Blood on Snow

When Olav is contracted to kill the boss’s wife, he knows his future with the organization had become less stable. Unlike most crime novels, Jo Nesbo’s Blood on Snow follows a contract killer on his assignment. An unlikely hero, Olav fights for the underdog and lives a lively life in his own head. After having a rough childhood, Olav finds his niche in the criminal world, only to be in the position of knowing too much about his boss. Once that happens, he knows he became a risk and expendable.

This short novel takes many turns and ends with the title scene. An unexpected hero and a great read!

Read October 2015

The Nature of the Beast

The Nature of the Beast is the most recent Louise Penny novel and takes place after Chief Inspector Gamache has retired from the Surete and moved to the quiet, picturesque village of Three Pines.

While I usually love these novels, this one is a bit far fetched, even for Louise Penny. This small, isolated village that cannot be found on a map becomes the center of a weapons war when a dangerous weapon is found buried deep within the forest.

I still enjoyed reading the novel and figuring out what happened, but with Gamache’s retirement, I wish that Penny moved onto other characters that could be put into more believable scenarios.

Read October 2015.

The Weeping Girl

In Hakan Nesser’s The Weeping Girl the past defines the present. Over 15 years ago, Mikaela lost her father but it isn’t until her 18th birthday that her mother explains the crime he committed before he lost his mind. Determined to learn about his past, Mikaela travels to the coast to visit her father for the first time in her remembered life.

Along the way, Mikaela meets DI Ewa Moreno, who is on her way to holiday with her new boyfriend. Ewa must first make a short detour to interview a notorious criminal who will only speak with her.

After departing from Mikaela and finishing her interview, Ewa learns that Mikaela has gone missing. Supposedly on vacation, Ewa cannot walk away from finding out what happened to the girl she met on the train. Ewa must determine the past truth to find out what happened to Mikaela and its not what everyone supposed.

This was a gripping read and a great glimpse into a small Swedish vacation town.

Read October 2015

The Stranger

Although another enjoyable Camilla Lackberg novel, in The Stranger I figured out who’d “done” it very early on and every additional clue just confirmed my guess. I don’t know if I’ve just read too many mysteries that I’m now more observant, and probably more jaded, or if this novel gave away too much too early.

Aside from the mysterious murders with the use of excessive alcohol and a cast of a reality show, I really enjoyed Erica diving into her childhood and how her mother’s history may have affected her parenting style. This doesn’t resolve itself by the end of this novel but Erica has determined to use her researching skills on her own family and I hope there’s another novel that continues that story thread.

Read September 2015

How the Light Gets In

In How the Light Gets In, Louise Penny stars the mystery looking for a Three Pines friend’s friend. This friend ends up being one of the famous Quintuplets born in the Depression and used by the Canadian government to help raise the spirits during a dark time. However, this story ends up being pushed to the side to figure out how Chief Inspector Gamache is being pushed out of the Surete and how his enemy is using his former friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir’s, drug addiction to help bring him down.

The murder of the last quintuplet seems to be dropped by the end of the novel. We know who did it, but no action is taken. The story of police and political corruption far outweigh the importance of a single murder.

I do enjoy this glimpsed of pastoral Three Pines and the community of unlikely friends, but did want more closer with the primary murder. Still well liked and enjoyable read.

Read September 2015.


hausfrau is Jill Alexander Essbaum’s novel and its pretty amazing. I don’t know if I actually like any character in this novel, especially the protagonist Anna Benz. And I should feel some kinship with Anna since we’re close in age with young children. But there’s nothing familiar about this American living in Switzerland.

Anna married a Swiss man and moved to outside of Zurich about ten years ago and is just now taking classes to learn the local language. She has completely disconnected herself from her environment and the people around her. From her perspective, the Swiss people are cold and isolated, but Anna seems to do much of that to herself. As a reaction to her cold, distant husband, Anna has flings like someone else might have happy hours. She’s so desperate to feel something and uses sex, usually not with her husband, to fill her.

This could have been a trite story about a woman looking for love in all the wrong places, but Essbaum creates a woman on edge, a train wreck about to happen, that I couldn’t stop reading. All of her affairs and lies were bound to catch up to Anna, but how would it happen?

I was spellbound by how beautiful this heartbreaking story is told. The end seemed inevitable when I got there, but it was painful none the less.

Great read!!

Read September 2015