Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nevermore: Thirst, Blood Card, Billy Lynn, Faithful Place, Five Carat Soul, Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

 Reported by Kristin

Nevermore kicked off with The Thirst by Jo Nesbo, heartily recommended by our reader.  In this series entry, Harry Hole is investigating more murders—this time of women who fall prey to a predator using the Tinder dating app.  Our reader praised this as an excellent book, although quite long.

Another reader was enjoying The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz.  Continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, Lagercrantz uses the same set of characters surrounding hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist.  This volume goes back to Lisbeth’s childhood, introducing many more characters into the mix.  Our reader found this very good, but at times very complicated.

The Blood Card, by Elly Griffiths, was discussed next.  Third in the Magic Men series, this outing has 1950s Detective Inspector Edgar Evans investigating another murder, this time of a local storyteller.  From England to New York and back again, Edgar seeks out clues to try to prevent even more violence.  Our reader said she has read everything written by Griffiths and always enjoys them.

Back home in the United States, the next reader had enjoyed Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain.  Billy Lynn and his Bravo squad are soldiers who have been elevated to heroes after a news station captured their engagement with Iraqi insurgents.  On leave, they are being honored at a Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, but the ostentatious display of the halftime show makes Billy Lynn terribly uncomfortable.  The stark violence of the war compared to the glitzy American pastime is certainly disconcerting.  The novel was also made into a movie in 2016.

Faithful Place by Tana French features Frank Mackey, now a Dublin Undercover squad detective who looks back into his past when Rosie Daley’s suitcase is found behind a fireplace, suggesting that perhaps something sinister happened, rather than Rosie just being a no-show, when they were teenagers planning to run away to London.  Our reader read the book straight through, enjoying the show of Irish family dynamics in a desperate world.

Finally, a very recently published book, Five-Carat Soul by James McBride was brought to the table.  A collection of short stories, the characters feel lifelike, and things happen that you don’t expect.  Our reader was quite impressed by a story that takes place in a zoo where the animals are able to thought-speak to each other.  McBride’s prose has been praised as fluid, beautiful, and artistic.

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