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.
Ms. Carlson’s debut novel, Full Blooded, is refreshing and dynamic; this is the first time that I’ve been inside the head of a female werewolf, and I love the way the wolf is characterized as a separate entity from Jessica, the fundamentally-human, who is trying to get a grip on her change, the ramifications of what she’s become, and this blasted animal in her head who keeps nudging into her consciousness and demanding ridiculous things, like eating people and jumping the hottest guy in the room.
The Start of Everything provides a generous helping of plot twists and turns, causing the reader to question virtually every theory they may construct as to the responsible party. Through this novel, Winslow raises the point that not everyone may be as they seem—there may be a touch of psychosis lurking right below the calmest of surfaces.
But who could ever have believed that these bold, gaudy pictures, accompanying as they do such twisted, mendacious stories and fantasies, could ever do permanent harm to impressionable young minds? On the contrary they have a certain cute (now kitsch) charm and add spice to life!
Revelation is a unique intellectual thriller. It is violent, torturous, intriguing, and downright scary. The reader will be transported into this dark world of the Cavalieri. It is a nasty place indeed. How could such a good man end up there?…
A rural American community is content in its ignorance of malevolent forces in nearby woods kept in check by Jimmy Kerrigan. But he’s overwhelmed, misunderstood, and beguiled to the point where the town might be lost. The key is a giant intriguing tree and its erotic, mythical secrets. “Joseph D’Lacey rocks!” – Stephen King.
When Don meets up with her, they both get to experience some of Don’s grandmother’s experience firsthand. But then the chase is on, far to the north aboard a Russian ice cutter. The story has elements of horror, especially when Don gets to visit a graveyard and elements of mystery in the search for the artifacts as well as good Nazi historic facts. It makes the mystery a quick read.
Though this is not a book for the faint-of-heart, Bad Moon Rising is extremely well-written, compelling and fast-paced. The quality of the writing, and deep, intense characters and their complications will stay with the reader, long after the book is finished.