By Linda Sargent
“The Crossing” by Michael Connelly, Little Brown and Company Publishing
Skirting the very edges of the LAPD line in his last case, Harry Bosch is now retired, at loose ends and going stir crazy. After spending almost all his adult life putting people behind bars, it is difficult for him to transition to not having something to do. After much soul searching, Bosch decides to cross over to the “dark side” and work for the “Lincoln Lawyer,” his brother-in-law Mickey Haller, and help him prove that his client was framed for murder.
Bosch knows that when word gets around the police department that he is now working for the defense, his reputation as a good cop will go down the tubes as fellow officers will now view him as a traitor. But Bosch reasons that if his brother-in-law’s client is not guilty, that means there is still a murderer out on the streets.
Bosch soon uncovers a well connected and thriving prostitution and pornography business hidden within the confines of the police department and operated by bad cops.
Michael Connelly is an excellent storyteller, so if you enjoy this one, you may want to read more of his books.
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams, Penguin Young Readers Group
If you are consistently looking for books for the youngsters in your life, Pharrell Williams has turned his 2014 Academy Award-nominated song, “Happy,” into an illustrated book.
The song made number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 list and has topped the charts in more than 75 countries worldwide, and you cannot listen to this song and not smile and sing along.
The illustrations in the book are staged with costumed children participating in all types of events, and every child is – of course – happy. The book depicts a fun illustration of the song, and children and adults alike will sing and clap along to the lyrics.
“The Afrikaans” by Nick Pirog, Create Space Publishing
The “Afrikaans” is a luxury cruise ship that holds 208 passengers, all pampered guests. Among the cruisers is Thomas Prescott, a former FBI contract agent. The book begins with some similarity to the Tom Hanks movie, “Captain Phillips,” but it soon takes twists and turns that readers will find completely uncharacteristic with modern-day pirates.
When African pirates overtake the ship, the crew is locked up in the lower portions of the ship and all the passengers are maneuvered into the two largest rooms aboard. The pirates search the ship, but one passenger is missing – the one who is most important to them. Prescott takes on the responsibility of ensuring that all 400 hostages stay alive until the situation can be resolved. Thinking the pirates are after money and other valuables possessed by the passengers, he is a little surprised when they ask for ransom from the United States in the form of AIDS relief to be sent to a small Zulu village in South Africa. The pirates’ leader is also asking that three children be rescued from the village.
With the help of a World Health Organization doctor, Prescott must try to find the children and discover the truth at the bottom of the piracy – are they after AIDS relief or after a $2 billion ransom from one of the richest men in the world? And who is the missing passenger the pirates are so desperately seeking?
This book will keep you reading into the wee hours.
“Walk to BEAutiful” by Jimmy Wayne and Ken Abraham, Nelson, Thomas Inc. Publications
Imagine yourself at 13, forced out of the car hundreds of miles away from home in a strange city, with a small bag containing minimal clothing, and watching your mother drive off with her new lover. Could you survive?
This is the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. Hungry and homeless, sleeping in the streets, bouncing in and out of foster care, Jimmy is faced with adversity daily. Being a fairly small boy, he is beaten and bullied when he does attend school. Like most boys of his generation, he gets hooked on rock and roll, and music becomes his salvation.
One day, in another strange town, Jimmy comes across a farmhouse. He soon begins tending the lawn each week, and is eventually invited to live with Bea and Russell. The stipulations are that he must cut his hair, and start going to church with them. They outfit him with new clothes, visit a barbershop, and acquaint Jimmy with country music. He finds a used acoustic guitar and discovers he has a love and talent for the music.
Fast-forward several years to October 21, 2009 – Jimmy Wayne and his band are getting ready to go out on stage at Madison Square Garden, opening for Brad Paisley.
What an incredible journey. Now, it’s time to make good on his promise to help “kids on the street.” A year later, Jimmy has walked 1,700 miles – halfway across America – to raise awareness of kids who have aged out of the foster care system at age 18, with nowhere to go and no advanced education. Before the walk was over, legislators in several states passed laws to raise the age limit to 21.
Jimmy’s heart, life and future were changed in that pivotal moment when Russell and Bea took him into their home. This book is a tribute to the woman who opened her arms and welcomed him into her heart.
“The Guilty” (Will Robie Series #4) by David Baldacci, Grand Central Publishing
Will Robie is one of the most valued government lethal assassins. He proves time and time again that he is professional, disciplined, and almost never misses. Out on assignment in a foreign country, everything is in place. He takes the shot, hits his target, and he is done. But then, as the target falls, he notices that the high-powered bullet has passed through the target and hit a little girl. Shaken, Robie heads back to the states.
On his next mission, he is unable to take the kill shot after spotting a young boy climbing into the target’s lap. A back-up assassin takes the shot and completes the mission.
But there was no boy – it was merely a hallucination. On top of all that, he learns his estranged father has been arrested for murder in the small town where Will grew up. Without help from his father, Will puts all his skills to work to find out what happened. Everyone in town assumes his father, the town judge, is guilty.
Robie is forced to relive the past when circumstances come to light in the small town related to actions his father took years ago, and decisions Robie made when he was younger have an impact on the outcome of the investigation.