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February 22, 2013

Book Nine of my 2013 Goal

TYLENOL MAN: A 30-Year Quest to Close the Tylenol Murders CaseTYLENOL MAN: A 30-Year Quest to Close the Tylenol Murders Case by Scott Bartz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tylenol Man: A 30 Year Quest to Close the Tylenol Murders Case by Scott Bartz is non-fiction and the second book in the TYMURS Series (TYMURS: The 1982 Tylenol Murders is book one in the series). I suggest you read book one since you would not make too much sense out of this book unless you are familiar with the case and all the botched investigations that went on from the beginning. I don't feel this is a stand alone book even if you remember the Tylenol Murders in 1982. Much of what was revealed and continues into this book was not told to the general public either on the news or by newspaper reports as the full account. One station may have one piece of information while another reporter has another and a family member yet another and the book puts it all together to get a better picture of what really happened and what was being done or not done in the case.

In this book the FBI continue to try and blame Jim Lewis for the murders even though the evidence doesn't support it. They made his life a hell although he was no angel himself but they made sure he was stuck with the "Tylenol Man" name even though they couldn't bring him to trial due to lack of evidence. Between pride, a political elections, and just making a name for himself there are several people that need this case closed. They needed an escape goat and Lewis was it which was clearly demonstrated through the author's research.

What surprised me the most were the lies and resistance Michelle Rosen (her mother was a victim) met in 2008 when she inquired about details in the case and if she can see the records. She asked the hospital for her mother's records and was told they were destroyed years ago. She went to the police station and asked if she could see the documents from their investigation into her mother's death and was told whatever documents they had were destroyed in a flood. Michelle found out the flood happened in mid 1990s and there was a photo taken in 2002 of someone standing in front of boxes and boxes of documents all on the Tylenol Murders in the evidence room of the police station. She just got a total run-a-round from everyone she encountered. Even when she submitted FOIA requests they were denied and the reason stating they were destroyed in the flood.

I can tell you that after reading the first book in the series, it really opened my eyes about some crime 'investigations' and not only politicians but those in law. After reading this book, it just down right angers me. First off, I don't recall ever hearing about the case being re-opened. I guess it was hush, hush this time so no extra attention is drawn. Secondly, of the lies told by those who are suppose to "serve and protect" even when there is proof they are lies but nothing can be done. There is no where to turn to say hey, wake up! Here is the proof he is lying in black and white, on the front page of a newspaper no less. Lets not forget to mention the J&J was active in their own investigation of the murders or the fact that it doesn't matter who the real murderer is/was, all that mattered was to pin it on someone and just to close the case so they look good.

I can go on and on about the things uncovered in the book as it was full of interesting information on the case, most of which I never heard before. Although I must admit I did think that maybe the author was just seeking revenge for a nasty termination of employment but even that thought was put to rest. But...keep in mind that is just what this book is, a research and report of the findings. If you are looking for a story where you get close to the main characters and have an adventure, this is not the book for you. There is no bonding with anyone in this book, the main character is a pill called Extra Strength Tylenol, and the plot or purpose is where and who done it.

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February 9, 2013

Book Eight of my 2013 Goal

Married in Haste (Marriage, #1)Married in Haste by Cathy Maxwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Married in Haste by Cathy Maxwell is an Adult Historical Fictional Romance. The setting is London, 1814 and later on the setting changes to Wales. The story was written in some language of the times with the "My Lord" and "My Lady" as well as the mindset back then where women were basically mindless creatures with the only purpose of living is to please their husband and provide him with children.

We are introduced to the main character Tess Hamlin at the very beginning of the story. Tess is at the dance and the most experienced debutante. Truth be told, Tess really doesn't want to marry. A wager is made by Tess and a couple of other debutantes on who would be asked to marry first. Word got out about the wager and no one was pleased, least of all Tess's brother who her late father had trusted as her guardian and to look after her inheritance. Tess had met the Earl of Merton and to save the brother from being ruined and Tess too by her unwise decision to make such a wager, he asks her brother for Tess in marriage. The brother in his rage and state of over drinking agrees and announces the engagement despite Tess's objections. Once married the Earl of Merton (Brenn Owen) plans on taking Tess back to Wales to Erwynn Keep, the estate he had inherited.

