Becky Masterman: Rage Against the Dying Sunday, Apr 21 2013 

images_009Brigid Quinn, the protagonist and wonderful heroine of Becky Masterman’s new thriller Rage Against the Dying, reminds Auntie M of a female Jethro Gibbs from NCIS–one with a more visceral bent but with a past that haunts her dreams.

This is one strong lady who doesn’t hesitate to get her hands dirty, whether it’s searching river beds for unusual rocks in a dry Tucson river bed, or dealing with maniacal murderers who threaten her and those she loves.

After a life in the FBI, the retiree in her late 50’s–and how nice to have a protagonist of a certain age–finds love with new husband, Carlo,  a retired professor she met auditing his class. They have Pugs and wine and easy days together, building a life where she may even try to learn to cook. Maybe.

But Brigid lives in fear of the mask she’s created slipping, and of Carlo seeing her through her violent past and what she has seen and the person she was, instead of who she’s become. This is one strong gal who can kill with her bare hands, and shivers at the thought of Carlo having that knowledge.

Then an incident occurs that threatens her new-found peace and with that hanging over her shoulder, Brigid is thrust back into the cold case when a man confesses to the string of murders and offers to lead police to the murdered woman’s body in exchange for a plea bargain. This is the one case her team had to leave unsolved. It  left a member of her team dead and the young agent’s murder remains unsolved. It’s an incident that haunts Brigid in her quiet moments, one for which she feels a sense of culpability. She must be involved.

Yet Brigid knows something is wrong, and with her own horrendous secret to keep, she fears everything she works so hard to build will come tumbling down as she matches wits with a terrifying killer. Adding to the confusion is that the new FBI agent on the case believes the confession is faked, and Brigid finds herself at the center of violence once again.

This is a chilling, smart debut. Readers will not only be rooting for Brigid, they will be eager to read the next adventure of this vibrant character who has seen far too much of the heinous side of humanity yet craves normality for herself.

The Great Hockey Rink in the Sky Monday, Mar 31 2008 

Auntie M has just returned from the wilds of the midwest, visiting her 4 Grands and far too many hockey rinks…where she picked up a stomach flu…in the middle of a hockey tournament (I leave the details to your imagination, but trust me, the ladies room is NOT like yours at home)…which the 16 mos old had two days later.  Reminded me why younger people have babies,  as I did those three baths and changes of clothes in one 8AM to 1 PM shift when Mom was teaching.  Since 3 of 4 Grands plus Mom play hockey ( you are in serious trouble out here if you don’t), and  since hot chocolate wouldn’t stay down, it was not my favorite part of the trip.  But I digress.

Being around children who remind me of the natural curiosity and wonder of this world is  worth a few trips to the ice rink.   Taking a trip to the bookstore was my favorite outing.  Along with Green Girl of Wisconsin’s blog last week, I agree that there are plenty of non-fiction books that rival those of the storied kind.  My 7 yr old g-dtgr. asked for The Dangerous Book for Girls for her May birthday, and you know it’s coming to her.  9 yr old g-son is reading a series where he can design his own ending for the book!   That they are all in love with books is a real delight to this Nana.  Reading aloud the original Peter Pan, chapter one, the G’s were astounded to find that “Nana” was the Darling children’s dog nanny.  Score one for this Nana.

We also took the three bigs to see “Horton” and where else can a couple laugh with delight at an animated movie with abandon unless they are surrounded by the kids the movie is designed for.  Too loud, a pet peeve of mine at cinema’s, but well done.

I did manage to reada few by Claire Curzon, the Mike Yeading series, and R. M. Kinder’s An Absolute Gentleman, which neatly illustrates everything you wanted to know inside the mind of an academic serial killer, as opposed to the purely sociopathic one of the Dexter novels.  Which is coming on CBS tonight.  So if you want to wander around for a bit with a serial killer, read either or the above or tune in at 10Pm EST.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

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"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

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