These are the latest reads from this week.
H2O (also sold as The Rain) is a YA apocalyptic novel. The idea is that due to the destruction of an asteroid that was heading to earth small particulate matter containing a bacteria entered earth’s atmosphere and contaminated the rain. This the first book in the series and basically follows Ruby and her reaction to the catastrophic event and the deaths that surround her. Ruby sets off on a quest to find her dad and the novel follows her journey. The novel is written as if it is Ruby’s diary and since she is 15 years old, there is a lot of immaturity and perhaps not great decision making going on here, but it feels authentic to me. The author’s voice comes across as a 15 year old and so I think that is great. So many books with young protagonists have this “wise beyond their years” trope going on and just don’t feel real. The book ends on something of a cliff hanger, but one part of Ruby’s journey is done. I enjoyed this enough to read the next in the series, which considering I rarely read YA is surprising.
Gallows View is the first Inspector Banks novel by Peter Robinson. Inspector Banks is involved in two cases here, a peeping Tom and a series of burglaries. The cases intersect and the violence is upped culminating in a rape and a murder. On top of this all, very married Banks is desperately fighting his attraction to a colleague. I loved the characters and the plotting of the book, investigating the cases side by side and looking for the connections. Very well done police procedural.
The Girl Who Was Taken is a book I read about on a book blog and added to my library requests. The book follows the connection between a young woman, Livvy, studying to be a forensic pathologist, and Megan, a former abduction victim. Megan had been abducted at the same time as Livvy’s sister but Megan escaped to be reunited with her family while Livvy’s sister has never been seen from again. A young man’s body surfaces and Livvy starts to make connections between him, Megan, and other missing girls. The book follows what seems to be a trend in quite few books I have read recently, before and after storylines. Some chapters are before Megan was abducted and some are after. They are clearly delineated and it is not a problem following the time shifts. The focus of the book is on the attention (fetishization) that famous crimes, such as serial killers, receive and the impact that this can have on would be offenders. Interesting commentary on books written and marketed after these crimes occur.
Ice Blue is this month’s bargain book for the English Kindle Mystery Club on Goodreads. I almost put it down reading the first couple of pages because the characterization of Lord Hetheridge seemed almost cartoonish. I am glad that I didn’t because the book really improved after those first few pages. Lord Anthony Hetheridge is a Baron and a New Scotland Yard Chief Superintendent. He has made up an unconventional team including DS Wakefield and DS Bahr to work under him. Their case involves some very high class citizens and they are expected to tread lightly to avoid offending them.
The mystery itself is interesting and plotted decently. The characters, particularly Wakefield and Hetheridge feel to me as though they are lifted (and at times parodied) right from Elizabeth George’s Lynley series. Both series had high ranking police officers (Peers) partnered with female younger officers who come from low class backgrounds and have family issues. This really felt to me as though I was reading another take on Elizabeth George’s work.