Archive for the ‘US Midwest’ Category
THE ADJUSTMENT, Scott Phillips latest novel, World War II veteran Wayne Ogden (from THE WALKAWAY) returns to work in Wichita Kansas for Everett Collins, the rich, but lazy owner of Collins Aircraft. Although Ogden is supposed to be the head of the Publicity and Marketing Department, he spends more time finding women, alcohol and drugs for his boss and also helping the women get abortions that his boss has impregnated. Ogden is not above sharing in the alcohol and women despite having a very attractive and pregnant wife at home. He also likes going to the abortion doctor in Kansas City to see his favorite girlfriend Vickie.
Odysseus was a legendary and cunning hero on a journey to find home, and lived by his guile. Annie Oakley was a sharpshooter with an epic aim, living by her wits. Siddhartha traveled on a spiritual quest to find himself, and defined the river by its timelessnessâ€”always changing, always the same. Now, in Bonnie Jo Campbellâ€™s adventure story, we are introduced to sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, gutsy, feisty survivor who manifests a flawed blend of all three heroes, who lives once and inexorably upon a river.
Thereâ€™s one thing you can count on with author Megan Abbott, you can never predict which direction her novels will take you. Abbottâ€™s first novel, DIE A LITTLE is set in 50s Hollywood and is an exploration of the strange relationship between two women. Then came THE SONG IS YOU, based on the unsolved disappearance of actress Jean Spangler. This novel was followed by QUEENPIN, the story of a female book keeper who works for a glamorous, hard-as-nails mob-connected woman. Abbottâ€™s next novel, BURY ME DEEP, set in the 30s, is a fictionalized account of a real-life murder. And that brings me to THE END OF EVERYTHING, a deeply engrossing book in which Abbott explores the relationship between two 13-year-old girls. I donâ€™t care for a child narrator, but there are hints that this tale is told by Lizzie in adulthood years later.
After a wait of 5 years and 2 non-series books, including last yearâ€™s Edgar award winning THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton has brought back Alex McKnight in MISERY BAY, the eighth book in this excellent series. While relaxing at the Glasgow Inn in Paradise, Michigan with the owner Jackie Connery and his friend Vinnie â€śRed Skyâ€ť LeBlanc, Alexâ€™s evening is interrupted by a man he didnâ€™t expect to ever see there, Chief Roy Maven, who surprisingly asks for Alexâ€™s help. Chief Maven, the head of the nearby Sault Ste. Marie police force, wants Alex to help his old state trooper partner, Charles â€śRazâ€ť Razniewski, determine why his son Charlie would hang himself in a remote part of Misery Bay, Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula part of Michigan.
One of Zeke Pappasâ€™s biggest heroes is Joseph Cornell, an artist who created â€śassemblagesâ€ťâ€”most of Cornellâ€™s work were glass-fronted boxes filled with a stunning variety of found objects. Zeke loves Cornell because he â€śdevoted his life to the collecting the unhappy scraps left behind by others and trying to distill them and make sense of them. Cornellâ€™s work to me is about our abandonment of joy, about our reckless inability to hold on to something meaningful. This is an attempt to find meaningâ€”no, to find magicâ€”in our collective dross, in the castoff and the forgotten,â€ť Zeke says during one of his annual visits to the Cornell boxes collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Clare O’Donohue knows what she is talking about in MISSING PERSONS, a satirical and amusing novel about a Chicago-based freelance television producer who specializes in true crime stories. Since O’Donohue has been a producer, she understands “the frustration, annoyance, and craziness” that go with the territory.