October 30, 2014

Book Review - Bitter River by Julia Keller

We first met Prosecuting Attorney Bell Elkins in A Killing in the Hills, which I reviewed in these pages. I liked it but thought the bleak socio-economic circumstances that drove so many to drug addiction and crime were too heart-rendingly truthful almost to bear. Julia Keller returns to the town of Aker's Gap with her new mystery but it is a more straightforward murder mystery and the characters have more to hope for in their lives. The narrative appears relatively simple about a young pregnant girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a young man who is willing to step up and marry her against the wishes of his wealthy and overbearing father but then it gets entangled in sniper attacks, explosions and more deaths.  The author grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and they are beautifully evoked becoming almost another character in the story.  In spite of the fact that the secondary story is a little clumsily handled, there is much to like. As well as the mystery to solve, we get some more glimpses of Bell and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong's personal lives. This author is going from strength to strength.


October 28, 2014

Book Review - I Can see in the Dark by Karin Fossum

This is another excellent atmospheric thriller by Norway's Karin Fossum. The choice to use the main character, Riktor, as narrator puts the reader right into some very nasty happenings. Riktor is not a nice man.  Very chilling.