I had read some of the earlier books in this series, I would say it is maturing very nicely. Kent Krueger is great at pacing a storyline and the Cork...moreI had read some of the earlier books in this series, I would say it is maturing very nicely. Kent Krueger is great at pacing a storyline and the Cork O'Connor series is getting better and better. Having grown up in Northern Ontario, Minnesota was within our stomping grounds. I always find it adds to my experience to read a book that takes place in a world I recognize.(less)
This is a well-written mystery, actually made it deep into the book before you knew for sure whodunit. This was my first Inspector Van Veeteren myster...moreThis is a well-written mystery, actually made it deep into the book before you knew for sure whodunit. This was my first Inspector Van Veeteren mystery and I liked the character. Definitely a uniquely quirky inspector to enjoy.
I liked the pace of the story, and it had enough twists and turns for moi. The author, Hakan Nesser does a good job setting the scene, you can easily imagine this quaint coastal village and feel it closing in as people grow more fearful of the ax man. I will have to thank my mother for sharing and introducing me to Van Veeteren. (less)
I think the author hit the mark in creating a portrait of a guilt-riddled 1950’s housewife who feels alienated from her own family, struggling with de...more
I think the author hit the mark in creating a portrait of a guilt-riddled 1950’s housewife who feels alienated from her own family, struggling with depression, never feeling like she fits in or is really good enough. Despite her beauty and the comfortable lifestyle she experiences, life is a stuggle. This physcial reality, the setting works as the right contrast to her messy inner life.
I read this in practically one sitting, wondering about Hope Koop as she quietly, uneventfully moves through life. Like others, I too felt frustrated with Hope at times and her response to her life. But then I would remind myself that this is the portrait of a woman dealing with mental health challenges…and at the dawn of change for women, the early days of the feminist movement. She is perpetually guilt ridden, always questioning everything and never comfortable in her own skin. Yet other times she is independent in her thinking not following the crowd, expectations just to fit in. So at times a contradiction, another messy human….she doesn’t of course always endear with her struggle and take on life or people….perhaps she is too realistic to bear.
Given Hope’s circumstances I did not find it such a stretch to experience her as somewhat distant or disconnected. Sometimes those who appear to be “well off” are in fact the most trapped or challenged to experience transformative change. She is a woman who lives the stigma of mental illness, and the impact of so called mental health treatments based in a much earlier time; along with changing expectations of women and their “place” in the world. There is no question that the mental health treatments of the 70’s were not what they are now. Might this reality make anyone act disconnected no?
It is painful to walk through life never feeling good enough. Not everyone gets the support they may need and considering the place and time, even less likely that supports were readily available for Hope.
But on a positive note, Hope never gives up trying to figure herself and her life out. Despite a crippling guilt she tries to be a better parent even though her over analysis has her constantly questioning what a good parent is. Who is to say that this wasn’t a life…it might not be what someone would choose, but not everyone gets to be fulfilled in the same way…not everyone “achieves” fame and fortune.
I was just glad for her that at the end of her story when she wakes from a dream about her mother she comes to understand there is nothing to be frightened of. (less)
I have now read the next book in the Joe Sandislands series. I enjoy the author's writing, this was an engaging read. I like her style of mystery when...moreI have now read the next book in the Joe Sandislands series. I enjoy the author's writing, this was an engaging read. I like her style of mystery when not all is cleaning resolved...you might know who did what, but it doesn't mean justice is done. Kind of like life, what? Lastly, a shout out to the Dorcas character, I really enjoyed her. (less)
I am definitely growing into a Kate Morton fan. The Distant Hours was a lush, dark, and lovingly sad tale. Morton builds in enough twists that just wh...moreI am definitely growing into a Kate Morton fan. The Distant Hours was a lush, dark, and lovingly sad tale. Morton builds in enough twists that just when you think you figured it out, you realize you have not. The story was definitely character rather than plot driven, something which i can grow impatient with.....if offered detail for details sake. But the characters here are so interesting you are drawn into their world in no time and come to appreciate that the story needs to slowly unfold and reveal itself.
Come the final and sad conclusion you can't help but think about the impact that lives lived before us can have, of family secrets on people's lives. For all 3 of the Blythe sisters i was left thinking what if? What if one moment had not happened, one story had not been written.
The back story on who this author really is was interesting, but what is really interesting is getting to read another excellent Canadian series! Once...moreThe back story on who this author really is was interesting, but what is really interesting is getting to read another excellent Canadian series! Once you begin you cannot put down or ignore Hazel and her unique investigative ways.
I'm enjoying Hazel for the unique and different protagonist she is - you'll be hooked by her in no time. Following The Taken, the last book in this series, she is currently living with her eighty eight year old mother, who is also a great character in her own right. Hazel like her mother is stubborn, tenacious, intelligent and not the easiest person to get along with. It is these characteristics that make her the cop she is. As her deputy Wingate states she has great instinct..."too bad she wielded it like a mallet". Actually, all of the characters in Port Dundas are believable, even the bad guy and he is one evil bad guy.
Once again the plot is superbly crafted and it is so tempting to jump ahead and find out how it all ends even though I found the crimes abit over the top for me. There are however, as you can expect, some well crafted twists and turns...you don't know how it is all going to end....which is great by me. I have to thank my friend Julia for the introduction to Hazel...:)I'm looking forward to the next chapter this excelent Canadian series. (less)
I had a mixed reaction to the Russian Concubine. Number one the book title is somewhat deceptive in relation to the storyline. I really enjoyed the ch...moreI had a mixed reaction to the Russian Concubine. Number one the book title is somewhat deceptive in relation to the storyline. I really enjoyed the character of Lydia and there is a good supporting cast so to speak. The writing is good and the historical perspective on china and the international settlements of the time period is interesting. But there are one too many relationship coincidences required to make the storyline work, as well I'm not sure I really ever bought into the love story....but perhaps that's because I kept expecting the storyline to go off in another direction.(less)