Second Life & The Distant Echo

I finished both of these recently, in between a reread of S.J. Bolton’s Sacrifice , which I loved, for a book club.  Second Life had an interesting idea to play with as a story line.  One murdered sister, a surviving sister with typical survivor’s guilt muddied by alcoholism and addictive tendencies, swirled together with the son they shared and people who are probably not who or what they seem.  Throw in some international travel, a pretty judgemental husband with a savior complex, a dysfunctional childhood,  and watch it all explode.  I just feel that it should have been better than the book that came out if it all.  I wasn’t surprised.  I knew who was “the bad guy” and what was happening and even figured out much of the detail as to why.  This one just fell flat for me.

The Distant Echo is, to my knowledge, my first Val McDermid novel.  I have obviously seen her name around but haven’t picked up anything by her to read.  This case involves some college students finding a dying girl, trying and failing to save her and the fall out of those actions.  Years later they are being picked off one by one and the only recourse is to try to solve the original case to figure out what is happening. There are lots of twists and turns and characters on the way to a final resolution to solving Rosie’s murder.  A very well plotted mystery

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