Oath of Office

Bibliographic Information

Audiobook $25.70
Paperback $7.96
Hardback $8.74
Kindle $7.99
Associated ISBNs 9780312587536
9780312587543 — Paperback
9781429950435
9781410447470 — Hardcover

Readers Annotation

There’s something making people kill and Dr. Lou Welcome is on the case.

Rating (VOYA)

3P, 3Q

Its not super well written (there are character flaws and plot flaws).

Its not everyone’s cup of tea (medical thriller?).

Summary

Ok here we go…

Dr John Meacham has just seen a patient. He knows that everyone in his office heard and saw what happened. He needs to take care of it. There needs to be NO WITNESSES. So he loads his gun and kills everyone in his office before turning the gun on himself.

Dr Lou Welcome works for an office that evaluates Dr.s down on their luck, or who have had their licenses temporarily revoked. Lou had evaluated Dr Meacham and found him fit to practice. So when Lou finds out about Meacham’s shooting spree, he’s shocked, and knows that this will get his own license put on pause and his job suspended (since they’re going to blame him since he was the one who said Meacham could go back to work).

Lou finds Meacham’s behavior strange and out of character. He goes to the hospital where they took Meacham (who was not killed when he shot himself). He watches as the doctors in the hospital act weird and do things he wouldn’t do and which ultimately leads to Meacham’s death. Lou finds Meacham’s distraught wife and offers to take her home. She insists on driving. She’s acting strange, super focused and crazy, saying she needs to catch up to a cat in front of them because his taillight is out. She’s driving erratically and dangerously, and Lou keeps trying to talk her down and get her to pull over. They get pulled over by the police, the chief of police of Kings Ridge. He’s heard about Meacham, and knows Meacham’s wife, and doesn’t give them a ticket.

Meanwhile, Darlene is the first lady. Her husband is in a spot of trouble because the Secretary of Agriculture had to resign because of a scandal with an underage prostitute. Darlene and her PA are at a bar when the former Secretary (whom Darlene has known most of her life) approaches. He says that he was framed, but he isn’t asking her to get his job back. He’s asking her to see if her husband can move some of the legislation that he was working on through because it is important to the country. Darlene says she will.

Darlene’s husband completely blows up at her for even talking to the former Secretary, and makes her swear to never bring up the subject again.

Lou starts talking to the police chief and talks about his theory: that something is making people in Kings Ridge act nuts. The chief says he’ll help Lou however he can. They go to the home of the woman Meacham had examined before his breakdown and talk to her. She tells them that Meacham just got upset about her eating habits again. Lou asked if she saw him anywhere outside of the office and she said: Millie’s diner.

Lou meets up with his father for dinner at Millie’s diner. They order and chat about Lou’s case and his father’s latest scheme. And then the kid behind the counter tries to cut off his hand. They rush him to the hospital (not the one in Kings Ridge at Lou’s insistence) and the doctor’s there are able to save the kid’s hand. Millie is super grateful to Lou and the two talk about the diner and the people in the town.

Meanwhile, Darlene is approached by someone she starts calling “double M,” he plays the tape of the girl getting contracted to set up the Secretary and tells her to meet him. Darlene and the PA set up a clever scheme for Darlene to sneak away from her guards. Double M tells her to find the girl. Darlene’s personal guard guy knows that she snuck off, and tells her he doesn’t care what she’s doing, but to make sure he’s there. So, he uses some connections to find some girls the girl used to work with. Darlene learns about the girl, and then does some research. She finds that the girl is dead in Florida.

Lou boxes. Lou finds that he’s being tailed. With some advice from his boxing coach, he slips out of his apartment. Coach, George, Lou and the dumb guy, trail the tail. They end up in a corn field. They notice the corn is weird. Then get attacked. The dumb guy gets killed, George and Lou get chased by a killer combine. They escape.

The next day, Lou, Coach and George bring the police out to the field. They meet the guy who runs the place (who’s super suspicious) and the guy’s son. They get the brush off.

Lou talks to the kid who tried to cut his hand off, and finds that the kid has giant man-eating termites as pets. He finds this disturbing and suspicious. Lou gets contacted by Darlene. Lou and Darlene go to talk to an entomologist. He says “yeah those aren’t natural.” He dissects the queen Lou brought. Lou gets some equipment from the entomologist to help him search for the hive.

Darlene talks to her husband about the mutant corn and the termites. He gets pissed and says he’s not going to do anything about it. And that he’s made a deal with the Chinese in exchange for that corn. Darlene wonders who this man is and where her husband has gone.

