Worst books I’ve read lately

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Some books look promising or sound good in reviews and then turn out to be duds. Usually I don’t review books I don’t like. What’s the point?

These books were such disappointments, I’ve decided to do a post on them. Take it as a warning and gives these books a miss.

GALVESTON by Nic Pizzolatto. I loved Pizzolatto’s “True Detective” crime drama, especially the first season starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It was a hero’s journey that eradicated a great evil at a great price to the protagonists.

GALVESTON is similar with less heroics, more stupidity and much less of an impact on the evil in the world. The same day Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, his boss sends him on a death trap assignment. Through luck and steely nerves, Roy takes out his assailants and survives.

He discovers another survivor, a young woman called Rocky, in the back room. He agrees to take her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston. He thinks he can cut her loose in a few days or take her back to her people. She agrees to the latter but wants him to wait. When she comes back, she has a child in tow whom she calls her sister.

She ends up being as sticky as honey. Nic ends up being stupid. A grand plan to blackmail money from his former employer just offers an opportunity for him and Rocky to be hunted. Roy survives again (with severe injuries), but Rocky doesn’t. And, BTW, Roy survives his supposedly terminal illness.

GIRLS OF GLASS by Brianna Labuskes. Having read and enjoyed Labuskes’ A FAMILIAR SIGHT, made the failures of this book all the more disappointing. Charlotte Burke’s daughter Ruby has been kidnapped. She is bereft. Detective Alice Garner knows the feeling; her own daughter was kidnapped and murdered. Charlotte’s father, Judge Sterling Burke, let Alice’s daughter’s murderer out on parole early. Sterling is rotten to the core and nearly as powerful as God. Charlotte’s life has been hell. While there’s hope that Alice will help Charlotte, the book is powerful. Ultimately, you learn that Alice is as bad as Judge Burke in her own way. The deeper you go, the less credible this story gets.

THE POISON GARDEN by A. J. Banner. Boy, does Elise Watters have man problems! She comes home to Chinook Island, WA, the day before her one-year anniversary to Kiernan Lund, MD, to find him in bed with another woman. Her ex-husband Brandon is always lurking about the island doing construction projects and trying to make contact with her.

Elise has bad dreams and a tendency to walk in her sleep. She enlists her geek consultant next door neighbor Chantal to hack into Kiernan’s computer and discovers he has masses of debt and may have prevented her mother (Kiernan’s patient) from participating in a clinical trial that might have extended her life. Instead of getting therapy, taking a break from men or simply growing up, Elise’s problems get solved by murder. There’s not a likeable character in the bunch. There’s enough gas-lighting to send a reader to a psych ward.


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