It's easy to see why Emma Donoghue has become a break-out author. A great story, wonderful writing, and especially fantastic characters. Some of the sIt's easy to see why Emma Donoghue has become a break-out author. A great story, wonderful writing, and especially fantastic characters. Some of the sex is quite graphic, which may turn off (ha!) some readers, but Donoghue's novel goes beyond simply telling the reader over and over about love and obsession to instead really working through why these characters might have had complicated relationships with each other. ...more
**spoiler alert** Things you might not enjoy about this novel: 1. Historical inaccuracies. 2. The writing style. 3. Every male in the story falling for**spoiler alert** Things you might not enjoy about this novel: 1. Historical inaccuracies. 2. The writing style. 3. Every male in the story falling for the same woman and doing very stupid things as a result (e.g., killing other people in dumb ways). 4. An apparently devoted mother who is willing to act demented for months on end in order to make certain that her only daughter, a titled British woman, will eventually marry a nobody doctor from America (during the Revolutionary War!!!!!!) who smells like corpses. 5. Dr. Silkstone defying all generally held medical belief in his time and failing to believe in silly things like blood-letting.
I did give the second in the series a try, but by that time what's-her-name (Lady Lydia?) had evidently become a progressive firebrand (not exactly a trait she had exhibited in the first novel), and a lot of the suspense rested on the fact that the seeming villain had injected himself with syphilis and might have instantaneously become mad. Probably not going to read the third one. ...more
A fun, Roman mystery series. I particularly like that Downie doesn't immediately give in to making her characters adhere to modern cultural values. YeA fun, Roman mystery series. I particularly like that Downie doesn't immediately give in to making her characters adhere to modern cultural values. Yes, there's some of that going on, of course. And she does, at least in the early novels, run into the problem of the fact that Ruso and Tilla's relationship is constantly fraught (for some modern readers) with questions about consent (can a slave consent to a sexual relationship with a master?). The novels handle this really well, though, and the stories are quite fun. The characters don't slide into uni-dimensional responses to the problems they encounter, and of course it is always delightful to discover that even though Ruso typically manages to solve the crimes, he almost always equally pisses someone off by doing so. A great complement to Lindsey Davis's Roman mystery series with a British twist....more
Not my favorite of the Bernie Gunther novels. Kerr has always had to walk a really fine balance with Berlin Noir since of course he cannot escape grapNot my favorite of the Bernie Gunther novels. Kerr has always had to walk a really fine balance with Berlin Noir since of course he cannot escape grappling with the Holocaust (and, indeed, that's much of the point of these books). But then, on the other hand, he has always run the risk of turning the Holocaust into fodder for what is essentially the pleasure of a whodunit. That perhaps comes out most strongly in this Gunther novel because the story explicitly deals not with a man trying to find his way through the ongoing war, but with confronting the aftermath of the war and the Holocaust and his own role in it. I'm not saying the novel sentimentalizes post or pre-war Germany; rather, some of the stylistic choices to mimic and replicate the tone of ironic distance so often found in "hardboiled" detective novels doesn't work as well in this novel as it does in the previous three. ...more