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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gone Girl

     A seemingly perfect love story at the start, the relationship between Nick and Amy Dunne has taken a wrong turn by their fifth wedding anniversary. Author Gillian Flynn presents their stories, in alternating first-person narrative chapters, from their first meeting to Amy’s disappearance on their anniversary day.
    Nick dutifully reports Amy’s disappearance to the police but within a few days he is the chief suspect in the case. He finds himself ostracized by the townspeople, officials, the media and the world; all suspecting him of murder. Nick’s only support comes from his twin sister Go and even she isn’t entirely sure of his innocence.
    All is not as it seems as we learn of lies told by both Nick and Amy. Twists and turns abound as the mystery progresses and the ending is unexpected yet unsurprising.
    All of Flynn’s characters, major to minor, are well-drawn and the dialog is realistic. Sarcastic barbs are aimed at several subjects, from Amy’s lovey-dovey perfect parents, to the media, and others; giving a humorous touch to this mystery/thriller.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Motive: an Alex Delaware Novel

            Here is the 30th Alex Delaware novel in author Jonathan Kellerman’s repertoire. For over thirty years we have followed the adventures of psychologist Alex Delaware in his role as special consultant to the Los Angeles Police Department and particularly to Milo Sturgis, a homicide detective and Delaware’s close friend. Sturgis, a gay man and a loner among the other police staff, often is given the most difficult assignments. But with his doggedness and attention to detail, and with the help of Delaware’s astute observations, the cases always get solved.

            In this story, Sturgis is downhearted about his inability to find the murderer of Katherine Hennepin, a young female bookkeeper. She apparently was killed during a dinner date at home; the table was set for two and the cuisine was selected with care. With no suspects, the case was put on the back burner.

            Weeks later, another woman’s body is found in a parking garage. It is Ursula Corey, who has been gunned down; this appears to be a revenge killing. Alex and Milo settle on two possible suspects. But then another murder similar to Hennepin’s pops up. And then others, all with dinner date themes, leading Alex and Milo to believe that a serial killer is at large. Superior detective skills and psychological studies help them with the surprise identification of the murderer.   

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hot Looks for the New Year: a Woman's Guide

 These five books can guide you in changing your beauty and fashion style for the New Year.

            Beauty Rewind: a Makeup Guide to Looking Your Best at any Age is written by Taylor Chang-Babaian, one of the country’s top makeup artists.  Large color photos accompany step-by-step instructions for improving your skin and makeup techniques, no matter what your age. Also given are 100 quick tips to looking younger, and a list of resources for products and services mentioned in the book.
            The Everyday Supermodel: My Beauty, Fashion, and Wellness Secrets Made Simple is written by Molly Sims with Tracy O’Connor. Chapter by chapter, in her down-to-earth style, Molly discusses her thoughts on diet, exercise, fashion, skin and makeup, hairstyle and positive life outlook. All are accompanied by large color photos.  

            500 Eye-Makeup Designs: Inspired and Inventive Looks for Every Mood and Occasion is written by Kendra Stanton, a makeup artist and beauty blogger. Photos of all 500 designs are grouped by chapter featuring such themes as daytime to night, holiday accents, seasonal looks, sports teams, from the movies, and more.
            Love, Lashes, and Lipstick: My Secrets for a Gorgeous, Happy Life is written by Mally Roncal, a celebrity makeup artist and the founder of her own cosmetics line. The book is part memoir and part beauty guide; the beauty guide focusing both on outer and inner beauty. Mally’s personal photos, celebrity photos and color illustrations accompany the text.

            Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success – Online and off is written by Michelle Phan, an entrepreneur who has launched her beauty and style secrets on You-Tube and other social media. After two chapters of memoir, Michelle presents her tips on skin care, makeup, hair, nails and fashion. Then she continues with advice on manners (both traditional and those in social media) and job/career search.