Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Manhattan Night

Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) is a newspaper man. He is stilling riding the high of finding a missing girl. With newspaper a dying art, he needs to stay relevant. He meets Caroline Crawley (Yvonne Strahovski), a wealthy, beautiful widow, who wants Wren to investigate her husband’s death. Wren becomes intrigued, not with just the case but also Caroline. He is soon sucked into the bizarre mystery that not only affects Caroline but soon is affecting Wren’s home life. Will he be able to solve this crime before he meets the same fate?

This was actually a pretty good mystery. You never really knew what was going to happen but when you do it was a little shocking.  Also starring, Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals. Rated R


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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. On the day that his fiancée was killed, Anthony lost a treasured object that she had given him. Still in mourning 40 years later, he has made it his mission to reunite people with their lost objects. As an author, many of these objects have also found their way into his stories. As Anthony nears the end of his life, he fears that his work will be left undone, so he entrusts everything to his assistant Laura. Laura, still recovering from her divorce, feels a little lost herself, and Anthony’s bequest is overwhelming.  But she soon settles into Anthony’s home and the project at hand. She makes new friends, and with their help, begins the task of reuniting objects with their owners. Along the way, she also discovers the story behind Anthony and Therese, and the mystery of what was lost.

While this story isn’t quite a cozy mystery, it has a lot of the same elements that make it not only an easy read, but also very enjoyable. The characters are relatable and quirky, and while there are some serious bits, they are more than balanced out with a dash of humor. Perfect reading for a rainy day with a cup of tea.


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The Shack

Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) is lost in his life.  While on a camping trip with his three kids, his youngest was kidnapped and murdered.  Now he is barely functioning and is mad at God. When his wife takes the kids to visit her parents, Mack finds a note in the mailbox. It tells him to go to the cabin where his daughter was murdered. Mack is convinced it is from the killer and goes. But when he arrives, no one is there. He rages and breaks things and knocks himself out. And then nothing is ever the same again.

I didn’t really know what to expect since I didn’t read the book. I enjoyed this movie. It did drag a little bit for me in the middle but overall this is a pretty good movie. Also starring, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, and Radha Mitchell.  Rated PG-13

 


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Celine by Peter Heller

Celine, a successful artist living in Brooklyn Heights, also has a side job. She works as a private investigator who specializes in reuniting families. When she is approached by Gabriela, whose father went missing 20 years ago, Celine is immediately intrigued by the case. Gabriela’s father was a famous photographer for National Geographic whose career took him to places all over the world. When he went missing, he was working on the border of Wyoming and Montana, and was assumed to have been the victim of a bear attack. Celine and her partner Pete head off to Yellowstone National Park, following a very cold trail. It soon becomes apparent that they’re being followed, and as they get closer to finding answers, more questions arise, along with the level of danger they’re facing.

Celine is one of the best P.I. characters to come along for awhile. She’s smart and elegant, and something of a mystery herself. At 68, she takes no nonsense from anyone, and she’s definitely a bit dangerous if you underestimate her. Peter Heller just keeps getting better. I don’t know if he intends to write more about Celine, but I sure hope he does! If you’re looking for something a bit different for your book club, give this one a try.


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Collide

Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) is an American who winds up in Germany. He ends up staying and working for drug smugglers and falls in love with Juliette (Felicity Jones). He quits his job and lives happily with Juliette. Until she because sick and they need to get back to the States for an operation. He needs to make money quick and goes to his old boss. He is given a job to steal a truckload of drugs. When he fails, Juliette is kidnapped and now Casey will do anything to get her back, even if it means sacrificing himself.

This was a pretty good action movie. A lot of car chasing scenes that were fun and a pretty decent storyline. Also starring, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley.  Rated PG-13


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The Child by Fiona Barton

Although not billed as a series, reporter Kate Waters from Barton’s debut, The Widowreturns as she begins to investigate when an infant’s bones are found on a construction site in London. A mother of two other children, Angela Irving’s baby, Alice, disappeared from the hospital in the 70’s and was never found. She is hoping that DNA samples will prove a match so that she knows what happened to her baby all those years ago. The police believe the body was buried sometime in the 80’s, which brings about more questions than answers.

Emma learns about the baby, whose remains were found in the garden of her old home, from Kate’s article in the paper. Although she was kicked out at sixteen, Emma harbors a dark secret from that neighborhood during the days she lived there with her selfish mother Jude and Jude’s boyfriend, Will.

Kate’s investigation has her confronting the major players in the neighborhood during that time period as she unravels what exactly happened to baby Alice.

A very well done dark suspense novel that is equal to, if not better, than Barton’s debut. There is a twist that this reader did not see coming that proves what a clever story Barton has weaved. If you are into the psychological suspense novels like me, this one is a sure bet.


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All We Had

Thirteen year old Ruthie (Stefania Owen) and her mom Rita (Katie Holmes) are struggling to keep up their hand to mouth existence, despite the fact that Rita is working more than on job. On the brink of eviction from their apartment, they hit the road, living out of their car.  Their car breaks down, and out of money, they find themselves stranded in a small town. Luckily, they’re able to get jobs at a local diner, and soon, things start looking up for them.  They’ve got an apartment, Ruthie is settling in at school, and she’s even got a best friend – Peter Pam (Eve Lindley), a transgender teen who also works at the diner. And when Rita starts dating Vic (Mark Consuelos), a persuasive mortgage broker, the two buy their first house.  Things are going really well,  but when the recession hits, and business starts to slow down at the diner, they may find themselves right back where they started.

Based on the novel by Annie Weatherwax, and directed by Katie Holmes, this movie is a poignant portrayal of one family’s struggle to stay afloat when everything seems to be going against them. Not rated. Also featuring: Richard Kind, Judy Greer, and Luke Wilson.