Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
A classic contemporary murder mystery in the Mickey Spillane tradition: hard-boiled private investigator in London with a fabulous name – Cormoran Strike. He is an amputee from Army service, and is investigating an apparent suicide. Excellent context of London, usually Soho in the rain.
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A psychological story about 6 self-absorbed college students in the 1980s: alcohol, drugs and murder.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
A really excellent, multi-faceted book. The first 1/4 is an exceptional description of paralysis due to grief. The book then described a self-absorbed and self-destructive life style. Then the final 1/4 becomes a thriller and the end is perfectly philosophical. Overall, excellent story telling and highly recommended.
The Bell – Iris Murdoch
Beautifully written, especially in the beginning of the book. Dora is an annoying ditz, someone who acts without thinking.
Story of a severely deteriorating relationship; alternating chapters told from Her and Him perspectives. Not as good as Gone Girls but an excellent read.
A beautifully written complicated love story: a child searching for love after being abandoned by her mother, and falling in love with a neighbour boy who can’t reciprocate what is for her an obsessive love.
Another sad story about the consequences of lies and guilt, set in Western Australia in the 1920s.
A serial killer and time travel, for an imaginative thriller.
A sad story of an estranged family reunited by the death of the husband/father; story in both Africa and America. Issues of (no) communication and secrets.
Introspective book about relationships (my favourite topic); a single woman teacher and a Lebanese-Parisian family of three. The “woman upstairs” is a female construct – quiet, polite and causes no trouble; because of putting oneself down, becomes invisible and discounted. There is a terrific section describing the difference between longing and desire.