Spring Break Reads…


I’ve been off on spring break and read quite a few books, cleaning up my kindle for the most part, although a few are library books.

Broken Silence is this month’s bargain read at the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads.  Jack Brady is the typical train wreck of detective, marinated in drink, recovering from a shooting caused by recklessness, mourning the loss of his marriage due to his own infidelity.  He is dragged into a particularly brutal case that will test his loyalties and drag up connections from his past.  Themes of child abuse, secrecy, loyalty and lies are explored here as Brady, clearly a black sheep, investigates a cast of dark characters.  Although the pacing seemed a little rushed,  I did enjoy this one.  It struck me as similar in some ways to a French mystery show I just watched The Disappeared.

The Man Who Smiled is another Kurt Wallander mystery.  A death meant to look like an accident, some shady international business affairs, a mysterious multi-millionaire, and Wallander freshly back from leave after a shooting come together to make for an intriguing mystery.  Plenty to think about here, with twists and turns, even though some things stretch my belief a little (a landmine in a residential neighborhood?? really?) .  I really like this series and find it very well written.  The character of Wallander is a well drawn and complex character.   I really enjoy this series and plan to continue reading it.

Dark Lies is a serial killer book, with a serial killer who has a particularly gruesome sense of humor.  I found the mystery here intriguing, however the writing was choppy and somewhat disjointed, making it hard to follow in places.  There were some good ideas as far as plot, but I think the characters were a little over the top as far as going for “quirky”.   Explores ideas of having evil genes and the theme of “good twin vs. evil twin”, people who are interested  in those ideas might like to read this.

The Murder List is the first in a series with Detective Zac Boateng.  Zac has had his own personal brush with tragedy, which has left his family still reeling five years on.  His new case is intertwined with old ones and leads him down the path to the one case he can’t let go of, his daughter’s murder.  A thriller with good character development, showing the detective as a family man.  A slow starter, but I really enjoyed this one.

Dead to Me was almost a “did not finish” for me.  I like my damaged protagonists, indeed Jack Taylor is one of my favorites, but they have to be intelligent, use common sense, have some part of their personality that makes you want to root for them.  Detective Kate Matthews really has nothing that makes me want to keep reading, she is just a stereotypical “cowboy, disgraced cop” and the story doesn’t make up for any of the character’s shortcomings.

My Soul to Keep has a really good character, Detective Alex Brady and some interesting supporting characters as well, including a sweet, old lady “pretend” clairvoyant.   The story or mystery is intriguing and kept me reading.  There were some issues with editing and writing, this could have used a firm hand with an editor in places.  Still overall, I enjoyed it and would give this series another try.


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