Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Quality of Silence

Rosamund Lupton

On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby's father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby travel from England to Alaska to meet up with Ruby’s father. When they land, they are told that David is dead, killed in a fire that wiped out an entire village. But both Yasmin and Ruby refuse to believe this and set out on their own to find him. They encounter numerous obstacles, not the least of which is the person who wants to stop them.

I like the way Ms. Lupton tells this story. Told in alternating voices of Yasmin and Ruby, these two overcome many hurdles in their obsessive push to find David. The suspense starts slowly but really picks up in the last quarter of the book.

This reminded me of an action film where sometimes you feel what the hero accomplishes is not always plausible, but don’t really care because the story is so good. The author gives us strong, likeable female characters who persevere when other might quit. I have read all of her books and look forward to reading more.

My thanks to Crown Publishing for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Disappeared Girl

Martin J. Smith

Nothing stays buried forever, especially not the past.

Two men stand out in a crowd overlooking the Ohio River. A plane is being taken from the water where it crashed decades before. Both men helped put it there.

Jim Christensen’s daughter, Melissa, has been troubled of late. She has dreams that feel like memories, unsettling images percolate to the surface. She remembers a terrifying past, possibly her own, from a time before she was adopted by her father. Christensen’s work as an expert in memory makes him the ideal person to help unlock his daughter’s fragile grasp on her own history. But will he want to learn the truth of where Melissa came from? Who she was before? Who might still be looking for her?

This dizzying novel of suspense takes the reader back into a dirty war and its human costs, into the fevered mind of one of its survivors, and through the crosshairs of a man desperate to keep his own history vanished. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Melissa Christenson knows she is adopted, but knows nothing about her birth parents. When she becomes pregnant, a potential medical issue shows up with her unborn child and she now has an urgent need to find out more about the parents she never knew. Little did she know the can of worms she was about to open.

This was a fast paced page turner. Good suspense with a few plot twists made it one of those books that was hard to put down. It was interesting to learn about Argentina’s “Dirty War” and how this played into the story.

This book sat on my to-be-read list for a long time and I’m very glad I finally decided to give it a try. I did not realize going into this book that the author had written others stories involving the main character, Jim Christenson. I like this one so much that I’m going to give his other books a try.

My thanks to Diversion Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Big Brush-off

Michael Murphy

The irresistible Jake & Laura return in Michael Murphy's witty, fast-paced mystery series—perfect for readers of Dorothy Cannell and Christopher Fowler. In The Big Brush-off, the charming and indomitable duo heads to the Midwest to solve a chilling cold case of a young girl's murder.

Blackie Doyle is dying. That's what Jake Donovan's literary agent tells him. Sales are falling, and the rough draft of Jake's latest Blackie novel doesn't look promising. Maybe Jake has been distracted by a recent barrage of real-life homicides, or by his marriage to the beautiful up-and-coming actress Laura Wilson, now slated for a part opposite Clark Gable himself. Whatever the reason, Jake decides to return to his roots. Which is why he and Laura hop the next train to the small town in Pennsylvania where Jake once worked as a Pinkerton detective.

Ten years ago, the murder of a teenage girl interrupted life in quiet, God-fearing Hanover. The unsolved case has always gnawed at Jake, and it seems no coincidence that as soon as he starts digging up old ghosts, he's once again writing like a dervish. Nor is it surprising that some townfolk would rather see the truth stay buried—and maybe even Jake and Laura with it. But the glamorous crime-solving pair refuse to leave before sorting through a bevy of suspects—and at long last nailing the one who almost got away with the not-so-perfect crime (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Jack is a former detective turned author. His writing career has hit a bit of a road block, and he needs to get his mojo back. Jake is married to Laura, an actress. Laura’s career has really taken off and she’s in hot demand. Jake’s publisher thinks he needs to escape the Hollywood high life in order to get his writing career back on track. To do this, Jake and Laura return to small town Hanover. Together they work to solve a murder mystery that Jake had to walk away from 10 years earlier without finding the killer.

This was a fun read! Light, fast paced, funny and good suspense. I really liked both Jake and Laura. They work well together and have each others backs. Both are smart and quick witted. The story is written in the time of gumshoes and dames and in my mind I was seeing Humphey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.
I jumped into this series at book #4 and still found this to be an enjoyable read. I definitely want to keep up with future adventures of these two very likeable characters.

Many thanks to Alibi Publishing, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.