It is clear right from the get-go that you’re in the hands of a master storyteller.Stephen King’s latest novel blends crime and supernatural elements – there is a killer to catch and a boy with second sight, not to dwell on the ghost that also makes an apparition – but it’s mainly a coming-of-age story along the lines of the classic Stand by Me.
As a reader, I like to travel along with my characters as they experience life, and change and grow from those experiences. At the beginning of the novel, Harper is a man who expresses little, and at the end of the novel, Harper is still a man who expresses little. Happiness is elusive.
Fey, a well-travelled American author who writes historical romances under the names Taylor Chase and Gayle Feyrer, has done thorough research for Floats a Dark Shadow, not only into Parisian landmarks and locations, but also into French history, specifically, into Gilles des Rais, and into the Paris Commune (1871), which happened twenty-six years earlier than the time frame of the novel, but is still vivid in Parisians’ memories
As a reviewer, books show up in my letterbox and I know I must read them soon to turn them around in a reasonable time frame. Occasionally it’s a chore. Vengeance is Now arrived in my letter box on a Friday. I picked it up after work. On Saturday morning I opened it, intending to read the first chapter to see what I’d be in for. By Sunday morning I’d finished reading the whole book. It’s one of ‘those’ – those rare books that you can’t put down until you get all the way to the end.
The Silent Wife is not a long book—a little over 200 pages—but Harrison manages to fit a gripping tale into those few pages. The story is told almost entirely in present tense, so it gives the reader an almost unsettling feeling of voyeurism—we’re absolutely watching these characters self-destruct in real time. There is some backstory offered as a way to explain how Todd and Jodi were shaped by their families (clearly dysfunctional in Todd’s case; less obvious in Jodi’s).
The author doesn’t quite deliver the complex character development that could have been achieved with the scintillating story line, however, what she does deliver is a heartwarming, fun tale about the people who come into our lives when we least expect it and how they can embed themselves in our hearts.
From start to finish, the writing remains taut and powerful. Ford rarely slows the pace with overt description, but the scene setting is done brilliantly through the eyes of the characters, combined with action.
Bristol House is as unique a literary mystery as one is ever likely to read. Swerling makes some interesting choices with her narrative. At first impression, Annie Kendall strikes the reader as a brilliant, competent researcher whose personal transgressions have cost her, deeply, on a professional level. There are moments in the story where her carefully reconstructed self—the self rebuilt from countless AA meetings and confronting her deepest fears and strongest weaknesses—nearly shatter and the former, scarred Annie threaten to reemerge.
Thrillers have a hook to grab the reader’s attention and page-turning action which this novel has. More. There are legal intrigues in here where our main characters take on big business and politicians in the courts to fight for the right to have adverse possession, which relate to squatters’ rights. It’s rare to find a story of social work so thoroughly researched yet easily put over. Rare to find an almost chick lit ease of reading with so many female leads but with grit and tension.
Since I read the first book in the series, Staccato, I’ve loved the character Inola, a Native American cop who’s constantly having to prove herself to her police department colleagues in the relatively backwoods town of the Bryson City, North Carolina. In spite of her stubborn nature, her inability to communicate with those she truly loves (Steven and her grandmother, Elisi), and her insistence on going out on her own despite obvious dangers that threaten – you can’t help but love her.