Michaels didn't write this book in the way we've come to expect. It's written in simple chronological order. We meet the players, see how their lives Michaels didn't write this book in the way we've come to expect. It's written in simple chronological order. We meet the players, see how their lives become entangled, learn how their secret desires and fears lead to crime, and eventually to murder. We watch the detectives as they try to put together the pieces to figure out who did what and why. There's never a mystery, since we know all about it as it happens. Watching Robert Winter follow up on one wrong lead after another is both frustrating and fun. You can't help rooting for him to figure it all out. The story is told from five different viewpoints. The victim, the murderer, an innocent bystander, Detective Robert Winter, and his partner. There is a little back story woven in, but not one single flashback. I like that. I'm tired of books that pull you in with an exciting first chapter, then start chapter two with the heading "ten years before." This is the first Robert Winter book and I will definitely look for more. William Michaels may turn out to be one of my favorite writers. I did NOT get this book free in exchange for a review. The title caught my eye and I bought it....more
An important reminder on many levels. Not all education takes place in a classroom. When Tara Westover stepped into a classroom for the first time, shAn important reminder on many levels. Not all education takes place in a classroom. When Tara Westover stepped into a classroom for the first time, she had huge gaps in her "book knowledge, but she was educated in the important life lessons many struggle with for years after graduation. She knew nobody else was going to hand her a better life, it was all up to her. She had to defy her family, work hard every day, and do without what others deemed essential. ...more
I picked up The Last Woman in the Forest because the title and the cover gave me the impression it was a survivor story, about a woman fighting to sta
I picked up The Last Woman in the Forest because the title and the cover gave me the impression it was a survivor story, about a woman fighting to stay alive on her own, lost in the deep woods. Marian is a survivor, but it's not that kind of story at all. She's in the woods as a dog handler and is part of a research team, seldom alone, never lost, and always well equipped with all the amenities, including a GPS and satellite phone.
The novel starts with Marian scattering her dead lover's ashes in a stream deep in the backwoods, a spot he chose before he died. Afterward, she calls Nick, a famous Profiler, and tells him she's afraid the man she loved may have been a serial killer who preyed on women alone and left their bodies in the forest. She wants Nick to help her prove to herself that it isn't true. Despite her suspicians, she wants to believe Tate was a good man, because she loved him.
I may have liked the novel better if the story had stayed with Marian, instead of moving back and forth between her viewpoint and Nick's, an older man dying of brain cancer. Nick has a devoted and loving wife and although he should be relaxing in his retirement, he can't stop thinking about his unsolved cases, especially the murders of the young women left in the woods. Over the years he had written the life stories of each of the four victims, detailed accounts pulled from the evidence, multiple interviews, and his own imagination. Each report Nick wrote is included in the novel as a separate story and those four viewpoints further diffuse the tension of the tale begun with Marian. Nick is an interesting character on his own and I wanted to learn more about what happened to him. His storyline felt unfinished.
Marian's job as a dog handler doing research on the wildlife populations in the Northwest is a big part of this novel. The details can be fascinating, if you like reading about dogs and dog training.
Altogether a pretty good read. There's a twist at the end that should be surprising, but I saw it coming. You may not, so I won't spoil it for you. ...more
A dark, twisty, complicated story about a couple who lie to the outside world, to each other, and even to themselves. It starts with young Max crashinA dark, twisty, complicated story about a couple who lie to the outside world, to each other, and even to themselves. It starts with young Max crashing an exclusive party full of the most important people of the New York art world. He meets Susannah there and immediately becomes obsessed with her. Max seems to be perfect: a tender, passionate lover, a kind and patient husband, even a tolerant, understanding stepfather to Susannah's teen-aged son.
Gradually, as Max's story is revealed, we learn that his whole life is a lie. And he will do anything, absolutely anything, to keep the truth of his past hidden. As Max becomes successful, financially and socially, he revels in his ability to deceive everyone around him. He has enough self-awareness to laugh at himself a little, to remember not to "believe his own bullshit". He's proud to consider himself a "perfect liar".
Lee Child never disappoints me. Past Tense is classic Jack Reacher, with a bit of added intrigue as it has a little about Reacher's father and grandpaLee Child never disappoints me. Past Tense is classic Jack Reacher, with a bit of added intrigue as it has a little about Reacher's father and grandparents mixed in. On a whim, because he happens to see a sign pointing to the small town where his father was born, Reacher stops off to do a little family history research. He talks to the town clerk, visits the local library, and begins to wonder if there are violent tendencies in his family tree. Of course, trouble finds Jack Reacher, and his innocent questions about the Reacher family get him mixed up with some of the most violently evil bad guys you could ever imagine. There's a twist at the end that catches Reacher by surprise....more
Firefly is a complex novel with action occurring simultaneously on several levels. On one level it's an exciting journey story about a thirteen year-ol
Firefly is a complex novel with action occurring simultaneously on several levels. On one level it's an exciting journey story about a thirteen year-old boy making his way alone, on foot, through Europe. In the first paragraph, Nadj almost drowns when an overloaded rubber boat, filled with Syrian refugees, goes down. He manages to not only save himself, he also rescues a baby girl. Once on the beach, he slips away from the grateful parents and the acclaim of the crowd. Nadj is anxious to avoid the spotlight, well aware that his life is still in danger from the ruthless men who are following him.
Those men are from ISIS and another level of the novel is about the search for them and the effort to stop a terrorist plot that threatens Europe. Samson, a British ex-spy, leads the search to find Nadj and the men who are pursuing him. On that level a thrilling espionage adventure develops in parallel to the boy's journey. On yet another level, Firefly is an insightful portrayal of the precarious lives of refugees, the camps they reside in, the trauma so many have experienced and the numerous dangers they face, such as pedophiles, and human traffickers.
This is my first Henry Porter novel. I will look for more....more
This story is told alternately from the viewpoint of two different women who have never met. The two story lines are more than 20 years apart and the
This story is told alternately from the viewpoint of two different women who have never met. The two story lines are more than 20 years apart and the reader is kept turning the pages, wondering if the two women will ever meet, how the two stories converge, and what really happened on the day Seraphine and her brother, Danny, were born.
The setting is a beautiful old estate on the Norfolk coast, a lovely house owned by Seraphine's loving grandmother, who will never say which of her grandchildren will inherit the estate. Seraphine loves the place intensely, and panics when she begins to suspect that she doesn't really belong. Seraphine searches for the truth the Au Pair, Laura, has spent her life trying to forget.
There may be a few too many coincidences to pull it all together in the end, but it never bothered me enough to stop reading. A fascinating family drama with a twist that catches you off guard and a final chapter that wraps up loose ends and leaves the reader satisfied.
I fell in love with Leif Enger's writing when I read Peace like a River years ago. His style is unique and completely captivating. I'm not going to trI fell in love with Leif Enger's writing when I read Peace like a River years ago. His style is unique and completely captivating. I'm not going to try to describe the plot because there is no way I could capture the magic of this small town and its quirky, utterly real residents. I can tell you it held my attention throughout and left me smiling, feeling good about the world. How many books can you say do that?...more