Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “detective story”

CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR4 Review #46: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Thanks to everyone who recommended this book.  It was fantastic.  I read it like a crack head needing their next fix.  I devoured all 400+ pages in about 5 days.

One rainy afternoon Myfanwy Thomas wakes up in a park and she is surrounded by dead bodies.  She doesn’t know how she got there, or even who she is.  She finds a note in the coat she is wearing, telling her what her name is, and that she has the choice to go and live under an alias, knowing she will never find out who erased her memory, or to continue to live as Myfanwy Thomas and find out who did this to her.  Luckily for us, she picks option two.

It turns out that Myfanwy works for a branch of the British Government that is in charge of the supernatural, and more importantly, keeping the general public unaware that the supernatural exists.  Also, most of the employees have supernatural abilities.  Myfanwy can manipulate other people’s nervous systems.  Basically, she can kill someone with her mind!  The old Myfanwy had to directly touch people to do it, but she was also a bit of a wuss.  The new Myfanwy is a total bad-ass.  Even better, she’s a smart-ass.

This is a great sci-fi detective story, with tons of interesting characters.  Of course there is room for a sequel, but I would definitely read it.  This is the book that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children desperately wants to be.

5/5 Stars.

Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #48 The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black

Rocky Mountain News compares this book to Guinness – dark and Irish.  I would add another descriptor, which hopefully won’t offend beer snobs or the Irish, and that would be bitter.  Quirke, our anti-hero detective, is crippled emotionally and physically and doesn’t have, what one would call, a sunny disposition.  Unlike Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Quirke’s alcoholism is more A&E’s Intervention than AMC’s Mad Men.  The events of Christine Falls has also taken a toll on Quirke’s health as well.

The Silver Swan takes place about a year after the events in Christine Falls.  Quirke is still a pathologist in 1950’s Ireland.  His family is in ruin and he’s pretty much to blame, which leaves him with even more self-loathing than in the previous book.  Quirke is contacted by a school acquaintance, whose wife, Laura Swan, appears to have committed suicide recently.  The acquaintance asks Quirke to forgo an autopsy to save his wife a shread of dignity.  Quirke takes this as redemption for his actions in Christine Falls; before he spoke out about something and ruined many lives, now he has a chance to just keep his mouth shut.  Unfortunately, his curiosity gets the better of him.

I highly recommend reading Christine Falls before this book.  A lot of Quirke personal drama begins in the first book and is carried over to the second.  It also figures heavily into the plot, so you’ll be quite lost without the background.  I had read Christine Falls a few years ago and even I was a bit clueless during the first several chapters of this book.

Mrs Smith Reads Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, #CBR4 Review #18

Motherless Brooklyn is a detective story with an interesting detective and a not so interesting story. There is something very endearing about Lionel Essrog, the story’s main character. Lionel, or Freakshow, as his friends call him, is an orphan and he suffers from Tourrette’s Syndrome. Jonathan Lethem does a remarkably credible job of explicating the running inner dialog, the tics and touches and the frustratingly uncontrollable exclamations that constantly ruin Lionel’s ability to blend in with Brooklyn’s Smith Street crowd.

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

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