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Suspense/Mystery Books Discussion...
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minerva wrote:
I love Will as a detective. He is so uniquely fabulous. I'm trying to savor Criminal since I know after this I'm going to have to wait for her next novel.

Totally agree with you. Will is addicting as a hero. Good and bad qualities all mixed together forming a unique individual.

On another note, I finished (?) The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane and it left much to be desired. Not sure if I'm going to follow this particular series; the characters just don't pull me in.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you who enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I have a couple of recs that may interest you along similar lines--a psychological thriller. They're both older books, but their plots still resonate with me. They are:

See Jane Run by Joy Fielding and

The Practice of Deceit by Elizabeth Benedict

Just making sure you don't run out of books to read. Very Happy I'm sure the public library has copies of these.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 878

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:



and hated with a white hot passion the end of Broken Harbor.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ending.

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S


I was disappointed that Mick didn't make it out in one piece. He was
this close. I do think the author likes writing about broken characters, troubled people. We were warned on page one that things were not going to end well.

I was quite disappointed in the direction she took Richie...More than Mick. But I wasn't surprised about who killed the family...the only survivor.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 878

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
I thought I'd pop a few titles of some suspense books I'm looking forward to in the months ahead.

If anyone has additional books on their to-be-purchased list, let us know.


Currently reading The Keeper Of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler Olsen...and have the sequel waiting. I put off reading When Maidens Mourn by CS Harris...the Olsen book was was too irisistable.

Based on the recommendations here, I picked up a copy of Still Life by Louise Penny-- hope this is the 1st in the series.

Other books tbr:

Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Sun Storm by Asa Larsson

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

Arsenic and Old Paint by Hailey Lind

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner

Sleepwalker by Karen Robards

Creep by Jennifer Hillier

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Defending Jacob by William Landay

And forgot to add that someone insisted on loaning me a copy of Fifty Shades...it's been passed around by all the women in her office. OMG
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Margaret, for that list. I know you haven't read them yet, but there were a couple on there that caught my interest and I reserved them at the library. It's always time to try new authors.
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I just finished HEARTSICK by Chelsea Cain, and holy moly. I thought Will Trent's relationship with Angie was effed up, but Archie and Gretchen are way, way beyond that. But it's fascinating nonetheless and I just bought SWEETHEART so I'm hooked.

I know some of you (Tee, maybe?) have said that you don't much like Susan, but I find her interesting as well. Though she's hardly the sort of calming presence that Archie needs. And I wasn't all that keen on her affairs with married men.

I just don't see Archie getting back together with his wife. In a perfect world, I'd love for him to get back together with her, but he just seems too damaged to go back to his old life. And she seems to want that despite knowing that he went through hell.

The mystery itself wasn't all that complex--certainly not like a Karin Slaughter plot--but the way it intertwined with Archie's relationship with Gretchen was interesting. I can definitely see why this book took the mystery/thriller world by storm.

I'm a big Law and Order Criminal Intent fan, and I see shades of Bobby Goren's relationship with Nicole Wallace here, too, so that drew me in as well.

Thanks for the rec! Off to start SWEETHEART!
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Manda Collins
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manda wrote:
Okay, I just finished HEARTSICK by Chelsea Cain, and holy moly. I thought Will Trent's relationship with Angie was effed up, but Archie and Gretchen are way, way beyond that. But it's fascinating nonetheless and I just bought SWEETHEART so I'm hooked.

Oh, yeah. That relationship is one for the books, isn't it?

Quote:
I know some of you (Tee, maybe?) have said that you don't much like Susan, but I find her interesting as well.

I think I'm in the minority on this one, Manda. I think most people liked Susan's character. 'Twas me who isn't fascinated with her.

Quote:
I just don't see Archie getting back together with his wife.

You'll find out soon enough as you go through this next book and the others if you want to continue on.

Isn't Archie a fascinating character, though? He makes some dumb decisions and choices, but you can't dislike the guy. Or at least I can't. Even though Gretchen is somewhat played down in some of the subsequent books, she's still a presence. When you finish all of them (if you do), I'd be interested to hear your comments on whether you think she should keep her as part of the series.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great thread!

