Book Reviews for December 2022
SWEET SWEET REVENGE LTD by Jonas Jonasson
The author of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared returns with another wild, hilarious and purely bonkers read, taking off on a madcap journey over five continents. Meet Ole Mbatian Jr., a Maasai warrior; Kevin, his sort-of-son; Agneta, a wronged and penniless ex-wife; and Johan, an unscrupulous Stockholm ad-man whose company specializes in revenge services. Agneta and Kevin seek revenge against Victor Alderheim, a gallery owner who has wronged them, and conveniently running into the man selling revenge services, they concoct a plan involving a goat, forged paintings, sex toys and a bag of flour.
Jonas Jonasson acts as a travel guide through time, drops in a few lessons on colonialism and art history, and pokes fun at capitalism and the art world, supplying plenty of laughs along the way.
THE DARK REMAINS by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin
This is a well written murder novel set in early 1970s Glasgow. The murder victim, lawyer Bobby Carter, always preferred to work for people on the wrong side of the law. Thus there are no shortage of suspects when his body is discovered and his death seems to have been designed to spark a turf war between rival gangs. The Investigating officers, D.C. Jack Laidlaw and D.S. Bob Lilley, make a brilliant pair. With a few red herrings the story moves on at a good pace pushing you into conclusions that soon evaporate. This is a good enjoyable read.
THE HERON’S CRY by Ann Cleeves
This is the second book in the series by this author (Vera and Shetland). Once again we are in North Devon with Detective Matthew Venn. He is called out to the murder of a popular doctor who has been stabbed with a piece of broken glass from a vase made by his daughter. Then another body is found, killed in the same way. Matthew has to tread carefully in this close-knit community where he lives with his husband Jonathan.
APRIL IN SPAIN by John Banville
When Irish State Pathologist Quirke is persuaded, by his wife, professional psychiatrist Evelyn, to take a holiday in Spain, against his better judgement he agrees. However, once there he struggles to relax away from his usual routine, and San Sebastian is not quite what he expected. For one thing it is raining the same as in Dublin, admittedly it is green, but the sun is not shining.
In the bar of Los Arcardas later that evening, Quirke suddenly sees a face in the twilight, a face of someone who was supposed to be dead, following a political scandal back in Ireland years ago. Any thoughts of a peaceful holiday dissipate immediately. After a call to a police friend, Detective Inspector St. John Strafford is dispatched to investigate. But he is not the only one on the way to Spain. A vicious hit man is also en route to eliminate his prey before she can tell any tales about the real reason for her disappearance.
This unusual and interesting novel is absolutely absorbing and often funny. Definitely a Good Read.
APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty
This fascinating and engrossing story of a seemingly successful family and their four children will have you turning page after page in an effort to discover the truth about this family saga.
Stan and Joy Delaney have four children and a successful business and seem to have everything going for them, that is, until Joy goes missing. Not overly concerned at first, the police are eventually called and questions start to be asked. Why wasn’t Joy reported missing sooner, was there an argument, who saw her last? This brilliantly written story about a family with much to hide, both from themselves and their friends, is absolutely riveting and its twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very last page with its stunning, final revelation.