The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

 

I chose to read this book because it always pops up around Halloween and I felt like reading it. Usually, I am pleasantly surprised by classics and I fall in love with them. However, it was not the case with this book. After reading it, I chose to place it in my reading challenge as “a book with bad reviews”. After I read it, I looked it up on Goodreads and Amazon and I was not surprised to find that others did not like it as well.

My biggest issue was the story line – there really wasn’t one. The story opens with Icabod Crane moving to Sleepy Hollow to teach and starting to woo a wealthy heiress. There are other suitors that are also vying for her attention. The story discusses two or three times he meets with her and ends when he is chased by the headless horseman and disappears. That’s it. That’s the whole story. There really isn’t any emotional depth to the characters, actually you don’t know much about anyone except Ichabod. The book talks a lot about how superstitious he is and how he studies the various myths and legends of ghosts and witches, thus leading to him being so utterly terrified by the headless horseman. Also, I usually love the language used in classics, but in this book it didn’t work as well. There wasn’t a large range of vocabulary and the sentences and phrases were all set up similarly which did not help the story in any way.

I do have to say that as an audiobook, the narrator, James Mio, did a phenomenal job. He added a lot of emotion to his voice and stressed different words and phrases to add emphasis, as well as drawing out different areas to create suspense. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend this book, which is rare for me. For as much drama and action the narrator added, it was really dry and boring.

My rating:

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Glory in Death (In Death #2) by J. D. Robb

 

I did not like this book as much as the first one in the series, however it was still very good. The story line was not quite as intricate, but was still well-developed and thought out. What I loved most about it was the strong emotional turmoil that was prevalent throughout the book. There were a ton of emotional ups and downs, mostly downs, and it was a highly charged book. You could almost feel the stress from the characters come off the page.

The book starts with the murder of a high-profile district attorney. The crime is committed in a signature way and the killer takes a souvenir. Eve is called on to the case and is once again thrust into the spotlight of a high-profile murder. The killer escalates to another high-profile attack – the murder of a rising star. The same signature murder style and a souvenir is taken as well. Through all of this, Eve is butting heads with her commander. The commander and his wife are godparents to the district attorneys children. For him, the case is highly personal and he takes is stress out on Eve throughout, especially when she has to pull in the son and his father for questioning. As the case unfolds, Nadine First is pulled in to help Eve bait the killer. After a third killing, the case goes into high gear as the killer realizes he killed the wrong woman. Eve scrambles with her own guilt as she searches for the killer.

Eve relationship with Roarke is tested in this case as well. They have their first fight and Eve comes to terms with relying on Roarke as a necessary part of her life. Eve’s emotional growth and development in her relationships is fascinating to read and watch unfold. You learn more about Nadine, Mavis, and Officer Peabody. I like Officer Peabody. She is in the later books and it was neat to read about how they met. Nadine is also quite an interesting person, but is more of a common personality for a media star. However, she is well written and developed. Mavis is just…unique. She is so sweet you have to like her, but her personality comes through in spades.

If you liked the first book, I would definitely recommend continuing the series. This is a great segue book that sets the stage for the emotional and personal development Eve needs in order to grow in the next books. It is laid out with enough emotional drama and enough twists, turns, and red-herrings in the murder case to keep the book flowing smoothly and to keep the reader engaged. There were times I kept driving around just to hear more of the story LOL. For me, the shining glory of this book was the emotional drama followed by the murder case. Still a good book though.

My rating:

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Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J. D. Robb

 

I had read another J. D. Robb book earlier this year and had picked up Naked in Death after reading the Strangers in Death. I had greatly enjoyed Strangers in Death and wanted to start the series from the beginning. I hadn’t actually got around to reading until now.

I was blown away. There’s not other way to describe it. I thought the other book was great, but this was fantastic. It was the perfect book to start a series. I opens with Lieutenant Eve Dallas being assigned to the murder investigation of a high-class, high connected licensed companion. This murder is the first in a series of similar murders, creating issues and road blocks for Eve at every step. The murders are committed by the use of firearms – something that has been banned for the past 30 years in the book. This leads to the investigation of people who both knew the woman and has a registered firearm collection. Hence she meet Roarke. Roarke is a force of nature, a billionaire businessman that radiates power and danger. Eve with her standoff, aloof attitude surprises everyone by getting involved with him – something highly unusual for her. The romantic connect causes even more tangles that Eve has to wade through and a fine line she has to walk. Roarke has her questioning multiple aspects of her life, particularly her instincts about who she can rely on.

The murders lead Eve in multiple different circles as the following murders involve different types of women. Eve meets multiple different characters and people that later help influence the case and help solve the mysteries. Her instincts guide her even when the evidence is pointing in other directions. In the end, Eve has to face part of her past as she brings justice back for the victims.

The writing of this book was fantastic. The unfolding of the story was flawless and the twists and turns it took were seamless while at the same time being surprising. I am so glad I read this. It is a great example of murder mystery and romantic suspense rolled up into one book. I look forward to reading more of the series and getting to know Eve and Roarke better. Anyone looking for a new romantic suspense or mystery series should definitely try this one out. It is somewhat graphic, but no more so than any of the police tv shows currently on television.

My rating:

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