Lifelong family secrets are revealed through a series of letters which arrive along with condolence notes in this novel written by French novelist Helene Gremillon. Camille, a single woman in her thirties has just lost her mother and has recently found herself to be pregnant. She begins receiving long, unsigned letters telling a story that she knows nothing about. As they continue to arrive she learns of a previous war time love triangle. Wealthy Monsieur and Madame M cannot conceive a child. Madame M is deperate to have a baby, and the wartime efforts are pushing all women to have children. She befriends a teenage girl of lower class and helps provide the necessary art supplies that Annie needs to encourage her creativity. Annie becomes so close to Madame M that she empathizes with her to the point of offering to have her child.
This dark tale of love gone wrong jumps between the present and the past with many twists and involved secrets. Camille begins to guess that these letters may involve her much more deeply than she wants to know in The Confidant.
C. J. Box’s complex and likeable character Joe Pickett returns in this latest novel by Box, Breaking Point. Pickett is a Wyoming Game warden, responsible for a huge area in the state, a job which regularly takes him away from his family and places him in danger often, but is a job that he loves as well. In this latest addition to the series, Pickett becomes involved in a dispute between a landowner and the EPA, which escalates into a manhunt, wild fire and government interference in local responsibilities. Box has written another fast-paced thriller, with perfect character development and a sense of place and community in and around the small town of Saddlestring, Wyoming. Joe Pickett is a character we come to care about in this series–an honest family man trying to do a responsible and fair job for his family, for his community and as a game warden and often finding himself in the middle of situations that he neither wants to be involved in or that he has created. Start this award-winning mystery series at the beginning with Open Season.
City of Women is a deeply wrenching story set in Berlin during World War II. Most of the men have been shipped off to fight on one of the fronts, including the husband of Sigrid Schroder. She tries to maintain a normal life going to work at the patent office and coming home to a meager existence in an apartment with her impossible mother-in-law. Sigrid, as many other Germans, tries to ignore the atrocities that are happening all around her. She hides her involvement with a Jewish lover and then becomes friends with and helps a young woman who is hiding a group of desperate people.
This is not an easy book to read. Sigrid is not a likeable character even with her involvement against Hitler’s movement. The setting of Berlin during bombing raids is very bleak and disturbing. It is a very interesting perspective of war as we are taken inside the minds of people caught up in an ugly, desperate situation. The theme captures you as it plays out during a very real moment in history.
Jason Stafford is a rich, high-powered Wall Street trader with a trophy wife and a young, autistic son whose his illegal trades land him in prison for 2 years. Upon his release, he finds that his wife has taken their son out-of-state and he must retrieve the boy from an abusive situation, bringing him back to New York and learning to live with the oddities of life with an autistic child. Stafford is asked by an investment firm to use his criminal expertise to look into the files of a trader who died in an accident–there are rumors of an SEC investigation into the company and corporate heads are hoping to discover irregularities before formal charges are filed. While meticulously searching through records, Stafford uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy, putting his and his son’s lives in danger. Stafford is a complex, likeable character with overwhelming love and a desire to be the best parent he can be to his autistic son, and they develop a touching relationship.
Black Fridays is a fast-paced, timely, intelligent thriller. The author, a former Wall Street trader, provides insight as to how financial corruption can spread and influence people and economies well beyond the boundaries of Wall Street. This is the first in a planned series featuring the character Jason Stafford and his son, and Michael Sears is off to a great start with this debut mystery.
We’re often told by parents (and librarians) not to judge a book by its cover. I’m apparently a terrible librarian because I choose what to read by its cover on a regular basis. God Save the Queen is one example of a book I chose for the cover. That smirking, red haired, steampunk-wearing woman on the cover couldn’t fail to catch my eye at the very least. When I realized it was set in an alternate 2012 in England where Queen Victoria still ruled as a near-immortal vampire, I simply couldn’t resist.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the Royal Guard, the organization charged with protecting the vampires and werewolves who make up the Aristocracy in this alternate Britain. When her younger sister, Drusilla, goes missing, Xandra uses all the resources at her disposal, including going to the goblin prince for information, in order to find her. What she finds shakes her belief in the structure of British society and the right of the Aristocracy to rule and everything she thinks she knows about the people in her world.
God Save the Queen is an exciting blend of horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, mystery, steampunk and alternate history. With a flawed main character and conspiracies that run deep, this is a fun read for people who like urban fantasy.
What if Abraham Lincoln, our beloved Civil War president, did not die when John Wilkes Booth attempted to kill him at Ford’s Theatre on Good Friday in 1865? What if he recovered from his wounds and within a short time was once again facing the criticisms of how he handled the war and the reconstruction of the south? Stephen Carter has written an intricately plotted, historically detailed story that captures the time period and weaves a fascinating alternate history.
A young black woman joins the law firm that is representing Lincoln in the impeachment suit. Abigail Canner hopes to clerk at the firm and work toward a law degree but she faces the obstacles of race, age and sex. Nevertheless her brilliant mind begins to impress the firms partners and she is soon embroiled in the court proceedings and sleuthing a murder. Try this alternate history thriller and you will learn much about life in the 1860′s in Washington City and how divided the country was after the Civil War.
In The Innocent, David Baldacci’s latest suspense thriller, a government assassin is teamed with a teenaged girl and an FBI agent to determine the connections between several murders and to keep themselves alive in the process. Will Robie is the agent who assassinates enemies for the government–he is a loner and is careful and plans for any and every possibility that something could go wrong, trusting no one but himself. But an assignment goes wrong when he is told to kill a woman and her children–his refusal makes him a target and he is on the run, the hunter becoming the hunted. While fleeing from the scene, he crosses paths with Julie Getty, a 14 year old runaway who witnessed the murder of her parents. He saves her life and the two team up to try to discover the reason for the murders. They encounter Agent Vance when she is involved in investigating the murders and she eventually believes in Will and Julie and wants to help them solve the cases, but circumstances create more questions than answers. More killings, a plot with twists and turns and more turns, strong and complex characters, and wonderful descriptions of characters and settings combine to make this a story that is hard to put down. If you enjoy the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child or the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum, The Innocent is a book you will enjoy!
Did you know that one of Washington D. C.’s most pious and sacrosanct buildings includes on its facade a frightening carving of Darth Vader?
Dan Brown’s newest novel The Lost Symbol
is filled with such fascinating facts. This book has appeal for many who are interested in art, history, symbols and secret societies. I found the story very fast paced and loved the setting of our nation’s capital. Once again the protagonist Robert Langdon is involved in solving a mystery that involves secret rites and symbols. He spends one day chasing clues all over the city to solve this quest.
for more fun, including Bizarre Facts and a symbol game.