The Blue Hour by Douglas Kennedy

The Blue HourI have really mixed feelings about The Blue Hour by Douglas Kennedy. Like, really mixed. It’s a kind of schizophrenic book for me, and perhaps for the publishers as well, as it is published in the UK as The Heat of Betrayal. And for the record, given the cover and title of the UK edition, i don’t think I ever would have picked it up. Continue reading

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha ArangoI was on a bit of a reading slump when I came to The Truth and Other Lies by German screenwriter Sascha Arango, and it fed my slump to the dogs. That means it was good. The story was crazy, but crazy good. Continue reading

The Expats by Chris Pavone

the-expatsI don’t often read spy thrillers, but when I do they will be by Chris Pavone. It’s like he gets me and knows what will hook me into an action packed read. Earlier this year I read and reviewed The Accident by Pavone and my love of it propelled me to read his first novel, The Expats. Continue reading

The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn

The-interns-handbookI haven’t been very discriminating in my reading lately. What that means is that I’m picking books based on the cover or a catchy title without really knowing what it’s about. That’s what happened with The Intern’s Handbook¬†by Shane Kuhn. I liked the cover and I’ve been an intern, so I figured I could relate. Besides, internships are making the news all over Canada right now so I thought this novel might fuel the flames a bit. Continue reading

The Accident by Chris Pavone

the-accidentThere is no doubt about it, The Accident by Chris Pavone is a thriller – and I loved it. As you know, thrillers are not exactly my thing, but when one this good comes along it grabs you by the throat. And probably the reason I liked it so much is because it is a thriller set in the publishing industry. That’s the hook that really grabbed me.

So imagine this, a manuscript for a book that will bring down a multimedia conglomerate and put the CIA in a very uncomfortable situation if it comes to light. And this manuscript has just been delivered to the one agent who can make it happen. Almost from the moment Isabel finishes reading the manuscript her life is in danger and people around her are found dead, but she manages to stay one step ahead of them. Compelling, isn’t it? Continue reading

The Mad Sculptor by Harold Schechter

The-mad-sculptorI will be completely honest with you and say that I chose The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, The Model and The Murder that Shook the Nation¬†because I had it mixed up in my head with The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon. Both are New York based mysteries set in the 1930s and both use alliteration with the letter ‘M’ in their titles. Beyond that, there is little similarity.

The Mad Sculptor is about a murder that rocked New York City in 1937. Robert Irwin, a brilliant young sculptor, went to the apartment of his unrequited love interest and killed her mother and a boarder before finally killing Veronica. Following the murders, Irwin was the target of a manhunt that lasted several months. Continue reading

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

I needed another book set in the 1920s for Jazz Age January hosted by Books Speak Volumes, so I went with Katie’s (Words for Worms) suggestion of The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. Instead of being your typical flapper age, gin soaked romp, The Other Typist is a psychological thriller soaked in champagne.

So what am I really saying? First, I loved The Other Typist. Rindell is a very good writer. She presents us with a rather unreliable narrator in Rose, a plain looking typist at a police station in Manhattan. Unreliable narrators are a bit of a soft spot with me, so I was thrilled. As the story progresses, Rose drops hints that she is now in a psyche hospital for unknown, but rather dark reasons. These reason have to do with Odalie, a true flapper through and through, who comes to work as the other typist at the precinct. Slowly the lives of Rose and Odalie become so intertwined that they cannot be separated.

I don’t want to give too much away about The Other Typist. I will say that it was full of surprises. It was kind of a Jazz Age combination of The Talented Mr. Ripley and the movie Single White Female. The end threw me for a complete loop and like Katie, I’m not completely sure if I understand what happened in the end.

Who would like this book? I would not put this book in the category of literary – it was definitely a psychological thriller. It was fairly fast paced, but was atmospheric enough to give a good sense of 1920s New York. There were speakeasies and bathtub gin, a little violence and on the fringes sat gangsters. For me the best part was Rose who saw the world around her from a unique perspective.