Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 books, #86-90

Shadow, by Karin Alvtegen. Kindle edition.

I'm going to use the author's website blurb for this book because I can't do much better:
How much is glory and fame really worth, when counted in the suffering of the people closest to you? The death of the housekeeper of the fictive world-famous Nobel Prize laureate Axel Ragnerfeldt becomes the starting point of an investigation into the claustrophobic family ties, mysterious disappearances and dark secrets surrounding a man shrouded in myth. With her fifth novel Shadow, Karin Alvtegen has achieved her darkest and most complex thriller to date, in which the disturbing truth of a sick family is gradually and mercilessly laid bare.
The atmosphere of this book is what I remember best - everything is somehow in sepia, with an aura of menace. There's a sort of impending dread here, which also reminded me of Accolade, the play with Graham Seed (formerly Nigel in The Archers) which a group of us Archers fans went to in February. Very striking.

Unlikely killer, by Ricki Thomas. Kindle edition.

I enjoyed this although it had some quite serious proofreading (or maybe Kindle-conversion) issues! A serial killer is re-creating historical murders, and we see the book via both the killer and the journalist tracking the killer down. I did, however, find the final twist one jump of credibility to far... I'm not sure even Jeffery Deaver could have pulled off a switch like that though!

The unquiet heart, by Gordon Ferris. Kindle edition.

The second Danny McRae novel, after Truth dare kill, again set in immediately-post-war London and Berlin. It's not the most sparkling of plots, but the settings are excellent, and it canters along very nicely. I'm very encouraged to see that Truth dare kill has now appeared in paperback after being a best-selling e-book - it's good when the different publishing formats can feed off each other in this way.

Playing the game, by Simon Gould. Kindle edition.

Detective Michael Patton of the LAPD has been targeted by a serial killer who has already killed two girls; he has 24 hours to save a third. The plot rackets along quite nicely, but the ending is disappointing, and there are just too many typographical and grammatical errors for a stickler like me to enjoy!

The thousand autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell. Kindle edition.

Well, this one has just about everything - a love story, some swashbuckling, lots of information about the various trading companies with Japan in the 18th century... This was a book group book, not one I'd ever have picked up otherwise, and I enjoyed it immensely.

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