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.
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!