Many of the books I read unfold in dual timelines. Quite often decades apart. The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell offers three separate narratives, though only a year apart. It means secrets and lies haven’t had time to fester, but it means wounds are still fresh and grief is still palpable. Of course it may also mean the story is not yet over.
Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh is the third in the series featuring Scotland Yard detective Jack Hawksworth, promoted here to Detective Superintendent.
I’ve commented in my review of the two previous books that I very much like that McIntosh presents Jack as a likeable boss and his own supervisor is also a good friend of his. It’s a nice change from the usual bastard-like guv’ners we meet in most novels featuring police personnel.
Australian author Katherine Firkin introduced readers to Detective Emmett Corban in Sticks and Stones. At the time I expected it would become part of a series and – as always – I was right. (Why doth thou doubt me?! Or something.) It doesn’t matter if you missed the first book however as, though I re-read my old review for context, only a few characters are featured here and there’s no background required.
I really liked our lead, Emmett in the first novel, here however it was the plot that interested me the most – particularly the events of twenty years earlier which set up an intriguing cold case mystery.
I adore Candice Fox’s writing and am a huge fan of her many series and two standalones (The Inn and Gathering Dark – both of which may, of course, still become part of a series). Fox manages to create eccentric, weird or even slightly sociopathic characters that are eminently likeable. Protagonists AND antagonists we come to care for deeply. She has a natural yarn-spinning ability. I’ve seen her speak at events and met her so I know she’s quick-witted and kinda irreverent and this is reflected in her writing.
I’ve had her latest release, The Chase, for a while but held off on reading it as I’m participating in a blogging tour that kicks off today. With yours truly. My brother visited at Easter so I kindly let him have a shot at this book first and he read it in a day and really enjoyed it. And I’ve seen nothing but good reviews, which bodes well for Fox’s latest.
I’ve mentioned before I was a latecomer to Harlan Coben’s work. I’m not sure why that was, but I’ve certainly enjoyed his most recent books, many of which have been standalone novels. It means I’m not really familiar with his popular protagonist Myron Bolitar, though I loved my brief interlude with his nephew Mickey in Found, published in 2014.
I’m assuming our lead in Coben’s latest novel, Win, was introduced in the Myron Bolitar series and as this is labelled Windsor Horne Lockwood III #1, I’m figuring it’s a spinoff.
And that excites me because I really loved this book. I adored Win. I adored Coben’s conversational style of writing. It felt like he was writing in second person, as if Win was telling ‘us’ his story. It was engaging and funny and Win, as a narrator, is unabashedly arrogant and elitist. If the plot had been a little less coincidental / contrived this might have been a five star read for me, but instead Mr Coben will have to settle for 4.5 stars.
They were a few weeks apart but it bodes well for 2021 that I read two books that I’m rating an easy 4.5 stars – a very rare honour in my world. The first was Linwood Barclay’s new release Find You First and the second, The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor.
This is the third book I’ve read by Tudor but I don’t think it’d appeared in any new release catalogues that I recall so I sent a query after seeing her talk about the book on Twitter. I’d missed her 2020 release, The Other People, but heard great things about it. And thank god I chased for a copy because I freakin’ loved this book. There’s a fabulous twist early and they really don’t stop coming.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman came as a huge surprise. I’d requested it thinking it sounded a bit quirky but at the same time unsure I wanted to hang with a bunch of old people talking murders.
But it’s addictive. It’s cleverly-written, extremely funny and offers up some delightful characters. It reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Britt-Marie was Here and The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village. With a side or two of murder thrown in for good measure.
Benjamin Stevenson’s second book, Either Side of Midnight again features (former) true-crime documentary-maker Jack Quick which I assumed meant I needed to refamiliarise myself with his character.
Deep diving into our past (mine and Jack’s), ie. reading my review of Greenlight, reminded me I really enjoyed the book and found Jack to be a bit of an enigma. However I also discovered I’d cunningly kept spoilers out of my review. Spoilers that obviously included VITAL information about Jack and the events at the end of that book. (Well, shit!)
Thankfully, Stevenson recaps pretty quickly here and I was reminded that, in Jack, we’re offered a rare insight into a really fragile and complex male character.
This is the third novel I’ve read by former journalist Megan Goldin. Her debut The Girl in Kellers Way was published in 2017 and The Escape Room in 2018. Interestingly all three books have felt kinda different. The first was very much domestic noir; the second a suspenseful thriller; and here there’s less of a sense of impending doom. The Night Swim is more about human nature – about people and the things we do. The things we don’t do. For me it also offered a sense of sad wistfulness, a sense of injustice.
Interestingly, though I liked our lead character Rachel, Goldin doesn’t give us a lot of information about her. This book, which I really enjoyed, is very plot driven. And we’re actually offered two mysteries: a rape trial which is the subject of Rachel’s podcast; and a death from 25 years earlier.