Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Review- Joseph Finder- Company Man

Joseph Finder- Company Man (St. Martin’s Press 2005) 4 Stars

This is my first Joseph Finder book, but it certainly won’t be my last. Company Man tells the story of Nick Conover who is the CEO of a big-league company. His family is trying to recover from the death of his wife. He must come to grips with his fatherhood, despite the fact that he and his son share the blame for his wife’s death, at least in their minds they do. On top of that it seems that he is being deceived and undermined at work and someone is threatening his family after he had to layoff thousands of workers. No one thought that he would fight so hard to keep control of his life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Company Man. Joseph Finder is a very talented author who knows how to grip your attention. I did find a couple of sections fairly dry reading, but they both lead up to jaw-dropping situations. Finder throws surprise after surprise at the reader, keeping you guessing all the way through. The characters were very believable and each of them had problems of their own to deal with, making them relatable for the reader. The dialogue seemed like it was also very well thought out and realistic. A downer in this book was that although in most parts it is very good reading, it had its parts that I thought either could have been removed altogether or rewritten to make them more interesting, they don’t really add anything to the book.
Overall Company Man is a great book. I recommend it to thriller lovers.

For more of my reviews go to

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Friday, May 29, 2009

Book Review- R.L. Saunders- Blind Pig

R. L. Saunders- Blind Pig (Xlibris 2000) 3.25 Stars

This review is one of those reviews that are done upon request by the author. Blind Pig tells the tale of Alan, a writer waiting for his big break. He stumbles upon a drug deal and his life is suddenly in danger, rather than dying he kills a man who attempts to kill him. Discovering a half-mil in cash, he decides to take the cash. His life will never be the same.
Blind Pig is not the kind of book that would catch your eye just by looking at the cover. The old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ applies to this book. It lost a quarter-star for the cover being so boring. I would have liked to see something better as a person’s choice of book often does start with the cover, it’s sad but true. The actual plot is very good. It was very creative and enjoyable. I was looking for it to fill out a little bit more however. The characters are well-crafted and in depth enough that you can get to know them quite well, understanding their motivations behind their actions. I may have missed it, but I was looking for the explanation of Alan’s nickname of Blind Pig, which the title obviously comes from. I did find that it digressed a little in the beginning, including a couple of parts that I wasn’t sure how they fit in. The dialogue was fairly good, but could have been a tad bit stronger in my opinion.
Overall I did enjoy reading Blind Pig. R.L. Saunders has a great career ahead of him and I hope that he continues writing. As for a recommendation, this novel is hard to place in any specific genre. You could call it a romance, drama, thriller, or crime novel. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys any of the above listed genres. A great read and I thank the author for the opportunity to read this book.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Review- Judy Blume- Superfudge

Judy Blume- Superfudge (Dell Publishing 1981) 5 Stars

I read this book many times as a child and decided to read it again. I sure am glad I did, it reminded me of just how much I love this book! Peter Hatcher’s life seems to fall apart when his parents announce that they are having another baby, and his dad puts his job on hold to move to Princeton for a year and write a book. Poor Peter now he has to make new friends and get used to a whole new town.
This book is a light read that always makes me laugh! I especially love Fudge’s friend Daniel. Daniel always asks people if they “want to make something of it”, in an attempt to seem tough, but when an older girl says yes, he cringes and begs her not to hurt him. Superfudge is excellently written and the plot flows flawlessly. The characters definitely act their age and seem very realistic and believable. Fudge always makes me laugh. The dialogue is very strong and adds to the storyline. Normally I would have at least one negative thing to say about a book, but I can’t really find a negative in Superfudge.
I recommend this classic to anyone who enjoys light-hearted novels, dramas, or is just looking for a good kid’s book for their children.

