being one of them.  Am normally apprehensive with any books that won prizes as they tend to be heavy in many ways, and with social messages embedded in the  storyline that at times I didn't really enjoy the story as I was too concern over what the moral message would be.

In this story, I think the message is quite clear.  The author wants to challenged  his readers into being a White Tiger, a rare species, doing something different, swimming against the current i.e. an entrepreneur in his opinion.  Otherwise, you will just become a chicken in a coop, even with situation around you are strangling you, you will would conform and not escape.  Like a chicken in a coop, knowing that it would end up in the fate of the chopping board,  it makes noise but still doesn't escape.

Generally, readers would get it that he is referring primarily to the society in India but I guess it's a metaphor that be applied to almost anything in life.

The White Tiger is my 'traffic light book'...i.e. I read it in the car when caught in traffic   It's only the last quarter of the book that I read it at a go as surprising, it was pretty interesting and I wanted to see how the ending would be.  In this respect, it actually doesn't really matters.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Collectors by David Baldacci


Synopsis :

In Washington, D.C, where power is everything and too few have too much of it, four highly eccentric men with mysterious pasts call themselves the Camel Club. Their mission: find out what's really going on behind the closed doors of America's leaders.

The assassination of the U.S. Speaker of the House has shaken the nation. And the outrageous iconoclasts of the Camel Club have found a chilling connection with another death: the demise of the director of the Library of Congress's rare books room, whose body has been found in a locked vault where seemingly nothing could have harmed him.

A man who calls himself Oliver Stone is the groups unofficial leader. Staying one step ahead of his violent past and headquartered in a caretaker's cottage in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Stone, drawing on his vast experience and acute deductive powers, discovers that someone is selling America to its enemies one classified secret at a time. When Annabelle Conroy, the greatest con artist of her generation, struts onto the scene in high-heeled boots, the Camel Club gets a sexy new edge. And they'll need it, because the two murders are hurtling them into a world of high-stakes espionage that threatens to bring America to its knees.


This is currently my favourite title by David Baldacci.  I super love it so much better even than The Forgotten which I read last month and which I declared my favourite title...well that was then and this is now! 


This is so far the only title by this author that I read it cover to cover within a week as it was that exciting. The style wasn't really the style of David Baldacci which I am familiar with. This is very much a combination of espionage thriller and something Sidney Sheldon or John Grisham would write.  The character, Oliver Stone reminded me so much of Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne wheras Annabelle Conroy reminded me of Tracy Whitney, so with such strong resemblance of such strong characters, the book is pretty amazing.

I found out after I read that this is the 2nd book that features a group known as The Camel Club.  I got myself book #1 already from the library and you can be sure the review of that would be up pretty much very soon.  All in all, there currently 5 titles which David Badalcci features The Camel Club.

So back to my question,  is this title actually written by David?



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Once Upon A Blind Date by Wendy Markham

Synopsis :

Maggie is best buddies with Dominic. Charlie is best friends with Julie. Through the magic of the Internet, they set up their pals on the most romantic blind date ever. Naturally, Maggie and Charlie tag along for moral support-what are best friends for? 

Yet when the two matchmakers meet, their concerns for their charges take a backseat. As Maggie looks at Charlie, she thinks she feels the earth move. Laying his eyes on his fellow Cupid, all Charlie can think about is kissing her delectable mouth. Shes involved with someone. 

Hes Manhattans most committed bachelor. What will it take for a pair of modern matchmakers to realize this simple truth: that when it comes to finding a soul mate, true love can be found when you least expect it?

One glance at the title and cover, you would know that this is a chic lite through and through. However, for a chic lite, Once Upon a Blind Date wasn't really that cliche and perhaps due to the light and cheerful writing of the author, it wasn't boring as well.   Predictable, yes, very much so!

For those romantic at heart, you would love the theme of opposite attracts as the two of them couldn't be more different.  However, the difference was not the focus of the storyline but more their effort to matchmake someone not so interested to be matchmade.

For those relaxing brainless time that I need one and off, I recommend Once Upon A Blind Date.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Icon by Frederick Forsyth

Synopsis :

It is summer 1999 in Russia, a country on the threshold of anarchy.  An interim president sits powerless in Moscow as his nation is wracked by famine and inflation, crime and corruption, and seething hordes of the unemployed roam the streets.

