Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Cellist of Sarajevo - Stephen Galloway - Book 35

Inspired by a true story, this is a moving story of four people in war-torn Sarajevo:

From Amazon: Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.

I found this book an easy read and really enjoyed the journey into a completely different, often horrifying world. If you've ever wondered what it's like to live in a war zone, this book brings it home by showing the minutiae of everyday life as well as the seemingly small decisions which may mean life or death. An excellent read.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trace - Patricia Cornwell - Book 34

Kay Scarpetta returns to Virginia to solve the murder of a teenaged girl - so far, so good, but this is a fary cry from her earlier outings. With the person who called her in out for her blood, and both her boyfriend and niece being strangely distant, it's left to Kay to put the pieces together with the help of Pete Marino. This is readable, certainly, but not great, though as a diehard Cornwell fan, it probably had enough to keep me reading the rest of the series.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sons of their Fathers by Tom Lewis - book 33

This is the final book in the Pea Island trilogy and I really can't do better than Amazon's description:
"Who are the sons of Horst von Hellenbach and Martin Bormann? What is their ultimate fate? Will the sons follow in the dangerous footsteps of their famous fathers? And, what of the astonishing heroine, Sunday Everette? What role will she play in this final act of the ongoing drama that began on a lonely strip of sand on North Carolina's Outer Banks? How will her only child, a beautiful daughter named Susan, help solve the perplexing mystery of millions of dollars in stolen Nazi gold? Will Sunday's Child and the ghost of Hitler's Judas meet again? Who will win? Will any of them find love and happiness--and all that hidden treasure? How long will it take? All these questions are eventually answered in this final novel of the Pea Island Gold trilogy. Follow all the fantastic twists and incredible turns of the final installment in this book of drama, suspense, betrayal, and love. "
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have the others, finding the characters interesting and the story riveting. I recommend that you read the whole trilogy, which is available on Kindle.

Chasing the Will by Stephen Hall - Book 32

Book 32 was a bit different, because it hasn't been published yet. I was given the chance to be a first reader for a first novel. It's not a whodunit, as we know pretty much from the start who the culprits are. Instead it's a howdunit. Lara's father dies and his daughter, along with will writer David try to find out how the Ferdinands came to inherit his estate. The interplay between prissy David and vivacious Lara makes for some great moments  of humour - and there's an interesting cast of heroes and villains, including a couple of unlikely golddiggers. A good read.