Monday, April 18, 2016

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Unearthing a Good Book (Suspense)


The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.  It was supposed to be just a college English course assignment.  Write a brief biography of a stranger.  That’s how Joe got to know Carl Iverson—a convicted rapist and murderer.  Carl, who was paroled after thirty years in prison, is in a nursing home dying of pancreatic cancer.  With only months left to live, he is given a chance to make his dying declaration—an opportunity to come clean before he leaves this world for the next.  But things aren’t always black and white. As Joe learns more about Carl and his case, his view and life are altered in unsuspected ways, because digging up the past can sometimes unearth dangerous consequences.

This was a book club selection and although on the one hand it sounded pretty good, on the other hand it also sounded kind of morbid since Carl’s past isn’t exactly a walk through a field of flowers.  So I started it with half enthusiasm, half trepidation.  The enthusiasm quickly took over.  This book became like an itchy scab that I just couldn’t leave alone until I scratched it all off to see what’s underneath.  It’s a good book:  fast, suspenseful, hard to put down. It stirs up the same uncontrollable curiosity and urge to push forward as Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and What She Knew.  A thumbs-up thrill!!



As I mentioned, this was a book club selection. All my fellow readers liked it.  It was a fast and good read.  Some things may have been stretching it a bit like super speedy results of DNA tests, and it had a bit of a Hollywood ending, but all in all a good read!


Happy reading,

Annette

Questions or comments?  Email Readinginthegarden@gmail.com


Sunday, April 3, 2016

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan


A Missing Child (Suspense)



What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan. Wow!”  That’s how I felt after I blazed through this book about an eight-year-old boy who goes missing after a walk in the woods with his mother. It’s hard to let go of this story which hurtles you through every parent’s worst nightmare—a missing child. Rachel, the mother, becomes a suspect after an outburst and a misinterpreted smile at the press conference where she threatens the abductor. As if the emotional devastation of her missing boy isn’t enough to destroy a person, social media cruelly vilifies her. Meanwhile, her recently remarried pediatric surgeon ex-husband is untouched by the tornado of hate and insults, though not the jolt of losing his son. The story alternates between the mother’s and detective’s narrations as well as transcripts from the shattered detective’s visits with a psychologist in the aftermath of this highly publicized case. We are immersed in how Rachel deals with the shocking event along with the social media blasts. Top off the race against time with some interesting twists, and I found it difficult to set this book down.  I was drawn to it like people are to a morbid accident scene.

If you liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, this book may be just what you’re looking for in your next thrill read. It’s books like these that make me fear that I’ll become a thrill junkie and will lose my desire to go back to slower, normal-paced books.  Okay, that probably won’t happen.  There are just too many wonderful books out there to get lost in one genre.  But this book really captivated me; it held me hostage until I knew what happened to Ben.



This book was highly recommended by the owner of our wonderful local bookstore, The Well-Read Moose.  Melissa’s enthusiasm for the book spurred me on to buy it right then and there, and I’m sure glad I did.  I’ll say it again.  Wow!  -- Thanks, Melissa!



It’s so nice to get personal recommendations for books.  This is just one reason to support your local, independent bookstore.  I’ve talked about it before and I don’t want to sound preachy, but wouldn’t it be a shame to lose your bookstore—to not be able to soak up the atmosphere and energy of a store dedicated to books?  I know, many people prefer their e-readers to real books nowadays. They’re just so compact and convenient. I don’t have one, but I understand there are several advantages to e-readers. Some people don’t have room for so many books at home. However, local bookstores won’t survive if no one buys books.  I’m not saying we need to buy all our books there, but think about it.  If we just diversify and buy books from the store once in awhile, then we’re helping to keep the small business alive. And if there really isn’t room on your bookshelf, then double your karma by donating it to the library after you’re done with it.  Pay it forward.  Our library bookstore in Coeur d’Alene, sells donated books for $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardbacks. This money is used to pump life back into the library.  Last year a huge contribution was made to the teen section thanks to the profits at the library bookstore. It’s a win, win, win situation.

Love your bookstore?  Support your bookstore.

Happy reading,

Annette


Questions or comments?  Email Readinginthegarden@gmail.com