An American, Michael, is on a train in Germany going to meet an author he doesn't know. But he's very familiar with the bestselling story she's writteAn American, Michael, is on a train in Germany going to meet an author he doesn't know. But he's very familiar with the bestselling story she's written. It's a story no one outside family could know. He heard it as a child from his grandfather. His grandmother wrote it. She told it to his father, a Viet Nam soldier missing in action and considered a deserter by the government.
Not really believing the story has any connection to his father, he still wants to meet the woman who wrote it and find out where she heard it.
From here, we skip back in time to Viet Nam. As we learn about Michael's father and what happened to him, we learn about the story itself. It's a tale of broken girls that intertwines beautifully with the plight of the tiny girls sold into prostitution whom Michael's father comes upon.
The story veers between Michael's uncovering of his father's fate and his father's puzzling out how to keep the girls safe. Their families don't want them back (when he rescues one, the buyer takes his revenge upon the family) and he refuses to leave her to fend for herself.
I didn't expect this book to make such an impression on me. A brief unexplicit love scene between a nun and Michael's father was the one jarring note (it seemed out of place) in this tale of small girls sold by their own families and rescued by a compassionate soldier.
The end left me teary-eyed. And I'm a jaded reader whose emotions aren't easily manipulated.
Beautiful story. It's hard to let it go. I don't give five stars for books I've just read but this one calls for a reevaluation in a few years to see if it's as vivid in my mind then as it is now. ...more
I like Joe Abercrombie's fantasy a lot. His voice is strong, his action scenes are spellbinding, and his characters are memorable. Red Country bringsI like Joe Abercrombie's fantasy a lot. His voice is strong, his action scenes are spellbinding, and his characters are memorable. Red Country brings back an old favorite, Logan Nine Fingers.
He's lived several years on a quiet farm, keeping his personality so muted that the daughter of the farm--Shy--thinks he's as peaceful as the name she knows him by: Lamb. She's sure he's a coward.
Then her brother and sister are kidnapped by an unknown band and Lamb shows his true colors. He's the one who agrees they must go after the children, the one who makes the plans on how to follow the kidnappers, the one who--to Shy's disbelief and chagrin--takes charge.
As they follow the trail, she realizes Lamb isn't the man she grew up knowing. And it's a good thing, because without him, she'd never manage the harsh trek to a frontier town. Going past the town into the land of the people who stole her siblings will mean their deaths.
Woven in are Abercrombie's expected gibes at civilization and little tidbits of wisdom like: "The trouble with running is wherever you run to, there you are." Or: "Folk she'd known to be big on religion had tended to use it as an excuse for doing wrong rather'n a reason not to."
Maybe not as memorable as some of his others in the series, but still a great read.
I won this in a giveaway and I'm glad I did. It's a nice spy story that unfolds a bit at a time. In fact, it takes several chapters before I figure ouI won this in a giveaway and I'm glad I did. It's a nice spy story that unfolds a bit at a time. In fact, it takes several chapters before I figure out what's going on.
It seems the Swimmer (our unnamed spy who enjoys swimming--I have no idea why it's the title since swimming plays so tiny a role in the story) abandoned his infant daughter to her maternal grandparents after her mother was killed by a car bomb meant for him. The daughter seems to be the main character, but it takes a while to figure this out.
When the daughter is contacted by her ex-lover for help, she rushes to his aid. He's recovered something from a former comrade that is so hot the comrade is killed during the exchange. To her horror, he, too, is killed in front of her. But she gets the key to a locker where he's stashed...
You get the picture. As she flees, the bad people follow, and her father has to put it all together and save her, redeeming himself for abandoning her before. The last part moves quickly because every time we get to a climactic moment, the author cuts to another scene.
And there are a lot of scenes. We go into the heads of various people, skipping around in about three different time periods as well as landing in a lot of locations. Sometimes, it really gets confusing.
But overall, this is a nice read. If you like slow-moving philosophical spy stories, this one's for you. ...more
Tracy's sister Sarah disappeared twenty years earlier. A suspect was arrested and found guilty, but Tracy suspects the testimony of key witnesses is fTracy's sister Sarah disappeared twenty years earlier. A suspect was arrested and found guilty, but Tracy suspects the testimony of key witnesses is false. Those witnesses include her and Sarah's father as well as the sheriff.
When Sarah's remains are found, Tracy is now a homicide detective in Seattle. She's determined to get at the truth and knows this is her opportunity to reopen the case. In spite of warnings to leave it alone, in spite of the sheriff and townspeople wanting to let it go, in spite of her own fears, Tracy perseveres. She even finds a lawyer, an old friend, willing to take on an appeal for the murderer.
The story goes into a lot of background between Tracy and Sarah, and the flashbacks slow the pace considerably. But we keep reading because the evidence uncovered hints at one thing and then another. And when the truth comes out, in the middle of a blizzard and a revenge plot that threatens everyone involved...It's unputdownable.
I would have given this four stars except it needs a good editor. Things like it's for its and your for you're bother me. Not a lot of them, but enougI would have given this four stars except it needs a good editor. Things like it's for its and your for you're bother me. Not a lot of them, but enough to interrupt my reading. And I hated to be interrupted because the story is so great.
A group of native Americans (college kids on spring break) are attacked in Peru by offshoots of the terrorist group Shining Path. Their professor is killed immediately and the kids know they're in trouble.
It so happens one of them is the granddaughter of a tribal chief of the Cold River reservations. He prepares for war and sends the police chief to Peru along with two of his deputies, one a trusted tribal leader and the other a woman who speaks Spanish due to mixed heritage.
But the police chief is a white man, new to his job and clueless when it comes to reservation and Indian customs, culture, humor, et cetera. We unabashedly root for him as he tries to work out what his role is, first in the society, then in the crisis. But all the while he tries to do his duty, even if he wonders what a handful of warriors can accomplish in Peru.
The kids aren't helpless, and we follow as they come together to plan and escape their captors. One makes it as far as the American embassy in Lima, only to be turned away by the guards and sent to his death. The army, you see, has a stake in killing them since the army is a part of the drug culture that runs rampart in the country. They can't afford to have their participation publicized by rescuing a bunch of Americans.
The chief doesn't falter, though sometimes he fears what his actions will bring on. We watch him negotiate with the condescending bankers and politicians and hope he comes out the winner. When he declares war, we're behind him. When the kids make their way through the country and the police chief and his warriors try to find them, we sit on the edge of our seats.
This is an action-filled story that twists and turns and gives us a surprising ending. A strangely satisfying ending.
If you like adventure and action, and enjoy learning more about American Indian culture, you'll like this book. ...more