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message 1: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited Jan 26, 2020 01:28AM) (new)

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments I completed Bandwidth. After Dag is stood up for his hotel hookup he becomes slightly obsessed with locating his fantasy woman. He has a bit of a break down, takes a leave of absence from his high-powered career, holes up in a hotel in Berkeley and rekindles his passion for sketching. Eventually he enlists the help of Diana who is affiliated with "the intelligence community" to help him identify and locate the mysterious woman of his dreams.

Fast forward to Dag kayaking, camping, and stalking this woman to a private island in northern Washington. During this solo trip he has time for contemplation about his childhood which included multiple foster homes and ultimately a foster farm/child labor camp where kiddos were forced to make handmade wooden rosaries. It is at this point that I realize the components of this story aren't really melding together very smoothly. This feeling continues upon Dag's arrival at the private island.

On the island we discover a commune/farm/Shangri-La complete with children and farm animals and a techie terrorist community. They manipulate VIP's news feeds in order to effect change in the world. It isn't clear to me if these people are supposed to be heroes or villains. At any rate, Dag is being recruited by the lovely Korean woman Emily Kim aka his dream girl. The biggest shock is that Dag's feed has been manipulated in order to program him to see Emily Kim as the perfect woman...cue dramatic music here. Nothing is what it seems, damn it. The remainder of the book brings readers along for the ride as Dag goes through the seven stages of grief.

There are two things I liked best about this book. One is the old school bar Analog which is a "feed free zone" where people actually live in the moment and have meaningful conversations and enjoy each other's company. The second is that Dag actually made a wise choice in the romance department at the end of this book. There are two more novels in this series and my gut is telling me that I should call this one and done but maybe I'll change my mind sometime in the "not so distant" future.

message 2: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited Jan 26, 2020 01:41AM) (new)

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments I finished the audio version of The Snowman. Harry is unsettled that he still hasn't found the bodies of some of the deceased women. Katrine breaks her silence and tells her therapist that additional women are going to die and that she is not the killer. She asks to speak to Harry Hole.

Harry returns to the barn where Ane Pedersen was butchering chickens just prior to her death. Investigators found there was a difference in the body temperature of one of the dead chickens when compared to the chickens that Ane had killed. Harry deduces that one of the birds was killed in an effort to cover up evidence in the barn. Crime scene analysts work to discover exactly what was covered up on the barn floor and eventually a rare human blood type is identified under the chicken blood.

Another woman is found killed in a gruesome manner. Harry finally locates the evidence he has been looking for in the Anatomy Department where Mathias works. In one fell swoop Harry realizes that Katrine is innocent, that Mathias is the killer and that Rakel and Oleg are in grave danger.

A large portion of this section in the book takes readers back in time to Mathias as a child discovering that his biological father is different from the father that raised him. This explains why Mathias has a genetic disorder that his non-biological father doesn't have. We also follow Mathias in medical school as he becomes acquainted with Idar Vetlesen, and also Detective Rafto who becomes his victim. This part of the narrative was not as interesting as I had hoped. With some editing I think it could have held my attention better and been more succinct.

The end is a frenetic attempt by frantic Harry to save Oleg and Rakel from the Snowman. The final standoff between Harry and Mathias takes place at a ski jump observation deck. Mathias fully intends to die before he can be taken into custody and Harry does his best to prevent this.

message 3: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited Feb 19, 2020 09:45PM) (new)

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments I finished The Designer and it was a wonderful read. I've really grown into enjoying historical fiction. As a young person it wasn't a genre that I gravitated towards, but maybe the transition is more natural as you age and mature. A reader gets the best of both worlds in that famous characters are personalized and expanded and history is tweaked in an entertaining way that allows you to see events from a new perspective.

Marius Gabriel was a master weaver of fact and fiction. The setting and cast of characters has everything going for it: Paris, the 40's, artists, writers, designers, with a sprinkling of revolutionaries thrown in. The main character Copper starts the story as a woman married to a handsome chronic cheater. She gains independence and finds her voice as a writer during the dissolution of said marriage. She befriends an intriguing designer named Christian Dior and her social circle soon changes to include a much more artsy group. We brush shoulders with quite a few other famous people, but the most important is always Dior and his growing friendship with Copper.

I'm still a bit undecided about Copper's choice in romantic partners in the end, but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I'm definitely tempted to check out more of this author's offerings.

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