Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nevermore: Murder, Mystery, War, and Death in General

Reported by Kristin

Stiff by Mary Roach was the first book mentioned in Nevermore this week.  This book has been read by several book club members, and the current reader is enjoying Roach’s wit.  The introduction begins: “The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens, and nothing is expected of you.”  Our reader had also just finished Bonk by the same author, and passed it on to someone else.  More comments on Roach’s writing will surely be forthcoming.

Next up was Missing You by Harlan Coben.  NYPD detective Kat Donovan is confronted with her past, including finding her ex-fiancee on a dating site and revisiting the unsolved murder of her father which happened twenty-five years earlier.  Unfortunately, our reader said that this book does not live up to Coben’s earlier books, and in fact she questions whether or not the author has suddenly become brain dead.  (Perhaps Coben will be the subject of the next Mary Roach book?)

A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante surfaced next.  Popular and successful plastic surgeon Dr. John Taylor was found dead in a hotel room.  Suspicious?  At first not, but then it was discovered that he had multiple wives, thus the title of the book.  It wasn’t surprising that a circle of motives arose from all directions.  Our reader enjoyed this book.

Murder in Pigalle by Cara Black was promoted as a very enjoyable book.  Private investigator Aimee Leduc is back in the latest of her Parisian adventures.  Searching for a pedophile who possibly abducted a friend’s teenage daughter, Aimee finds herself in danger of losing life and limb.  The author sets this series in a variety of Paris neighborhoods, giving readers a glimpse into many areas of the City of Light.

Last discussed was Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris.  In the time before the United States became involved in World War II, it wasn’t popular to make war movies, as many people wanted to keep the country out of the war.  But with the wave of patriotism that was sparked by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, five legendary Hollywood directors enlisted in the United States military and documented the war from the front lines.  John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler and Frank Capra were there for many of the major events of the war, and made films that brought it home to the American people.  Our reader mentioned that all five survived, but were changed as moviemakers by the horrors of war.

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