A gem of a book for a first try. At this point I would not go as far as comparing it to Donald Ray Pollock because it lacks some of the rawness that a...moreA gem of a book for a first try. At this point I would not go as far as comparing it to Donald Ray Pollock because it lacks some of the rawness that author brings to his stories. The loosely set of stories in this book are well crafted and describe some of the basic instincts that make people tick. It is well written and describes the life in rural America after the 2008 recession - the lose of homes, employment and the need of people with the economic effects of that event.
The book is a series of what look like short stories which are loosely connected and at times difficult to connect. Two themes run through the stories as background. One is baseball and the other is the relationships that exist in small rural America among long time residents. As the book progresses, as the short stories develop, you see a connection among all the characters begin to flicker in the background.
The other part of the book that I liked was the ability of the author not to be judgmental about the characters, but to weave the story in such a manner in which each character did what they did because of choices made by them. It was a quick and fun read and I hope this author continues to write this type of stories.(less)
In 1849, during the Garibaldi revolution, the Vatican is ransacked by a poet who steals a valuable Papal document. He then leaves clues as to its hidi...moreIn 1849, during the Garibaldi revolution, the Vatican is ransacked by a poet who steals a valuable Papal document. He then leaves clues as to its hiding place in various places in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. The Vatican discovers the document is missing during an inventory of the archives in the present time. Father Thomas Kelly is assigned the task of finding this document which could compromise the sanctity of the church. His search for the document allies him with some unusual "blood relatives"
You may think that this is a Dan Brown copycat, but far from it. This book is not about symbols, but rather a clever mystery that is well written and with some exceptions accurate as to the basic historical facts. Do not get me wrong. There are made up parts but the basics are true. The book is written by two writers, one a mystery writer and the other, a professor of history in Rome.
The other part I liked about the book is the beautiful descriptions of Tratevere, its churches, architectures and art. For those of you that have been there it will rekindle some fond memories. If you are looking for a fun mystery with some unusual twists, you will enjoy this. (less)
Not a bad book for a first try. The background to the story about the Irish in the Buffalo, NY area is very good and the decay of manufacturing in an...moreNot a bad book for a first try. The background to the story about the Irish in the Buffalo, NY area is very good and the decay of manufacturing in an industrial area is informative. The mystery is original but seems manufactured to fit the thread of the story. A couple of the clues spring out of nowhere when they could have been woven into the story with out giving away the story. The book has a very exciting last 20%. It is also very well written and the dialogue is crisp.(less)
I guess that if you like fantasy and science fiction, you would give this book a 4 or a 5. Since it is hard for me to believe some of the things that...moreI guess that if you like fantasy and science fiction, you would give this book a 4 or a 5. Since it is hard for me to believe some of the things that take place in the book, bad guys who are 125 years old and fight scenes performed by an 89 year old, I gave it a 2. The description calls the book "noir" and it is far from it, unless they were talking about the ink. I was able to read the entire book due to the fact that it was well written and in parts funny. If you are not into this type of genre, skip it, read a comic book.(less)
A surprisingly good book by a new author. The book captures the cynicism and gallows humor of people in law enforcement and at the same time the speci...moreA surprisingly good book by a new author. The book captures the cynicism and gallows humor of people in law enforcement and at the same time the special caring that some teachers have for kids in special education. The principal character is a once policeman turned teacher and his tenacity in searching for a truant student. This quest leads him into contact with shady characters involved in Medicare Fraud. The story has a variety of twists and characters from all walks of life.
Mr. O'Mara does a wonderful job of describing the Williamsburg section of New York and some of its history. He also captures some of the essence of the different ethnics groups which occupy this section of the city. This is especially true of the Puerto Ricans. I wish he would have spent more time with the character of Elsa and maybe he will in future episodes of Mr. Donne. There are some confrontations between the main character and others that are as vivid as any I have read in the past. I think you will enjoy this book.(less)