Cressida Hartley is suffering from a serious case of ennui. At 28, she is stagnating in ABD status, trying to finish her dissertation in economics, wholly disliking her field of expertise. It’s the eighties, and Reaganomics doesn’t suit her. But she found a way to integrate her affinity with art with her thesis–she’s writing about the value of art in the marketplace. So she moves to her parents vacation A-frame in the Sierras, intending to wrap herself in the mountain air, solitude, and writing.
The Accident, the latest thriller from Linwood Barclay, is an exciting, quick and enjoyable read. The book is told primarily in the first person of Glen Garber, the owner of Garber Contracting, a small home construction company struggling in the current economy in Milford, Connecticut. Glen cannot believe or accept it when the police tell him his wife Sheila caused the death of herself and others while she was parked drunk the wrong way on an off ramp. Although everyone tells him he must accept his wife had a drinking problem, he just refuses to believe she did or would have driven while drunk. Things get only worse, when the other people killed in the accident file suit against him for failure to identify and act on his wife’s drinking problem that led to the accident.
Three Pines is a village near Montr√©al that is so small it does not appear on any map. For its size, this town has had an inordinate number of murders; solving them is the job of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the S√Ľret√© de Quebec and his team of detectives. This time, the victim is a woman, Lillian Dyson, whose art criticism years ago was so caustic that she was responsible for putting an end to budding careers. Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light is all about artists‚ÄĒtheir insecurities, craving for recognition, pettiness, resentment, and jealousy.
September 2, 2011
¬∑ Judi Clark ¬∑ No Comments
Tags: AA, Alcoholic, Art, Good & Evil, Montreal, Murder Mystery, Small Town ¬∑ Posted in: Canada, Character Driven, Reading Guide, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author
Irish author John Banville continues to pick up a number of literary prizes (including the Booker Prize in 2005) for his novels, but he sidelines with the pseudonym Benjamin Black for a series of ‚Äė50s crime novels set in Dublin. Banville aka Black has produced these crime novels steadily over the past few years. A DEATH IN SUMMER and the other novels comprise the Quirke series–a series of mysteries featuring a Dublin pathologist. Banville states that reading the roman durs of Simenon inspired him to try his hand at writing crime fiction. While reading Simenon, he noted the ‚Äúsimple language and direct, lightweight narrative,‚ÄĚ accompanied by existentialist thought and decided to ‚Äútry it.‚ÄĚ
A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF is the 17th and very likely final installment of Lawrence Block‚Äôs Matthew Scudder series of crime fiction novels. In fact, Block had not even envisioned writing another Scudder book. He figured that as Scudder was already in his mid-sixties, semi-retired and collecting social security in ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING, the immediately previous book six years ago, by now Scudder is in his 70‚Äôs and settled into a ‚Äúcomfortable retirement‚ÄĚ and no longer up to the rigors of private investigating. In HARD STUFF Block finesses this by having Scudder relate events from the past.
It amazes me that THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is Heidi W. Durrow‚Äôs debut novel. It is poetic, poignant, beautiful and elegiac with the panache of a seasoned writer. Once I started it, I could not stop thinking about it. It haunted my days until I finished it. Durrow has a talent that is rare and brilliant, like the northern lights.
February 11, 2011
¬∑ Judi Clark ¬∑ Comments Closed
Tags: 1980s, Alcoholic, Algonquin Books, Chicago, Identity, Portland ¬∑ Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Bellwether, Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, US Midwest, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author