Archive for September, 2011

THE VAULT by Ruth Rendell

The brilliant and prolific Ruth Rendell continues to entertain us with her latest Inspector Wexford novel, The Vault. Although he is retired and has no official standing, Wexford, the former Chief Inspector of Kingsmarkham, is delighted when Detective Superintendent Thomas Ede asks for his advice concerning a puzzling case. The scene of the crime(s) is a two-hundred year old house in London, Orcadia Cottage. The current residents are Martin and Anne Rokeby, who bought the property for one and a half million pounds. One day, Martin decides to lift a manhole cover in the “paved yard at the back of the house,” curious to know what, if anything, is down there. Little does he realize that this deed would end up “wrecking his life for a long time to come.”

September 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Family Matters, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

TRICK OF THE DARK by Val McDermid

Scottish author Val McDermid is arguably best known for her Carol Jordan/Tony Hill series. This series (7 in all so far), featuring psychologist Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Hill became the basis of the television programme Wire in the Blood. McDermid also created the Lindsay Gordon series and the Kate Brannigan series as well as a number of stand-alone mysteries. Now comes TRICK OF THE DARK — an excellent crime novel that may well herald the start of an exciting new series.

September 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE SURF GURU by Doug Dorst

THE SURF GURU reads like a challenge to all that is conventional. Just when the reader begins to see a link, one story to the next–all these characters seem marginal, for instance–along comes the atypical character profile and out goes the convention of form.

September 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Short Stories

WE THE ANIMALS by Justin Torres

WE THE ANIMALS in this wonderful debut novel refers to three brothers, close in age, growing up in upstate New York. They are the Three Musketeers bound strongly together not just because of geographical isolation but because of cultural separateness too. The brothers are born to a white mother and a Puerto Rican father—they are half-breeds confused about their identity and constrained by desperate and mind-numbing poverty.

September 22, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Family Matters, Latin American/Caribbean, NE & New York

THE INVERTED FOREST by John Dalton

The dictionary defines “inverted” as reversed, upturned, and this aptly describes the goings on, again and again in John Dalton’s latest novel, The Inverted Forest, an impressive follow-up to his award winning debut, HEAVEN LAKE. That the two stories are quite diverse in setting and subject serves the reader well, as HEAVEN LAKE, set in Taiwan and China, was one of those wondrous, luminous novels difficult to surpass. THE INVERTED FOREST takes place in 1996 in a rural Missouri summer camp, a sun-dappled, bucolic environment that still manages to impart a sense of subliminal unease.

September 21, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary

LAST MAN IN THE TOWER by Aravind Adiga

When does the heartfelt convictions of one solitary man negate the jointly held consensus of the rest of any civic society?

That is the question posed at the center of Aravind Adiga’s audacious new novel, an impressive and propulsive examination of the struggle for a slice of prime Mumbai real estate. It is a worthy follow-up to Adiga’s Booker Prize novel, WHITE TIGER, as he goes back to the well to explore the changing face of a rapidly growing India.

September 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, India-Pakistan, Reading Guide, World Lit