harmony

Carolyn Parkhurst’s “harmony” is told from 3 perspectives: the mother, the “normal” sister, and as if visiting a strange historical monument of the family.

The Hammond family, in an attempt to help their undiagnosable, Autistic-like daughter Tilly, leaves their DC home and moves to New Hampshire’s Camp Harmony. The brain-child of a child-rearing expert, the childless man named Scott Bean, Camp Harmony will help serve kids who are struggling in their homelife by providing a community that can help support them in their own unique development. The camp is essentially cut off from the world and the residents put their faith in Scott Bean’s approach in the last of innumerable attempts to help their children.

The story’s many twists and turns help tell the struggle of the Hammond family in trying to help Tilly. And the Camp does seem to be helping several of the children that need help but at what cost.

Intersting perspective of living with a family member who does not conform.

Read July 2018

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A Line in the Dark

I just finished Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark and I realized I’ve been duped. The twist at the end really began at the beginning and now I’m questioning if I actually know anything that happened other than what I read in the Epilogue. Interesting to have the main character be so untrustworthy, but not let the audience in on it until it’s over.

Anyway, Jess and her best friend Angie have gotten mixed up with girls from the nearby boarding school. Lots of jealously about friendships and relationships between a small group of kids. One girl goes missing and discovered dead close to Jess’s house.

A really good read!

Read July 2018

(Spoiler) This is the 3rd mystery I’ve read recently that a young girl has an affair with her teacher and ends up dead. WTF? Even the last novel had an older man and a young woman. I pick my reading randomly without knowing what the books will be about really, so its strange that the 3/4 of the last books have had young girls explaining away why they don’t want the teachers to get in trouble for the affair. The novelists are decidedly NOT ok with the young girls feelings, and all the teachers have paid for their crime, but still a disturbing trend in my reading type.

Follow Her Home

Steph Cha’s Follow Her Home is a mystery steeped on Noir style. Our heroine, Juniper Song, is obsessed with Philip Marlowe, a Raymond Chandler crime fighting character. I felt the comparison was heavy handed at the beginning, but grew as Song’s crime fighting skills grew.

This ended up being quite enjoyable to read, (spoiler) although it was the 2nd book in a row that I read that had a teenage girl commit suicide to protect her pedophilic-teacher from exposure. So creepy and wrong, and worrisome that its becoming a trend in crime novels.

Read June 2018.

Into the Water

Paula Hawkins follow up novel to The Girl on the Train, Into the Water, has a lot of the same mystery and terrible decisions. Its a good book on its own about a small town, Beckford, that’s seen more than their share of women dying in the river. We get some history of the town and different versions of why the women died: suicide, witch-hunting, murder. No one is a 100% reliable witness and too many characters keep secrets that its not clear who should be believed.

Some of the apologies feel forced in the novel and one of the main reasons for a young character’s suicide should be admonished much more than the story and it should never be an acceptable behavior for a adult.

But overall, it was captivating. The reoccurrence of water throughout the novel is cleansing and harsh all at the same time.

Read June 2018.

Red Ribbons

Red Ribbons describes a key piece of evidence the killer of young girls leaves behind after placing the dead with braided hair and red ribbons. Louise Phillips leads the reader on a chase with time getting shorter and shorter between possible victims. Kate Pearson, criminal psychologist, helps the police identify traits that might cause the killer to behave a certain way.

The psychological background intertwined with the killer’s own thoughts and actions makes this an exciting read!

Read June 2018

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark- One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, by Michelle McNamara tells the story of the Golden State Killer and his rampage across multiple areas of California. Originally listed as separate killers in different areas, DNA evidence began to link the crimes showing a spree that lasted from 1974 through 1986 when the crimes suddenly stopped. Michele McNamara traced his killings, rapes, and burglaries around the state and met with the police as well as amateur sleuths.

While McNamara died before finishing this book, her editors and collaborators helped finish her work. Unfortunately, she also died before DNA traced the crimes to Joseph James De’Angelo who was arrested in April 2018.

Fascinating and horrible read. The crimes committed scared entire regions of California and ruined many lives. Very well written, filled with facts and personal anecdotes to push the reader along.

Read June 2018

The Bridge of Sighs

Olen Steinhauer’s The Bridge of Sighs is an interesting look into a post-WWII Eastern European city that’s shadowed by Russia. WWII left many dead and many more secrets behind, especially those who switched sides.

Detective Emil Brod, a new, young detective, is assigned his first homicide. Its a crime that everyone seems to want to go away, but Brod is new and believes in his role as detective. He gives almost everything to solve this crime and taking away some power from those who hold too much.

This was an interesting look into how Eastern Europe redeveloped after the war and how influential Russia was into the politics and policing of other nations.

Read May 2018