Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reading right now:

            Going back in time to read, “The Two Faces of January” by Patricia Highsmith. First introduced as a novel in 1964, the movie version will be released in the United States on August 28. Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” was made into a terrific movie so we’ll see if this one plays as well. “The Two Faces of January” centers on a con artist and his wife who become part of the investigation in the death of an Athens policeman. The two flee Athens in the company of an American student. The movie stars Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen and was directed by Hossein Amini. While Patricia Highsmith died in 1995, her books are still influencing our culture.  

On hold right now:

            “Dear Daughter” by Elizabeth Little. This is Elizabeth Little’s first book and has already received some glowing reviews. Janie Jenkins was rich and famous until she was convicted of murdering her Mother. Released after ten years, Jenkins is determined to find out what really happened the night her Mother died. Smart, damaged, and determined to find out the truth, Jenkins finds herself immersed in a small town’s secrets, as well as, her Mother’s secrets.

Other Mysterious Things:

            There are a few new authors that you may have missed this year. “The Disposables” by retired law enforcement officer David Putnam has been well reviewed. Putnam’s hero is a former cop who broke the law, ended up in jail, and is now out on parole trying to rebuild his life by helping save abused children who have been abandoned by the foster care system. The book is a nonstop action thriller and Putnam has been compared to Andrew Vachss and T. Jefferson Parker.

            Scott Graham moved from non-fiction to write his first mystery called “Canyon Sacrifice.” Graham’s series is called the National Park series and starts out at the Grand Canyon with his main character being Chuck Bender, an archaeologist. Bender finds that digging up the past often uncovers present day evils (in this case centering on kidnapping and murder). His novel has been called riveting and he has been compared to Tony Hillerman, Nevada Barr, and C.J. Box.

            Young lawyer and writer, Carrie La Seur’s first novel is being hailed as a mystery, a romance, a family saga, a novel of grief and recovery, and a novel that knows the importance of home, of memories, of human bonds, and secrets. “The Home Place” centers around Alma Terrebonne who becomes a lawyer after her parents die in a car accident. When her sister dies suddenly, Terrebonne returns home to Montana to endless complications which include her sister’s death being a murder, her ex-boyfriend pushing to resume their old relationship, and her sister’s daughter looking to her for protection. A suspenseful thriller that is full of a sense of both loss and hope, “The Home Place” would be a wonderful choice for a book group to discuss.

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