Elizabeth George’s A Banquet of Consequences deals with a family led by matriarch Caroline Goldacre. Inspector Lynley is talked into investigating a suspicious death by his partner Barbara Havers, who is currently on probation for some non-orthodox investigation methods.
Clare Abbott is a well-renowned feminist writing making the literary circuit when she is found dead in her hotel room. Her assistant, Caroline Goldacre, had access to the room and was heard arguing with her the night before her body was found. Clare’s editor, Rory Stratham, also a dear friend of Clare, convinces Havers that the death is not natural and a second autopsy is requested.
George delves into Caroline’s family history which is filled with tragedy and lies. Caroline’s relationship with her sons, one now deceased, and the women in their lives is bizarre and unnerving. Could she be lying now to cover up a murder, or is lying so second nature to her that its hard to tell the truth from lies anymore. Havers and Lynley investigate to find whatever truth they’re able to find.
The truth is more horrific than what I originally thought and the ending is superb. Not what I expected, for sure.
Read September 2016
Another Rebecca Tope novel that shows a charming English countryside’s murderous side. A precursor to A Grave in the Cotswolds, we learn a little more about the Slocombe family and how Karen is injured. They live in a small world that is trying to live simply. Farmers Markets, non-consumerists, non-GMO’s, simple burials are all topics normal in their world. Until a bomb goes off at a big grocery store. Is it the naturalists against the big corporation, or is their dissent in the happy little bubble that the Slocombe’s and their friends live in.
A easy, quick read allowed me another glimpse into a quaint world tainted by murder.
Read September 2016.
Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty is a page turner story about childhood friends Clementine and Erika. They’ve grown up and grown apart, but neither are able to disentangle themselves from their childhood relationship. Written in the same style as Big Little Lies, Moriarty gives small glimpses into a secret that a group of adults share. Slowly revealing what happens at a spontaneous neighborhood BBQ, the characters’ secrets threaten to tear apart the couples involved.
The “big reveal” wasn’t as dramatic as Big Little Lies and I was a little disappointed that the event was never discussed afterwards. Was it a scary and dramatic event? Yes, absolutely. But enough to tear apart friends, couples, and neighbors? Maybe, but a bit unconvincing. However, the story about the relationship between Erika and Clementine was interesting and held the book together. Forced to play as children, Clementine’s parents took in Erika to give her a sense of normalcy missing from life at her own home. The strangeness between the girls that this caused and how their friendship evolved was well written and thought out.
A good read, but the climax and big secret could have been more interesting. The characterization makes up for it to a certain degree, but the mystery part of this mystery needed a bit more work.
Read August 2016.