One more week until the Summer holidays and a real chance to get stuck into my TBR pile – and my To Be Reviewed list too! I’m sure I’ve missed some things off somewhere! Wasn’t there a Dresden File I read and haven’t reviewed yet? Blood Rites?
I have this week posted my first Netgalley review – of the picture book If You Give the Puffin a Muffin which my daughter enjoyed well enough, He was a cantankerous fellow that puffin!
On more adult reads, my last week at work should allow me to finish listening to the audiobook of Faithful Place by Tana French. I do still love her writing but I do think this has not been as successful as some others in the Dublin Murder Squad series. It is interesting, having read The Secret Place as my first foray into the series and not quite following them chronologically, to see how the characters’ relationships have developed: we’ve met “Scorcher” Kennedy who narrated Broken Harbour – and learnt the origin of that nickname; and we’ve just been introduced to Stephen Moran who was the first person narrator of The Secret Place. Neither Kennedy, nor Moran, nor Frank Mackey are coming across quite as I expected them to having already formed an opinion of them. And in part, that is the joy of the series: we can never trust the characters’ own limited or biased perceptions of the other characters.
I also finished and reviewed The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet. Another genre-subverting psychological study within the appearance of a detective novel. I did enjoy the read but didn’t particularly like the characters of the detective or the … I’m not sure what to really call Manfred Baumann: he’s not really an antagonist, he isn’t really a criminal, he isn’t really a murderer… An interesting read, though. I did have a quandry – what do you call the author here? Is he Burnet or Macrae Burnet? I plumped for the latter but on reflection now, think I was wrong; but there is a poetry to the rhythm of his name, it seems a waste to lose that iambic lilt!
And now that work is – in theory, touch wood – easing up a little and preparing for summer, I’m returning to the award-winning Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and starting to settle into that comfortable zone where the characters are starting to feel familiar. A great line from it was when the British Eamonn (somewhat improbably the son of a family acquaintance whom Isma met in America by coincidence) asks her of her turban
“Is that a style thing or a Muslim thing?” he asks, about the turban she wears. “You know,” she replies, “the only two people in Massachusetts who have ever asked me about it both wanted to know if it’s a style thing or a chemo thing.”