For more of my reviews check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Book Review- Mary Higgins Clark- All Through the Night

Mary Higgins Clark- All Through the Night (Simon & Schuster 1998) 2.5 Stars

This was my first Mary Higgins Clark novel and I have to say that I was not overly impressed. I will be trying other novels by her in the future, but they had better be a more enjoyable mystery than this one. The cover said, ‘suspense story’, but it was not in the least bit suspenseful. A musician gives up her baby to pursue her career, leaving it on the church doorstep. At the same time a young kid is robbing the church and grabs the baby stroller by mistake. Seven years later the musician wants her baby back and is searching for her child and someone is trying to figure out how to prove that a will has been forged.
This book sounded so interesting, but I was greatly disappointed. Everything just fell into place a little bit too easily and the end was completely predictable. The plot was fairly good in theory, it just wasn’t executed all that well. The characters were believable, although not very much effort went into helping the reader get to know the characters, or to assist in connecting with them. I understand that it was meant to be a heartfelt Christmas mystery, but come on, make it have some suspense. Don’t false advertise! Sorry for the negative review, but I really was disappointed, it’s Mary Higgins Clark for crying out loud!
I do not recommend All Through the Night, not for anyone, unless you are looking for an airy novel with not a shred of thought needed.

For more of my reviews, check out my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Friday, May 22, 2009

Book Review- James Patterson- Jack & Jill

James Patterson- Jack & Jill (Warner Books 1997) 4.25 Stars

Alex Cross is back! A U.S. senator is brutally murdered and the killers left a calling card signed by Jack & Jill. On the other side of town, near Cross’ home, a young black girl is murdered, but all the attention seems to be directed at the senator killing. Cross is on both cases, the problem is his superiors want him to focus on the Senator killing, not the little girl killing that Cross wants to solve.
I enjoyed this book immensely. This has to be one of the creepiest books that Patterson has ever written and I flinched at the lack of concern for the life of a child that Cross’ superiors seemed to have (along with the child killer). Not a book for the weak-stomached or human rights activist. He plot was intriguing and attention grabbing. Right off the bat you are drawn into the creepy world of the killer masterminds and you will not be released from its grasp until it is over. The end is one that I loved as we are promised to see more books involving Cross (although we should all know this at this point). Jack & Jill contains so many unexpected turnings of events that you will often find yourself wondering what just happened, too much so at times. A twist would turn into a double or triple twist. Cross’ character is one that I have grown to love over the course of just a few books, and Sampson, how can you not like his character?
I recommend Jack & Jill to anyone who enjoys Patterson, suspense, mystery, or thriller books.

For more of my reviews check out my website,

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Review- Eric Wilson – Disneyland Hostage

Eric Wilson – Disneyland Hostage (HarperCollins 2003) 3.75 Stars

Liz Austen visits Disneyland with her aunt in the hopes of having a fun vacation, but when a young boy disappears from a hotel room, she becomes involved in a dangerous case. No one in Disneyland is safe, not for one second.
This was not really too much of a mystery, it was more of an adventure novel. In terms of plot it was not very in depth, which is kind of good for kids. I did find myself enjoying this book, although I have to say that Wilson has written better. The story starts off with a plane ride, where we find out that Liz is deathly afraid of flying, which makes for a humorous start to the book. I did find that Wilson digressed from the main storyline in parts that made it slightly dry at times. The book did not really grip my attention until about halfway through when it picked up the pace a little. The ending really did make up for the lack of action in the beginning, earning it more stars than it would have gotten. I loved the twist at the end, although it was slightly expected and predictable, but kids are not as likely to see it coming.
I do recommend Eric Wilson’s novels to kids who like mysteries or adventure stories. Disneyland Hostage is a pleasant and enjoyable read.

For more of my reviews, visit my website.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review- M. T. Anderson- The Game of Sunken Places

M. T. Anderson- The Game of Sunken Places (Scholastic Inc. 2004) 3.5 Stars

This book seems like an interesting mixture of Jumanji and Lord of the Rings, or even Narnia. Brian and Gregory get and invitation in the mail to go to an Uncle’s mansion for a couple of weeks. Little do they know just how strange this mansion is and how odd their relative is. Something weird is going on and the young boys seem to be trapped in the middle of it, if only they knew what ‘it’ was. An adventure is in store whether they like it or not.

This was not an overly original idea, but how many books are now? The Game of Sunken Places starts off quite slow, making it a little bit difficult to read at first. Pacing goes up and down until the last quarter of the book when it picks up and finally grips your attention. I did like the basics of the ‘game’ that they were playing; it seemed like a creative way of bringing in old ideas to make something fresh. The characters were a little bit weak, not having a whole lot of development. It was a good plot, with some interesting twists at the end, although I would have liked to see more twists throughout the book.

Overall it was a pretty good book. I would recommend it to YA readers who like fantasy.

Tony Peters
Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping