About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Question of Identity by Susan Hill

Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler novels are all set in the town of Lafferton in England.   Throughout the series we have been introduced to Simon and his family.   It’s been interesting to watch the characters develop and grow and A Question of Identity continues to flesh out the Serrailler family in a fascinating study on family dynamics while entertaining us with his most complicated murder investigation to date.
Identity is a big theme in this novel.      Obviously it’s a question of identity because Simon needs to identify a killer who seems to be invisible.  But it’s also a question of identity for Simon’s sister who is trying to make a life for herself after the death of her husband.  It’s a question of identity for the woman who loves Simon yet is bound to her ill and dying husband.  It’s a question of identity for Simon’s 14 year old nephew who seems to be morphing into the opposite of who he has been.    Surprisingly in a way the only person not questioning his identity in this novel seems to be Simon himself.     He has a handle on his job, his love and his life. 
This is not really a whodunit as the reader knows early on who Simon is looking for.  In between chapters is a chilling look into the mind of the killer which helps to move the plot along.   It is a good police procedural with lots of twists and turns. 
I enjoyed this novel and look forward to more of the Serrailler family drama in future stories.  You can read other reviews of her books here and here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Confession by John Grisham

John Grisham is well known for his legal thrillers.  Tackling corrupt juries, judges and lawyers is the fodder of most of his novels.  He has also attacked issues like prejudice, vigilantism and in this latest book he takes on the death penalty.
Wrapping up a counselling session, Reverend Keith Schroeder reads a quick email from his wife who is covering the office that day; the email says “there’s a convicted felon out here who says he must see you.”  Not realizing what he’s getting into the pastor allows Travis Boyette into his office and hears his confession. 
Meanwhile, Donte  Drumm is sitting on death row about to be executed for a crime he supposedly committed 9 years earlier.  He has always maintained his innocence.  His lawyers believe him and have been frantically filing last minute appeals to get a stay of execution.  But Texas is a state that loves its death penalty and so far every appeal has been denied.  Throw in a couple or three corrupt police and government officials and you have the recipe for a cover up.
  Once Keith Schroeder realizes that he has the real murderer in his office; the quest to stop the execution begins and no one’ s life is ever the same.
The story is told in the 3rd person  and this gives us the ability to see into the thoughts and minds of all the main characters.  Often I prefer a 1st person story but in this case it really helps to be able to see all sides of the story.    The story is not centered on the court room drama as so many of his books are.  Instead the action is in the lawyer’s office and the debate as both sides of the death penalty are discussed.   This could have been a preachy novel but Grisham manages to avoid that and it is a harrowing but entertaining look at a very divisive issue.
Wherever you land on the death penalty debate I highly recommend this book but don’t expect to get anything else done while you’re reading it; it is hard to put down.