Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mysteries and Thrillers

Over the past couple of weeks, I've read three mystery/thriller books. I recommend two and not the third.

A Question of Belief

Both my husand and I are fans of Donna Leon's series about Commissario Guido Brunetti, set in Venice. This latest book evokes Venice as it swelters in the summer heat, and the natives weave their way through streets full of tourists. Brunetti's family is away in the mountains so we only get a brief glimpses of Guido's wife Paola and the kids. The incomparable Signora Ellettra is working her magic with the computer again, the trustworthy Inspettore Viannello is at Guido's side, and the disgusting Patta is up to his usual tricks. As usual, Brunetti solves the crime, but that doesn't necessarily mean the guilty end up behind bars!

This is a must read for any Leon fans. If you haven't already read Donna Leon, you should go back to the beginning of the series and start with Death at La Fenice. If you fall in love with the series, you have many delights to look forward to.

The Ghost

This was the first book I've read by Robert Harris, but it won't be the last.

The Ghost is a clever political thriller. It's a first-person narrative by an author who's usually a ghost-writer for other people's lives. His own life has now become rather interesting as he learns more and more about his subject, a former Prime Minister of Britain, who bears a remarkable resemtblance to Tony Blair.

The book kept me turning pages right until the very satisfying end. My only complaint is that the book was too short! I recommend this book highly.

This Body of Death

Elizabeth George is an American who sets her novels in Britain - in the grand tradition of British murder mysteries. It's not I think she's the greatest writer of British murder mysteries. But I've grown accustomed to her characters over the years, and look forward to revisiting them. Besides, you can always count on a a reasonably plotted mystery.

This book delivered on the good plot, as the force welcomes back the lead character Lynley after the death of his wife. However, I just didn't like how the characters were trending. Lynley's behaviour was not credible. A new character was not likeable. There was a kicker in Barbara Havers life; she's been Lynley's long-time quirky, irreverent partner.

Definitely not one of George's best. Give it a miss.

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