In the Moon of Red Ponies – James Lee Burke. The 4th book in the Billy Bob Holland series. After finishing this I wrote “disappointing” in my log.
Started Early Took My Dog – Kate Atkinson. I love Kate Atkinson. There is always at least one hysterically funny scene in the Jackson Brodie series. Poor Jackson has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and proving the adage that no good deed goes unpunished.
Last Car to Elysian Fields – James Lee Burke The 13th book in the Dave Robicheaux series. I felt like there was a chapter missing at the beginning of this book as things in Dave’s personal life have shifted monumentally and only get a passing mention which had me wondering “did I miss a book?” . That annoyed me for the entire book even though I enjoyed the story and it was a good train book. The best character was Max Coll, a haunted, psychotic ex-IRA gunman who is now a hit man in town to dispense with Father Dolan but I love the names and characterizations Burke gives his figures like Fat Sammy Figorelli, Jumpin’ Merchie Flannigan, Castille LeJeune…..
The Dirty Parts of the Bible – Sam Torode. Based on the ancient Jewish tale of Tobias and Sarah this story is set in 1936 and features a 19 year old preacher’s son, Tobias Henry who is fixated on girls and God. This is a coming of age type of story which is really amusing. It reminded me of a yarn an old story teller would tell around a campfire. I really enjoyed this book.
Field of Blood – Denise Mina . Back to gray, grim Glasgow I go with this one. The first book in Mina’s Paddy Meehan series. Paddy works as a gofer at a newspaper and the story centers on the killing of a little boy by two other boys. Mina delves into sexism and newspaper politics as well as the bleakness that devours many in Glasgow. I found it a little slow to get into but once I did it was a good read – not as good as the Garnethill Trilogy (which I loved earlier in the year).
Square Foot Gardening – Mel Bartholomew My one attempt at non-fiction during this period! After reading this book veggie gardening seems so easy and I’m slightly surprised that I do not have an over-abundance of veggies in my courtyard! We made up the soil mixture suggested in the book but I decided to neither pull up my lovely courtyard pavers or put dirt on top of them to do the proper square foot gardening – and veggie gardening out the front would only lead to others reaping the benefits of my toiling. The hot weather has had a negative effect on my yield but at least I will have fabulous soil ready for next year!
Deception – Denise Mina. A husband learns things he didn’t know about his wife after she is arrested for murder. This book is written as a series of diary entries by the husband. It’s a story of obsession and self deception as the husband sets about trying to prove his wife’s innocence by searching through her files and computer. I didn’t like the format of this book and found it hard to finish. If it had been the first Denise Mina book I’d read I might never have discovered her other much more readable books.
Purple Jesus – Ron Cooper – I love it when I’m reading along and come across the title of the book or the meaning & explanation of that title. This book is great and the scene where a character explains to another what “Purple Jesus” is (not an NFL player) is a truly laugh out loud moment. I really really liked this book – it’s the second one written by Philosopher, Ron Cooper (his first was Hume’s Fork which I read earlier this year). The story unfolds as chapters alternate between the points of view of the various characters – there is murder, a bizarre love triangle, a mystery Hairy Man and “low-country” folks and their folklore. It’s sad one moment and twisted funny the next and then Cooper throws in something that shocks you. This book is full of eccentric characters, some religious allegory and farce and really is a great read.
Small Crimes – by Dave Zeltserman Set in a small town, the story follows the main character’s release from prison and his attempt to return to normalcy in his society. This book is really dark and sordid and is basically a moral tale; small crimes lead to big crimes. It was hard to put this down in a “train wreck” kind of way.
Jack Daniels Stories – J.A. Konrath – a compilation of short stories featuring various characters from J.A. Konrath’s Jack Daniels series. These were easy reading and great for the commute as I’d get a story finished by the time I got to my station.
Pariah – by Dave Zeltserman Another just-out-of-prison book. Gritty and compelling but also full of despair – one of those stories where you know from the start that nothing good is going to happen – a story where the reader sort of wallows in the character’s disgraces. A good train book.
Identity Crisis – Debbi Mack. This book introduces attorney Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae and is about a domestic abuse case that turns deadly. Not terrific but an okay train book. Debbi Mack lives locally so I did enjoy reading about places I knew as the book went along. ……………………
Least Wanted – Debbi Mack – Sam McRae has two clients accused of murder; a young black girl accused of killing her mother and a young man already suspected of embezzling then accused of murdering his boss. As the story progresses the two cases overlap into girl gangs and pornography. Better than her first book – a good train book.
Night Kills – John Lutz. This one sucked me in so that a few times I found myself almost missing my station. Lutz reveals his bad-guys early on so the reader doesn’t have to work at figuring anything out and the story is more about whether the police will catch them before the next woman is shot in the heart. There are a few unlikely scenarios but overall the storyline is good and the book is a fast read.