Thursday, October 01, 2009

My Holiday Reads

Being an especially relaxing holiday, I did plenty of reading and turned out to be quite lucky that the places we stayed all had libraries that I could read from instead of racing thru the 3 books I'd taken along.

A brilliantly paced psychological thriller, 'The Reunion' is a chilling story of just how difficult it can be to cope when the past comes back to haunt you...Sabine is twenty-four years old and has just returned to work following a nervous breakdown. Unsurprisingly, life in the office has changed since she left, and Sabine is now the brunt of her colleagues' cruel jokes, as well as the main topic of office gossip. It soon becomes clear, however, that Sabine's problems are far deeper than those she faces daily, at work. Unable to forget her friend Isabel, who went missing when the pair were at school, an approaching class reunion forces Sabine to think about what really happened all those years ago, and why. The terrifying flashbacks that she begins to experience make her all the more determined to solve the mystery of her friend's fate. A new love interest and her own brother soon fall under Sabine's suspicions. Do they know what happened to Isabel? Were they in fact present in the forest from which she vanished that fateful day?As the pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place, Sabine realises that the answers lie even closer to home - much closer than she could ever have possibly imagined. Exciting, frightening and utterly compelling, 'The Reunion' is a psychological thriller that is impossible to put down.

I thought this was a pretty good book. Considering I'm usual averse to translations set in European places (as I've mentioned before, I have no idea why this might be?!). But this one was easy to read, I liked the writing style and I didn't think whodunnit was so obvious at all ... although Varen guessed it just from reading over my shoulder, on the plane, for a few pages towards the end.

Physics lecturer David Swift is summoned to hospital to comfort his dying mentor, a renowned scientist suffering from horrifying wounds. David is shocked when the old man dies after wheezing 'Einheitlichen Feldtheorie': The Destroyer of Worlds. The Theory of Everything. It was Einstein's lifetime quest to pin down a unified set of equations, combining physics of stars with the laws of atoms. He died without achieving this goal. Or did he? In the two hours after hearing these words, David's ex-wife and child are threatened; he's attacked by a Russian assassin, arrested by the FBI and nearly killed three times. But he's too busy running for his life to work out what it all means. Teaming up with his ex-girlfriend and an autistic teenager addicted to video games, David must work out what Einstein's theories could possibly be worth to the powers desperate for them - and if the world is ready for the consequences.

Now this one is right up my alley and I completely enjoyed it, devouring it in little over a day while waiting for my luggage to arrive (thank goodness my books were packed in Varen's suitcase!). The only criticism I have is that they ended it with one of those "a few months in the future" happily-ever-after scenes that just annoy me.

In the most brutal killing crusade Philadelphia has seen in years, a series of young Catholic women are found dead, their bodies mutilated and their hands bolted together. Each clutches a rosary in her lifeless grasp. Veteran cop, Kevin Byrne and his rookie partner, Jessica Balzano set out to hunt down the elusive killer, who leads them deeper and deeper into the abyss of a madman's depravity. Suspects appear before them like bad dreams - and vanish just as quickly. While the body count rises, Easter is fast approaching: the day of resurrection and of the last rosary to be counted...

Good old Crime Fiction, ideal for holiday reading :) I must admit I got the whodunnit completely wrong tho, which is always a bonus! But it was one of those where you know the guy you suspect can't really be the killer because that would ruin their Hollywood happy ending (very few novels are brave enough to do that ... think Arlington Road!)

When the Cutter family's next-door-neighbours, the Langleys, are gunned down in their house one hot August night, the Cutters' world is turned upside down. That violent death should have come so close to them is shocking enough in suburban Promise Falls, but at least the Cutters can console themselves with the thought that lightning is unlikely to strike twice in the same place. Unless, of course, the killers went to the wrong house...At first the idea seems crazy - but each of the Cutter family has a secret they'd rather keep buried. What was on that old computer teenage Derek and his friend Adam Langley had salvaged? And where is it now? What hold does a local professor and bestselling author have on Eileen Cutter? And what does Jim Cutter know about Mrs Langley that even her husband didn't? To find out who killed the Langleys and why, everybody's secrets are going to have to come out. But the final secret - the secret that could save them or destroy them - is in the one place nobody would ever think of looking...

This book I also enjoyed, it has plenty of twists and I enjoyed the characters. And whatever you think the plot is about, you're wrong! And the concept is pretty cool, because really, it would be quite scary if killers just got the house wrong ...

Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine undetected when she takes on the much coveted and highly prestigious job of New York Times restaurant critic. Reichl knows that to be a good critic she has to be anonymous - but her picture is posted in every four-star, low-star kitchen in town and so she embarks on an extraordinary - and hilarious - undercover game of disguise - keeping even her husband and son in the dark. There is her stint as Molly, a frumpy blonde in an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque resulting in a double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic. Then, there is the eccentric, mysterious red head on whom her husband - both disconcertingly and reassuringly - develops a terrible crush. She becomes Brenda the earth mother, Chloe the seductress and even Miriam her own (deceased) mother. What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various guises, she finds herself changed not just physically, but also in character revealing how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites.

I loved loved loved this book! I savoured every moment of it (although I doubt I'd try any of her recipes). The only downside is how is it going to end ... because it's a real life snippet, it's a tricky thing and it was handled far better than I was expecting, although still just a slow gradual end instead of the twists and turns I usually prefer ;) But that's what you get in real life. A lovely book!

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1 comment:

Tamara said...

I love the sound of the last one. Must find me a copy! Sounds like my dream job.

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