After more than 20 Inspector Rebus books, the stories are as good as ever. This most recent book has a Rankin characteristic, a complex plot with two cold cases. A dazzling feature of the Rebus stories is that lies, deceit and corruption are pretty evenly divided between the police and the criminals. These Rebus stories are also becoming more philosophical as he ages and deals with the medical and moral consequences of a mis-spent life. Very entertaining.
Thumps DreadfulWater (wonderful name) is a Cherokee ex-cop trying to live a quiet life in a small town in Montana. Thomas King is a very fine writer (The Back of the Turtle, An Inconvenient Indian) so the writing is much better than the average murder mystery. King captures the world-weary aspect of DreadfulWater, how a mind can wander and then snap back into focus. Now I am going to read the first three books in this series.
Hoffman’s books are very diverse: The Dovekeepers, The Museum Of Extraordinary Things, The Marriage of Opposites and recently, Faithful. Her new book is a prequel to Practical Magic. The central theme is the human cost of magic: a nearly 400 year old curse on the Owen’s family. Accordingly, the current matriarch, Susanna, establishes rules to protect her children. Not surprisingly, her headstrong children test themselves to discover who they are. The context of the book is New York in the 1960s which adds to the air of discovery. The writing is brilliant, describing unforgettable characters and the power of love.
This wonderful book is the third in the Gilead trilogy, and is the best, in my opinion. There is almost no sense of place; most of the book takes place in Lila’s mind. The dominant emotion for Lila to learn is trust because she must always fight an impulse to flee what is a good outcome for her. Magnificent story telling.
This is another book about Frank Bascombe (3 previous novels), who at age 68 is starting to mellow (less annoying than in previous novels) but just a bit. Ford is a rare writer who makes me slow down my reading, to savour his wonderful writing.
Another brilliant book about Inspector Arkay Renko in the depths of a Russian mystery: missing people, murder, corruption. The context of modern Russia in winter is perfect. Smith’s first Renko book is Gorky Park; Red Square is also brilliant as is Three Stations but it is worth reading the whole list, in sequence.
This is the sequel to The Rosie Project. Don and Rosie are now living in NY. Rosie is pregnant and so Don’s already complicated life becomes even more complex. This book describes a common plot line, when an essentially good person makes a mistake and then covers up, resulting in much confusion.
Note from Amy. David reviewed the Rosie Project earlier in the year.