A threesome (of suspense novels that is)

May 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Suspense novels can be fun or they can be pretty awful.  I just finished three in a row and have to say each was pretty fun without much of the awful, which is good.

1. Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton, published in 2011- There is a copycat killer in London following the same murderous pattern as Jack the Ripper. Detective Lacey Flint finds herself immediately in the middle of the investigation when she comes upon the first victim as she is dying in a parking lot.  Luckily, Lacey is also a Jack the Ripper expert. But as the murders continue is seems that Lacey’s past is catching up with her and it is not just accidental luck that she seems to be able to predict what the murderer plans to do next.

This was my least favorite of the three suspense novels I read, but truly it is fun so as long as you don’t over think the writing, or all of the silly happenstance, you should just take it to the beach and give it a whirl.

2. Redbreast by Jo Nesbo, published in 2007 – So Nesbo is another writer of the Nordic Noir genre that is fast becoming all the rage.  This one is set in Norway.  Detective Harry Hole makes a grave error while in the line of duty and in order for the Norwegian government to avoid further international embarrassment they turn Hole into a hero and promote him.  In his new position, Hole comes across evidence that someone has bought a very rare hunting gun and he becomes convinced that something bad is going to happen.  The story goes back to the 1940s and examines Norway’s very torn role in WWII and the long-term consequences of the temporary allegiance with the Nazis.  And of course all of this history leads to a modern-day Detective story.

What I learned from reading this novel is that having a good translator is pretty important.  This novel’s translation was piss poor.   It also takes about 65 pages for this story to pick up speed but once it does it is worth it.  And there is of course, in the classic Nordic Noir style, a never-ending supply of coffee drinking, cigarette smoking surliness.

3. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman, published in 2007 – In 1975 the Bethany sisters, ages 11 and 15, disappeared from a Baltimore mall.  After years of searching for them, both the girls’ mother and the cops have given up hope of finding them. But 30 years after the disappearance, a woman is in a hit and run accident and when the cops try to arrest her the woman claims to be the younger Bethany sister.  Though she seems to know a lot of the details of the Bethany sisters’ lives, the police are not convinced and the question remains will they ever find out what really happened that day in 1975.

I really, really enjoyed this book. Lippman also wrote “I’d Know You Anywhere” which is again about a girl’s disappearance but Lippman’s writing still resonates and does not feel repetitive.

This sojourn down the road of suspense novels has been fun but it is time to leave the genre behind and read something not about killing or disappearing or maybe dead people who may or may not have come back to life.  So off I go to find the next book.

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Entry filed under: May 2012 reads. Tags: , , , .

Wanted: Friendship and Sunshine- “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth von Armin A lesson on living – “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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