Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gods and Fathers by James LePore

Gods and Fathers. James LePore. The Story Plant. February 2012. 300 pages. ISBN #: 9781611880298.

Matt DeMarco is not too happy with his life. He has finally begun to be successful in his law career but has the lousiest possible relationship with his son, Michael. His ex-wife has married an Arab who is very rich and she's turned his son against him. Michael is a spoiled brat who all of a sudden is in very, very big trouble. He is arrested for rape and murder of his own girlfriend. Matt decides no matter how big the rift is between them, he must do all he can to find out what has really happened!

Before the police really gets going, Matt and his friends start to take charge of the investigation into his son's alleged crimes, but all of a sudden someone else higher up, very high indeed although not named, starts canceling every avenue Matt attempts to travel. It also seems Michael has been hanging around two very suspicious Arab young men. No, this isn't racial profiling; these two guys just walk and look like they're up to no good. Connections begin to click and Matt is almost 100% sure Michael isn't guilty of any crime other than having a fight with his girl but that takes a long time to come out.

Innocent and guilty characters will die in the course of this quest to solve a mystery that involves Arab money, oil, and some devious persons determined to wreak revenge. When it finally comes out who is involved and exactly how this all came to pass, the reader is amazed, after flipping pages and wondering when the twists and turns will end, if they will at all!

James LePore has become an even better writer with this political thriller. He has definitely mastered the craft of depicting the machinations of both the innocent and guilty. The evil grows so large that one begins to doubt it will ever end.  In many ways, this is a rather timely story, given the growing problems in countries fighting for an "Arab Spring."

Awesome, James LePore and a must read for lovers of this genre and those who would like to have a phenomenal read!!!

Home by Morning by Alexis Harrington

Home by Morning. Alexis Harrington. Montlake Romance. December 2011. 240 pages. ISBN #: 9781612182056.

Jessica Layton, a medical doctor in the early 20th Century when women were frowned on for becoming doctors, is on her way to Seattle, Washington to take up a new position. She's been working in New York City and been overwhelmed by the poverty and needless illness bred from dirty and malnourished conditions. Now she stops off in her hometown of Powell Springs, Omaha and the sparks immediately start flying. First she ticks off the town quack with her useless remedies. Then she has to face her old boyfriend, Cole, now a successful horse breeder and who is supposedly courting Jessica's sister, Amy. Some sharp words pass among all of them but Jessica shrugs them off, knowing this is a temporary visit. Add to that the town is celebrating the town's one son who is about to go off to WWI. Pride in America is strong and anyone not patriotic is deemed a suspicious person worthy of being arrested. All that is about to drastically change!

A young soldier falls seriously ill with what later came to be known as the 1918 epidemic of influenza. This is no ordinary flu however and the contagion becomes so severe that Jessica agrees to stay a few months, ill-prepared though she is. Fighting exhaustion, she forges on with patients who both die and recover, helped by Cole; even though it seems the more they meet, the more they fight, never saying what each really wants to say.

But this illness and the enmity it breeds from Cole and a would-be suitor grows to crisis proportions. Fighting begins to take on more dangerous tones, and a secret will shock everyone around Jessica, bringing the novel to a surprising climax.

Alexis Harrington starts her novel slowly; but once it takes off, one is flipping the pages faster and faster to see what will happen next. It's a well-told romance story but also a historical novel in the sense of the war and the illness, two major events that drive the plot of this adventurous, action-packed yet endearing story!!!

Very nicely done, Ms. Harrington!