I haven’t only been reading my free books over the past few weeks. It is never that simple with me. So just a quick recap of what else I have read apart from the books I have mentioned already.
1.) The Stranger You Seek – Amanda Kyle Williams
Meet Keye Street, the latest private investigator on the roll, a recovering alcoholic, ex-FBI profiler, divorced and good at her job. I liked the girl. She has just enough hang-ups to make her seem human and just enough brains to qualify as an extraordinary detective. She calls herself self-absorbed and selfish, but then who isn’t? In this book she must find a serial killer who not only kills his victims brutally but also enjoys staging situations in a way that would traumatize the family members in a much more twisted was than usual as well. It was a particularly mean and terrifying villain that the author dreamed up here and I was suitably horrified by his nerve and his invisibility.
2.) The Kingdom of Bones – Stephen Gallagher
I didn’t really like this book as much as I should have, considering that it ticked almost all the boxes of my favourite genres, from historical to crime to mystery to magic. But like most books set in England and with a hopeless love plot woven in, this one just became too dark and melancholy for my tastes.
3.) Playing Dead – Julia Heaberlin
I liked this book. Its about a girl grieving for her father and with a mother in the throes of dementia, who receives a letter from a woman who tells her that she is her real mother. It was fast paced and full of completely unexpected twists and turns. The descriptions of the landscape were spot on and the author’s portrayal of a woman who loves the land and her home is absolutely believable. The relationships of the girl with her parents and her sister are lovingly scripted and make one root for the character all the way through.
4.) The Wicked Girls – Alex Marwood
The wicked girls was at once chilling and frustratingly empathy provoking. Its the story of two girls who manage to kill a little girl in their care through a series of unfortunate events. But, its not a story only about that. Its a story of their lives when they collide again 25 years later. Its a story of a past that completely overwhelms every living moment of the two women. Its evokes pity in your hearts but you also understand the extreme bitterness in the heart of the woman who lost her little sister, her insatiable desire to get even. The last few pages were perfectly terrifying and absolutely believable.
5.) Defending Jacob – William Landay
Another book about children and terrible deeds. Here, young Jacob is the son of a district attorney and is accused of a heinous crime. Its the story of the family’s ordeal as they deal not only with the allegations but also with the changing behaviour of their neighbours and friends during and after the trial. Most crime fiction deals only with the perpetrator and leaves out the long-term effects of his/her crime on his/her own family, apart from that of the victim’s. Again, one begins to empathize with their situation and to wonder how one would respond if it happened to one of their own neighbours. Real life so often gets in the way of the idealistic ways we imagine ourselves to be capable of.
6.) Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter – Tom Franklin
When it rains it pours. Another book about the childhood indiscretions that haunt the present. This is also about the unlikely freindship of two boys of opposite race and the same father. You figure that one out pretty early in the book, so I am not really giving anything away. It is another well written work with extremely well-etched characters. I liked them all and will be looking for other works by the author. A must read.
7.) Island of Lost Girls – Jennifer McMohan
Another book on kids and their secrets! I don’t know how it happens but every time I pick up a particular theme, it seems to resonate in all books that I may have picked up completely at random. I think it is my super-power!
Anyway, this book was disturbing and complex – I mean the moment you read about a man in a bunny costume kidnapping a little girl all the hair on your nape take an uncomfortable standing ovation. Rhonda is just a sad person, stuck on one guy she fell in love with all those many years ago, even though he is now fat and married to a woman who takes naked plunges in community jacuzzi’s. Apart from that, I thought she was smart enough, working her way through all the mysteries and secrets around her.
There are many more where these came from… but they must wait for another day fueled by a burst of energy like today.