I found Tess quite likable with a strong will. She didn't bow to the 'ways' things were done but rather questioned them (of course this trait was not favored upon by most). She held her responsibilities high and blood (her brother) high as well. She would do nothing to hurt or ruin him so a secret had to be kept. I also loved how Tess was so naive with sex and even after she was married she was shocked to see him naked. She was funny, interesting, and I love how she could cut like a knife with just the use of her tongue. She is witty and forgiving, a little too forgiving if you ask me.

Brenn was also interesting as a character. He was keeping a secret from Tess. I loved the games he played trying to understand her and get her to do as he wished. I also loved his reaction to her as she did things to get her way or get under his skin. He was quite the romantic one and I found him to be likable.

Now I don't want to go into detail and spoil it for you but I will say that the quote,, "Men are not meant to understand women or women men because if they did there would be no adventure" sure stands the test of time. It also describes this easy reading, delightful Adult book, an I enjoyed reading, I may add.

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February 7, 2013

Book Seven of my 2013 Goal

Summary: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot -- Bill O'ReillySummary: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot -- Bill O'Reilly by Save Time Summaries
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot -- Bill O'Reilly by Save Time Summaries is not a book, it is a summary that creates the time line of events much like "Cliff Notes". There is enough detail given to understand what is going on and when but there is not a lot of the background and insights that you would find in the book.

This summary starts off with who Bill O'Reilly is and that he proposes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy despite there is evidence that a conspiracy existed. It does not go into any detail about this evidence, it just mentions there is evidence. Then it gives a brief background on the Kennedy's as a family and the history of JFK's milestones right up to his winning the election defeating Vice President Richard Nixon. Then there is a more details given about his presidency and dealing with the unpopular 'conflict' known now as the Vietnam War, plus the Cold War with the Soviet Union. It further explains his relationship with his brother Bobby who is the Attorney General and the relationship the Kennedy's had with organized crime.

At this time was also the civil rights movement and JFK arrange a meeting the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then it mentions that JFK was warned by the FBI that King has alleged associations with Communist sympathizers and other radicals which is something I never knew. I wish it went into a little more detail about this.

Kennedy tries to win support in Texas and had chosen Lyndon Johnson of Texas as his running mate. He planned the visit to Texas since he needs their support to win in his 1964 re-election bid. Then it goes into a little more detail of him and "Lady Bird" landing in Texas in Air Force One, his actions on the tarmac and even about weather and bubble top on the car which Kennedy didn't care for. In fact, even what they wore and what was said was revealed. Then how they finally get into the car and head off to the Dallas Trade Mart where JFK was scheduled to give a luncheon speech.

The next chapters were about Oswald and his life, work, and how he gave up US citizenship to be a Russian Citizen and then again how he reversed it to come back to the US. It is a brief description which leads up to how he got to be at the School Book Depository Building as the motorcade approaches. It ends with the possible last words JFK heard.

Again, this is a time line summary of events, not a book. If you want to know details then you should read the book however if you just need the events and when they took place then I suggest this summary.

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Book Six of my 2013 Goal

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden -- Mark Owen, Navy SEAL Team Six -- (Book Summary & Analysis)No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden -- Mark Owen, Navy SEAL Team Six -- by Save Time Summaries
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Save Time Summaries is not a full book. This is a summary of the actual book "No Easy Day" much like a "Cliff Note" of the book. It pulled the main points and events from the book to make a short time line of events that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. It is an easy to understand account of the Navy special mission unit DEVGRU (aka "SEAL Team Six") over the course of about three weeks.

It starts by telling us a little about what it takes to be a DEVGRU member. The discipline and physical strength involved is so extreme that even the some of the best SEAL's are not good enough. The DEVGRU is the unit responsible for counter terrorism an hostage negotiation as well as other classified duties. This mission was comprised of members from different units and they were given the information that the CIA had collected for the past five years. Other people were involved with providing information to the point where they knew what the outside of the Bin Laden's compound looked like but not the inside. Some of the information was from the interrogation of Mohanned al-Qahtani who is thought to be the twentieth hijacker on September 11.

Then it tells of the training and waiting for the final orders from Washington. After they were given the "go" from President Obama they made their move. The accounts given were detailed enough to understand exactly what they were doing and why. Unfortunately their helicopter crashed near Bin Laden's compound which brought a feeling of deja vu to the underground Situation Room of the White House.. A similar helicopter crashed when there was the failed mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980. However, this time the pilot was able to control it somewhat and was able to hover just above the ground. These accounts gave enough details to feel some of the anticipation of the men as well as the concern and anxiety felt by Washington.

