Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Light reading Round-up

Let's see. . . Scanning my list of books finished but not yet blogged, I see a good-enough mystery by Jonathan Kellerman (Mystery) and another one by Lee Child, an earlier Jack Reacher novel that we'd somehow both missed (The Persuader).

I also picked up a Jodi Picoult that one of my daughters had left behind, Nineteen Minutes. While I'll admit that this was an absorbing read, I found it veered on turning the sensational into entertainment as much as it provoked much thought that might produce change. And the mothers were disturbingly flat characters for much of the novel. No question the woman can write though.

Much earlier (September? October?) I read John Farrow's River City. I've been waiting and waiting for Farrow to add to his Montreal detective Cinq-Mars series (of which this is only the third). The books are wonderfully written (Farrow is a nom de plume of Trevor Ferguson, a writer of "more literary" novels and plays. Presumably, he's rationing his mystery-writing time. . . too bad! ) River City has had mixed reviews, probably disappointing many fans who wanted more of Cinq-Mars' contemporary Montreal. Instead, the novel is a sweeping, if quirky, history of Montreal from its earliest days of colonization with a mystery that moves through the turbulent politics of separatist Montreal, particularly the early '70s. Farrow imagines some fascinating conversations featuring historical characters, Pierre Trudeau, Maurice Duplessis, René Lélesque among them, all caught up in the mystery of the (Jacques) Cartier dagger, a fictional weapon that confers on Montreal some of the intrigue Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code gave Paris.  While I have to confess that I have never been able to get more than six pages into that novel, I stuck with River City through its 850 or so pages and felt rewarded for my perseverance.

There now, I've crossed 4 books off my finished-but-not-yet-blogged list, and might even get the list done before New Year's . . . we shall see. What about you? How's your end-of-year reading? Any gems to share?

No comments:

Post a Comment