Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Very disappointed in this book.  The premise was decent: young girl running away from home connecting with a lady with a baby then travel across the states; however, I never found myself ever totally engrossed in the story or committing to the characters.  It was set in the 1960s when segregation was rampant and the little girl was a white child travelling with a black woman and a white baby.  Minimal moments of not being distracted while reading for me, which is unusual.  If I am into a book, nothing will distract me from the story.  Alas, this was not the case for this book.

whistling-past-the-graveyard-by-susan-crandallThis book was our Books & Broads Book Club choice for November, NOVEMBER!  I started reading it on the 10th of November and had to put it down because I could not focus on reading the book.  I picked it back up on the 21st of November and just finished it today, the 28th of December.  I have NEVER taken that long to read a book, two weeks max, but this was a rough read for me.

The story follows Starla, a white child in the 1960s, who decides to run away so she does not get punished by her Mamie.  While running away, a car pulls over with a black woman driving who also had a baby in a basket.  Eula, the woman, picked up Starla and starts driving her to her house to let her rest for the night.  Starla realizes the baby, James, was a white baby that Eula found on the church steps.  After staying the night with Eula and her abusive husband, Wallace, the story follows Starla and Eula’s trek across the states to reach Tennessee where Starla’s Momma lives.

During their travels, Starla witnesses life for a black person in the 1960s and finds herself hating how the white people treated them.  From one situation to another, the story always has Starla being helped by someone after causing trouble.  Now, all this sounds fine and good as far as a story goes, but this was such a beating.  The characters were predictable and one dimensional as far as the story goes.  Starla always gets into bad situations because of her mouth, Eula always trusts the Good Lord to help them find their way while saving Starla from her situations she creates.

On and on this story went and I could not invest in the characters nor the storyline.  The book had minimal moments where the reader felt anything for these characters and the writing is in first person (which I HATE), not just first person; first person with a bad accent.  The author, Susan Crandall wrote the story as if we were listening to Starla talk in her country bumpkin accent.  Annoying.  It was cute at first, but throughout the story, it became annoying.

I give Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall 1 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I do not recommend this story to anyone, sorry, Dear Bloggites.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: End Of Watch by Stephen King

Good Afternoon, Dear Bloggites! Long time, no write, sorry.  I am back now to write a review on the final book of the Bill Hodges Trilogy, End of Watch by Stephen King.  As you all know, I am obsessed with Mr. King and anticipate each new book he puts out.  So here is my review on the final book of Det.-Ret. Bill Hodges.

end-of-watch-by-stephen-kingWe met Det.-Ret. Bill Hodges in Stephen King’s book, Mr. Mercedes.  Bill Hodges was a newly retired detective and felt like he had no purpose in life.  In the beginning he toyed with the idea of killing himself until killer Brady Hartsfield aka Mr. Mercedes, reached out to taunt him on the one case he did not solve before retiring.  In the first book, we met many characters that became endeared to us like Jerome and Holly who helped Bill “catch” the Mercedes Killer, Brady Hartsfield, before he was able to detonate his suicide vest at a concert with many young pre-teens in attendance with their parents.

In book two, Finders Keepers, Bill and Holly open up their own Private Investigation business and once again become embroiled in the life of a young boy, Peter Saubers, whose father was one of the victims of the Mercedes Killer, Brady Hartsfield.  As the duo work the case, Bill cannot shake the feeling that Brady Hartsfield, now a vegetable in the traumatic brain injury ward, is still alive and well inside his vegetative body.  Strange happenings were going on around Brady and Bill believed he had not seen that last of Brady Hartsfield no matter what the doctors say.

Now, the final book in the trilogy, End of Watch, proves that Bill was right about Brady all along.  Brady now has the ability to teleport himself into his ‘drones’ to wreak havoc once more on the people he was unable to kill at the concert. Brady created a program that embed a hypnotic device in a handheld game console and had his ‘drone’ hire his old co-worker to install the program on the devices.

Once these handheld devices were tweaked, Brady enlisted his doctor and a volunteer at the hospital by controlling their mind to complete certain tasks that provided each of the handheld devices as a free prize to those who could prove they were at the concert that Brady tried to attack.  Once activated, these devices allowed Brady to enter the mind of the viewer and encourage them to commit suicide, thus creating a mass suicide epidemic.

The Det.-Ret. and his partner, Holly, were called in on a murder-suicide for two people who were hurt in the initial attack by Brady Hartsfield with the Mercedes many years before by Bill’s old partner, Pete.  Holly finds a game console near a strangely marked ‘Z’ where one of the bodies were found.   Bill knows that Brady is involved and wants to figure out how Brady is capable of doing these things.

I was not disappointed in this final book.  Stephen King brought back all the people I came to love in the first book as well as the villain I loved to hate.  This final book has Bill battling Brady once again to the bitter end.  As the book goes on, we get the back story of how Brady went from being a vegetable to a teleporter with a mind control ability over the years.  The entire book builds to the final confrontation between Bill and Brady and keeps the readers on the edge of their seat.

Stephen King once again writes his novel with such a flair that the reader believes the story they are reading is really happening and so the reader becomes invested in the characters even more than they were.  There were some interesting events that occurred in the book that was unexpected and it was amazing to see how the events from the very beginning were tied into this new challenge found in book three of the Bill Hodges Trilogy.  My only disappointment is that I will no longer be able to delve into the world of Det.-Ret. Bill Hodges.

I give End of Watch by Stephen King 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  If you have not read the first two books, I recommend you get all three and start from the beginning, you won’t be disappointed, Dear Bloggites! 🙂

4~Ever, P