Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Good Reads

Murder is always unpleasant and, by its very nature, it's nearly always violent.

It's one thing to read about fictionalized murders, but entirely different to hear, read about and/or see the aftermath of any violent and senseless crimes.

While I've read a great many books in the past year, many have also included scenarios where characters have died; some in quite unpleasant and very nasty ways. The difference is that in these accounts, horrendous events can be skimmed over and, perhaps, forgotten. Sadly, that's not the case with so many very real events today.

I won't go into all the plot details or outcomes of the books in this post. If you enjoy suspense novels, you may want to check these out for yourself. Both books grabbed (and held) my attention from start to finish.

Murder House revolves around murders committed in a long-neglected estate on Ocean Drive in the Hamptons of New York state. It's a story of money, revenge and murder. Years ago, the original mansion burnt down under suspicious circumstances killing a couple inside. 

It was later rebuilt but rumored to be cursed when a series of murders begin anew. A Hollywood agent and local waitress/aspiring actress are found murdered in a very gruesome manner. Later, two young women are murdered in the house, again in a very unpleasant way. 

Former NYC detective Jenna Murphy, who is seeking to escape and rehabilitate her police career moves to the Hamptons where her uncle is the police chief. 

When her uncle is also murdered, Jenna attempts to find the psychopathic killer before another murder is committed, possibly her own.

Career of Evil is the third book in the series featuring private investigator Cormoran Strike and his assistant (former secretary) Robin Elliott. It was written by J.K. Rawlings of Harry Potter fame under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. 

The book begins in a grisly fashion with the delivery of a severed woman's leg in a package addressed to Robin. A note was included quoting the Blue Öyster Cult song Mistress of the Salmon Salt, which was a tattoo that Strike's mother had on her leg. Because of that "coincidence" Strike knows several men in his past who could be responsible. He knows that any one of them is capable of such brutality. As the plot progresses, Robin is dealing with personal problems including a temporary split from her fiancé, Matthew. She learned that he cheated on her after she was forced to leave university after she was raped and nearly killed. 

The killer strikes twice more during the investigation, killing one victim, and maiming another who manages to survive the attack. After numerous dead ends, plot twists and turns, Strike is able to track down the killer, labelled the Shacklewell Ripper, who then attacks and nearly kills Robin. Strikes fires her as a result and goes in search of the killer on his own. To learn whether he succeeds, you will need to read the book. Sorry, no spoiler alerts here.

The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm preceded this novel in this series. While this current book is a stand-alone story, reading these earlier novels provides background details on Strike and Elliott, their relationship with each other and with others in their lives.

What type of books do you enjoy and do you have any recommended reads?


Anvilcloud said...

I am looking forward to 'reading' Career of Evil. We have had it in audiobook form since last fall, but I was waiting until I got sick to read it. It has been a healthy winter. :)

Sandra said...

I love Patterson and have read almost all his books, i am reading one of the Murder club books right now, the name is gone from my memory but it is something like the 12th something... i have not read the 2nd author but will look for him in my kindle books.. i love murder mysteries.

Connie said...

These sound good. I like to read a wide variety of types of books including murder mysteries, although, I don't care to read gory murder descriptions in great detail.

William Kendall said...

I tend to go for spy thrillers, which of course can end up leading to death on a large scale.

Emma Springfield said...

I love to read so most books are what I will read. At the moment I prefer biographies. I recently read John Fogerty's autobiography. I learned a lot.

Michelle said...

I am on the hunt right now for new reads. I appreciate these suggestions!

Lynn said...

I listen to crime fiction on audio books during my (long) commute back and forth to home. My current favorite: Laura Lippman's books. I like that her female private detective appears sometimes in the stand-alone books. I have a friend who turned to crime fiction writing, who has become quite a success - Karin Slaughter. Her books can be grisly, but I include her out of loyalty and I own all of her books - 15 in all + 2 anthologies she appeared in and a novella.

I've also read or listened to all of the Nevada Barr books - the lead character is a female park ranger, who always solves a crime or two. And her books are set in different US National Parks - a bonus for their descriptions.

I have meant to start listening to the Galbraith books - I will now, based on your recommendation.

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