Still have a couple of books to review and rank for the Best Novel category of the MWA Edgar awards, but I had to take a few minutes to give a shout out for several books I recently read!
First, Harry Dolan’s hit another home run with his latest David Loogan book, The Last Dead Girl. The previous two are Bad Things Happen and Very Bad Men. I gave big thumbs up to both – you can read the review for BTH here and VBM here. It’s a prequel of sorts, set in 1998, back when Loogan was still known by his birth name, David Malone, and was working as a home inspector. A chance encounter with law student Jana Fletcher leads him into a head-over-heels love affair that ends with her bloody murder, and his stubborn quest to uncover the truth about this crime leads to the realization that she was much more than she appeared to be. Dolan moves the plot along through several points of view, including the protagonist in first person, Jana’s, and the mysterious K. Many gasps of surprise later, the plot resolution’s complete.
Also read was the second novel in Ransom Riggs’ YA series that started with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Hollow City. In this outing, Jacob Portman and his unusual friends are under siege, heading through time and magic to London, where they hope to return the stalwart Miss Peregrine back into human form. (Big shock when she does change back!) It’s clever and well-plotted, and the integration of the found photos that makes the series so visually compelling was as fascinating as ever. If you like this kind of thing, you’ll love it. If you don’t, you find it tiresome and go read something else.
Two oldies but goodies:
Suspense is high in Louise Penny’s The Brutal Telling. Published in 2009, it was one I discovered at my library – how did I miss it? Fans of Chief Inspector Gamache will love it, as one of Three Pines’ most beloved characters is accused of murder. Having read Penny’s more recent books, I was still very surprised at the ending.
Also fun was Nora Roberts’ 2012 novel, The Witness. Not generally a giant Roberts fan, I read this one because my husband recommended it. He bought it on the Kindle after getting a free sample, and suggested it to me by saying “It’s kind of a women’s suspense book but it has a really good main character.” And so it does. A super-smart 16 year old college student witnesses a hit by a Russian mobster and goes on the run. Fast forward 13 years, she’s still in hiding. How she opens up to a small town lawman and together they outwit the bad guys, winning her freedom, is a page turner.