Book 4 of the Sophie Metropolis series
“I’d been so busy questioning the restraints on my life, I haven’t had a chance to focus on the possibilities.
My parents’ fault? Or my own?
The jury was still out on that one. Although the verdict wouldn’t matter…
Now it was up to me to convince myself that there wasn’t a thing out there I couldn’t do.”
Sophie Metropolis is turning into quite the successful private investigator. She has a few big cases under her belt, but is far from esteemed in her Astoria, Queens community. Now she is asked to find a dead body that has disappeared from her Aunt Sotiria’s funeral home and hired to prove an alleged murderer innocent. Her assistant is as sassy as ever and her pseudo reformed cousin is proving helpful.
While business is booming, her personal life is getting complicated. Her dog, Muffy, is acting weird and when a stray black cat takes up residence in her apartment the high-jinks ensue. Sexy Greek, Dino, is warming Sophie’s bed until a chance encounter leaves her questioning their relationship. And when hot Aussie, Jake Porter, rolls back into town he knows just how to make Sophie forget about Dino.
Sophie seemed a little more introspective and perhaps a little depressed this time around. Maybe is was her messed up romantic life and her fight with her sister, but Sophie was less irreverent in this book. And I missed her nosy Greek family. I did love that her relationship with Muffy is evolving. Overall, I liked the book, but maybe not as much as the previous ones.
I’ve mentioned before that this series reminds me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but with more heart. The characters are comical without being cartoon characters and there are fewer (okay, none) outrageous shootouts. This was my least favorite Sophie Metropolis mystery and I still prefer it over Stephanie Plum.
Let me start by noting that I listened to the abridged audio version read by author, Denis Leary. I never listen to abridged books on tape and I didn’t know that’s what I had until I was halfway through. That being said, I am not interested in reading this book in full. Denis Leary has such a unique voice that it would not be the same if I read it. His biting wit is better heard than read. So, for the first time ever I am recommending an abridged cd over the actual book (gasp). Another benefit of the cds? The Irish music played between chapters.
My favorite aspect of this book were the endless stories of his Irish American childhood. Stories of “when I was a kid…” were not annoying with Leary’s acid tongue. My favorite story was one that involved Denis being shot in the head with an arrow by his brother and then running home with the arrow still sticking out of his noggin. There is also an ongoing conversation with his mom which is funny and will probably remind you of at least one person you know (in a good way).
This book will offend you. Somewhere, something will rub you the wrong way, but if you wait a few minutes you will probably be chuckling again. I laughed out loud often, even though I never like jokes involving Jesus and I thought he went on a bit too much about having a mom home all the time. There are plenty of things that will make you laugh- Dr.Phil, annoying children, his new love affair with Oprah, and the circus that is paparazzi.
Denis Leary received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Emerson College. So he’s DOCTOR Denis Leary to the masses 🙂
CONGRATS MARK! Have you been studying?
In honor of the the new President this week’s quiz is full of quotes from past Presidents (of the United States!) and one from our new President.
Here’s how to play…Identify the President and leave a comment with the # and the name and I’ll cross it off the list. No Googling, that’s cheating and no fun!
Possible Presidents left-Wilson, Eisenhower, Truman, Washington, Nixon, Clinton, CArter, Kennedy
1.” A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”–RICHARD NIXON
2.” We cannot be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of the weapons of war.”–JIMMY CARTER
3. “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” RONALD REAGAN, Mark
4. “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Mark
5. “You can’t know too much, but you can say too much.” CALVIN COOLIDGE, Janet
6. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”–JOHN F KENNEDY
7. “Success is not the measure of a man but a triumph over those who choose to hold him back.”–BILL CLINTON
8. “I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.”–WOODROW WILSON
9. “I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center.” —DWIGHT D EISENHOWER
10. “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.”–GEORGE WASHINGTON
11. “Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or are you with the terrorists.” GEORGE W BUSH, Elena
12. “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT, Jason
13. “I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances…This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.” GERALD FORD, Kathy
14. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”–HARRY S TRUMAN
15. Americans…still believe in America where anything’s possible-they just don’t think their leaders do.” BARACK OBAMA, Mark
There was the faint possibility that Roy was right, that she’d become so intent on having things her way she’d stopped thinking altogether, driven by something as untrustworthy as pure emotion. She now had, after all, a man in her kitchen who could easily murder her and sneak out the back door without leaving any footprints behind.
