Book review: Ghost Recon by Tom Clancy and David Michaels

Ghost Recon by David Michaels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Tom Clancy’s novels, and I took a chance on this one, which is a spinoff of his by another author. The plot was interesting, and the action fast-paced. Maybe it was the mood I was in, but despite those factors, the book just did not grab me. The characters were flat (which is a common problem in a military thriller, even Clancy’s), and there wasn’t enough oomph to make up for it. There was an attempt at dealing with mental health issues, but it was done in such a cursory way that it felt unauthentic.
It was an easy and fast read and entertaining enough, but it certainly didn’t make me rush out to buy the next installment.

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Book review: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Only an author as talented as Erik Larson could seamlessly weave together stories about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a serial killer during that same time period and make both suspenseful and compelling. It is such a highly readable book that I had to double-check that it was non-fiction rather than historical fiction.
There are connections, not the least being that the vast influx of people into Chicago to work and view the World’s Fair made a few missing young women here and there difficult to trace back to a single killer.
The fact that the author makes the World’s Fair (which almost didn’t happen) almost as suspenseful as the serial killer is further testament to his writing skill. His ability to effortlessly weave facts and portrayals of the main players together and combining two disparate plots is uncanny. The book shouldn’t work in its format (alternating chapters of alternating plots) but, somehow, it does, and the result is an excellent and very compelling book.
I highly recommend it!

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