Donna Leon has been writing the highly acclaimed and awarded, internationally bestselling mystery series starring Commissario Guido Brunetti for many years now, and her latest doesn't disappoint. The intelligent and powerful detective's father-in-law has prevailed upon the detective to use his police resources to investigate the Count's oldest friend because he's caught wind that the elderly Gonzalo de Rodriguez de Tejada might be adopting a much younger man in his twilight years, and he's leaving a vast fortune to a man the Count fears is basically a gold digger. When Gonzalo drops dead and a woman who has come to Venice for his memorial is strangled in her hotel, Brunetti realizes that there are many layers to this story and he's the one who is going to have to get to the bottom of it.
Donna Leon puts the reader right there in the palaces of Venice as she has Brunetti philosophizing about the human condition, even as he is faced with its most unsavory aspects.
The narrator of this dark and horrifying story is married to Millicent. He's a tennis instructor at their country club and Millicent is a realtor.
Their two kids, Jenna and Rory, are average adolescents. It's all pretty...average.
Except the couple has a little hobby to spice up their lives. They kill women. And they blame it on a serial killer who had preyed on their bucolic Florida community and escaped years before.
Right up until the old killer's sister divulges that he had died in Europe five years previously. Oops.
This book is clever and dark and will suck you in and you won’t be able to put it down!
I guarantee the gasps will continue to the very last page.
A big blockbuster of a book from Greg Iles is always a treat to be savored. Cemetery Road takes us back to Mississippi to the town of Bienville, an old river town past it's its prime and still ruled by a ruthless group of old white men who are for nothing but their own bank accounts. When a huge new project is endangered by Pulitzer prize- winning journalist Marshall McEwan's return to town, they will stop at nothing to shut him down.
This story is classic Iles. Corruption and greed are pitted against a likable but flawed hero fighting his own demons to do the right thing. I loved every page and devoured this doorstop of a book- 739 pages- in just a couple of sittings.
You know that when Ann Patchett puts pen to paper, you can expect to be wowed. So...expect.
The Dutch House is an elaborate mansion that Cyril Conroy bought to surprise his wife after World War Two, when a great investment launched him out of poverty and into wealth. But the house becomes his undoing- driving his unassuming wife away and leaving him with two children he's unprepared to nurture. This book is narrated by Cyril's son, Danny, and spans three generations and five decades. Lonely and bereft, Danny and his sister Maeve are stunned when their father remarries and then when they are turned out after he dies.
Like most of Patchett's novels, the story tone is quiet and assuming- more a study of the characters and how family and circumstance and choice determines their fates. And, as always when reading a Patchett novel, the reader knows from first page to last that he is in the sure hands of a master wordsmith.
A pleasure to be wowed by you again, Ann Patchett!
Dr. Robert Hart is Sag Harbor's Man of the Year. He's the toast of the town. At the pinnacle of his career. The envy of his friends and neighbors. He has a perfectly polished veneer- which hides a dark and twisted soul. Robert and his lovely second wife have Jonah, Robert's wayward college-aged son, living with them for the summer. And Jonah has brought his friend Nick, who is living in the guest house. But the good doctor thinks Nick is a tad too attentive to his wife- after all - he knows she's a cheater because she cheated on her first husband with him. And this knowledge works on him like a worm- burrowing in and taking hold. Pretty soon Robert is racking up an impressive pile of little lies- all in the name of protecting the perfect life he holds dear. And as the lies mount, Robert begins to crack and the ugly begins to show through.
Just when you think every despicable character in this book has done his or her worst, another wrinkle shines their sins in a whole new light. This is a dark debut for those who like their psychological thrillers filled with characters you love to hate.
Dan lives in a barn in Exmoor, where he builds beautiful harps by hand and walks the moors. This solitary life suits Dan just fine as people usually perplex and alarm him. But then a lonely housewife, Ellie, wanders into his studio while out exploring, and Dan ends up giving her a harp for free because learning to play was on her bucket list. Ellie begins to visit the Harp Barn almost daily, a fact she feels the need to hide from her husband. As the two develop a gentle friendship, Ellie discovers a secret about Dan that she doesn't know if she should keep from him or not.
This heartwarming tale comes highly recommended. It's one of those novels into which a reader could just lose themselves. At the very least, I'll be surprised if quite a few more people don't add playing the harp to their own bucket lists!
Sometimes I just fall into a novel and time slips by, and when I have to stop reading, I'm already looking forward to the next time I can pick the book up again. That's how it was with Ask Again, Yes. Set in the suburbs of NYC, the novel opens with two rookie cops, Francis and Brian, sharing their first beat and their hopes and dreams for a happy life.
Fast forward a few years and the men are neighbors, but men whose lives have diverged wildly. Behind closed doors, Francis' wife, Lena, is lonely in young motherhood. Brian's wife, Anne, is deeply disturbed. But the friendship of Francis' youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian's only child, Peter, cements the families together in ways no one could have predicted.
This novel resonates with tragedy, hope, sacrifice, and love. I hope you find yourself racing in to buy it, and home to enjoy every page.
This sequel to the Fourth Monkey is another grand page turner of a thriller.
Detective Sam Porter and his crew are back, chasing the elusive killer Anton Bishop. Poole and his FBI buddies are on the scene, too. But something is different. The four monkey’s m.o. seems to have changed.
Porter becomes so obsessed with finding Bishop that he is suspended from the force, whereupon he grabs a grainy photo and follows its clues from Chicago to New Orleans.
I wouldn’t recommend reading Fifth to Die unless you’ve read the Fourth Monkey. Frustratingly, Fifth to Die leaves us hanging and waiting for the third in the series, I finished this one ready to dive right into the next, but I fear it won’t be another year before that one hits the shelves.
Fantastically complex with compelling characters, J.D. Barker’s novels have me completely hooked.
Wowzer. Paul has been cheating on Rebecca. Rebecca has been cheating on Paul. Paul’s mistress is a nut job. Rebecca is addicted to the big- Pharma drugs she sells at work. Their acquaintances are obnoxious and entitled. Everybody lies. There is no one to like here. But then, why will you love this book?
Because it’s twisty and crazy and you just can’t look away.
In her most compelling and intricate book yet, Kristina Riggle has brought the heyday of Broadway to life in Vivian in Red.
Milo Short, the famed producer whose long career began as a lyricist in the 1930s, still goes to his office at Milo Short Productions every day. Until the day he stepped out of his Upper West Side brownstone and sees a vision - Vivian, a woman he hasn't seen in over 60 years, looking as she did when he last saw her in 1936, dressed to the nines and winking at him from across the street.
When Milo recovers, he finds he's had a stroke and lost the ability to speak or use his right hand. Now, suffering his visions of Vivian in silence, he's watched over by his family, and mostly by his granddaughter Eleanor, who is writing his biography.
As Eleanor digs into her beloved grandfather's past, she, too, discovers Vivian, and opens the door to secrets long buried.
I loved this story. I was immediately swept back to the '30s and the time of the great musicals, even as I was swept into Milo's story as a young man with talent and ambition who realizes his family's tailoring business just isn't for him.
We've sold so many of MI author Kristina Riggle's books over time, and she has tons of fans here. I can't wait to turn them all onto Vivian in Red, as I think it's her best book yet!