So I've been reading a lot of lady novels. Romancing and such. I thought I might need a break from the fluff. Amazon said "classic mystery" novel andSo I've been reading a lot of lady novels. Romancing and such. I thought I might need a break from the fluff. Amazon said "classic mystery" novel and such.
I'ma let the Elvis Costello references go for now. Even if this title and subsequent titles reference EC up the wazoo.
Yeah. Declan MacManus.
This is a bro book. Bro drinks a lot. A LOT. He's pulled out of ingnominy by friends he didn't know he wanted or that he had.
Apparently he had a propensity for rescuing people. Apparently he was the kind of guy who couldn't resist saving people in need. Because that's what all the characters said.
This novel should have been longer. Mac's past should have been explained more. His humanitarian streak wasn't clear so his motives weren't either.
And given that his employer gave little up, that means that expostion should have. It didn't.
So the reader is left with a bro protagonist who for reasons unexplained, yet hinted at, is a good but flawed guy.
The police corruption, the "mystery," of the missing person, Mac's vague past are all too murky to really be interesting.
Perhaps the author means to flesh that shit out later.
It's just not interesting enough for me to keep going.
Elvis Costello references aside, I'm not buying what the author is selling....more
I love the irascible Anna Pigeon. I really do. I often imagine living her itinerant, outdoorsy lifestyle as a mystery solving park ranger. And her traI love the irascible Anna Pigeon. I really do. I often imagine living her itinerant, outdoorsy lifestyle as a mystery solving park ranger. And her travels have helped me answer many a clue on Jeopardy.
This was not my favorite novel. All the elements were there without suspense, without satisfying character development, without enough danger to really make this a true Anna Pigeon adventure. ...more
No matter how many times I read Laura Lippman, I am always happy to see her characters return to Golden West restaurant in Hampden. Every. Single. TimNo matter how many times I read Laura Lippman, I am always happy to see her characters return to Golden West restaurant in Hampden. Every. Single. Time....more
One of my shelves on goodreads is "I kinda want to live here." I enjoy novels that make the setting a character in and of itself. Sharon McCone's SanOne of my shelves on goodreads is "I kinda want to live here." I enjoy novels that make the setting a character in and of itself. Sharon McCone's San Francisco comes to mind. Louise Penny's Three Pines. The picturesque town of Lochdubh where Hamish MacBeth makes his rounds and mooches food.
So it stands to reason that when I found an urban fantasy series set in San Diego, a place I actually live, I would be excited. I like to read about San Diego as a setting to see if the author captures my city the way I see it. Abigail Padgett does a marvelous job in her Bo Bradley series. Veronica Mars (yeah, I know it's a TV show) is another. (Rob Thomas IS a San Diego author). I love seeing places I know and places I go in print.
Except for the odd mention (not a description) of San Diego Police Department and the Gas lamp Quarter, a La Mesa apartment building, and the vague ocean view, this novel evokes nothing of my home town. This could be any cliche Southern California Beach Town USA. No San Diego landmarks.
While disappointing, the setting did not evoke the biggest disappointment in this novel. I tried to get into the world building. I don't know if it was too many story/supernatural threads beginning to unravel, or if the hint of all the threads combining in later books made the vision unclear. The end result is that I couldn't connect with Lily. Rule was an unsexy were with a stupid name. I don't feel the chemistry between them. One minute he's a suspect, the next minute she's is "Chosen." That suspension between not enough urban fantasy but not quite paranormal romance keeps the novel from fleshing out.
I don't think I'll be back to this pale imitation of San Diego set novel. I can step out and see the real thing. I can also visit supe worlds I like better in towns that are fleshed out....more
I have a quirky love for small towns. I am almost certain I could never actually live in one--especially if there is any severe weather or dangerous gI have a quirky love for small towns. I am almost certain I could never actually live in one--especially if there is any severe weather or dangerous geography. I have been a Southern Californian all my life which has left me prepared for absolutely nothing. I am the US equivalent of the weak gazelle on the Serengeti, the first to be picked off once the predators arrive.
But I WANT to live in a small town. So I pick up novels about small town cops and the dark secrets hiding behind the doors of those down-home, salt of the earth, plain and simple folks. As one of the characters in this novel says "La nature humaine, l'obscurite et la lumiere. La meme partout....Human nature...the dark and the light" (172) It is the same everywhere.
Nonetheless, I liked the small town of Bearkill,MA much better than Linda Castillo's mystery series. No tough cops tossing around jargon, threatening to get those psycho-bastard sons of bitches. The red herrings are easy to spot and some of the clues are very obvious but the plucky newly appointed sheriff's liaison, Lizzie Snow, is likeable and watching her fit into small town life after her beat in the big city is fun to read. I can see the story arc that will unfold as she makes friends and finds her way into the rhythms of Bearkill and probably into a love triangle between the hunky cop and the local veterinarian.
Unless something goes horribly awry, I believe I will enjoy my next visit to Bearkill, Maine.
Even though I had the twist figured out halfway through, this novel made me cry human tears. I both love and hate that. The cat. The mother with ParkiEven though I had the twist figured out halfway through, this novel made me cry human tears. I both love and hate that. The cat. The mother with Parkinson's. The family in fragments.
In my reading world, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon joins the ranks of the genteel detective inspector ranks of Monsieur Gamache (Louise Penny) and CommIn my reading world, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon joins the ranks of the genteel detective inspector ranks of Monsieur Gamache (Louise Penny) and Commisario Brunetti (Donna Leon). Urbane, nuanced, and haunted by his past, Falcon struggles to retain his humanity when faced with the depravity the world has to offer.
The Vanished Hands may not be the best mystery I have read but Falcon brings me back to the series. As does the multi-dimensional view of Seville with its blend of expatriates, native Sevillanos, imported Madrilenos, and African influences. One can feel the climate, the landscape and the people of Seville as the narrative unfolds.