Friday, April 30, 2010

In the Woods (by Tana French)

I just finished this book for book club (which meets tonight). This is a mystery novel, similar in a way to Steig Larrsons "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I enjoyed this book, although it took me a while to get through (it might have been more of my busyness at work, then the book itself). It takes place in Ireland (Dublin and Knocknaree - a small town in Ireland). It was interesting to learn a lot about Ireland and the fictional police force that the author made up. This book follows two Murder Squad detectives, Cassie and "Rob" Ryan, as the seek to uncover who murdered a teenage girl in what is called "The Woods" located in Knocknaree Estate. Knocknaree also happens to be where "Rob" Ryan (the quoatation marks are added because his real name is Adam, which plays a key part in the book) grew up and was part of a disappearance of two of his best friends back in the 80s, a crime that is still unsolved. The book was a little heavily worded at times for my taste (I did some skimming of descriptions of things), but the dialogue was well written between the characters. The author does a good job of exploring the dynamics of a "partnership" between Rob and Cassie, and the role this partnership plays in each of their lives, and how one incident can cause repercussions for the rest of your life. I'm excited to discuss this book tonight at book club, and I recommend it to all those mystery lovers out there. The ending will surprise you and surely lead to discussions. I have mixed feelings about the ending, just to put that out there. Let me know what you think!

Rating: Could put down but enjoyed it while i was reading it.

Up next: Little Bee (by Chris Cleave)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Monster of Florence (by Douglas Preston)

This books was good in many ways and not so good in many ways. This books is non-fiction and details the story of "The Monster of Florence" - a person who killed couples as they messed around in cars in the Florence country-side. The book is very descriptive about the crimes and the investigations concerning the crimes. This book follows Douglas Preston - a journalist who moves to Florence and meets Mario Spezi (another journalist in Florence who had been following the Monster of Florence case from the beginning). The author describes Mario Spezi's investigation and personal dealings with the Monster of Florence. The book also beautifully describes the Florence country-side and gives you a glimpse into Italian culture, police work, and societal norms. That part was very interesting. The part which became a little tedious was the descriptions of the on-going investigations and false accusations that ran rampant during the 30 year pendency of the case (which remains unsolved). As far as historical non-fiction goes it was pretty enlightening, other than the slow parts which were easliy skimmable.
Rating: Good
Up next: Columbine (by Dave Cullen) and In the Woods (by Tana French - for book club!)