#BookReview: The Trail Of Lost Hearts by Tracey Garvis Graves

Surprise Pregnancy Mars Otherwise Excellent Romance Tale. This is one of those types of romance tales that is going to be divisive in a couple of different ways, but the biggest is that there is a surprise pregnancy around the 50% mark at all. Which comes completely out of the blue – there is not one iota of a hint that this character may be interested in having kids some day *at all*, then *BAM*, pregnant. Which from reading other reviews, even those who *do* have kids don’t always enjoy this particular type of surprise. Much less the childfree or childless.

Outside of the surprise pregnancy though – which *does* dominate the back half of the book, though there *is* some solid character development despite/ through the pregnancy – this was actually a strong book featuring some atypical angles (such as geocaching) and some solid characterization of grief and loss in various forms and through various backgrounds.

Overall a strong tale that perhaps could have been stronger with a different back half, but which many will find perfectly solid as is. Very much recommended.

This review of The Trail Of Lost Hearts by Tracey Garvis Graves was originally written on March 15, 2024.

#BookReview: My Wife Is Missing by DJ Palmer

Strong Cat And Mouse Tale Actually Harmed By Final Reveals. There is no escaping writing about my feelings about this book without up front stating that while the first of two final reveals was a decent twist – not great, given the story to that point, but serviceable enough – the second one in particular was just lackluster, lazy, and didn’t fit with the rest of the book at all. And for it to be the epilogue of the book only leaves the reader disappointed.

Which is sad, because the book before that point, and even during the course of the first reveal, is a nail biting cat and mouse game that had me invested from the very beginning. A man comes back to his hotel room in NYC from getting his family pizza… only to find barely a shred of evidence that they were ever there to begin with. From here we get a dual-timeline-ish tale where we see both husband and wife and the one’s efforts to find the other while the other tries desperately to hide from the one seeking them, and this part of the tale is deftly told showing Palmer’s usual skill at maintaining a solid level of tension throughout the tale. With a better ending, this tale could actually have been one of Palmer’s stronger ones. As it is, it is simply middling. Which is still a great tale from a great storyteller, simply not this particular storyteller at the top of his game. Still very much recommended.

This review of My Wife Is Missing by DJ Palmer was originally written on May 4, 2022.

#BookReview: Fulfillment by Alec MacGillis

Amazon’s Long Shadow. This book seeks to show the America that was, and the America that is in the Age of Amazon and how the former became the latter. And in that goal, it actually does remarkably well. Sprinkling case study after case study after case study with history, political science, and social science, this book truly does a remarkable job of showing the changing reality of living and working in an America that has gone from hyper local business to one of hyper global – and the giant blue smiley swoosh that has accompanied much of this transition over the last 2o years in particular. Very much a literary style work, this perhaps won’t work for those looking for a more in-depth attack on Amazon, nor will it really work for those looking for a true in-depth look at Amazon’s specific practices. But it does serve as a solid work of showing many of Amazon’s overall tactics and how they are both the result of change and the precipice of other change. Very much recommended.

This review of Fulfillment by Alec MacGillis was originally written on November 25, 2020.