Sunday, July 07, 2013

Summer Reads - My Reviews from Goodreads

Every Broken Trust: A MysteryEvery Broken Trust: A Mystery by Linda Rodriguez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Linda Rodriguez' second Skeet Bannion novel accomplished what I had hoped.  While I enjoyed the first novel, Every Broken Trust offers greater depth of plot, more satisfying development of the characters, and drew me even more intimately into the story.  The city of Brewster grows, along with the characters, and fulfills its own role in the story which is satisfyingly full of plot twists, flawed individuals, and suspense.  As a resident in the Kansas City metro, an alumna of a liberal arts college in a KC suburb, and a former college professor, I enjoyed both the geographical and occupational setting of the novel, and appreciate the way Rodriguez connects both the urban and suburban parts of the story.  Every Last Secret, the first novel in the series, was well written and enjoyable, but I finished Every Broken Trust feeling a much stronger bond with Skeet, Brian, and their cohorts, a stronger sense of place with Brewster and Chouteau University, and looking forward with greater anticipation to the third novel in the series. I am hopeful that some peripheral, but strong, characters that were introduced - namely the US Attorney heading a human trafficking task force and Skeet's grandmother - will take on more prominent roles in third book.

Cover of SnowCover of Snow by Jenny Milchman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of Snow does not read like a "first novel."  Milchman weaves one of the most intricate and suspenseful stories I have read in recent months. Her command of language is descriptive and engaging, without being pandering or distracting.  I found myself drawn into the story from the very first paragraph, and my brain darted in many directions as I sought to solve the mystery along with the protagonist. Cover of Snow is intelligent and challenging, yet still a fast read. Its readability does not diminish the clever and suspenseful way in which it is written.  Set in winter in the Adirondacks of upper New York, the mystery surrounding the suicide of a local policeman will keep you guessing until the very end.  My only criticism is that I didn't think much of the main character. She seems woefully unaware of and/or uninterested in rather crucial details of her husband's life until after he has died. One begins to wonder why she feels much sense of loss at all, except that it makes her rather quick attraction to the local newspaper reporter a bit more explainable.  I generally would prefer to like the protagonist of the story.  I didn't in this case.  And it is this element that gives away that this is a first novel.  Yet I still very much enjoyed exploring the many secrets kept by the people of this small town, and this is a credit to the author.

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