Thursday, March 26, 2015

#12: Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg

A young woman with a hard-knock life finds herself surprisingly immune to a devastating disease sweeping the nation, so she volunteers to be studied at an eerie hospital in a snow-swept Kansas landscape.  When all is not what it seems at the hospital, she escapes on a phantasmagorical journey across a transformed America.

Laura Van Den Berg's Find Me is an unsettling dystopian thriller with a literary bent.  The protagonist's often creepy episodic adventures--later accompanied by a foster brother who wears a rubber mask and seems to display telepathic abilities--point her towards Florida, and a woman she thinks is her birth mother (spotted on a televised nature program).  Interesting throughout.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana and read it quickly.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#11: Caught by Lisa Moore

A young guy, imprisoned on a pot bust, escapes and sets out across late-70s Canada in Lisa Moore's Caught.

This is a literate thriller, heavy on episodic encounters and colorful characterizations, but also ratchets up the tension as a dogged police detective (who is failing in his professional and personal lives) slowly tightens the noose on his pursuit.

I think this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy literary novels as well as those who enjoy more cerebral thrillers.  Moore's novel is well-written and compelling throughout.

 I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

#10: A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon

Venetian cop Brunetti investigates the death of two fishermen, and finds a community closed against him, in Donna Leon's A Sea of Troubles.

Leon has written a long series of novels featuring this Italian policeman, but this is the first one I have come across.  Having traveled in Italy several times, although never visiting Venice despite several near misses, I thought I would give it a try.

This is a very solid mystery, with interesting characterizations that I'm sure would be richer having read more of the series (this is her tenth Brunetti novel).  I will definitely look for more of these.

This one I found at a Goodwill in Frankfort, Indiana, and read it quickly on vacation in Florida.

Friday, March 6, 2015

#9: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

A young girl is the only survivor of a family massacre at a rural farmhouse, and her fractured recollections of the night convict her older brother; years down a troubled road later, she begins to rethink her memories in Gillian Flynn's Dark Places.

After the success of Gone Girl, Flynn's earlier novels are getting another look.  This might be my favorite thus far, an inky-black story with often unpleasant characters, but fascinating throughout.  The story flashes back and forth in time, from multiple points of view, and covers topics from heavy metal Satanism to farm failures to contemporary cults of morbid celebrity.

Flynn is a very solid writer whose dark imaginings aren't for all tastes, though I find the novels worthwhile.

I borrowed this from a lending library in Florida where my in-laws snowbird, and read it all that week.