Brother", so I was really looking forward to this one, and it was great. So much good horror lately! Steve is a troubled ten year old boy living in Oregon. He stutters and is picked on relentlessly both at school and at home by his mean older brother and his abusive stepfather. Steve has one ally in the world: his twelve year old cousin, Jude. Jude disappears one day and everyone in town thinks he just ran away, since he's a known troublemaker. Steve doesn't believe it though, and tries to help search for him. Jude comes back after a few days, but he's changed. He doesn't remember where he was or what happened to him, he's very distracted and keeps running back into the woods, and he's being mean to Steve. The ending was really great, threw me for a loop in the best possible way.
A Study in Charlotte". I tore through "Last of August" and was...underwhelmed. It just seemed overly complicated and the romantic but not really together relationship between Charlotte and James seemed forced and silly. Sexual tension is fun and all, but now it's to the point where it's just slightly torturous to read. The book starts out with James visiting Charlotte's family home over the holidays. Her mother is ill and her beloved uncle Leander has disappeared. Charlotte's brother Milo seems unconcerned about Leander's strange disappearance, but he agrees to help Charlotte and James try to find him. They travel to Berlin because Leander was working undercover trying to bring down an art forgery ring. James is convinced Charlotte's ex-tutor, August Moriarty, is double-crossing them somehow, he just can't prove it. As usual, Charlotte is ten steps ahead of everyone else. It was fun switching to her POV towards the end of the book, and Cavallaro does that really well, but otherwise I was disappointed. I hope the third one is better.
Agent of Chaos", I read Dana Scully's story, "Devil's Advocate". I didn't like it nearly as much as "Agent of Chaos", although I liked Maberry's writing style better than Garcia's. It just seemed so unbelievable to me. I can totally buy the FBI having surveillance on a young Mulder, after all, Bill Mulder worked for the State Department and his biological father was the Cigarette Smoking Man. Fox was probably on their radar since the day he was born. But Dana Scully? Why? Why would they have an eye on her? It just seemed like a stretch. Also, Dana seems to have psychic abilities, she's having visions. Later she decides it was because she was on a hallucinogenic drug without knowing, but still. I don't know, the whole thing rubbed me the wrong way.