by Denise Mina. A prostitute is murdered on the Drag, a seedy backwater in Glasgow, Scotland. Her birth-daughter is unwittingly dragged into the quest for her killer. She is a doctor (GP) and not very interesting nor smart. Characters in general lack depth with the exception of Nikki & Lizzie. They are colorful and well-drawn. Otherwise this mystery is a yawn. Mina’s The Long Drop had a richness of period and local Scottish scenes that this lacks.
Stress relieved by reading mostly light non-literary beach books in a serene waterfront setting. So fortunate to be able to escape. Best to least: The Glass Hotel, St. John Mandel Notes On a Silencing, Crawford This Tender Land, Kent Krueger Redhead by the Side of the Road, Tyler The Guest List, Foley The Turn of the Key, Ware The Less Dead, Mina 28 Summers, Hildebrand The Summer House, Patterson & du Bois The Summer House, McKinnon The Big Summer, Weiner Death on the Beach, Johannsen… Read more South Fork 2020 Recap →
by Riley Sager. Confabulated lives. The book within a book/ghost story was a successful structure. Without that, rather a flimsy read. The haunted house in Vermont was not a vivid character and added little to the atmosphere. Lots of loose ends and plot holes. The usual gothic themes, nothing is as it seems. But. Better than Mexican Gothic. And. What’s with the title? Had nothing to do with anything.
by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. As with The Wife Between Us, not sure why it takes two people to write such a tepid tale. Although better than that anemic novel. Shay is a more sympathetic central character even if she is a bit of a ditz. No one could be quite so gullible. But. You want her to prevail. And. There are glimpses of New York City the way it used to be in normal times. Filled a few September hours.
by Elin Hilderbrand. Okay. Yes. Another very beachy read. But. Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud are as appealing as can be. They are well drawn and consistent. A lovely love story with adventures & tragedies. Each of their 28 Nantucket summers begin with a list of what we were talking about during that year. It’s quite a mind-bender. Many events seem impossible to believe that it was so long ago, others don’t seem quite as recent. So. A tear-jerker to be sure, but worth it. Hope and happy prospects in the… Read more 28 Summers →
by Lucy Foley. A fun who-done-it. Set in a folly on an island off the west coast of Connemara in Ireland. Graveyards, peat, bogs, cliffs, caves and a lavish wedding with lots of crazy family and friends. Told from the different points of view of the bridesmaid-sister, the bride, the best man, the plus-one and the wedding planner. Red herrings galore.
by Ruth Ware. An intriguing way to tell a mystery. From an innocent prisoner’s letter to an advocate before she goes to trial for murder. She begs him to believe her story. That she did not kill the little girl in her care. Every detail of the young woman’s time as a nanny at an isolated mansion in Scotland is included in the letter to Mr. Wrexham. She’s desperate for him to read it and to take her case. The mansion is a ‘smart home’ with annoyingly intricate technology that… Read more The Turn of the Key →
by Delia Owens. Kya, The Marsh Girl. Tate, The Feather Boy. An intimate Russo-esque story of the rural North Carolina coast. Kya is a soulful, lone, smart, stealthy, strong, cunning observer and survivor. Tate her protector. She learns behavior from the natural wonders surrounding her shack, the insects and birds who are her world. Owens’ writing is engrossing and gorgeous. Her depth of descriptions of both the marshland and people alike. Unforgettable characters. A comforting isolation in these disquietingly isolating times. Glad I finally got to it. One of the… Read more Where the Crawdads Sing →