Friday, March 23, 2012

A Hard Decision

I love to read and I guess I'm drawn to reading challengers; however, I find that there's not enough time to write all the reviews, keep up my own writing, take courses, offer courses, and do some art work. So in one week I'll delete this site.

If you've enjoyed my writing please check out my other two blogs:


Friday, March 16, 2012

Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton

We're fascinated by the Jack the Ripper so a book that has as one of it's draws a number of murders based on the killings attributed to Jack the Ripper is a draw. If that was the only pull the book wouldn't sustain my interest.

I'm drawn in by the assembled characters—Lacey Flint, assigned to the case, is portrayed as a strong woman who lives by herself, enjoys sexual encounters that have an edge of danger because of where she meets the men.

When she was younger, and prior to becoming a policewoman, she was fascinated with serial killers. As an adult she joined the force and works in a unit that investigates sexual crimes. That fascination and her knowledge of the Jack the Ripper case cause one other officer to suspect that she is somehow involved in the present killing—and killings.

The first woman killed dies shortly after Lacey leaves an area of flats where she is talking to some possible witnesses about another crime. She inadvertently discovers a dying woman. The woman has been knifed—both her throat and stomach have been slit open.

There are a number of similarities to the Jack the Ripper case—letters sent with similar sayings, the manner of the killings. There's always the possibility that the letters are sent by someone involved in a hoax. Or it may be that someone is cognizant of Jack the Ripper case and is a copycat murderer.

The case twists and turns and Bolton never reverts to unrealistic possibilities. It's one of those rare mysteries where the ending really feels earned.

Library Book Challenge

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnet Friis

The Boy in the Suitcase garnered a number of accolades from reviewers. This is the first in a series of mysteries written by two women Kaaberol and Friis.

Yet another novel from Scandinavia— Denmark—that contains crisp, almost spartan language, and a devious plot.

The protagonist, Nina Borg, works for the Red Cross and is a rather over zealous soul who often overlooks her own family and safety so that she can be involved in rescue missions. In this first of the series a friend asks her for help. Initially this seems like an easy task—pick up a suitcase at a Copenhagen train station.

What starts out as a simple requests ratchets up when she discovers that the suitcase contains a small boy—drugged and close to death, but alive.

That incident propels the story forward—with numerous threads that at times seem to be unraveling, but do eventually blend together. There's Sigita, the single mother from Lithuania, Jucas who hires himself out to undertake a variety of rather shady and violent tasks, Jan, an upper middle class individual with a family and a lifestyle indicative of a successful individual.

Rather than be a banal book where a killing takes place for no known reason or reasons applicable to the killer, the crimes here revolve around a social issue.

I know I should applaud the author for taking on the story of illegally spiriting children away from their homes and families, but I found the story plodding—or maybe it was the translation that didn't do justice to the original.

Library Book Challenge