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The Invisible Ones
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Archive - Group Reads > Invisible Ones, The - September 2013

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Leigh | 6313 comments Our group read lead for The Invisible Ones is Sue Em. Look forward to an intro to the books and the author, and to a cracking discussion.

As usual please not we discuss all aspects of the books we read - the plots, the characters, the settings and so on - on our discussions threads. Hence the discussion threads will contain spoilers from the start. if you haven't finished the book yet be careful not to read others' posts until the end.












Summary:
Small-time private investigator Ray Lovell veers between paralysis and delirium in a hospital bed. But before the accident that landed him there, he'd been hired to find Rose Janko, the wife of a charismatic son of a traveling Gypsy family, who went missing seven years earlier. Half Romany himself, Ray is well aware that he's been chosen more for his blood than his investigative skills. Still, he's surprised by the intense hostility he encounters from the Jankos, who haven't had an easy past. Touched by tragedy, they're either cursed or hiding a terrible secret-whose discovery Ray can't help suspecting is connected to Rose's disappearance.


Sue Em (sueem) Hi..I'm Sue Em and when I was asked to choose a book for the September reads that would add some diversity to the books being read, I quickly chose The Invisible Onesfor several reasons. One it was one of my favorite reads in 2012. Two, it was set in England instead of the US. Three, the insights in the the Romany (Gypsy) culture were fascinating. And finally, four, it's just a cracking good mystery. I hope you'll read the book and find it as interesting as I did.


Sue Em (sueem) Tana French, who many of us have read and enjoyed in previous monthly reads, did an interview with Stef Penney which is posted on amazon. Here's the link if you would like to check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Invisible-O...


Lynn (lmelliott) Just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the discussion. Ms. Penney left a few interesting questions unresolved and I wonder if other readers had the same suspicions about those.
********** SPOILER ALERT ******* Did anyone else note the similar descriptions of the circumstances of Ray's car accident and Tene's? Could Ray's "dream/memory" have resulted in a pregnancy? Learned a lot with this book and it inspired me to google for more :-)


Sue Em (sueem) Lynn wrote: "Just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the discussion. Ms. Penney left a few interesting questions unresolved and I wonder if other readers had the same suspicions ..."

I'm delighted that you enjoyed the book. I was starting to worry that no one else would read it or join the discussion. One aspect of mysteries that I enjoy is when I learn something new whether it's about a culture like the Romanys or a place,vocation or history.

So this novel is set in the 80s. I wonder if the Romany culture is still so insular today. Also, the reliance on oral history and folklore was so interesting especially when you see their relationship with the Catholic church.

**** SPOILER ALERT *****

I never considered Ray's "dream/memory" having the possibility of pregnancy. that is really interesting. It would certainly allow for the continuation of the "pure blood" lineage.

I wish Stef Penney would write another using Ray and the Romany mileau, but she seems to move in very different directions with each book. I haven't read Tenderness of Wolves, but I've heard great things about it.


Lynn (lmelliott) I agree that books, especially mysteries, are a great way to learn about other places and people. I don't think I ever gave any thought on the Romanys' desire to live as travelers. It never occurred to me that they might prefer to live in an RV. Live and learn.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Sue Em wrote: " I haven't read Tenderness of Wolves, but I've heard great things about it...."

I read THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES. It's not nearly as good as THE INVISIBLE ONES, so you're in for a letdown.

THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES is a mystery that is very different from your usual mystery. That's why I read it.

The story takes place in Canada around the time of the U.S. Civil War. A French trapper has been murdered, and the obvious suspect is a 17-year-old who has fled the settlement. The mystery is, at first, who killed the French trapper. It turns out to be more than that, though.

Yes, this is quite different from your usual mystery. But, frankly, most of it bored me. It was so darned slow! There isn't anything thrilling about it.

I also felt like this book was beneath my reading level. That is, it seemed to be a book I might have liked when I was in the eighth grade.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments THE INVISIBLE ONES, on the other hand, is, no exaggeration, a fantastic read. This mystery/suspense book is a keeper; get it in hard cover.

Ray Lovell is a private investigator in England. The book begins with him in the hospital, but he doesn’t remember why he’s there. He’s mostly paralyzed, and he’s delirious. No one knows why. This is the first mystery.

Chapters with this hospitalized Ray alternate throughout the rest of the book with chapters about how this situation came to be. These chapters are told from two points of view: some chapters are of the earlier, able-bodied Ray and other chapters are of JJ, a 14-year-old gypsy.

A man whose daughter had been missing for almost 7 years hired Ray to find her. The man and his daughter are gypsies; Ray, himself, is half gypsy. The daughter married into a gypsy family, of course, so most of the investigation is of them. One of the members of this family is JJ.

Ray finds mystery upon mystery upon mystery. You’ll be guessing throughout, first one guess, then another. You’ll think you’re sure of one solution, then guess again. All your guesses will be wrong.

I loved this book. Really. I’m not easy to please, but THE INVISIBLE ONES is something special, not simply a plot-driven mystery/suspense book.

If you were to force me to say something negative about this book, it would have to be Ray’s attraction to one of the members of the gypsy family. I just don’t see our hero going for that combination of dyed black hair, red lipstick, and red high-heeled shoes, I guess. And he trusts her more than I would; he keeps telling her things that I wish he would keep to himself.

This review is of an advanced reader’s copy of THE INVISIBLE ONES, obtained from Putnam Books through librarything.com Early Reviewer program.


Sue Em (sueem) Beth V wrote: "THE INVISIBLE ONES, on the other hand, is, no exaggeration, a fantastic read. This mystery/suspense book is a keeper; get it in hard cover.

Ray Lovell is a private investigator in England. The bo..."


One of the things I found most interesting was the alternating viewpoints and observations about the Romany culture between Ray and JJ. JJ, who has never experienced any other kind of life, versus Ray whose father gave up the traveling life and settled down in a house to become a postman.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Sue Em wrote: "One of the things I found most interesting was the alternating viewpoints and observations about the Romany culture between Ray and JJ. JJ, who has never experienced any other kind of life, versus Ray whose father gave up the traveling life and settled down in a house to become a postman..."

As I recall, the only reason his father gave up the gypsy life was that his mother was not a gypsy. The traveling life IS what made this story interesting. It's mysterious to us nontravelers.


message 11: by Leigh (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments Thank you for leading the discussion for this book Sue Em.


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