Elevator Pitch is
the first novel I’ve read by Linwood Barclay. I found the plot intriguing. Why
would anyone kill people by messing with elevators? Is it just to terrorize the
people of New York, one of the most vertical cities in the world? I predicted
the villain early in the story but was led astray a few times before my guess
was confirmed at the end. But I never guessed the “why” until revealed at the conclusion.
Barclay’s character portrayals are varied and interesting;
the main ones are a reporter with an ax to grind, her daughter, two NYC police
detectives, the mayor of New York, his son, and his “I take care of everything”
Although the book kept my interest throughout, it could use
some editing, and it could lose about 200 pages. Lots of unneeded detail slowed
the pace in the middle. I have a habit of skipping to the last few chapters of
a book when I get bored, but this one kept my interest enough to keep me from
doing that. I read all 600 plus pages.
I will look for more of Barclay’s writing.
A police procedural mystery with beautiful coastal England
settings and a mix of interesting characters.
The plot includes the murder of an apparently homeless man
and two kidnappings of Down syndrome women. Detective Matthew Venn believes
they are somehow related. All the victims have connections to his husband
Jonathon’s service center, The Woodyard, which houses an artist’s colony, a
counseling service, and a center for the learning disabled.
The author’s characters are varied and usually believable.
But I found DI Venn a bit too insecure for a detective leading a murder
investigation. His constable, Jenn Rafferty, is lively and smart. Ross, another
member of Venn’s team, is young and impatient.
Cleeves’s description of North Devon brings to life the
sights, smell, and sounds of the villages, countryside, and the coastline.
The story held my interest throughout. The pace is somewhat
slow in the middle but interesting enough to keep me reading. It picks up
toward the end.
The Long Call is
the second novel I’ve read by Ann Cleeves. I’ll look for more of her books.
The Starless Sea
is a story about the love of stories.
The main plot lies mostly underground in a world filled with
stories—in books and paintings and sculptures and even in people. Zachary Ezra
Rawlings finds an uncatalogued book with no listed author in the library. The
book contains a story about him when as a young boy he missed the opportunity
of opening a door painted on a wall. But the book is older than Zachary. How
could the author know his story? His search for the source of the book leads him
to the labyrinth of stories lying under his feet.
Morgenstern’s novel is filled with unrelated stories, fables,
fairytales, and myths that intertwine and finally connect at the end of the
book. These individual stories contain romance, loss, time and fate, humor…
I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, but I was absorbed in this
book and Morgenstern’s excellent writing. She has a fantastic imagination.
The Parade is a psychological,
political, literary novella about two anonymous contractors hired to pave a
road in an unknown civil-war-torn country. Two opposite personalities travel
from the poor south to the city in the north. The author tells the story from “Four’s”
point of view. His goal is to follow the rules, don’t interact with the locals,
get the job done on time for the parade, and go home. We only see “Nine”
through “Four’s” perspective, as a happy-go-lucky rule-breaker who pays little
attention to the job and spends his time mixing with the locals, partying,
drinking, sleeping with the women, and giving away company property. “Nine” is
interested in what’s happening to the country, its people, and what the road
will mean to them.
I would give the book four stars, except that I guessed the
twist at the end from the very beginning. Maybe I have a twisted mind.
The novel felt like several stories stuffed into one book with no real connection except Ya’ara Stein, an ex-agent of Israel’s Mossad, who is training a group of unlikely recruits to become a black ops unit. There is no overall plot, unless you count the random chapters about the sculptor, which doesn’t tie into the story until the end. There is a story with a plot in the first half of the book, but that ended in chapter thirty-something out of seventy-eight.
Lots of time is spent on character development of the
unlikely recruits. The main protagonist, Ya’ara, is the least likeable—cold and
Slow paced, the story didn’t flow. I wouldn’t call it a
A character-driven psychological thriller, this novel grabs
your attention and keeps it to the end.
Three children meet a monster in the woods—a huge, mean man
with a huge, mean dog. Rain fights off man and dog, runs, and hides in the
roots of a tree. Physically injured and traumatized, she stays hidden for hours,
unable to move, call out, or go for help. Her two friends, Hank and Tess are
dragged away by the monster. Hank is brutalized but survives. Tess doesn’t make
The story follows Rain and Hank as adults. Rain is a
journalist who has quit her job to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, and Hank
is a psychologist who treats traumatized children. Both lead fairly normal
lives but carry scars from their childhood abduction and loss of their friend.
Rain has a loving husband and a beautiful daughter that she adores. Hank is a
kind and gentle doctor helping his patients. But Rain carries heavy guilt about
not going for help to save her friends, and Hank has a second personality, cruel
and vindictive. Both Hank and Rain become involved in the investigation of an
apparent vigilante serial killer whose first victim may have been their
abductor. Enough of the plot. Any more would be a spoiler.
Unger’s character development makes this book outstanding.
She covers the two main characters in depth, good and bad. Unlike many books I’ve
read recently, their personalities, although warped, are believable and held my
interest from beginning to end.
An angry serial killer is loose, killing beautiful female
runners in the parks of Sydney Australia. In this third novel of Fox’s series
about police partners Frank Bennett and Eden Archer, I learned more about Eden’s
background and her vigilantism. Fox also focuses on Hookey, a teen who is
helping the police with her technical skills.
Eden and Archer spend more time together in this book. It’s
a bit hard to understand their relationship. Sometimes there’s between them and
other times distrust and even fear. All of the characters are twisted and
I enjoyed Fall
more than the second book, Eden. The plot
was less convoluted. The killer was not a surprise, but there was a major twist
at the end.
This mystery/thriller/crime novel takes place in the underbelly
of Sydney, Australia. The author creates unique descriptions of places and
characters, even the minor ones. A dark story filled with dark people—addicts,
prostitutes, gangsters, killers, corrupt cops, and more. The second book in a
series, I didn’t feel I missed anything by not reading the first, Hades.
Three girls have gone missing, and police detective Eden goes
undercover to a farm where all three have lived at different times. Her partner
Frank gets involved in a side job for Eden’s father, Hades, to identify a
stalker and to solve an old cold case of a missing woman.
Although grim, the story kept my attention to the end. I was
surprised by the ending.
(Spoiler Alert) A good story, but the coincidence of two apparently
unrelated murders being investigated by Bosch and Ballard leading to the same
killer is hard to take. One victim is a homeless man burned to death in his
tent; the other is a judge stabbed outside the courthouse. There is a third
case they’re working on , a cold case that is almost 30 years old.
(spoiler alert) I think Reacher is getting older and meaner,
less tolerant of the bad guys. He’s still unbelievably observant, sharp,
calculating, and very, very lucky. This book reads like a violent video game,
with a lot more mayhem than previous Reacher novels. And the girl who
accompanies him through the story is very tolerant of his murderous ways. I
found it difficult to believe he and a few friends could take out two whole crime
All that said, I still enjoyed this addition to the series. I
like Lee Child’s clipped style of writing and strange sense of humor.