Primates of Park Avenue

Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin, was a hard book for me to read. Martin is a humorous writer and her quirky anthropologic observations of Upper East Side (UES) women amused me. But there’s just something hard for me to stomach about how much these women invest in their appearance and their children, which just seem to an extension of their appearance.

At one point Martin roughly calculated what an average UES women spend yearly on their appearance…$95,000. Which is insane!! These women are highly educated, run charitable organizations, and are married to extremely powerful men and they value how they look more than any work they can do. And the men are ok with this. The worst is that the women don’t seem to be enjoying themselves after spending this much money on themselves.

This novel made me value the people I surround myself with so much more. If I wear the wrong yoga pants, or do the wrong work-out, or really choose to sit around and get fat, no one will judge me as harshly as these women judge each other and themselves. Again, these are highly intelligent women who get lost in their crazy world and just don’t seem happy. Or maybe they are. I really hope they are.

Interesting read.

Read April 2016

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The Book of Souls

What happens when a convicted serial killer is murdered in prison and then victims murdered with the same MO are found? But instead of one a year, now the victims are killed within weeks of each other?

That’s the premise of James Oswald’s The Book of Souls, but with the added complication that the convicted killer’s last victim was Detective Inspector McLean’s fiancé. Its a pretty dark, cold novel with lots of layers to the story. The police are separately investigating a drug ring, an arson, and now the new serial killer. With limited resources to be shared, there’s a lot of volatility within the department that lead to some great police interactions.

Good read. Really liked to setting of Scotland since I don’t think I’ve read anything set there before.

Read May 2016.

A Voice from the Field

Neil Griffin’s main character, Tia Suarez, is one of the most interesting detectives I’ve read in a long time. First, she’s a woman and most of the interesting characters in crime novels are men. She’s also a Mexican-American who in the past year was shot on the job and had a public mental breakdown in a courtroom.

At the beginning go A Voice from the Field Suarez is working undercover as a prostitute who is the only only who sees a hispanic girl tied up in the back of the guy that gets away. With her past, no one believes that the girl was really there and Suarez starts spiraling into a drunken stupor. There are many other complications to her investigation, including a white supremacist organization, a drug operation, and the multiple other government agencies vying for the score.

Great read! I’ll look out for another Neil Griffin.

Read April 2016.