Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nevermore: Truth, Wolves, George Washington, Inspector Lynley, and Lights Out

Reported by Ambrea

This week, our Nevermore readers didn’t disappoint with a new and exciting array of novels, starting with The Truth of All Things by Kiernan Shields.  In Shields’ novel, Deputy Marshal Archie Lean spearheads an investigation into the murder of a prostitute in Portland, Main.  Lean thinks the mystery will be an open-and-shut case, until he discovers the victim was killed using traditional methods for killing witches during the Salem Witch Trials.  Now, with the help of historian Helen Prescott and criminalist Perceval Grey, Lean will wade through some of the darkest of New England history to find a killer—and stop another murder.  Although our reader hadn’t yet finished The Truth of All Things, he had very positive comments about Shields’ novel.  He liked the undercurrents of political intrigue and deception; however, he was most appreciative of the fact that Shields, rather than following one mystery, follows many mystery.  Even forty pages from the end, he was curious to see how the author would resolve the final mystery since everything seemed to be all wrapped up with a nice bow.

Next, our readers switched gears and shared Of Wolves and Men by Barry Holstun Lopez.  Lopez, an author and skilled essayist, takes a serious look at wolves and their impact on human civilization, development, myth and folklore.  He examines how wolves have managed to ingrain themselves into many aspects of folklore and myth and, even, modern stories, and reveals how human perception changes from culture to culture and, more importantly, transforms within literature and science.  Our reader was very pleased with her book choice.  She was fascinated by Lopez’s research into literature, history, science and mythology, how he displayed humanity’s experiences with—and perceptions of—wolves and what kind of impact wolves had on the development of society and myth.  She thought the illustrations were especially wonderful, saying the photographs (which were taken by John Baugess) and drawings were absolutely beautiful.

Our reader received George Washington’s Secret Six:  The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution as a Christmas gift last year, and she was incredibly pleased by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger’s work.  Focusing on the Culper Spy Ring, a top-secret group of six individuals operating under George Washington during the American Revolution, George Washington’s Secret Six offers a glimpse into the beginnings of American espionage.  It was a fascinating book, according to our reader, chock full of illustrations—portraits of the spies who were involved in the Culper Spy Ring, among others—and historical information.  She thought it was interesting to see how history played out, and she was surprised to learn that historians recognize five of the six spies involved, but the last, the only woman in the group, remains a mystery even today.  Overall, she enjoyed the book immensely.

Additionally, our readers checked out Elizabeth George’s novel, A Banquet of Consequences.  Continuing the investigations of Inspector Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers, George’s new book digs deep into the suicide of William Goldacre—and the poisoning of a student at Cambridge.  Havers, looking for redemption after suffering several setbacks in her department, pursues a new thread of reasoning with Lynley and struggle to uncover the link between the two deaths and solve the case before another young life is torn apart.  Darkly twisted and full of suspsense, A Banquet of Consequences received good reviews from our reader.  She said the story wound around “this beautiful, but very neurotic woman,” who was characterized brilliantly, and George’s novel had an excellent buildup with Lynley and Haver’s investigation—and, more importantly, it was gifted with a twist ending that was unexpected, but “very, very good.”

Last, our readers explored Lights Out:  A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel.  In his latest book, Koppel explores a hypothetical reality in which the United States’ power grid is attacked and essentially decimated, leaving the greater part of North America in the dark.  According to our reader, Lights Out is an extraordinary book that provides a highly detailed answer to a simple question:  what would happen if America was left in the dark for weeks at a time?  It’s a frightening possibility that’s incredibly plausible, said our reader.  However, she think that the author could have provided a more detailed examination of what happens not just in the first few days, but within the next several months.  She was left wondering what a further future would have in store.

No comments:

Post a Comment