Dark Saturday

Dark Saturday published under Nicci French is my second of the Frieda Klein mysteries. Written by Nicci Gerard and Sean French, In this, Frieda is asked to look into an old case of a troubled police officer. A decade ago Hannah Docherty was convicted of killing her family and Frieda is asked to look into how the investigation was conducted. Were there any irregularities? Anything off?

The further Frieda digs into this old case, the more she’s convinced that Hannah may not have been guilty, and since her conviction Hannah has been psychologically beaten down to a place from which she may never recover. While she’s looking into Hannah, Frieda keeps getting uneasy feelings as if she’s being watched. Has her stalker Dean Reeve resurfaced or is someone trying to prevent her from proving Hannah’s innocence?

I felt like this book started slow and didn’t immediately grasp my attention, but the whole country was about to go into isolation when I picked this book up, so my lack of initial interest may have been more circumstantial than related to the novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and Frieda Klein as an unlikely crime investigator.

Read March 2020

The Darkness

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson tells of Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir final case with the Reykjavik police department. She’s being pushed into early retirement, but is allowed to work on one cold case of her choosing. She picks the death of a Russian woman who was found by the sea.

Hulda’s bitterness after years of mistreatment by her colleagues buoys her into solving this case and ending her career on a high note. Along the way, she steps gets in the way of active investigation, angers coworkers, and begins to see life as a retiree.

I really enjoyed this with the twists in her investigation as well as the glimpses we see that maybe her impression of the world around her isn’t accurate. As we learn more of her past, her future happiness finally seems possible. The final twist shocked me which doesn’t happen very often.

Great read, great characters, great back story.

Read March 2020

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi is a great read for a bunch of 5th graders! Charlotte is a spoiled rich girl who ends up on a ship intent on revenge. Who’s right, who’s wrong. Charlotte, using the wisdom that she’s been taught, clearly understands that the dirty sailors are bad and the beautiful sea captain is good and lands herself on the wrong side of an argument.

Charlotte grows up and learns more of the world and humanity that her parents expected from the trip and her return to her world is almost as dramatic as the voyage over.

Read March 2020

Esperanza Rising

Pam Munoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising was an Oregon Battle of the Books in 2019 and I read it with my son’s fifth grade classmates. It tells the story of a rich, property owner’s daughter who must leave Mexico and her lifestyle behind after her father dies and her unscrupulous uncle attempt to marry her mother and ship her off to boarding school. Once in southern California, she must work as all the other migrants on the farms. She must learn to be a servant after being the master her whole life.

There’s talk of uprisings against the farmers for more farmers rights, but others just need the money to survive. This led to many good discussions of racism – subtle and overt and workers rights.

Great read for an adult or kid.

Read February 2020

A Darker Sky

Mari Jungstedt and Ruben Eliassen collaborated on The Canary Island Series. A Darker Sky follows Chief  Inspector Diego Quintana and expatriate journalist Sara Moberg. The setting is the beautiful Canary Island in an area full of Swedes.

I read this a couple of weeks ago, and while I remember enjoying it, I can’t even remember what the mystery is. So, fun, easy read, but not so memorable.

Read February 2020