Once at the compound there was details of who was found where including Osama Bin Laden. Once the SEAL Team Six killed him and took his body there was a short account of what happened right to his burial at sea. After that, there are a couple of pages of quotes used in the book. My favorite is "The only easy day was yesterday".

If you want to know the events that took place without all the "extra" information in the book "No Easy Day" then this is definitely what you need however if you need some background information or explanations then your better off with the full book. I found the summary very easy to follow and although I wish it did go into a little more detail about who comprised of SEAL Team Six, it was a great summary of events.

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February 6, 2013

Book Five of My 2013 Goal

Purgatory ReignPurgatory Reign by L.M. Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Purgatory Reign by L.M. Preston is a Young Adult Fiction book but I would go further and say it is a Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense with some Action and Adventure thrown in for good measure. I was in no hurry to read the book but once I started reading the first page I was hooked and finished the book the next day. I just didn't want to put it down because there was something always happening and I was dying to find out what.

The story starts with the main character Peter Saints who is a sixteen year old that lives in an orphanage since his parents death some years before. As the story progresses we learn quite a bit about Peter as a person. He has issues trusting people, he doesn't want to get close to anyone because he thinks they will be taken from him just as his parents were, he even admits to doing things just to get the attention of Pastor Finnegan (Finn) who runs the orphanage and who he looks at as a father figure. All of these add to his character and the believability of his character since they seem to be 'normal' for what he went through. What wasn't normal about this well developed character is that he was always protected and when he snuck away from the orphanage a 'gift' was given to him from a dying friend. This gift is like no other and he often wondered if it was a curse.

Peter is told to leave the orphanage by Pastor Finn since he can't protect him any longer and he provides him with some things he will need and sent him on a journey. He meets up with Angel and then later on with Kyle. Kyle was the least developed but it seems to me the author did this intentionally. She wanted a bit of mystery around him so the reader would not know who's side he is on for sure. Kyle was the kid with the humor and his character really added to the story. Angel also had a secret that is eventually discovered. It was an interesting twist I didn't see coming. Another interesting thing is all three of them discovered that none of them have parents that are alive and they all were treated like there was something 'off' about them. Either they were sheltered and kept inside and even home schooled so they didn't have to go out or when they did go out their parents were very uneasy and always looking over their shoulder. Things they overheard their parents say even made them wonder if their parents were crazy. They also found out they had other things in common too, right down to the blood in their veins.

On their journey they discover the when, where, and why they are running from others who want to kill them. You can read what the Author wrote about the story yourself so I won't recap the whole story but I was at the edge of my seat when the enemy was close or when there was the discovery of some new information or place. The imagination and all the details with their twists and turns really kept me glued to the book. In fact, it is very hard to write a review for this story because I don't want to include any spoilers which means I can't really say a lot about it. There was something going on all the time but in order for you to understand it, I would have to explain it which means "a spoiler". I don't want to do that and ruin it for you so you will have to take my word for it, it was full of things happening, people trying to kidnap the main characters (in fact, they did kidnap one of them), new secret places being discovered or artifacts being discovered that were hidden many years ago by their ancestors, and the ever present danger of the Extraho of Obscurum being rebuilt and their "Master" bonding with a human to enact his reign of terror here on earth and beyond.

There really wasn't a lot of swearing. In fact, it was minor things. There is a 'love scene' and I use that loosely because it was short and it involved kissing and some touching with the 'desires' explained but nothing more happened. By today's standards I don't even think they would call the intense kissing a 'love scene'. There is a lot of fighting and people dying but there really is nothing detailed where it would cause concern and the fighting for the most part was justified by a ' it's either you or me' (good vs evil) scenario.

The only negative things I have to say is there a format issue that I found distracting, the LM Preston and the number was in odd places and at times even right in the middle of a sentence. (I read the Kindle Version so maybe on a Nook these were not a problem.). There were also several spelling errors, "Angel" was "Angle" and "his" was used instead of "he" in sentences such as "His kissed her" and "His bit his finger". Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing. I absolutely enjoyed this story. In fact, I loved the story!

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