Saturday, April 8, 2017

Recent Reads April 2017 Edition

It’s early morning and the train pulls out of the station. I’m on my way to work, but first I make myself comfortable. I take my tablet out of my backpack and load the latest novel I’ve been reading. Within minutes I am lost in the plot. The train races along, passing through one station after another. And then it’s time for me to get off the train. I put away my tablet, eager to return to my book on the journey home.

I do most of my reading on the train. Here are some of the latest books I’ve been reading. Enjoy!

The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland (Adrenalin Books, June 2016) is another psychological thriller with “Girl” as part of its title, but this one stands out from the rest. A woman washes up on the beach and can't remember her name or who she is. Her supposed family and friends come forward to help her reclaim what appears to be a perfect life, but something doesn't seem right. Everyone appears to have ulterior motives; nothing is as it seems. Complete with a plausible, page-turning plot; believable characters; and an unexpected ending, this thriller will stay in your mind for some time.

Get Lenin by Robert Craven. Even fans of World War 2 fiction will find this plot to be unique, new territory to explore. It’s 1941 and Hitler's propaganda machine plans to sneak Lenin's body out of Russia, a move geared to deliver a knockout blow to Soviet morale. Enter Eva Molenaar, a beautiful Allied spy who uncovers the plot and its connection to a strange Hollywood mogul. Eva is the ultimate femme fatale. She emerges from this web of intrigue stronger, and more confident, and ready to face her next wartime adventure.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper Reprint edition, 2012). I was eager to read this tale set on a reservation in North Dakota as I know little about the lives and culture of Native Americans. The book is the coming-of-age story of a boy dealing with a brutal, racist attack on his mother and his relentless pursuit of justice. This highly praised novel is very well-written, yet it was difficult for me to connect to its characters and I found many of its subplots distracting.

Taking Flight by Adrian Magnuson. Two highly unlikely travel companions meet in midair. Jeremy, a thirteen-year-old boy dead set against spending the summer in New York with his bipolar mother meets up with elderly Harry, a curmudgeon with failing memory escaping the confinement of his retirement. The two have nothing in common but for an unexpected common interest in birdwatching. For both travelers, this is a runaway journey but ultimately, they are both searching for home. For us as readers, it is a journey we’re glad to share.

Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton (Orion, March 2017). A man falls to the bottom of a stairwell in a church converted to tenant flats. An apparent suicide attempt, Abe lies in a coma in a London hospital. His sister, Mags, arrives from Las Vegas and meets with Jody, her brother’s fiancé. The two don’t believe Abe would have wanted to kill himself. The twists and turns of determining what actually happened to Abe revisits terrible incidents in the past and deals with deceit, betrayal, and revenge in the present day. Neither of the main characters is likeable, nor particularly sympathetic, yet the sharp writing and fast pacing compels us to hurry to the book’s unexpected, and somewhat unlikely conclusion.

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