THE BORROWER by Rebecca Makkai

Debut novelist and elementary schoolteacher Rebecca Makkai combines a wily, madcap road trip with socially poignant conundrums and multiple themes in this coming-of-age story about a twenty-six-year-old children’s librarian, Lucy Hull, and a ten-year-old precocious book lover, Ian Drake, in fictional Hanibal, Missouri. (Guess who is coming-of-age? Answer: not so evident.)

Lucy isn’t entirely sure that she’s a reliable narrator—part of our reading pleasure is to figure that out. She tells us in the enigmatic prologue “I’m not the hero of this story.” Is she the villain? And, if she is not the hero, who is? The answers turn out to be thoughtfully complex and yet exquisitely simple for those of us–and only for those of us–whose love of reading is almost religious (upside down pun there).

July 9, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Debut Novel, Reading Guide, US Southwest

THE STRONGER SEX by Hans Werner Kettenbach

The German novel, THE STRONGER SEX, by Hans Werner Kettenbach is ostensibly about a lawsuit–a very grubby lawsuit, but the story is really about the tangled relationships between the people involved in the case. Lawyer Alexander Zabel, in his late twenties, is rather surprised to find himself pressured into representing the elderly, ailing German industrialist, Herbert Klofft in a case involving his former employee, 34-year-old Katharina Fuchs. Katharina, an engineer who has worked in Klofft’s company, Klofft’s Valves, for eleven years was fired after requesting sick leave.

June 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Germany, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Translated, World Lit

THE FIFTH WITNESS by Michael Connelly

Michael (Mickey) Haller is still working out of the back seat of his armor-plated Lincoln Town Car, but he now specializes in helping people prevent or delay foreclosure on their homes. In the shattered economy and with housing prices in freefall, business has been brisk. Although criminal defense is his first love, Mickey has changed course, knowing that “the only growth industry in the law business was foreclosure defense.”

April 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly brings together criminal defense attorney Michael (Mickey) Haller and his half-brother, the cynical and battle-scarred LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, in Connelly’s latest legal thriller, THE REVERSAL. Mickey calls himself “the defender of the damned,” a job he has had for over twenty years. “During that time,” he states, “I’d grown a suspicion and distrust of prosecutors and police….” Still, the Los Angeles District Attorney convinces Mickey to become an independent special prosecutor in the second trial of forty-eight year old Jason Jessup. The defendant has spent twenty-four years in San Quentin for abducting and strangling twelve-old Melissa Landy. Over the last two decades, Jessup has vociferously proclaimed his innocence while filing numerous motions and appeals in an attempt to have his conviction overturned.

October 5, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, California, Mystery/Suspense, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author