Lou tracks the termites back to an old looking shack in the woods, near the farm with the mutant corn. He surmises that this is the place where they’ve been experimenting on the corn/termites. He calls the police chief. The chief is ranting to Lou as he opens the cabin with a key and continues ranting as he leads Lou down into the lab. Lou finally grasps that the chief was in on it the whole time (too late). The chief attacks. Lou escapes. The farmer’s son ends up being “double M.” Double M and the chief end up going over the platform above a pit of termites and getting eaten alive. Lou manages to escape.

Lou tells his ex-wife, her new husband and daughter to go hide for a little bit since powerful people are trying to kill him and may try to hurt him by hurting them. He then gets a call from the farmer saying he has Lou’s friends (Coach and George). Lou must go meet with him.

Lou jumps on a moving train thinking he can get to Coach and George before they’re to be killed. He gets Coach and George free, but then all three get captured. They’re put in a silo and the farmer starts interrogating them and pouring corn on them. They’re about to suffocate when they’re rescued by the army. Darlene had convinced her husband to do something. He now needs to resign.

Lou and Darlene agree that though they have feelings for each other, Darlene is staying with her husband.

Evaluation

Now that I’ve thought about it, I am reminded of that time I read Prey by Michael Crichton. Science gone wrong! But medical science this time. I hadn’t even made the connection before… I blame Goodreads and putting a Robin Cook book in the Readalikes (note to self: finally read a Robin Cook book).

Anyway….

This was a good way to spend 10.5 hours. It wasn’t revolutionary, it wasn’t super awesome, but it was a pretty good book that I liked listening to.

Look, there’s a pretty forced love story (because what book doesn’t have a love story, and all female characters need to be involved in one you know…), the plot has some issues, and it wasn’t super thrilling. But, despite that overwhelming praise, it was a nice book.

I like Lou Welcome. He’s a doctor bouncing back from some tough times. He’s got strained family relationships, and he’s got good family relationships. Its nice to see two divorced characters getting along. His relationship with his daughter is great. And other than the forced love interest, he’s a really well formed character.

Darlene (the first lady) isn’t a very compelling character. She is a flawed character for sure (super trusting, faithful to her dumbass husband), but her flaws don’t make her interesting. She’s flat and one dimensional, as are her friends and even her husband.

Lou’s boxing buddies were pretty well thought out. They, while not completely 3 dimensional, were at least fun characters with personality.

D.C. is a big part of the book, and has some good description. Kings Ridge, however, is much more fleshed out than the nation’s capitol. Its got that small town vibe, and it really shows how small town people interact.

Its not the best mystery, for sure. Its not super thrilling. But it was a good way to spend some time (though I may have had a moment when I said aloud “you dumbass,” and I haven’t done that since the Dan Brown incident).

Genre

Medical Thriller

Suspense

Readalikes

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

Cell by Robin Cook

Significance

Modern science gone wrong book with a mystery.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

How believable is evil super corn?

Is what Millie did so wrong? What would you have done if you were in her shoes?

Discuss President and his decisions.

Author’s website

Michael Palmer

Awards

none

Reviews

Kirkus

PW

Why I Chose It

I kept seeing the third book in the series (Resistant) and wanted to read that one, so I thought I’d start with the first.

Other Information

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Sylvester

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $12.99
Paperback $11.62
Hardback $28.95
Kindle $8.81
Associated ISBNs 9781402238802
9780373836086 — Paperback
9780373773855 — Paperback
9780099465775 — Paperback
9781402239038 — E-Book

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 3P

While the quality is prtty good, the editing and language make it hard to read.

This is an older Regency Romance, so its possible that the people who would be interested in it have already read it.

Readers Annotation

 

Summary

Sylvester is ready for marriage. He discusses this with his mother, and then goes to Lady Ingham who tells him about Phoebe. He meets Phoebe’s father on a hunt and is impressed by his hunting. He is invited to stay, but feels forced. He regrets his visit and has developed a dislike of Phoebe.

Phoebe’s stepmother tells her that Sylvester has come to make her an offer of marriage. Phoebe doesn’t want to marry Sylvester, so she runs away with Tom to go live with her grandmother Lady Ingham.

Sylvester leaves for London, only to find Phoebe and Tom had a carriage accident. He is only too happy to take Phoebe to London, even if she is smarter than he thought. He tries to show her up for slighting him.

Phoebe meets Lady Ianthe, Sylvester’s brother’s widow. Lady Ianthe says Sylvester is evil. Phoebe has written a book that parodies him. The novel intrigues London, and everyone wants to know who wrote it. Lady Ianthe finds out that Phoebe is the author, and soon all of London knows as well.Sylvester does not take his portrayal kindly and insults Phoebe in public.

