Death of a Ghost & Exit West



Death of a Ghost, number 32 in the Hamish MacBeth series, is an exciting installment in the MacBeth series.  Hamish is called to investigate a haunting at the castle home of a retired police officer, he stumbles across a body instead.  This leads to domestic abuse, smugglers and romantic rivalries.  Hamish has to be on his toes in his personal life as well because of matchmaking attempts gone wild in the village.  Well plotted mystery, with precise insight into MacBeth’s working methods and particular talent for investigating.  Great read in an excellent ongoing series.

Exit West is a book club read for me.  It is a “love” story set in an unspecified war-torn land.  The story leaves reality with the introduction of doors.  Doors which hopefully lead to safety in far way places, like Greece or London, where everyone can be free.  This didn’t work that well for me.  I’m not a huge magical realism fan anyway and the door just seemed to serve the purpose of moving along the story of the characters.  There is no real journey here, the couple’s only commonality seems to be doing drugs while their neighborhoods shatter.  Into the Beautiful North tackles many of the same subjects and IMO was better at it.  Themes of immigration, loss and culture, I am told that this was very much like the author’s first book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.



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