Wednesday, November 26, 2008
No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (audio)
Protagonist: Cynthia and Terry Archer
Setting: Milford, Connecticut
One morning, 14-year-old Cynthia wakes up and her entire family has vanished from their suburban home – no note, no bodies. For 25 years, she wonders and waits. But after a television show does a story on the disappearance for the 25th anniversary, strange occurrences begin to happen. Cynthia’s husband doesn’t know whether to believe his wife – or believe she’s making things happen. To say anything else about the plot would be unfair. But this thriller is a grabber – from beginning to end, even when you figure out what’s really happening. This will make my top 10 reads for the year.
A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva (audio)
Protagonist: Gabriel Allon
Setting: Vienna and Venice
After an explosion at the Wartimes Claims and Inquiry office, spy and art restorer Allon is sent to Vienna – a bit unwillingly, as this is where his wife and son were victims of a car bomb. There are also other reasons why Allon is not welcome in Vienna. Those reasons intensify when Allon begins hunting down a Nazi official. Amid all this, we learn Allon’s mother was a Holocaust survivor. Silva does wonderfully in weaving all the threads together, in a powerful, moving spy thriller. Although this is the last of three interconnected novels, it stands very well alone.
A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley
Protagonist: Assistant Police Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu
This is the debut novel by authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, and introduces Kubu, whose nickname means “hippo,” appropriate to the detective, who is always thinking of his next meal. But Kubu is also a thinking detective, and watching him connect the dots is a delight in this novel that opens with a body found in a remote gaming area, hyenas grazing on it. The case keeps returning to the influential Botswana Cattle and Mining, and the bodies keep piling up. Although I thought the pace lagged at some points, overall I found it an entertaining read – and the setting of Botswana add to the pleasure.
4.0: A book I'd recommend
3.0: Mediocre to good
2.0: Pretty Bad