Saturday, September 09, 2006

No Second Chance

I wanted to participate in Semicolon's Saturday book review again this week. You can check it out each Saturday. Link your own book review (or thoughts around a book), or simply go and find some new reads.

This week I read No Second Chance. It's paperback, it's a bestseller, and it was a good read. I know that when most serious readers post a book review, or mention a book in a blog, it might be a thoughtful literary fiction kind of book, perhaps a classic novel, or a book that changed your parenting for the better. So, I'm standing up for mindless fiction as I shamelessly plug this book. I like a good suspense thriller as much as many of you, but what I liked most about this one is that it was enjoyable. Do you understand me when I say that some suspense fiction isn't enjoyable while you are in the midst of trying to take it all in? You turn page after page, wondering what will happen next, you dream it, you try to squeeze a few more pages in when possible. . . . It's almost too much (That's why my husband has a hard time with 24. Even though he does enjoy it, it takes a lot out of him when we're in the middle of watching a season on DVD). This book wasn't that kind of suspense thriller. Yes, it started off mysteriously. For a long time you are wondering what really happened and why. Things unfold, you think you know the answer, and then of course, you find out just a bit more. It was a quick, enjoyable read, but I wasn't chained to it all week. The other compelling thing is that it is told in a very conversational first person narrative (see, I can still sound all literary, even when reviewing a common bestselling suspense novel).

Another thing that I appreciated (and sometimes have a hard time finding) was the absence of excessive profanity or sexual situations. I have read one other book by Harlan Coben, Just One Look, and while I remembered enjoying that one, I don't remember specifics, but I don't remember enjoying it as much as this one. Maybe you'll want to add this to your list for the Fall Into Reading Challenge.

What genre or author do you read for pure, mindless, entertainment? This is a safe place. You can admit it.


Katrina said...

Well, I must say that I enjoy my fair share of mindless fiction. I read No Second Chance this year, too, and enjoyed it as well (much more than the other Coben books I've read).

My favorite "mindless genre" is definitely mystery/suspense/thriller. (Okay, I guess that's 3 genres, but sometimes they all blend together, you know?) I like culinary mysteries by Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson. I love Jeffery Deaver's books, particularly the ones featuring Lincoln Rhyme. I've read most of Agatha Christie's books several times.

After a line of mysteries/thrillers, I'm often ready for a break - something a little more calm, maybe a little more "character-driven." At times, I even pick up something from the fantasy genre (like Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series). But I always come back to mysteries.

Sherry said...

Murder mysteries, cozy murder mysteries: Agatha Christie, Rex stout, Erle Stanley Gardner. Why is the solving of a murder so comforting?

org junkie said...

I'm all for mindless fiction. Sometimes "smart people" books just hurt my head cause having to read a dictionary at the same time is no form of relaxing for me! I'm currently reading Karen Kingsbury's latest "Like Dandelion Dust". So far I'm really enjoying it.

Kathleen Marie said...

What a fabulous idea -- book reviews. I think I might do this this coming week. It is so hard to know what to read nowadays. Thanks for sharing!

Jen Robinson said...

I personally love mysteries and suspense, and Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors of the genre. I also like Michael Connelly, Robert Craig, Carol O'Connell, and Deborah Crombie, among lots of others. I wish that people didn't feel compelled to defend themselves for their reading choices. I say, read whatever you enjoy. I agree with Sherry that mysteries are particularly comforting. And of course, they keep you turning the pages.

jane said...

Great review, must keep a look out for that book! At the moment I am reading a Nicholas Sparks book for my "pure, mindless entertainment" - I also enjoy Karen Kingsbury, a friend of mine once called that genre "candy for the mind!"

Thanks also Jennifer for the tip about semicolon, I am going to hop on over there now and take a look and maybe participate this coming week too.

Jeannine said...

I really enjoy M.C. Beaton's mysteries, Rhys Bowen's Evan Evans' mysteries, and all of Alexander McCall Smith's books. They all are a nice escape for me and I don't have to think to hard about them.

BTW, I finally did your meme with my four older children.

Dianne said...

I'll have to check this out (No Second Chance).

Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series is one of my mindless indulgences. I like about anything set in quaint England that focuses on the people as much or more than plot.