Lady Ianthe takes Phoebe, Tom and her son on her trip to France with her new husband Fotherby. Sylvester catches up to them in France. He takes them back to England. He complains about Phoebe, but realizes he loves her. She learns how much he’s gone through and eventually accepts his proposal of marriage.

Evaluation

This is a really stuffy Regency. I read a different Regency for this project which was much less stuffy. I think its partly because it was written in the ’50s, and partly accuracy(?). It was all so formal, and “sir” and “duke” and so on. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with Phoebe and Sylvester, but they did have a nice build. I have mixed feelings about it all.

The plot got a little out of hand. He snubbed her, she ran away, she wrote a book, the whole France thing… not that it wasn’t written well, but it sort of spiraled out of control.

The characters weren’t bad. They could be a little cliche, but I always enjoy a strong female character and the friendship she had with Tom.

I’m not sure this is a Regency that people would enjoy now. Its a little too stuffy, and little too old fashioned to be in style. People much prefer their regencies to be more like The Plumed Bonnet than this. I think this is much more Historical than Regency.

Genre

Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Readalikes

To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

Love with the Proper Husband by Victoria Alexander

Significance

Deeply historical regency romance, heavy on the propriety. Strong female character.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Do you believe Phoebe could have been a writer?

Discuss Phoebe and Sylvester’s relationship? Was the progression believable?

Author’s website

Fan site for Georgette Heyer

Awards

 

Reviews

Kirkus

Amazon

Why I Chose It

I wanted a classic Regengy romance, and this looked like a good one.

Other Information

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook
Paperback $11.47
Hardback $3.50
Kindle $6.99
Associated ISBNs 9780380976188
9780380796106 — Paperback
9780060090371 — Paperback
9781853716157 — Paperback
9788497594028 — Paperback
9780099489993 — Paperback
9780061841491
9780061193965 — E-Book
9781442095762 — Glued Binding
9780749324742
9780434004867

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 3P

Its not poorly written, but its not well written either. There’s a fair amount of action happening in the dialogue.

Its a realatable book and theme, with predictable hyjinks.It would probabl appeal to the 20-30 something set.

Readers Annotation

Lucy Sullivan is getting married, but she doesn’t even have a boyfriend.

Summary

When Lucy Sullivan and her coworkers go to a psychic reading, the psychic tells her that she’s going to get married. The only problem? Lucy isn’t dating anyone. The psychic tells her that she will need to look for him and that he won’t be where she expects him.

When her coworkers predictions start coming true (a big split = split lip, a lot of money, and meeting the love of their life (despite already being married with children)) Lucy starts to think maybe she will get married.

Lucy struggles with her depression, and her mother. She goes out with her friend Daniel and then meets her flatmates at a party. At that party she meets Gus, who could be the one.

Gus is a broke, unemployed musician. He mooches off of Lucy and plies her with pretty words. Lucy’s friend Dennis tells her he has horrible taste, but she can’t see anything wrong with Gus. But Gus abandons her after a short time of seeing him. Three weeks he shows up drunk and she takes him back. Then he dumps her.

Her mother leaves her alcoholic father, she sort of starts up with Daniel, but it doesn’t work. She moves in with her father (but refuses to acknowledge that he’s an alcoholic) and goes back out with Gus again. This time she realizes he’s no good and that her father is an alcoholic.

Evaluation

Its not a bad book. It has some relatable moments, and Lucy’s blindness in regards to Gus and her dad being bad for her is certainly interesting. But of course Daniel’s always loved her, and she finally realizes that at the end and they live happily ever after. Lucy’s roommate Karen was pretty unbelievable at the end, but that might just be me.

There wasn’t much plot to this one, more a slice of life deal. The characters were what was detailed. All the people in the book were pretty three dimensional.

I didn’t connect emotionally with this one. It had an interesting premise and some interesting moments, but it was a little predictable and I really wanted to hit Lucy for ever thinking of dating Gus (and constantly going back to him).

I think its pretty relatable to some sects of people, and pretty interesting in some ways. I think this book has an audience, and that Chick Lit readers will probably enjoy it.

Genre

Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy

Readalikes

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Significance

20 something struggling through life, depression and an alcoholic father. Unique because she doesn’t recognise his alcoholism.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

What did you think of Lucy’s relationship with Gus?

Was Lucy’s relationship with Karen and Charlotte a good friendship?

Was the romance predictable?

Author’s website

Marian Keyes

Awards

 

Reviews

PW

Book reviews

Why I Chose It

I chose this one because it sounded like a fun romp with an interesting premise, and it was a Chick Lit book.

Other Information