Friday, February 20, 2015

The Kind Worth Killing

It’s become quite the fashion to label each new suspense novel “the next Gone Girl.”  In this case, I think fans of that novel will really enjoy The Kind Worth Killing.  It is a dark, psychological thriller which also features plot twists and rather unlikeable characters. 

An homage to Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train, Swanson’s book opens in an airport bar where Ted Severson meets the beautiful Lily Kitner while waiting on their delayed plane. Telling him that they are just playing a game, Lily encourages Ted to tell her a secret. Ted, more than a little drunk and stinging from the recent discovery that his attractive young wife Miranda is having an affair, confides that he would really like to kill his wife.  Said out of frustration and pain rather than a declaration of intent, Ted’s a bit taken aback when Lily encourages him to go ahead and do it. Telling Ted that she believes that some people are simply toxic and that eliminating them does the world a service, she offers to help right the wrong done to him by joining him in figuring out a way to get away with killing Miranda. Moving forward and backward in time, the novel twists and turns, hides then reveals. 

Are some people really worth killing?  Don’t start it before bed or you’ll be up all night trying to find out.

Review by Amy

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Order of Things

Book Review:  The Order of Things by Lynne Hinton

Andreas Jay Hackett, is a university Librarian who enjoys keeping things in order.  This summer however, she is missing her passion for the students their queries, her life itself.  Summer times in the past have been times when the butterflies would migrate down from the mountain signifying life and renewal.  This year the butterflies have not migrated and the landscape of her home is brown, taut and seemingly as lifeless as she is.  When her supervisor suggests she visit the infirmary because her work is slipping and her colleagues are tired of covering for her.  Andreas checks herself into a Holly Pines metal hospital with the goal of getting help.  Help and clarity comes through a series of conversations through a vent in the wall with a prison inmate who is housed next to her.  Gradually, as her pain lifts, she and Lathin, also a prisoner of old pain, are able to shock each other into life once again through poignant exchanges that open doors to renewal and hope.   

A slow starter, this book is so touching and real that  it brought tears to my eyes in sections.  The power of the past and the importance of examining it, sharing insights and moving forward is a universal need of mankind.

Reviewed by Karen  

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens

The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens: Thomas Hauser

This story recounts the final years of Charles Dickens life but begins with his telling of the most haunting series of events in his life.

The story begins with Dickens explaining his early years of grinding poverty due to his father’s spendthrift ways and the harsh class system of 19th Century England.   The story he shares is a shocking heart breaker mainly because of the murder of a man and disfigurement of a woman.  The greed and evil of the proflagrant nemesis is interlaced with Dickens’s coming of age and early beginnings of his writing career.    

The story continues over some years and illustrates how many of Dickens most memorable books were written including The Old Curiosity Shop;  Oliver Twist, Martin Chuzzelwitt and the Pickwick Papers.   The reader travels with Dickens to American twice; first as a little known author, and then as a renowned storyteller sought after across the land.   As his life wanes her recalls many of the memorable people he met along the way, notably the wife of the nemesis, the beautiful Amanda Wingate. 

This story begins as memoir, evolves into a murder mystery …and ends on a poignant and satisfying note.

Worth picking up….

Reviewed by Karen