Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“The Lost Girls of Rome” by Donato Carrisi – Avengers at the Confession Booths

Donato Carrisi has been a fantastic representative for Italian literature in the Western world, and his 2013 novel The Lost Girls of Rome is a fantastic example as to why.

Taking place in, you guessed it, Rome, it follows a young widow, Sandra Vega, seeking answers after her husband, a journalist, supposedly plunged to his death at a construction site.

Unsatisfied with the official version of events, Sandra sets on the trail of a secret society with a much darker and richer history than anyone could have imagined.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

“Inland” by Téa Obreht – The Capricious Winds of Arizona

Inland by Téa Obreht (Book cover)

Téa Obreht has done no small work in living up to the various awards and nominations she has received so far, just publishing her second novel titled Inland. It tells two stories taking place in the dry lands of 1893 Arizona.

The first one follows Nora, a frontierswoman who awaits the return of her husband, gone to look for water, and her elder sons who disappeared after an argument.

The second follows Lurie, an outlaw on the run who is forced to take up military service and ends up on a journey for the ages.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

“City of Windows” by Robert Pobi – The Invisible Sharpshooter

Robert Pobi has taken his first dive into the police procedural genre by opening the Lucas Page series with City of Windows. It tells the story of Lucas, a retired and handicapped FBI agent who gets brought back into the fold for his unbelievable ability to analyze crime scenes.

More precisely, he is asked to put his talents to use to solve the murder of his former partner, shot by a sniper while on the move in an SUV. Before long, he finds himself fully back in the fold, on the hunt for a killer nobody knows anything about.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

“How to Stop Time” by Matt Haig – The Existence Before Real Life

Matt Haig has always been one for regaling readers with out-of-the-box thinking, and in How to Stop Time he presents us with a rather unusual scenario.

Tom Hazard is a forty-year-old-looking man, but has actually been alive for over four hundred years, living many historical events first-hand.

After centuries of travel and exploration, all he wants to do is settle down, but the secretive group which is meant to protect people such as Tom is threatening to derail his life, and what actually might be a shot at love.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“The Last Collection” by Jeanne Mackin – Clash of the Fashion Titans

Jeanne Mackin is one of the many authors engaged in immersing us in the lesser-known and often overlooked bits and pieces of human history.

In The Last Collection, Mackin does this once again by transporting us to the centre of a legendary feud between two iconic fashion designers, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.

As Paris sways indecisively between the imagination of the two women, the looming Nazi threat might just take this competition into unforeseen territory.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

“Relative Fortunes” by Marlowe Benn – Fatal Price of Independence

Marlowe Benn has certainly announced her arrival on the literary scene with a lot of enthusiasm by publishing her first novel, Relative Fortunes. Taking us back to 1924 Manhattan, we follow the story of a young suffragette, Julia Kydd, with barely realistic dreams of launching a printing press of her own.

When her friend's sister dies in what is apparently a suicide, Julia isn't entirely satisfied with the handling of the case, and sets out to prove it was indeed a cleverly disguised murder.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

“Big Sky” by Kate Atkinson – Promises for the Girls

Kate Atkinson has earned her reputation over the years as one of the most respected British writers when it comes to thrillers and mysteries, further cementing her position with Big Sky, the fifth Jackson Brodie book.

In it, we follow the private investigator as he takes on a case to capture evidence of a cheating husband, only to unearth a sinister network of cruel men who lure young girls from abroad with false promises.

Friday, June 21, 2019

“The Tale Teller” by Anne Hillerman – The Merging Rivers

Though Anne Hillerman specialized in non-fiction literature for a long time, I believe she made a wise decision in trying her hand at writing novels, gifting the world with the Leaphorn and Chee series.

In The Tale Teller, we follow Joe Leaphorn as he embarks on a dark journey to retrieving a tribal dress, all while Jim Chee and Officer Bernie Manuelito try to crack a series of burglaries culminating in a homicide.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

“Woman 99” by Greer Macallister – The Undeniable Fighters

Greer Macallister has a strong and much-needed voice in literature, centring her works on the power of the female identity.

In Woman 99 she introduces us to Charlotte Smith, a wealthy high-society young lady whose sister was committed to an infamous asylum by their parents. Dropping everything, Charlotte goes undercover as an inmate, and soon has the impression most of the patients aren't necessarily crazy, with something sinister brewing above them all.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

“Wholly Unraveled” by Keele Burgin – The Unbreakable Sense of Worthiness

Keele Burgin has dedicated her life to helping young girls and women all around the world, a venerable path in life towards which she was pushed to because of the immense struggle she went through in her youth, being raised by a fear-driven Catholic cult.

In her memoir titled Wholly Unraveled, Burgin recounts those early years of her life, and the journey she travelled towards finding herself and her purpose in a turbulent world.

