Does anyone out there have a good book to recommend? I can’t find anything that really holds my attention and I’m getting a little frantic as most readers understand. I picked up a couple of Nora Roberts’ discount books the other day and although I read through them, rapidly, ugh! They were formula writing; they were predictable; they were trite. Now I like a Mary Higgins Clark book as well as the next person but only when I am in the mood for something that has no enduring value -- just chocolates and a late night.
I’ve recently tried some Scandinavian mystery writers again. Henning Mankill and his Wallender series were good, but sooo dark. To read the Northern European mystery writers one would think the whole population is on the verge of mass suicide! However, a cousin in Sweden recommended Jussi Adler-Olson so I read the first three of his Department Q series and they weren’t too bad, but then I picked up a book CD of his entitled The Alphabet House and I am fast forwarding through that. Jo Nesbro, a Norwegian mystery writer has one with a wretched title, Cockroaches. It is about a Nowegian ambassador murdered in a brothel in Bangkok. A detective is hauled out and sent there to solve the case. It is all very hush-hush as there are a lot of political ramifications which is where the symbolism of the cockroaches comes from, I assume. When I am finished I am sending them to my brother who is a much more discriminating reader than I am and see what he thinks.
Next in line is David Silva’s The Black Widow. Sometime back Silva created a character Gabriel Allon. It must have taken a lot of time as Allon is very complex. As you read through the books you learn he is with Mossad in Israel, becoming involved after the Munich Olympics' massacre of Jewish athletes in 1972. His son was killed in a car bombing in Vienna after which his wife was never the same. Allon is an accomplished art restorer who tries time after time to separate from Mossad and live his solitary life. At last in Venice he meets the woman who becomes his second wife and who is also with Mossad. There are a variety of secondary characters who re-appear in Silva’s books, each one a real stand-alone, in their own right. Allon is positioned at this time to become the head of Mossad, but who knows, something always happens to skew a logical progression to his finding some peace and stability for himself and his family. I am hopeful for this new one.
The problem is, of course, that personal reading tastes don’t always run in the same direction. The author you enjoy may not touch me at all. I do like good biographies -- I remember reading Last train to Memphis, on Elvis Presley’s early years and it was fascinating. Right now I have The Fatal Shore on my end table. It is about the settlement of Australia by convicts from Britain and how that influenced the history of the nation. It is very revealing and well-written but only a few pages at a time, thank you.
Oh, well. There is joy in the search as well as the finding and I will find something, hopefully soon.