Apologies for the lack of book news recently. I shall endeavour to make up for it now.
I finished reading Saturnalia by Lindsey Davis. This was a proof copy that I had to review for Eurocrime, and I've written the draft of the review now, so it will be with you in a couple of days, Karen. Sorry for the delay. I did enjoy the book, but was slightly dissappointed by the ending. I shall post a link to the review on the Eurocrime website once it's up.
After that I read A Stain on the Silence by Andrew Taylor. I loved this book, thought it very well written, a wonderful evocation of a life unravelling, deftly written in 2 time periods. Andrew is a great writer, and doesn't get the recognition or popularity he deserves. If I had a criticism at all it was that I wanted the "crime" committed all those years ago to be more shocking somehow, although I can see why he wrote it the way he did. I can't say more without giving away the plot, which I don't want to do. Let me just say that I sat down and read this in 2 days, could not put it down, something that rarely happens to me now.
The Andrew Taylor was a book for Reading Group, although I'd had it in my TBR pile since it was published, waiting for the chance to read it. Anyway Reading Group is on Wednesday night this week so I thought I'd have time to fit in another book from the list. My choice was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Desert Places by Blake Crouch. Now, while the Lovely Bones is really a book I should be reading, I'm just not in the right frame of mind for it at the moment, so I chose Desert Places. That'll teach me!
It starts with an author who gets a note telling him that the body of a local missing woman is buried on his land, covered in his blood. Now, apparently, because he's a famous writer of suspense thrillers, he gets this sort of stuff all the time, but there's something about this letter that makes him keep it. But does he do what anyone in their right mind would do, and call the police? No, no, because he knows how they work, and he knows he'll get arrested!! Oh, really. So, of course, what he does, is he goes off and looks for the body and finds the place its supposed to be and digs up the body to check, and then he reburies it. Like you do, when you find a body. Hasn't this man ever watched any horror films? So then he rings up the writer of the letter, who, like, really has his attention now, and starts to do what he's told, including flying across the country and checking into a strange motel. That's as far as I got. I managed 21 pages before I metaphorically hurled the book across the room. (Only metaphorically though, because it is a library book, though I am tempted to stick a post-it-note inside warning others not to bother reading this.) Perhaps if the beginning had been a little more plausible I might have persevered with this, but I can only suspend disbelief so far.
Now, I have another book to review for Eurocrime, but in order not to taint my view with bad thoughts about the previous book I shall read something completely different first, so I've started March by Geraldine Brooks. This is the story of the Rev. March, father of the girls in Little Women, while away during the Civil War. See, I do read books that are not crime fiction, well, sometimes anyway....
The link in this post are all to Waterstones.com for convenience, but as usual I would urge you to support your local independent bookseller if (while) you still have one.