Saturday, May 30, 2015

Two for Saturday. . . (It's not Tuesday - what's a girl to do?)

Two reviews today. I'm a little behind with all that's happening in my world right now. But I still make time to read, even I'm not posting about it as often as I'd like.

  The Poet (Jack McEvoy, #1)The Poet by Michael Connelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book gets an "okay" from me. I didn't hate it - not at all. Three stars is a solid review. But, I confess, I didn't love it. It lacked the page-turning thrilleresque concept I'd like to see in a murder mystery.

Reporter Jack McEvoy's is an expert in writing about death. It's his forte - and he has a "beat" with the paper that allows him to scan front page news and ferret out the real story. However, McEvoy finds himself writing about a death he never wanted to write - his twin brother. Ruled as a suicide, McEvoy just can't let it go. Call it "twin intuition"but he knows his brother would not do this. And he's right. McEvoy submerges himself in a serial killer's world of violent and grotesque crimes. At the heart of the maniac's focus: homicide cops figuratively drowning in a case they could not solve. In each murder, he leaves a calling card - a line from the renowned Edgar Allan Poe.

Connelly does a solid job setting up the crime and the characters, but the ending for me was predictable. There was a slight twist that made me go "a-ha" but it wasn't enough to really push my speculations aside. It was clearly going to go one way or the other - just needed to see which way.

A solid novel, but not a "must read" for me.

And saving the best for last. . .

 The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is amazing. Hands down, one of the best historical fiction novels I've read on The Holocaust. The world connected from the past to present is expertly done. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with The Story Teller.

Sage Singer works as a baker and she enjoys the solidarity of this life. To say she is introverted is an understatement. Her graveyard shift of preparing what appears to be the most amazing pastries and breads ever (try not to want to eat bread while reading this novel!) helps her escape her life of loneliness and the horrifying memory of her mother's sudden death. She's a member of a grief support group and an elderly man named Josef Weber that also attends each session befriends her quite unexpectedly. They both understand the pain of great loss and this begins a relationship with a twist. He wants her to help him die.

Josef confesses to Sage a deep and shame­ful secret as to why he makes such a request of her and if she complies with it, she faces extreme moral consequences - but does she? Holding tight to her inner strength and leaning on lessons learned from the past, Sage takes the reader through the torturous journey of Josef's life, and her own.

Picoult displays the roots of evil within the Nazi regime in first person narration citing both the perpetrator and the victim. Her words are harrowing and page-turning. . .a train wreck you can't pull your eyes from. I've never read a fiction based Holocaust novel that guts the reader like this one.

The Storyteller is a must for any fans of historical fiction. It's a must for any fan of reading, period.

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