Viral, Shadows Reel, A Safe House, A Flicker in the Dark, and The Master Craftsman

What is Vicki Reading?

Here is what was and is on the list for my reading:

Viral by Robin Cook.  After reading this book, I wanted to douse myself in DEET and now know why I ran behind the mosquito fog trucks back in the early 70’s.  This is a story not only about Eastern Equine Encephalitis (E.E.E.) that is contracted through mosquito bites but also about the inequality of our health care system and insurance and how insurance companies are scamming our country during the Covid pandemic.  Short-term health care insurance isn’t the way to go and these insurance companies cashed in even prior to the pandemic.  Scary and it’s happening.  This will probably be a movie or TV series.  Watch for it.  Easy reading and I feel written hastily, but entertaining.

Shadow Reel, by C.J. Box  This is #22 of the Joe Pickett novels.  This one has two stories happening at once, one a political treasure hunt with Nazis, the other a raising and selling falcons and getting into trouble with white supremacists.  Box brings in the pandemic and the uprisings of BLM protests in Seattle, but not much with lock-downs, mask-wearing, and the like.  It’s a face-pace read, easy and keeps you wondering.  You C.J. Box fans out there will like it.

A Safe House, by Stuart Woods  #62 of the Stone Barrington novels and not the best one.  I gave it 3 stars but more like a 2.5 on Goodreads.  Young damsel in distress, scorned by a political lover who then becomes the love interest of Barrington.  Lots of guns, ammunition, privates boats, private jets, multiple homes, hence, “A Safe House”.  Dino is a reoccurring character who is now big in NYPD.  Steak and goose dinners at fancy pants NYC restaurants. I was surprised there was no mention of the pandemic.  Stuart Woods and James Patterson are the Danielle Steele of mystery thrillers.  Fast read and not high lit.  Meh – go to the other books I reviewed and skip this one.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham  This is a debut novel by this author.  It’s ok – a psychologist Chloe Davis is in her mid-twenties and twenty years after her father was convicted of killing 6 girls when she was 12, she tries to restart her life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, LA. She self-medicates to try and escape from the demons and memories as a new crop of girls start to disappear and are killed.  It’s a whirlwind of a novel, having you think, “Who done it?”  It is looking like it will be adapted for a screenplay for TV or short series with Emma Stone producer for HBO Max.    

The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart  I’m almost finished with this one and am enjoying it.  This story is about a treasure hunt of a Faberge egg that was supposedly created during the uprising of the Russian Revolution.  It is historical fiction that takes place in present-day Florida/Russia St. Petersburg and during Imperial Russia in St. Petersburg during Nicholas II reign and abduction.  The author did her research and brought in Alma Pihl, a real-life master craftsman of the House of Faberge which I never knew.  I have personally seen a few Faberge Easter Eggs that were commissioned by the Tsar’s at the Kremlin Armory when we visited Russia and they are exquisite. You can see which eggs the Kremlin has by visiting here.  Queen Elizabeth II inherited 3 of the Imperial Eggs from her grandmother, Queen Mary.  There were 52 eggs created during three Tsar reigns.  10 eggs are at the Kremlin Armory, 5 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 3 in the Royal Collection in London and the Met in NY, 2 on display in Lausanne, Switzerland, 2 at Hillwood Estate in DC, and 2 at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.  There’s a single egg in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, one in Monte Carlo, and one at the Faberge Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany.  One is also owned by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar.  The fate of 8 eggs is a mystery and there is speciation of the where-about of 2 of the 8.  You can read the history here.  But what this author does, is create a historical fiction of the 51st egg created but never given to Tsar Nicholas II and it was hidden by Faberge and then he gave it to Pihl for safekeeping.  It’s a fun read if you are into treasure hunts.  

On the list to read:
Danger in Numbers and Crimson in Numbers by Heather Graham.

Three Debts Paid by Anne Perry

The Investigator by John Sanford

Relative Justice by Robert Whitlow