Well, I just checked out Gaudy Night from the library - will I be able to enjoy this knowing nothing about these characters prior to this book?

I too love Amelia and Emerson, Ramses and Nefret, and Vicki and John - they are more compelling to me as couples than some romance novel couples. Smile
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
Manda wrote:
I just don't see Archie getting back together with his wife.

You'll find out soon enough as you go through this next book and the others if you want to continue on.


Finished SWEETHEART last night, and OMG. Craziness! But it's so good I have to continue the series. If only to find out how Archie moves beyond this.

Tee wrote:
Isn't Archie a fascinating character, though? He makes some dumb decisions and choices, but you can't dislike the guy. Or at least I can't. Even though Gretchen is somewhat played down in some of the subsequent books, she's still a presence. When you finish all of them (if you do), I'd be interested to hear your comments on whether you think she should keep her as part of the series.


I agree about Archie. [spoiler]And he really is a classic case of Stockholm syndrome. I know it's fiction, but human sexuality is so complex that I don't have a hard time believing that someone in his situation would still be attracted to Gretchen. And finding out in this book that they'd had an affair made his inability to "get over" her that much more plausible. I was sorry for Debbie, but I always got the feeling that she was not strong enough to deal with what Archie was going through. And I'm not sure I would be either. Not only was he having an affair, he sleeps with her after everything that she's done to him. It would take someone with no ego, or someone who is just as screwed up as he is to get over that enough to continue a marriage after that.[/spoiler]

I'll start the next one after I get my writing done for the day. I can't wait!
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margaret wrote:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ending.

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S


I was disappointed that Mick didn't make it out in one piece. He was
this close. I do think the author likes writing about broken characters, troubled people. We were warned on page one that things were not going to end well.

I was quite disappointed in the direction she took Richie...More than Mick. But I wasn't surprised about who killed the family...the only survivor.


MORE SPOILERS ABOUND

Richie lost me when he said that Jenny had been through so much already. I frankly thought both men had lost their minds to be so sympathetic to her - but that would make every single main character except Fiona mentally ill, and that's just too much, so we'll stick to four out of the seven, which still seems like authorial cheating. I LOVED the end of In the Woods, I thought the not-knowing was key to Rob's character. That said, the Blair Witch Project-style business with Pat and the attic in this one seemed silly and contrived.

I will say French absolutely nailed the cycles of an Internet discussion board (belabored it a bit, but got it amusingly correct) and I did love Scorcher's affinity for Pat, how affronted he was that trying to do the right thing ended so badly for him.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 818

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep. Loved it! Now must decide what to listen to next. Am thinking of downloading Gone Girl, but need to think on it a bit more.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, I just checked out Gaudy Night from the library - will I be able to enjoy this knowing nothing about these characters prior to this book?


Yes, because she gives you all the backstory you need, and contraiwise, don't do it, because it's the culmination of their relationship & it's really worth reading them in order. You get the resolution of the romance in Gaudy Night, but the pay-off is greater if you've followed them through the early stages of the relationship.

(The Harriet and Peter books start with Strong Poison, and then Have his Carcase before Gaudy Night - and then after GN there's Busman's Holiday and a couple of short stories.)

I first read Sayers, by chance, on a train home from university - by pure luck the first one I picked out was Strong Poison. I read the other Wimsey books out of order, and I don't think that matters much, though there is an occasional spoiler - but I'd strongly recommend reading the four I mentioned in order.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:
Quote:
Well, I just checked out Gaudy Night from the library - will I be able to enjoy this knowing nothing about these characters prior to this book?


Yes, because she gives you all the backstory you need, and contraiwise, don't do it, because it's the culmination of their relationship & it's really worth reading them in order. You get the resolution of the romance in Gaudy Night, but the pay-off is greater if you've followed them through the early stages of the relationship.

(The Harriet and Peter books start with Strong Poison, and then Have his Carcase before Gaudy Night - and then after GN there's Busman's Holiday and a couple of short stories.)

