Clare and Jess Martin Move from NYC to a small town in the
Hudson River Valley, to hopefully give them a new start on their marriage and
their writing. They move into an old crumbling mansion owned by their former professor
from a local college where they both attended school. According to local rumor,
the house is haunted. Clare sees or imagines a ghost several times in the first
few months at the house and begins writing a novel about a woman who left her
baby on the back steps to freeze and then drowned in the pond behind the house.
As Clare investigates local records for her book, she finds the facts don’t
always match the rumors.
I’m not a big fan of ghost stories. I believe they’re meant
to frighten the reader, and since I’m not afraid of ghosts, they lose the
desired effect. But this was a good mystery plot, and the book left you wondering
whether or not the house was truly haunted.
I couldn’t connect with any of the characters—Clare, a psychological
mess living with abusive husband Jess; Monty, retired professor with an
overblown ego; Katrine, nosey realtor who keeps showing up at the house, and
others we don’t get to know well.
Good mystery plot, good setting, but a ghost story.
The characters were not very likeable, even the protagonist,
V.I. (Vic) Warshawski, PI and lawyer. If I had read the numerous previous
novels about her, maybe I would have connected more with her. She grew on me as
the story progressed, but she was scattered, running around acting without
thinking, almost always angry at the world and at most people. Many of her
questions could have been answered by her “friends” in law enforcement instead
of illegally breaking into homes or business offices.
The plot was helter-skelter. Vic had two clients—a friend’s
nephew who was a person of interest in a murder because his name and phone
number were found on the victim and Vic’s ex-husband’s niece who was looking
for her missing sister. Even though the cases appeared to have nothing to do
with each other, they became offshoots of the same crime.
Spoiler alert. I’m
disappointedwith the ending. Vic’s
ex, whom she despised, was one of the bad guys, but she didn’t turn him in.
Gideon Crew and Manuel Garza have been dumped by their boss as he shuts down his company without notice. On their way out the door, they discover a computer has solved the translation to an ancient disk. But the translation is in code. When they finally break the code, it turns out to be a map to a remote corner of the Egyptian desert. With only a few months to live, Gideon has nothing to lose, and Garza is hoping to find lost treasure as payment for the years he has given his employer. A lack of guides who are willing to travel to the prohibited region forces them to join a camel caravan with archeologist/geologist/Egyptologist Imogen Blackburn.
Their journey is full of pitfalls and perils, from escaping a sinking ferry in the Red Sea, to being abandoned in the desert without supplies or camels, to the threat of beheading by a tribe of natives…
Reading this made me feel like I was living through an Indiana Jones movie. A true action/adventure book.
Four students in their last year at a for-profit law school are in debt to the tune of approximately $200,000 each. One of the student’s does extensive research on the school and finds that not only do half the students fail the bar after graduation, but even less find jobs in the legal profession. He also finds that one person, through various shell corporations, owns several law schools plus interest in financial institutions holding student loans and a corrupt bank. Unstable and seeing no way out of his dilemma, he commits suicide. The remaining three in the group drop out of law school and proceed to find ways to scam the scammers.
This makes it seem to be a depressing story, but it’s not. It’s an entertaining tale about young people trying to beat the system that’s stacked against them.
If you want to know more about the real law school rip-offs, read this story from The Atlantic: The Law-School Scam.
This was a much better story than The Reckoning, which was the last Grisham novel I read.