Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recommendations from Julie

Deception by Denise Mina
A forensic psychologist at a prison for the criminally insane is accused of murdering one of her patients and his wife. The story is told by her husband who is at home, searching for proof of her innocence. This is an absorbing read with a surprise ending.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
I listened to this one and it was really fun! Although it's definitely easy-to-read, chick-lit it is very amusing. The characters are quirky in an interesting way and the plot is enough to keep you going.

Still Waters by Nigel McCrery
I love flawed detectives and DCI Mark Lapslie is definitely flawed--he has a neurological condition called Synaesthesia which causes him to "taste" sounds. His condition has caused him to lose his wife and child and has put him on leave from work. He's called back though to investigate a series of murders where the victims have had their fingers cut off. This is a fascinating and exciting mystery. Did you know that lies taste like nutmeg? Interesting, huh!

March Violets
(First of 3 mysteries found in Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr)
This novel takes place in 1936 Berlin. Bernard Gunther is a tough talking private detective hired to investigate an arson/murder/theft by a wealthy industrialist. Because of the times, all investigations somehow lead to interactions with the rising Nazi party. Kerr is a great noir writer so this was lots of fun.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Siddhartha is a parable--an Indian (think India) parable. Not what you expect from a German writer. However, Hesse' parents were missionaries in India so he spent a lot of time there during his childhood. It is the story of a man's search for meaning in his life. I listened to this book. Having read it in high school I knew what I was in for but I still found it hard to become engrossed.

The Soul Collector by Paul Johnston
People are dying all over London: mystery writers, gang members and SAS men. Are the murders related? Were that all committed by the sister of the White Devil? There is a lot of action in this book but the characters were all caricatures, the heroes were revoltingly macho. I’m sorry I read the whole way through because it was a really stupid book.

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason Blake is an 11-year old boy who is autistic. Every day is a struggle for him—trying to fit in to the world of “neurotypicals.” Communication is particularly hard for him except online where he writes and posts stories he has written. Author Baskin’s depiction of Jason and his struggles is presented so well that the reader feels what Jason feels. Jason is presented sensitively but not sentimentally. By the time you finish this book you will feel a much greater understanding of the difficulties faced by autistic children. I listened to this audio-book and the reader was particularly good. I highly recommend this title. (Found in the Juvenile Fiction Section.)

No Sleep Till Wonderland by Paul Tremblay
Mark Genevich, the narcoleptic detective is back for a second mystery. Genevich goes through life in a dream state, never quite sure what’s real and what’s not, nor who’s a friend and who’s an enemy. In this book he is hired for two separate cases which turn out to be connected. Genevich is a sympathetic and interesting character and the messes he finds himself in are always entertaining.

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