Feeds:
Posts
Comments

American Lightning

American Lightning by Howard Blum.

Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press;(October 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0307346951

 

In this masterpiece of narrative history, acclaimed author Howard Blum evokes the original “crime of the century” and an aftermath even more dramatic than the crime itself–a seminal episode in America’s history that would spark national debate and draw into its orbit master sleuth William J. Burns, crusading lawyer Clarence Darrow, and industry-shaping filmmaker D. W. Griffith.

 

Generally, I enjoy a historical read about things like the beginning of Hollywood.  Add to it a mystery and it should be right up my alley.  But I can’t say I enjoyed the way this author wrote.  At times it was a bit confusing, and it seemed like he would jump from the mystery to the history and then back again instead of it being smoothly integrated.   Rarely am I critical of the writing more than the story.. but this time, although I read the entire book.. it didn’t do much for me.

Advertisements

The Drop

The Drop by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 388 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;(November 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780316069410

 

Amazon Review..

Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.

DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab’s DNA cases currently in court.

Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving’s son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch’s longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.

Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

 

Once, a long time ago, I read another book by Connelly using Harry Bosch as the main character… I liked that one.. and I liked this one!  This one takes place near Hollywood CA and when they mentions towns and streets I remember them all.  So it was a combination book and some memory involved.

I enjoyed the fact that Bosch and his partner were actually taking care of a cold case crime and a recent  death, which might be suicide .  I also liked that when you think you know what’s next.. it isn’t! lol.

This was an easy read and short chapters, which is always a way to get me to read more!

The one thing I missed though.. is all the ambience of the Victorian 1800’s.. and England! lol  I need to find more Gothic Mysteries!!

Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman.

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books(December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345534220

Amazon

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.

The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.

Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . and its darkest secrets hidden.

 

This was a good little mystery.  No major detective solving the “crime” but the wife of the victim herself.  Although there is murder involved, this was a nice break from the normal detectives.  This was a good book with background being told a little at a time. And yes, there is lots of snow!

Quite a few surprising things happen along the way of her trying to find out why her husband committed suicide.  Obviously things are not always as they seem. But asking questions can be a dangerous business.

By Gaslight

By Gaslight by Steven Price.

Paperback: 752 pages
Publisher: Picador;(October 3, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1250141206

Amazon Review:

By Gaslight is a deeply atmospheric, haunting novel about the unending quest that has shaped a man’s life.

William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of the most notorious detective of all time, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead on the fabled con Edward Shade. William’s father died without ever finding Shade, but William is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows.

Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London to find her. What he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried.

A fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and séance halls ensues, creating the most unlikely of bonds: between Pinkerton, the great detective, and Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

Steven Price’s dazzling, riveting By Gaslight moves from the diamond mines of South Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War, on a journey into a cityscape of grief, trust, and its breaking, where what we share can bind us even against our darker selves.

I really enjoyed this book!  You can trust that statement because I read ALL those pages!

The book is basically about William Pinkerton, Edward Shade and Adam Foole. The are very good other characters surrounding them.  It does a lot of background chapters which tells you much more of when Pinkerton is searching for Edward Shade. 

It takes place in the 1800’s in London and in America. So there is some history tossed into the mix.

It kept my interest through the whole book, which in this case (752 pgs), is saying a lot!  I have the hardback which was rather heavy to hold, but I found that 2 small square pillows brought it up to eye level and took the weight of it! If you find a paperback it may be a tad better.  (maybe)

If asked if I would read it again… I would say probably not.  Although I like the book it wasn’t as good as “Drood” which was 800 pgs and I’ve read it twice!  But if you like mysteries and the 1800’s you will enjoy the book.

Cold Earth

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(April 18, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1250107385

Amazon Review

In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main road and sweeps down to the sea.

At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and water smash through a house in its path. Everyone thinks the home is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. Perez soon becomes obsessed with tracing her identity and realizes he must find out who she was and how she died.

This sounded like a book I would enjoy so I sent for it…. and I did enjoy it! I am not sure that I’ve read many murder mysteries by women, but it seems that Ann Cleeves is quite prolific about this!  I found out she has several books at Shetland with Jimmy Perez and several more books of another series. I do think I will try another from this series at some time or another!

You might want to check her out on Amazon and see if she’s written anything that might interest you!

The Magpie Murders

The Magpie Murders by M.Z. Gaston.

Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform(January 8, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1505918960

Amazon Review

In the small town of Branfield, Georgia, the residents are shocked by a heinous, unspeakable crime against a mute, bedridden patient at the local medical center. The only person who might hold the key to the identity of her assailant has Alzheimer’s, and her life is a tangled web of secrets and mystery. It becomes the job of the “outsider” and new sheriff, Al Thompkins, a man haunted his own memories of personal guilt and tragedy, to unravel the terrible knowledge of the past buried deep inside the lives of two generations of families. Along the way he discovers the price paid for that knowledge, and the dangerous lengths the enemy will pursue to keep him from learning the truth about the crimes.

I enjoyed this book.  It reads fast, and I enjoyed how the author put the mystery together. 

You learn about the character of Al Thompkins throughout the entire book, so by the end you feel you know him well.

The story takes place in Georgia, which is “different” for me . I generally like the books to take place in England, Scotland or Ireland, during the 1800’s. But, like I said.. this is well written and was an enjoyable read. I believe he has a second book using the same character, which I will have to check out!

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Paperback: 337 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press;(May 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1476738025

 

Amazon Review

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

 

Fredrik Backman is a fantastic writer. And, I would have had this finished a while ago but I had company for a week

I loved “My Grandmother told me to Say She’s Sorry” and “Britt Marie Was Here”.  This one still had plenty of humor… excellent characters as well as excellent writing…. but it was a bit sadder along with the humor.  It’s a very thoughtful book, along with his others.  It’s definitely a different sort of story.  I find his books really good for a “change” from the normal.

Reading any of them.  … when you need a change.