Here are a few quick, reviews of what I've read lately.
Heartsick - Chelsea Cain
Heartsick is an odd sort of serial killer story. The main serial killer story has already happened and we learn about it through the present search for another serial killer. Archie Sheridan is a cop who spent 10 years on a serial killer case, in the end almost becoming Gretchen Lowell’s last victim. Tortured for days and brought back to life, Archie was ready to die, but for some reason, Gretchen Lowell let him go. Two years later and Archie is addicted to pain killers, divorced and barely getting by, the only thing keeping him going is his weekly meetings in jail with Gretchen.
Now, his old partner comes back, needing his help, young girls are disappearing and they think it’s another serial killer. Archie has some hidden motives of his own for going back to work, and allowing a journalist, Susan Ward, to write stories about him. Through some twists and turns Archie and the team discover who the killer is, but are they too late to save Susan? What does Gretchen have to do with all of this?
Into a Paris Quartier - Diane Johnson
Into a Paris Quartier is a light-hearted historical look at the St.-Germain de Pres part of Paris. Diane Johnson lives there part of the year and her interest in the buildings and lives around her guides her exploration of this quartier. Johnson looks at the royalty, Queen Margot, the writers, De Beauvoir & Sartre, the expatriates and writers who lived in this area over the centuries. We learn about the buildings and how they’ve changed over the years, the cafes, the streets and why it’s such a fascinating section of Paris.
I enjoyed this book, a bit of history, culture and now I want to pack my bags and go explore St.-Germain.
Year My Sister Got Lucky - Friedman
14 yr old Katya and 17 yr old Michaela are sisters, the best of friends and ballerinas in training in NYC. Then the family moves upstate to Fir Lake and more things change than just location. Michaela was the best ballerina, destined for Juilliard and the stage. Katya wanted to follow in her footsteps, but was not quite as good. They also shared everything with each other, had the same dreams but they react differently to the big move. Boyfriends, yoga, and Homecoming are new experiences they have to learn to deal with. Their relationship is strained, secrets are kept, friendships are the special trip to see the Nutcracker reveals more than fantastic ballet. Can 2 ballerinas find happiness in a small town and will their friendship ever be the same?
Buttertea at Sunrise - Britta Das
Buttertea at Sunrise chronicles a year in the life of Britta, a Canadian physiotherapist, who for various reasons decides to go work in Bhutan for a year. Her descriptions of the country are beautiful and depressing. Mangar, where she is working, is a smallish city that is undergoing a growth spurt. The hospital is being expanded, roads are being widened and the changes in lifestyle are slow in coming. Britta loves the beauty of the country, and the friendliness of the people, yet she is miserable with the rain, the fleas, the unreliable electricity and lack of facilities to help the locals.
I enjoyed Britta’s descriptions, though sometimes felt she was a bit simplistic in her view of the people, but it’s a nice introduction . It’s an interesting part of the world, I’ve read one other book - Beyond the Sky and the Earth by Jaime Zeppa - which I enjoyed more, seemed more thoughtful. I’ll be looking for more books about the area, it’s a place I’m sure I’ll never get to but it appears to be an interesting place I’d like to know more about.