Tuesday, April 17, 2018
A thriller by Riley Sager. When Quincy Carpenter was in college she got away for a weekend with several friends in the Pennsylvania mountains. While there, a stranger with a knife changed her life forever. He massacred her friends, leaving her with wounds running into the arms of a State Trooper in the area to search for an escapee from the asylum nearby. The escapee was quickly dispatched, and Quincy was left with a gaping hole in her memories. She was also now a member of a club she never wanted to join - girls who had survived a massacre. The media dubs them Final Girls. There are three: Lisa, Sam, and now Quincy. Fast forward ten years. Quincy seems to have gotten control of her life; her boyfriend Jeff lives with her, she has a baking blog, Coop, the State Trooper, keeps tabs on her. Then Lisa is found in her bathtub with her wrists slit and Sam blows into town to stay with Quincy and turn her life upside down. What really happened the night her friends died?
This is a historical novel by Sarah Sundin, the first of the Wings of the Nightingale series. Set in WW II, Lieutenant Mellie Blake is training as a flight evacuation nurse. Lieutenant Tom MacGilliver is an engineer stationed in North Africa. They participate in a morale boosting program, writing to each other anonymously. They both have reasons to keep their identities secret, but they both need real friends. Through the letter writing campaign a friendship develops. Could it be more? Should they meet? Then they're both stationed in Algeria. Will their friendship bloom once they meet or will their fears of the past keep them from meeting? This book really resonated with me, as writing letters is how I got to know my husband in the days before computers were ubiquitous. Living in two different states we were "set up" by my college roommate, his colleague. I gave her permission to give him my address but not my phone number. And so we began. By the time we met, months later, we knew each other quite well. It's a system I would recommend.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Dark Lives Book I by Ross Greenwood. This novel tells the story of Vinnie, who becomes a convict, and may or may not have Borderline Personality Disorder. It talks of memories, how they ground us, and how they may be different when viewed by different people. The same incident Vinnie remembers is skewed when related by Frank, his brother, or Clara, his wife. You're left with a gentle sympathy for this convict who seems to be caught up in circumstances beyond his control.
Elinor Lipman wrote this romantic comedy; although I had a hard time finding the comedy in this novel. Faith Frankel writes thank-you notes for her swanky alma mater. She's just bought a cozy bungalow with a disputed history on Turpentine Lane. She's thirty-two, in her hometown too close to her mother, with a fiancee who's off on a crowdfunded cross country walk. Her father has separated from her mother to paint, and, apparently, to continue to fool around. And speaking of fools - her boss. And there's odd artifacts found in her attic and the police searching her cellar. Fortunately, she has Nick Franconi, friend and colleague, to help her work through it.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
A novel by Fiona Barton, with a twist I didn't see coming! A tiny skeleton has been found by a workman in a section of London slated for gentrification. The baby was buried years ago and Kate Waters, a journalist covering the story, can only ask the public, "Who is the Building Site Baby?" She becomes entangled in the lives of three women: Angela, whose baby was stolen from a hospital decades before and miles away; Emma, a woman with mental health issues and secrets; and Jude, Emma's mother, with a rocky relationship with her daughter and her own reasons to keep the past buried. Triggers abound here, and it is entertaining in spite of them.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
By Linsey Lanier. Miranda Steele was pushed out of an abusive marriage to a cop after he took her infant daughter to an adoption agency. The child was not his, but was conceived in rape, therefore had no place in his home. Now, thirteen years later, Miranda has made herself strong, taken self defense and martial arts classes, stays on the move, works construction to stay fit, and looks for Amy, her daughter. Through a letter she wasn't supposed to receive she finds herself in Georgia, and is brought to the attention of and under the wing of Wade Parker. He owns a prestigious private investigation agency. He sees raw talent in Miranda and hires her, just in time to help with an investigation of a serial killer of 13 year olds.
By Morris West, a highly prescient novel of the papacy. A Slavic pope is elected; he takes the name Kiril I. He has been 17 years in prison in Russia for the faith. His torturer, Kamenev, has risen to power in Russia. The two are almost friends. The book deals with the issues and reforms the new pope faces and implements. It is fascinating. The job is quite isolating and humbling. It can get bogged down in bureaucracy and paperwork. An interesting work.