Principles To Live By – David Adams Richards

Principles To Live By - David Adams Richards.jpgRichards has written a number of acclaimed, albeit angst-filled, novels set in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick. This brilliant story is more global, based in New Brunswick but including New York and the genocide in Rwanda. The core of the book is a dogged search for a missing boy by a near-retirement policeman. The quest for truth is confounded by lies, treachery and deceit with some conspiracy aspects as well. A politically complex (and often corrupt) world is outlined in convincing detail. The incredible intuition of the policeman is sometimes hard to believe, but the storytelling is vivid and compelling.

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian - Elizabeth KostovaThis fascinating book has a Dan Brown-like plot (but with much better writing). Academics search for clues to find missing persons and to research Vlad Dracula’s life (is he still living?). This research is conducted in medieval libraries (yay!) with much travel: Oxford, Istanbul, Budapest and Bulgaria. Actions happen in three times: the 1930s, 1950s and 1970s, often with parallel stories so the complex plot with much historical detail requires the full attention of readers. This is a really enjoyable read; thanks Steph, for this recommendation.

Crimes Against My Brother by David Adam Richards

Another is a series of DAR books about the Mirimachi River area of New Brunswick, and like the others, this latest book is angst-filled. Friendships are countered by rumour, lies and deceit to create a vicious and manipulative environment. One of the chief characteristics in this story is that key people make incredibly bad decisions. So overall, a nasty story but compelling.

Kicking The Sky by Anthony De Sa

Kicking The Sky by Anthony De SaEvocative story telling about the late 70s in Little Portugal, Toronto. De Sa captures the rapid (<1 year) and heart  breaking transition in the life of a 12-year-old, from blissful innocence (well, not quite complete innocence because these are young boys), from simple adolescence to the knowledge that the world is a tough and gritty place with sinister characters. The nature of the time with rampant homophobia is described vividly. Thanks Steph, for this recommendation. De Sa’s previous book, Barnacle Love, has some back story but is not as good as Kicking The Sky.