Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#3: Origin (Dan Brown)

Where did we come from? What is our purpose? Where are we going? These questions have filled human thought for centuries and now become the inspiration for Dan Brown’s latest novel, Origin. Robert Langdon returns as the hero of this fast-paced, intriguing page turner that you certainly do not want to miss.

A young scientist who is also a well-known Atheist claims to have discovered new information about the origin of life on Earth. As he prepares to make his announcement to the world, he is mysteriously assassinated in front of the luminaries gathered in the modernist museum as well as millions of people around the world. Was he killed by the Church in an effort to silence the news that would potentially shake the foundation of the world’s faith communities? Or was the murder ordered by the royal family of Spain? The story takes the reader through the beautiful, lush scenery of Spain while examining spectacular masterpieces from the visual arts and the world of science. With the addition of Winston, the scientist’s stunning AI assistant, Origin introduces a new type of character that is rarely encountered in popular literature — and results in a most satisfying reading experience. I found myself connecting with Winston’s computer-generated voice just as I did the human characters created by Brown. The novel really is one of the author’s best-crafted novels.

Don’t pick up a copy of Origin until you have some free time on your hands. You won’t be able to put it down until you reach the book’s final page!

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#8: Code of Conduct (Brad Thor)

I’m nearing the end of Middlemarch, but this week’s road trip meant I had to take a break. The rental doesn’t have satellite radio, so it was the perfect time to return to my old friends– audio books! I was entertained and intrigued by the return of Scot Harvath in Code of Conduct.

In this installment of the series, we find our former Navy Seal fighting an unseen enemy. A strain of Ebola has been weaponized and is threatening lives around the world. Set in Congo, Switzerland, and the US, Code of Conduct features exciting battles in humanitarian jungle hospitals as well as the streets of the Nation’s Capitol. Members of the federal government and UN dignitaries join forces to enact the most diabolical genocide the world has seen….and it is up to Scot Harvath to stop them.

Not only exciting, the book is thought provoking. In an age where biological weapons are a reality and international wars remind us just how small the globe is, Thor’s novel feels as though it could easily be plucked from tomorrow’s headlines. Once again, Brad Thor’s writing is riveting and doesn’t disappoint.

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#5: The Mozart Conspiracy (Scott Mariani)


It should come as no surprise that I would actually pick up this novel. How could I resist? The composer’s name in the title combined with the quote at the top of the book cover — “James Bond meets Jason Bourne meets The Da Vinci Code.” — had me hooked from the beginning. The Mozart Conspiracy was not everything it was cracked up to be, but it was still a nice distraction during a long week.

Ben Hope is a retired British Special Air Service officer who has been contacted by his former flame, Leigh Llewellyn. Leigh is a renowned opera singer who is quietly investigating the mysterious death of her brother, Oliver, while completing his research on the death of Mozart. The Llewellyn family has long been intrigued by the composer due to their father’s obsession with The Mozart Letter he obtained before his death. The letter suggests that members of the Order of Ra — a mysterious group charged with the destruction of the 18th century Masons — were responsible for Mozart’s death.  Oliver stumbles upon a secret ritual ceremony by what seems to be the continuation of the Order of Ra. The members of the group are willing to kill anyone who knows — or might know — about their existence. Leigh and Ben are now chased all over Europe as they attempt to expose the murderous group’s secrets while making sure they don’t die in the process.


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#20: Takedown (Brad Thor)

How is it possible that I have missed Brad Thor’s work? This author is definitely one that I am excited to have discovered through My Shelf project!

Takedown features ex-SEAL Scot Harvath and a rag-tag group of discharged veterans in an unexpected situation. Terrorists have attacked New York City again. This time, they have targeted the city’s tunnels and bridges — essentially cutting the island of Manhattan off from the rest of the world. While first responders are busy rescuing victims, the terrorists continue their plot and create havoc at seemingly unrelated locations throughout the city. As Harvath and his team discover that the locations are actually sites in an ultra-secret government project, the importance of stopping the terrorists becomes more evident. Brad Thor’s novel is definitely a page-turning thriller that cannot be put down easily.

After reading Takedown, I learned that it is actually the 5th book in Thor’s series featuring the character of Scot Harvath. I was impressed that the novel stood alone so well, despite making subtle references to past plots (which I assume are told in the earlier novels). The novel was an easy read and very entertaining. I’m not sure that I will read the entire series, but Takedown‘s ending certainly left me with many questions and a classic cliff hanger that are drawing me in to read the next book in the series. For more information on Brad Thor and his work (including a new series that begins with the first book released in 2014), visit his website at To see books in the Scot Harvath series in order, here’s a convenient list from our friends at Mystery Sequels.

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