I first read Sayers, by chance, on a train home from university - by pure luck the first one I picked out was Strong Poison. I read the other Wimsey books out of order, and I don't think that matters much, though there is an occasional spoiler - but I'd strongly recommend reading the four I mentioned in order.


Thank you for the info. I'll go get the other two books too then.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1653

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Mystery Series Reply with quote

I've become a fan of several mystery series that I haven't seen mentioned yet. All are historicals, although set in different times and places:

Imogen Robertson's Harriet Westerman/Gabriel Crowther series set in Georgian England, beginning with Instruments of Darkness. These books are dark, even though not graphic, but I love the characters. Gabriel is an anatomist, a recluse, brought back into society through his work with Harriet even if at times it is against his will. Harriet is more outgoing and forceful, but she feels very keenly the restrictions placed on her as a woman. Robertson lets you see them struggling as they try to apply scientific methods to solving the crimes during a period of rapidly increasing knowledge, but long before the tools and techniques we have today. As the series has progressed, we learn that Gabriel has secrets about his past, and I'm eager to see what the future holds in store for them both.

Shona MacLean's Alexander Seaton series set in early 17th C Scotland, beginning with The Redemption of Alexander Seaton. I got these books on the recommendation of Mrs Fairfax (thank you!). These are also very good character studies as well as mysteries. Alexander studied for the ministry but was opposed at the last minute by one of the leading men of the area. Only at the first book progresses do we discover what happened. Alexander has a lot to answer for, and you realize why he needs to be redeemed. Religion plays a realistic role in these books, for fear of Catholic plots abounds in the first book and is then turned on its head in the second when Alexander goes to Ireland, the country of his mother's birth. The author does not preach at all, but it is clear that the relationship of man to religion is very important to these people. Don't let this dissuade you from reading these stories, as there is much else to recommend them, especially if you are a fan of Scotland-set romances.

The Max Liebermann series by Frank Tallis set in Vienna at the turn of the 20th C, beginning with A Death in Vienna. Max is a medical doctor who practices the new field of psychology, and he teams with police detective inspector Oskar Rheinhardt to solve crimes, sing lieder, and eat pastries. There is a developing romance for Max (Oskar is happily married), and the author creates a rich atmosphere of a city that was a center of intellectual and artistic ferment but also a place where the seeds of future anti-Semitism could be seen to take root and there are times it affects Max, who is Jewish (and who occasionally consults with Sigmund Freud).

The Verity Browne/Lord Edward Corinth mysteries by David Roberts, beginning with Sweet Poison. These, like the series mentioned above, can be read in any order if you are simply interested in the mysteries, but if you are interested in the developing relationships, it is important to read in order. Unlike the series above, it is much lighter and sweeter and takes place in England (mostly) between WWI and WWII. I like the series because of the picture it gives of some of the politics swirling around at the time and the fact that even when Edward thinks Verity's ideas are naive and wrong, he always respects her intelligence.

The Charles Lenox series by Charles Finch, set in late Victorian London. The first in the series has a great title: A Beautiful Blue Death. Charles starts out as a bit of a prig, but even he finds true love as he solves the mysteries.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Mystery Series Reply with quote

Susan/DC wrote:

Imogen Robertson's Harriet Westerman/Gabriel Crowther series set in Georgian England, beginning with Instruments of Darkness.


I love this series! I like that Robertson's given Harriet a past that gives her forward thinking a believable background, and also makes her suffer some consequences for ignoring social strictures. Particularly in the third book, Island of Bones, I adore how Harriet and Crowther relax in one another's company, knowing they can be themselves and be accepted. Their dialog is wonderful. The fifth book's not due out until 2014, according to Robertson's website.

Susan/DC wrote:

Shona MacLean's Alexander Seaton series set in early 17th C Scotland, beginning with The Redemption of Alexander Seaton. I got these books on the recommendation of Mrs Fairfax (thank you!).


You're very welcome, I'm delighted you're enjoying them. I've had the second one for months but keep reading books with library deadlines instead. I have to move it up the pile - before I look up the other books you mentioned!
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