This week, we’re changing things up a bit because I noticed that a release wasn’t getting the attention it deserves and the book that was going to go in this spot has a fairly powerful marketing machine behind it. This week, we’re looking at When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano.
This book is really as laid back as its setting, along the gently flowing waters of the Savannah River just outside Savannah, Ga. It opens in a similar setting in coastal Connecticut, and also has a scene at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and northern Florida. It even references a region upriver from Savannah at Augusta, GA/ Aiken, SC (the two towns are on opposite sides of the River) known to locals as the Central Savannah River Area, or CSRA. Since starting this book blog I’ve lived in the northern Florida area, but I lived in and near the CSRA for several years before that and have been in the Savannah region several times. Since this book is one of few I’ve seen not named Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil set in the region, it had my attention from the beginning.
The mystery and action are just enough to keep the plot driving along – starting with our hero being involved in a major car crash in Connecticut that kills a suspect he is chasing and flowing with dead bodies, people being attacked, mysterious notes being left, and concluding with an epic showdown in the River itself. But the real star here is the area itself, and despite being a Yankee himself, the author really nails the actual feel of the region. Yes, we have our hot summer nights both on the water and not. We have our animals dead set on killing us if we don’t leave them alone. We have our crazy neighbors and our hot coworkers with high libidos. And we have our family members slowly losing their minds to Alzheimer’s.
Truly a great mystery, even if not in the action packed vein of a Reacher novel or the crazy whodunit plot twists every other page Gone Girl mold. But when you’re in the mood for a more relaxed yet enjoyable time, reach for this one. You won’t be disappointed. Very much recommended.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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This week we look at a twisted tale reminiscent of Gone Girl. This week, we look at Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle.
Structurally, this book is told from three perspectives – a woman on the run, a husband she is running from, and a cop investigating the disappearance. And this structure very much works for this tale to keep the reader guessing until the point the author wants to begin to clue the reader in on what is really going on.
The tale itself is a tad too similar to Gone Girl up front, with a missing wife and the husband being targeted by police and media. And honestly, through this section I was looking at a 4 star review based on that. But instead of the mind-warping shift at the middle of the book presented in Gone Girl, instead here we get a more gradual revelation of what is really going on – and that is very much appreciated by at least this reader. And what is actually happening is enough to get the book its 5th star – truly great work. While it does have its issues along the “content warning” level, I don’t really do those and to my mind revealing what they are would go into spoiler territory in this particular tale.
At the end of the day, if you enjoyed Gone Girl or at least didn’t have particularly strong feelings against it, you’re probably going to enjoy this book. If you hated Gone Girl, you’re probably not going to like this one much either. If you’ve never heard of Gone Girl… what rock have you been living under for the last several years? 🙂
This was my first book from this author, and it won’t be my last. Very much recommended.
As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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This week we’re going to another new-to-me Lake Union author, Dete Meserve and looking at her book, The Space Between.
This book was intriguing from the outset. We first meet Sarah Mayfield when she is in DC presenting the findings of her NASA team – an earth shattering discovery of an asteroid in Earth’s orbit hidden by the sun. This particular BookAHolic lives just a couple hours or so north of Cape Canaveral and absolutely loves going down there, as well as almost anything to do with space generally – I’ve read the memoirs of two separate former International Space Station Commanders this year alone, in addition to the memoirs of a legendary NASA Flight Director. So I was excited about this book nearly instantly, from the first time I even heard about it – much less once I started reading it!
And then Ms. Meserve goes in and spins a form of a Gone Girl type of tale around Ms. Mayfield as soon as Ms. Mayfield gets back home to her family. Her husband is missing, there is a brand new gun in their nightstand, and his last words to his son were to make sure the doors were locked. What follows is the type of tale fans of Gone Girl will love, but also fans of NASA and tech generally – Ms. Meserve has done her research, because Ms. Mayfield is very geeky indeed!
My *only* complaint about this book is that despite being someone who virtually never figures out a mystery before the central character does, in this book I figured out who the person ultimately responsible was about 60% or so of the way in, and I was right on the high points if not the particulars by the end of the book. Still, one of those books I truly did not want to put down, and very highly recommended.
As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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