These are the books by authors that are new-to-me this quarter:
- World War Z by Max Brooks
- Death Has a Past by Anita Boutell
- The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
- The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier
- The Davidian Report by Dorothy B. Hughes
- The White Sea by Paul Johnston
- The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman
- Coffin Scarcely Used by Colin Watson
- Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman
All of these authors wrote books that I enjoyed reading, and I will continue to read books by most of them. Often when I do these summaries for three months worth of reading, the most recently read books are the most memorable.
Most enjoyable was:
The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman. This novel combines a mystery and the supernatural. The characterization is wonderful. All of the main characters are well fleshed out. The characters are realistic; all have flaws. They are mostly likable but far from perfect. Very, very long, though.
Not so enjoyable, but a very good book:
by Dan Fesperman. This book is a police procedural set in the midst of the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian conflict. It describes the daily life of homicide inspector Vlado Petric as he tries to do his job. The siege has been going on for two years, and Petric's wife and child have escaped to Germany. His job seems to be useless in times of war when so many are dying and suffering.
Quotes from the book:
The same two motivations which had kept him going before the war could still sustain him. Or at least he hoped they could.This is not the darkest book I have ever read, but it is not a fun read or uplifting.
One was the small, slender promise that beckons to all homicide detectives-that someday, something worthy and noble would come of his work. For the clever and the persistent, perhaps something larger lurked behind the daily body count. In the way that an epidemiologist knows that a single autopsy can provide the key to a pandemic, Vlado clung to a belief that, now and then, one murder offered a portal to machinations far greater than the pulling of a trigger or the plunging of a blade.
But could this still be true in wartime? ...
Yet Vlado couldn't help but marvel at the enduring popularity of murder. He knew from his history texts what war was supposed to do to people. In Stalingrad they ate rats and burned furniture to stay warm, but they stuck together. Even in London, fat and soft London, suicides dropped and mental health soared. But now he wondered if it hadn't all been some great warm lie of wartime propaganda. Because, if anything, people succumbed more easily now to the passions that had always done them in. And as the siege grumbled on, spurned lovers still shot each other naked and dead, drunks stabbed other drunks for a bottle, and gamblers died as ever for their debts.