Robin is an almost divorced mother of a teen son. The Wolf Man had been living with the wolves in northern Michigan since he was three and was found later, as an adult, wounded by two hunters. The Wolf Man, eventually known as Stephen, refuses to talk to the medical doctors and he is locked up in mental hospitals until Robin comes along and rescues him. She whisks him away to her home in suburbia and plans to teach Stephen what he needs to know to blend into society and someday make his way back to Michigan.
I could not get past the ridiculous premise to completely enjoy the characters in the story. A wolf/man who has lived with a wolf pack from the age of 3 1/2 with no human interaction, can read, write, hold conversations with strangers, and begin an affair all within the span of a few months? There were many other storylines—Robin’s divorce, Connor’s first love, an aging parent’s declining health, and a brother’s nervous breakdown–that were all interesting and engaging, yet the wolf man was always there to remind me how outrageous it all was. His character kept pulling me out of the story. That being said, I did like other characters and the true emotions of love, loyalty, and betrayal.
I’ve read other Alice Hoffman titles I liked, but this was a complete miss for me.
Shakey pointed a fake finger at me. “You and that scar-faced mare? You’re racin’ for all of us who are missin’ a part or two. You probably won’t win, but at least you’ll get in the game. You’re proof that God needs even the angels who are missin’ a wing.”
Kara was raised as one of the elite. Worth millions, with powerful friends in all the right places, she always felt inferior to her very successful relatives. When her parents die she discovers she had been adopted and decides to find her bith parents. Mac and Lily are still together and living on the Thocco Ranch. Kara changes her name and heads to Florida where she ingratiates herself into the lives of everyone at the ranch.
Ben Thocco has come up the hard way. Born dirt poor he lost his parents at a young age and had to escape to Mexico with his younger brother so the courts would not separate them. Now, in his late 30’s, he is a successful Florida ranch owner still caring for his younger brother who suffers from Down’s Syndrome and a serious heart condition. His ranch hands are special needs adult who contribute to the ranch and form a makeshift family of society’s outcasts.
This story of mentally challenged adults and a love between two people who need each other really touched me. The theme of being different and being loved and accepted anyway is one that we should all be reminded of from time to time. The book drew me in because of the people, but there was also so much story to tell. Ben is fighting to save his ranch and his brother’s life and Kara is trying to come to terms with her wealth and what is best for her birth parents.
I thought the last section of the book had more story than it really needed and I wish I could say more, but it might spoil it. The end was too tidy and that is the only reason this didn’t rate higher for me.
This book will appeal to many people. Jane Austen fans will love the quotes sprinkled throughout the book. Floridians, ranchers, and horse racing fans will enjoy the story. Anyone interested in the emotional impact of finding out you’re adopted will not be disappointed. And, of course, anyone who has someone in their life that is different will appreciate the story of the Thocco Ranch.
This is not a sequel, but it is book 2 of the Boston PD-FBI series.
She joined him at the table, her cheeks flushed as she buttered a small piece of bread. “Once upon a time,” she said, laying on her Irish accent, “there were three brothers who lived on the southwest coast of Ireland–a farmer, a hermit monk and a ne’er-do-well, who was, of course, everybody’s favorite…
And so begins the magical tale of the three brothers and the Stone Angel. This Irish legend is the basis of Keira’s impending six-week trip to Ireland. She is a successful folklorist and illustrator who is researching Irish stories for an upcoming conference and the trip to Ireland is both professional and personal. Her mother, now a religious recluse, had gone to Ireland in her youth and returned home pregnant with Keira.
Keira’s uncle, Boston homicide detective Bob O’Reilly, was concerned about her, even more so when she discovers a man dead the night before she leaves. When he doesn’t hear from her in Ireland he calls a search-and-rescue expert to find her. When Simon finds her the sparks fly and Simon stays by her side as they head back to Boston. Once back in Boston a wide range of characters and mishaps prove that the legend may have some truth and every one who knows about it is at risk.
This book really does have a magical feel to it. There are angels, fairies, Satan, and evil, all fighting an ageless battle. I’ve never really been interested in fairy tales or folktales, but I must admit there is something very romantic and mystical about them that I’ve never really appreciated. Also, I fell in love with Ireland even though most of the action was in Boston. The mystery and rugged beauty appealed to me and now I might have to put Ireland on my list of hopeful vacation destinations!
This is not a sequel, but I think you will not fully appreciate this story without reading the first, The Widow. My review is here. Abigail, Owen, and Abigail’s father all play significant roles and I appreciate that she incorporated them into the story instead of them being relegated to a mere mention here and there.
Book 3, The Mist, will be released this summer. I am looking forward to it 🙂