For the West, Russia is a basket case.  But for Igor Komarov, one-time army sergeant who has risen to leadership of the right-wing UPF party, the chaos is made to order.  As he waits in the wings for the presidential election of January 2000, his striking voice rings out over the airwaves offering the roiling masses hope at last--not only for law, order, and prosperity, but for restoring the lost greatness of their land.

Who is this man with the golden tongue who is so quickly becoming the promise of a Russia reborn?  A document stolen from party headquarters and smuggled to Washington and London sends nightmare chills through those who remember the past, for this Black Manifesto is pure Mein Kampf in a country with frightening parallels to the Germany of the Weimar Republic.

Officially the West can do nothing, but in secret a group of elder statesmen sends the only person who can expose the truth about Komarov into the heart of the inferno.  Jason Monk, ex-CIA and "the best damn agent-runner we ever had," had sworn he would never return to Moscow, but one name changes his mind.  Colonel Anatoli Grishin, the KGB officer who tortured and murdered four of Monk's agents after they had been betrayed by Aldrich Ames, is now Komarov's head of security.

Monk has a dual mission: to stop Komarov, whatever it takes, and to prepare the way for an icon worthy of the Russian people.  But he has a personal mission as well: to settle the final score with Grishin.  To do this he must stay alive--and the forces allied against him are ruthless, the time frighteningly short....
 



Would you believe that I haven't ready any titles by Frederick Forsyth in years.  I have The Afgan in my TBR pile and other than that, It had been years since I encounter This author.

All I can say is that  Icon did not disappoint.  It's a great espionage thriller from beginning to the end.    We get the background story of Jason Monk  at the same time  current developments in the main storyline.  The story merge halfway through and from there it picks up and just gets better and better.

Being a story of the 'spy' kind it's good to note of unexpected spy in the storyline that added a hint of surprise and a trail of wonderment and generally made the story so much better.

I really enjoyed Icon.  

It should not be long before I pick up The Afgan....fingers crossed!

Friday, March 10, 2017

One For My Baby by Tony Parsons

Synopsis :

Returning to London from Hong Kong after a brief, idyllic marriage ends in tragedy, Alfie Budd finds his world collapsing. Believing his chance for love has passed, he takes comfort in fleeting affairs with his students at Churchill's Language School while watching his parents' marriage, his grandmother's health, and his career ambitions rapidly deteriorate. 

But then Alfie meets two people who help him to start healing: the old Chinese man he sees practicing Tai Chi in the park every morning and a single mother who needs Alfie's help in completing her education. 

Soon, our bereft widower is learning much more than Tai Chi and falling for one student above all others. 

But can Alfie give up meaningless sex for a meaningful relationship? And how much room in our hearts do we really have for love? 

I first read Man and Boy which served as my introduction to Tony Parsons about four years ago but for some ready and it was rather memorable because my book disappeared and I couldn't find it and I ended up reading the last chapter in the bookstore.  While I didn't update this in my blog then, I can say that I found my book after a few months and it wasn't where I left it but somewhere else so to this day it's still a mystery how it ended up in that bag.

Anyway, One For My Baby is what I called a 'dude lite', a chic lite from the male perspective.   It wasn't that bad.  Alfie was rather weak and seems to just fall apart after the death of his wife.  Tony seems to stereotyped and portrayed him as a player.

But coming from Tony Parsons, it didn't wow me but is an acceptable read.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Beach Road by James Patterson


Synopsis :

Tom Dunleavy has a one-man law firm in legendary East Hampton. But his job barely keeps him in paper clips. His principal clients make a living serving the rich. The billionaires and mega celebrities swarming the beaches already have lawyers on their payroll.

Then a friend of Tom's is arrested for a triple murder near a movie star's mansion. Tom knows in his gut that Dante Halleyville is innocent. Dante asks him to represent him in what could be the Trial of the Century.  Tom recruits Manhattan superlawyer Kate Costello to help. She's a tough hire, because Kate is his ex-girlfriend-but she agrees. In their search to find who really executed three locals, Tom orchestrates a series of revelations to expose the killer-and what emerges is staggering.

The final scenes of Beach Road unveil a truth that will leave readers gasping in shock.



Beach Road is a book co-written by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge.  It basically has the short chapter James Patterson formula.   However, it's uniqueness is that you will never be able to guess the ending.

To me the ending can be everything and this has one of the most epic ending of all times.  The plot itself is pretty standard fare but the ending!

I think I read Beach Road twice over a period of a few years and it's one book that I don't mind reading again, if I have the time as I simply just love the ending.  It really had mt gasping in shock!