I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My first ever Chief Inspector Gamache novel was The Beautiful Mystery, which is #8 inI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My first ever Chief Inspector Gamache novel was The Beautiful Mystery, which is #8 in the series.I fell in love with Louise Penny's writing and Chief Inspector Gamache and have started on the series from the beginning, recently finishing Still Life. How the Light Gets In does not disappoint. The storytelling is luminescent, the plotting taut and filled with suspense, the characters charming and emotional. I cried for Jean-Guy, I laughed at Ruth and her duck, I ached for Chief Inspector Gamache, and I hated Francouer for what he was doing to Jean-Guy and to Gamache.
How the Light Gets In is two mysteries in one. Constance Pineault visits Myrna, her friend and former therapist, in the little village of Three Pines, but before she returns for a second visit at Christmas, she is murdered in her home. With her untimely death comes the revelation that she was the last survivor of the famous Ouillet quintuplets. In the background of her death and Gamache's investigation is Francouer's campaign to destroy Gamache.
I couldn't put it down. Penny paces the story well, keeping key information hidden while artfully placing breadcrumbs along the trail, leading the reader through the maze. Following them is compulsive, and each one is a discovery, but the motives and the solution remain a mystery until they are disclosed with all the finesse of a master magician.
I told a friend that reading Louise Penny's writing is, for me, the literary equivalent of listening to the opera. And this is opera at it's finest, complete with comical characters, tragedy, depth of emotion and, finally, redemption. If you haven't read one of these books, this one is a good place to start. I enjoyed reconnecting with Three Pines and its residents, all introduced in Still Life, but I find that each of these books stands well on its own. Like me, you'll probably finish it and then run out to get and read the rest of the series.
At the time this review is posted, this book is available on pre-order. While you're waiting for the publication date, you'll have time to read The Beautiful Mystery - or any one of the other books in the series....more
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Honestly, I couldn't finish it. I rate most books I can't finish as 1; I gave thiI received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Honestly, I couldn't finish it. I rate most books I can't finish as 1; I gave this a 2 because I read 50% of it before giving up. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it didn't.
I found the story disjointed and the storytelling confusing. The story skims the surface, resulting in a shallow story that's difficult to get into, and shallow characters that are difficult to connect with. When the only character I found even somewhat interesting is killed and I didn't gasp in surprise, I knew I needed to just give up on this book. The numerous grammatical and spelling errors were an annoying additional distraction.
In my opinion, the racial stereotypes and sexist depiction of women only added to the shallow characterizations. I don't know if that's the author's idea of "tough talk," or if that's what the author thinks makes the book more male-oriented (do men really want to read this kind of thing?), but I didn't feel it added anything to the story or the characters. I'm not offended by it, mostly because I'm not easily offended, but I do feel it's a lazy path to take, and not necessarily the best one. I was amused that the author threw former Soviet Union tough guys into the mix with radical Muslims, since radical Muslims have replaced Soviet spies in thriller novels since 9-11. It wasn't enough to keep me reading, however.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This story has an unlikely character in the darkness. It creeps, reaches outI was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This story has an unlikely character in the darkness. It creeps, reaches out, smirks and giggles as it tries to overcome Maggie and drag her back down into its depths. It becomes the lead character in the psychological warfare that has become Maggie Quinn's life.
A once-brilliant detective in Chicago's Area One, Maggie succumbed to the darkness after the death of her only child and only the chase to find a serial killer motivates her to resist its advances.
This is a noir thriller with great depth of character. There's broken Maggie, struggling to come back to life and finally put a face on the killer that haunts her dreams. There's her father, who showed his loyalty to The Outfit by taking a fall that landed him in prison for life, where his loyalty is rewarded with influence. There's Rayney, who understands Maggie like nobody else and knows he needs to be strong if she's going to come back from the pit of darkness. There's Nick Dublowski, newly made detective, who has a lot to learn and finds his best mentor in the broken Maggie. There's a killer, playing games with Maggie and her already screwed up head, but Maggie gives as good as she gets as she pulls away from the darkness to strike back.
I was on the edge of my seat. I was totally confused and I loved it. Was Maggie right about the killer? Who would win the war? Could Maggie hold herself together and push back the darkness long enough to solve it? I even gasped in surprise a couple of times.
By the time I finished, I felt washed in Maggie's darkness. There's no real redemption in this story, but that's okay; nobody is looking for redemption. I felt I knew Maggie as much as anybody could know her, and I felt her pain.
Sink into the darkness with Maggie. It's an uncomfortable place to be, but I couldn't put it down....more
I received a free copy of this book and a request for a review.
I had a really difficult time deciding how to rate this book because this is not the tyI received a free copy of this book and a request for a review.
I had a really difficult time deciding how to rate this book because this is not the type of book I would normally read and I didn't want that to negatively impact the rating. It's well written. The story is well told.
That said, this is the weirdest story I've read in a very long time. I don't really care much for weird stories. And yet... I realized that while I was trying to figure out whether or not I'd finish the book, and whether I'd review it or send the author an e-mail and say I wasn't going to review it because it's not my cup of tea, I couldn't put it down. On the other hand, I skimmed over a lot of it. Just because I want to find out what happens doesn't mean I want to spend time reading the details of the weirdness.
If you want a Hunter S. Thompson-esque romp through the apocalypse, you'll probably love this story. If you just like weirdness, you'll love this story. Just don't take lightly every reviewer's use of the term "weird" when referring to this story!...more
I received a free copy of this book with a request for review.
This historical fiction is well researched and centers around a region and period not usI received a free copy of this book with a request for review.
This historical fiction is well researched and centers around a region and period not usually found in historical fiction, that of Timur, a brutal 14th century Eurasian conqueror. It isn't for the faint of heart. Timur wasn't politically correct, diplomatic or gentle in his conquests, nor is the culture favorable to women, Jews or Christians. It is a fascinating look into the period, the merchant culture and Timur's military machine.
There's a lot going on in this story and at times it's difficult to follow and keep track of the cast of characters. The primary characters are well developed, particularly David, Timur's physician, vizier and eventual viceroy, but I didn't feel connected to any of them. I felt the historical period was the centerpiece, more than the characters who populated it. And that's okay - the author made it a fascinating centerpiece, particularly in light of the scarcity of any other similar fiction or nonfiction.
I'm giving this book a grade of 3/5 because I felt it fell short on character development, and at times poorly constructed sentences made it difficult to follow.
If you're interested in 13th century Eurasia, the Muslim world of that period, the conquests of Timur and the possibility that this might have some relationship to current events, and you don't mind graphic brutality and violence, this is a book I can recommend....more