Two good books, one great. Let's dive right in.
First up, The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie, another James and Kincaid mystery. I believe this is number 15 in the series? My initial thoughts: Very nice. These books certainly aren't blowing my mind, but they're enjoyable and fun to read. Little too much 'romance' for my taste, but the mystery isn't half bad and I do love the London setting.
And really, NICE is the perfect way to describe these books. I actually liked No Mark Upon Her better bc the extra characters in that one were better, but this was all right. It was quick and fun, and while it didn't keep me guessing (like AT ALL) I still enjoyed watching Gemma and Melody finally figure it out. I'd grab this one at the library, but I wouldn't pay for it.
From the back of the book: In the struggling but close-knit South London neigh of Crystal Palace – once the apex of Queen Victoria’s glamorous Great Exhibition, ruinously gutted by fire – a gifted boy and his new neighbor, a solitary young widow, make a pact of friendship; only to see it tragically shattered by a shocking betrayal..
Detective Inspector Gemma James’s first case as lead Murder Investigator takes her to seemingly respectable, prominent barrister, found dead at a seedy/low rent hotel in Crystal Palace – naked, bound, and strangled. Is his death a sordid accident – or a more sinister murder? Gemma's investigation leads her, and husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid into a labyrinth of secrets, murder, truths into the dark corners of the human condition...and truths better left uncovered...
Next let's do Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I picked this up solely because I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED TO DIE FOR The Shining Girls.
Unfortunately...this was no Shining Girls. But really, that's okay. I mean, they can't all be Shining Girls, right? I'm making my peace with it.
My initial goodreads review: Good, even a little great, but not GREAT. Scared the shit out of me, but in a weird way that I can't quite put my finger on. I don't know, the supernatural aspects didn't work for me, I definitely preferred Shining Girls. There just wasn't a character I could really get excited about in this one like I did with Kirby and Dan. Although I really loved TK, he just didn't get a lot of screen time. Page time? Anyway. Worth a check out at the library, not sure I'd pay full price to own my own copy.
And I stand by that. I didn't really like the Layla story, but that could be bc I'm projecting my fears about Ava into that whole hot mess. The idea of her just having sex with some random kid down the street? TERRIFYING. And all the online business, no. It didn't ring true to me, and I'm nearly positive that it's because I'm in total denial, but whatever. Don't burst my bubble. Ava isn't Layla.
So yeah, after typing that out, I think it's safe to say that that's why I didn't love this. So if you don't have a ten year old daughter, you might actually really love this one.
From the back of the book: In the city that's become a symbol for the death of the American dream, a nightmare killer is unravelling reality. Detective Gabi Versado has hunted down many monsters during her eight years in Homicide. She's seen stupidity, corruption and just plain badness. But she's never seen anything like this. Clayton Broom is a failed artist, and a broken man. Life destroyed his plans, so he's found new dreams - of flesh and bone made disturbingly, beautifully real. Detroit is the decaying corpse of the American Dream. Motor-city. Murder-city. And home to a killer opening doors into the dark heart of humanity. A killer who wants to make you whole again...
It's pretty violent. Brutal and graphic. It was good, but I'd pick up Shining Girls instead, if it was up to me.
And finally, for the amazing. Should I have started with the amazing? Who knows. Case Histories, by my beloved Kate Atkinson. My initial review pretty much says it all: This book was amazing. I don't know WHAT about it was so good- the mysteries weren't unpredictable, the plot was nothing groundbreaking. But it was just AMAZING. You can TOTALLY tell that this is the same woman who wrote Life After Life- aka The Best Book Ever. And I'd go out on a limb and assume that JK pulled a lot from this for her Strike books and, in turn, so did SK for Mr Mercedes. It was just so good. Like read in two days good. Kate Atkinson is a god.
From the back of the book: Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night.
Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack.
Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.
Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .
So, the take home message for the day? Go read Case Histories, everyone, no matter what. Check out Broken Monsters if you think you can stomach it. And grab a Deborah Crombie if you can't find a Jack Reacher and you're looking for a fluffy, fun read.