Wednesday, September 4, 2019

BOOK: Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena, 330 pages

Shari Lapena joins Linwood Barclay as a very reliable Canadian suspense author. I listened to Lapena's first book, The Couple Next Door, back in November 2016, and loved the twists and turns of the story. For no good reason, I missed reading her next two books, but I am jumping all over her latest release, Someone We Know.

I may not want to live in the neighbourhood described in this book, but it was a lot of fun to read about it! Everyone has secrets and hidden lives and everyone lies, which makes for many interesting revelations. If people would just tell the truth, it would make life so much easier for the detectives, but so less interesting for the reader.

I don't want to give any plot away, and I find these types of books have plots that blend together somewhat. I will devour the book while I read it, but couldn't tell you who did what, a month after reading the book. I don't take this as a negative; part of the problem is that I read them too fast, trying to find out what happens next!

ETA: I started writing this review right after reading the book, and now, over a month later, I do remember what happened, and who killed the lady, and why. So, these books are memorable!

Because I did enjoy this book, I borrowed one of Lapena's back list titles, and just finished listening to it. An Unwanted Guest was a terrific locked room type of mystery. It very much put me to mind of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and I was quite annoyed that I couldn't remember how that one actually turned out. An Unwanted Guest has a number of couples, and a few singles, arriving at an isolated hotel, just as a blizzard strikes. The power goes out, there is no internet or telephone, and someone turns up dead on Saturday morning. And then another,...

I think what makes these books so readable is there are a number of plausible suspects, and Lapena varies her point of view, so the reader gets inside the heads of some of the characters. I feels like I can predict what happens, but in reality, I have about seven possible outcomes and suspects as the red herrings are flying, and obviously, eventually, I 'know' who did it. I am terrible at predicting the murderer, or I am really good, because I expect it could be anyone, lol.

I now just have A Stranger in the House to read from Lapena, and I expect to get to that sooner rather than later, what with this being the RIP season of fall spooky reading.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

TTT: Books Outside My Comfort Zone

The topic this week for Top Ten Tuesday is Books I've Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone. For more posts and future topics, check out the host, That Artsy Reader Girl

This was fun, looking for books outside my comfort zone. I believe that everyone can find an example of a book they 'don't like' that they will love, if they find the one written by a really good writer. I'm not a huge fan of horror, but I'll read Stephen King. I don't like a lot of cozy mysteries, but Her Royal Spyness is a can't miss series for me. I still haven't found a vampire/paranormal book yet that I can say I love. The Parasol Protectorate's first book, Soulless  is close, and I might try the next one to see it it really does appeal. 

Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
I really am not a fan of magical stuff, and yet, I loved Harry Potter. I've tried other HP type books, and none compel me to read further than the first book. 

The Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro
Introspective, quiet, not much really happening, reading between the lines. Not my usual fare, and yet, I adored The Remains of the Day. 

This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Philisophical, introspective, very little plot. Again, I should not have enjoyed this book about a prisoner in a jail cell in the ground in Morocco, but I did. Ultimately, a positive book which it shouldn't seem from the topic.

The Gathering by Anne Enright
Irish stream of consciousness is hit or miss for me, but Anne Enright is right in my head and I have really liked several of her books, especially The Forgotten Waltz, but The Gathering was first. 

DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage
Toxic male navel gazing during a war? I haven't read many of those type of books; I prefer a more Bridget Jones, or feminist view, and yet I really liked DeNiro's Game, set in Beirut and from a male pov.

The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Magical realism is a big no-no for me, and dreams when exposition could be used are never what I look for. And yet, The Bone People, about three awful people who ultimately were better together than separate, which pivots on Magical Realism worked for me. 

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Fantasy/science fiction is really hit or miss for me, but I loved the Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. I can't even describe this trilogy, but it was delightful, and nothing was what it seemed.

Weetzie Bat by Fransesca Lia Block
Very few fairy tales make my 'best of' list but Lia Block has a style of writing that really just works for me. I've read several Block books, but Weetzie Bat is the best.

Redshirts by John Scalzi
Science fiction again, but this time combined with Star Trek? I've watched some of the original TV series, but not really any other Star Trek (or Star Wars for that matter). So imagine my surprise when I read and loved Redshirts. This one even has some time travel as well, another thing I don't really like. You have to read this book! So funny.

Cheryl Strayed: Wild, and Tiny Beautiful Things

Adventure and person learning how to deal with their choices and life, and a self help type book: neither is something I look for. And yet, look at me loving both of Cheryl Strayed's books. Wild didn't make me want to take a 500 mile hike in any way, but I liked reading her walk.