Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book review: Bleed For Me

Hello, I just finished a murder mystery book called Bleed For Me, by Michael Robotham. At the beginning of the book, the best friend of a man's teenage daughter shows up at his home, covered in blood. The blood turns out to be her father's. She's accused of his murder.

The main character, Joe, is a psycholgist. He investigates things to help his daughter's friend, not believing she's guilty. His search for information brings him around Britain. He finds danger at many turns, and someone ends up killing his dog, hurting him, and poisoning his friend.

The author has done a good job making a reader feel for the characters. Tension is high, and the mystery deepens. It's an unpredictable tale with a surprise at the end. The subplot is woven into the story well and adds greatly to the major plot. Fans of murder mystery books should check out this author.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Books around the world: Austria

Hello, I just got through a short novel called Night Duty, by Melitta Breznik, an author from Austria. The good thing about reading books by foreign authors is that I never know what to expect. It's so unpredictable.

Well, this book was okay. It's from the point of view of a female physician and opens in an operating room. The story was not what I expected. I thought this would be totally about life as a doctor. It was not. Sure, there were scenes set in a hospital, but the majority of the story covered the doctor's childhood in Austria, growing up in difficult circumstances.

The style was very stream-of-consciousness, floating from one scene to another without transitions. It gave a very immediate effect. Reading about Austria after WWII afforded new and interesting insights. Also, reading about the doctor's shifts, as they unfolded, up close, gave a sense of how tiring it must be to be a doctor. The overall mood was sad. I learned some things reading it, saw points of view that I was unfamiliar with, and that was my goal, along with being entertained.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Books around the world: New Zealand and Canada

Hello, I just finished a book called The Piano, by Jane Campion, a native of New Zealand, and Kate Pullinger, who is originally from Canada.

It's set in Victorian times, partially in Scotland and partially in New Zealand. A woman and her young daughter move to New Zealand because the mother is contracted into a marriage. Ada McGrath meets her new husband for the first time there. Ada is mute and has a passion for playing the piano. Her husband refuses to transport the piano to their new home, so she strikes a bargain with the neighbor, Baines, to get her piano back.

With Baines, Ada comes out of her shell. He awakens her to new possibilities. Then her husband finds out and does something terrible.

This is a short novel and interesting. I haven't seen the movie. Ada is a passionate character, and her ways reflect this. The storyline is presented in a fresh way. For those who like dark, Victorian tales of love and inner strength, this would be a good story to read. At the end of the book, Ada has to make a serious decision and comes to a striking discovery. The book is also interesting in weaving cultural aspects of New Zealand in with the plot. The reader gets dashes of the native people, the Maoris as a bonus.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book review: The Ten Best Days of My Life

Hello, I just finished a novel called: The Ten Best Days of My Life, by Adena Halpern. In it, a young woman dies and goes to heaven. Everything up there is great, of course, until she gets some disturbing news.

She may not be able to stay where she is and has to write an essay about the ten best days of her life on earth. Did she live life with purpose? As she writes this essay, she analyzes her past and comes to some surprising realizations.

The story is fun. The main character is spunky and makes interesting observations. Set partly in heaven, partly on earth, this supernatural tale is a quick read. However, entertaining as it may be, it makes a reader ponder some profound questions. What's really important, and are we not seeing the whole truth? I'm glad I picked up this book. If you'd like a different type of paranormal/supernatural book that's quirky yet has depth, why not give this one a try?