Saturday, April 30, 2016

#20: The Treacherous Net by Helene Tursten

Irene Huss and the cops of Goteborg, Sweden are on the trail of a murderous child predator in Helene Tursten's The Treacherous Net.

The "net" of the title is not only the internet, but refers to a cold case being followed by her soon-to-be retiring boss, where a father and son were murdered decades apart with the same gun.

And the title also refers to spy networks, and events during World War II in Sweden.

All in all a very satisfying new police procedural from Tursten, who has deftly mixed often gruesome crimes with Huss' personal family drama over a number of novels.  I have read several of them and enjoyed them quite a bit.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#19: Styx by Bavo Dhooge

A serial killer called The Stuffer is on the loose in Ostend, Belgium, and it's up to crooked cop Rafael Styx to capture the killer and save his reputation.  But when he is himself murdered by The Stuffer, and comes back as a zombie, the story tilts in a different direction in Bavo Dhooge's genre-bending and mind-bending Styx.

The first chunk of the book is straight police procedural, before taking a lunatic left turn into a world that includes a pocket watch with time-traveling powers and the ghost of Marvin Gaye.  I found Dhooge's writing to be very fresh and original, but certainly will require an open mind and sense of humor from the reader.

Plotting that includes the Belgian Surrealists and the Congolese sapeurs add interest, as if it wasn't interesting enough already.  Recommended for fans of something different in both the mystery and horror genres.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#18: A Superior Man by Paul Yee

In the 1800s, Yang Hok has worked helping to build the railroad across Canada; just as he is about to return to China, triumphant and with money in his pocket, a Native woman deposits a previously unknown son at his feet, sending both father and son on an epic journey through the wilderness in Paul Yee's A Superior Man.

A Superior Man is at first glance a brawny, sprawling Western, with violence brought on by racial tensions veined throughout, but at its heart is a wry story about the relationship between a man who didn't know he was a father and the son who didn't know he had a dad.

Yee writes great characters, set against an unforgiving backdrop, for a memorable story showcasing a slice of history--the lives of Chinese workers building the railroads--not often profiled in fiction.

I would put this novel in the same category as works like True Grit and Little Big Man and would recommend it to those readers who enjoyed those books or movies.

I checked it our from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

#17: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

A young woman is the first to leave her remote village and go to a prestigious college across the galaxy--but when aliens board her ship en route, her future shifts dramatically in Nnedi Okorafor's Binti.

This slender sci-fi adventure, with its undertones of tolerance and acceptance, could easily be a young adult novel, although I don't think it has been billed as such.  It is accessible to any reader with its clever protagonist, unique aliens, and some well-developed world-building.   

Binti ended sooner than I might have liked, but hopefully might be the opening salvo for future adventures.

I bought this novel for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.  I was interested enough to start looking for more writing from Okorafor.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

#16: The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura

A college student finds a gun at what looks like the scene of a suicide attempt, and rather than calling the police becomes morbidly fascinated with owning the weapon in Fuminori Nakamura's creepy novel The Gun.

I have read several novels by Nakamura and find him to be adept at getting under your skin with unsettling characters and situations.  The Gun isn't so much a mystery or thriller as it is a skin-crawling character study about a young man slowly unraveling, as he fantasizes about murdering various people and becomes more distant from friends and the normal world.

Nakamura's disturbing narratives aren't for everyone, but he is an adept writer and storyteller for those looking for inky-black tales.

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