Characters of Dickensian proportions propels this complicated story of relationships at the apex of Norwegian politics into a quick read that had me wCharacters of Dickensian proportions propels this complicated story of relationships at the apex of Norwegian politics into a quick read that had me wanting more.
The Prime Minister of Norway has been murdered in what appears to be a classic closed-room mystery. Now the police and the media fight to discover the truth of her seemingly spotless career to find the culprit first.
The author has clearly had her own fingers in the game politique. Even when the story becomes relevant to today's politics, the tone never edges into preachy territory, much more interested in telling a story with deliciously unlikeable characters.
The only real critique to give would be that the chapter headings aren't identified by what character perspective you are about to read. Sometimes it takes a paragraph or two to really know who you're reading about and that slows up the reading process, but it's a minor setback once you get into the groove of storytelling.
Rated R: for severe language, and adult themes. Not one for the kids, but never gratuitous for an adult audience.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. ...more
Beehives really wants to be a charming, throwback mystery in the stylings of a Mary Higgins Clark. All the characters are introduced in an isolated seBeehives really wants to be a charming, throwback mystery in the stylings of a Mary Higgins Clark. All the characters are introduced in an isolated setting and clues are strewn throughout to hint at the decades old mystery with newly impending doom. Most characters are poorly identified with any singular traits. Age is an important aspect of the story (no spoilers!) but none of this information is shared when it's critical to understanding the plot, so that the mystery is only fully grasped in retrospect, killing the story's momentum. The dialogue is stilted but passable, occasionally difficult to justify being said as written.
The eponymous "Beehives" are perhaps the most interesting aspect of the story, the bees themselves carrying the only really creepy, suspenseful scene. The backdrop is almost intriguing, with a real-life setting in Oklahoma's Osage Hills State Park and the true historical mysteries of the place nearly make for added mystique. But even this atmospherical gift is mishandled leading to more story stall.
Ultimately this story could have been a decent who-dunnit/why-dunnit, with fascinating historical implications. But that would have required an author with a firm grasp on the skill of characterization.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review....more
More often than not recently, I've been finding novels with strong characterizations with little sense of scene or mood. I blame the reverse evolutionMore often than not recently, I've been finding novels with strong characterizations with little sense of scene or mood. I blame the reverse evolution of storytelling on writing for a different medium. Most of these books read like screenplays with stage direction, rather than nuanced novels. The Waters of Eternal Youth is refreshingly fighting the trend with the Venice setting as much a character in the story as any of the people, with an engrossing look into a modern Venice as told by a longtime resident of the city. The story is a mystery of a crime, long cold, to be solved before those responsible are freed by the passing of time.
Recommended for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Parent Rating: PG-13 For discussions of rape and murder/murder scenes, but no coeval descriptions of such violence.
I received a digital Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest via NetGalley.com...more
This book really wanted to be another better book. I wanted to like it based on its recommendations by authors such as Neil Gaiman. I'm sure there willThis book really wanted to be another better book. I wanted to like it based on its recommendations by authors such as Neil Gaiman. I'm sure there will be those who will fully enjoy the story as it wants to be appreciated, but they will have to overlook insipid characters, plot inconsistencies, and whole chapters that move the story nowhere. There is a small side story that is interesting (I won't give it away but it involves a conscious automaton and a motherly love mutated to obsession), but sadly it's told as an anecdotal characterization then ignored for the rest of the book.
If you like the idea of reading this book, I'd recommend rather you read The Search for Delicious by Babbit, CS Lewis' Narnia series, and George Macdonald's Princess and the Goblin books....more