Friday, May 03, 2019

“The Lost Vintage” by Ann Mah – The Room Behind the Armoire

No family is stranger to secrets, but as the young Kate in Ann Mah's The Lost Vintage is about to discover, some families have mysteries running deeper than others.

On the verge of studying for her last attempt at becoming a wine expert, Kate decides to travel to Burgundy and reconnect with her family's ancestral vineyard, as well as Nico and his wife Heather, now in charge of the whole thing. As she digs into her family's history, she stumbles onto a secret they've been keeping since the Second World War.

Friday, April 19, 2019

“I Was Anastasia” by Ariel Lawhon – Fame as an Imposter

Ariel Lawhon takes us on a tour into one of the more psychologically curious cases in history in her novel titled I Was Anastasia, delving into the life of Anna Anderson.

Not long after the Romanovs were famously executed, a young woman was pulled from a canal in Berlin and began claiming to be Anastasia, who was supposed to be dead and buried. Thus began the woman's journey towards becoming potentially one of the most famous imposters in human history.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

“My Brother's Keeper” by S. S. Bazinet – To Run with the Beasts

The search for identity as a teenager is never easy for normal people, and S. S. Bazinet goes the extra mile to make it a million times more difficult for the sixteen-year-old Theodore in her novel My Brother's Keeper.

Having been abducted and raised by a sinister organization known as the WKA, Theodore is quite surprised when his real family locates him, revealing he is in fact a werewolf... one who might be able to turn the tide in the war between his kind and the evil organization hell-bent on destroying them.

Friday, March 29, 2019

“Winter World” by A.G. Riddle – Ice Age from the Void

A.G. Riddle is a true literary explorer seeking to push humanity to its limits and beyond, setting them on a desperate collision course with something beyond its understanding in Winter World . With a sudden ice age dawning on humanity entire swathes of land become uninhabitable and people begin dropping like flies, with anarchy reigning supreme.

Looking to the stars for a miraculous solution, the remnants of humanity find a massive mysterious object floating near Mars...whatever it is, our civilization's hopes of survival rest entirely in its hands.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

“Cemetery Road” by Greg Iles – The Land of Hidden Truths

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles (Book cover)

Greg Iles has never had any problems depicting both the best and the worst of what the South has to offer, and in Cemetery Road he returns there once again to dive into a filthy pool of treachery and deceit.

It tells the story of Marshall McEwan, a journalist who returns to his Mississippi hometown of Bienville and ends up investigating two murders which turned the community inside out. As he is about to discover, the journey awaiting him has only begun to bare its dark and ugly teeth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

“The Wartime Sisters” by Lynda Cohen Loigman – Raging Battles of Conscience

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman (Book cover)

War is an unimaginably complex beast and its repercussions often reach far beyond the battlefield in unexpected ways, something Lynda Cohen Loigman makes quite apparent in her second novel, The Wartime Sisters. In it, we are introduced to two estranged sisters who become reunited at the start of the Second World War at the Springfield Armory.

One lives as the wife of an officer, while the other is a widow working at the factory. The vast difference in the course of their lives breeds resentment between the two, embarking both on a journey neither could have imagined.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

“The New Iberia Blues” by James Lee Burke – Crucifix of Stardom

James Lee Burke Mixes Blood and Glamour

The differences between the people of this Earth might be too numerous to mention completely, but nearly all of us are united by a single strand: the desire to become famous, whether now or sometime in the past. Even if you have to go back to your childhood to find a time when you clamoured for it, negligibly few are those who completely escape its temptations. While many of us grow out of it and find value in a life of public anonymity, some stay behind to pursue the elusive dream of stardom, and in most cases, they are willing to make virtually any sacrifice for it. Needless to say, this is one path which led many people to their doom, attracting the greedy, courageous and foolhardy alike. In James Lee Burke's latest Dave Robicheaux novel, The New Iberia Blues, we make the acquaintance of one such tragically lost soul as the rotten bowels of the Hollywood underworld dig their way to the surface.

Monday, January 14, 2019

“The Things We Don't Say” by Ella Carey – The Inauthentic Testament

The Things We Don't Say by Ella Carey (Book cover)

Ella Carey Present Life in a Painting

Most of us don't really enjoy thinking about what our lives might amount to at the very end, but the reality, perhaps a tad sad, is most of our journeys will become memories. Over the years many events and people pass us by without leaving any lasting trace to remember them by, only the workings of our own minds. For this reason, many of us cherish the truly unique and special objects to which we attribute a personal symbolism and emotional value, objects which stand as a testament to a segment of our lives. But what if, one day in our old age, we were to discover one such testament to be a lie? How far would we really go to find out the truth about ourselves? This is precisely the question Emma Temple is asking herself in Ella Carey's The Things We Don't Say.