Monday, May 27, 2019

May Book Reviews and Previews

This month, I reviewed a mystery set in Australia (Redemption Point), a true story of growth and discovery with a bit of life philosophy (ADHD: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL), and a thriller (Cemetery Road).

Happy reading,


Redemption Point by Candice Fox

Vivid Writing, Interesting Characters, but the Plot Was Disappointing

Redemption Point has two plot lines, each getting about the same play in numbers of pages.  First, there is the wrongly-accused, former Australian police detective now turned PI Ted Conkaffey.  He would like to clear his name but feels it would be too painful, and so, he struggles to live with the shame and guilt until it blows over.  Eventually, he gets nudged into the investigation of his own crime, setting up the finale.  Parallel to that thread, Ted and Amanda Pharrell, Ted’s quirky partner in the PI business, get hired to investigate a double homicide at a local bar.  On it, they work with Pip Sweeney, a newly minted, Detective Inspector who is in charge of the case and who is battling her own emotional demons. For the complete review, see this link to Amazon:


Share in this author’s true story of discovery – of ADHD and of herself

In the book ADHD: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, author Nico Genes shares her story of meeting and befriending a single mother and her young son.  It chronicles her early experiences with them, marked by frayed nerves, exhaustion, and hurt feelings when the child can’t seem to focus or hold still for more than a few moments.  It also describes some unacceptable behavior by a teacher and a principal.  Hopefully, that section represents an isolated pocket of indifference and lack of knowledge, as health organizations estimate between five and ten percent of all children suffer from the condition; otherwise, there are a lot of children being marginalizing by the educational system.  Eventually, the young man is diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the doctor adding that the mother probably has the same condition.  The book is also a story of the author’s growth, as she comes to recognize new qualities in herself as a result of the friendship.  “This new part of me enjoyed the smell of a lavender field rather than the scent of the most expensive perfume. I was now living for the moment, and one benefit of this was it helped me get through the other less pleasant times.”  For the complete review, see this link to Amazon:

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles

Damaged Characters and Melodrama Dominate this “Thriller”

Perhaps as much as a quarter of Greg Iles’ 600-page Cemetery Road is consumed by the backstories of three main characters:  Marshall McEwan, Jet Turner, and Paul Matheson.  They suffer through emotional tragedies ranging from abandonment by a father – true to some degree for all three – to post traumatic stress disorder.  Those pages also detail the relationships among them and a tangled web it is, ranging from first loves to friendships forged in war.  Via these histories, the characters become quite nuanced, especially Marshall.  But developed and likeable aren’t the same and none achieve that status.  Marshall is perhaps the closest and yet, he lets Jet marry Paul because the time isn’t right for him.  But then, he starts an affair with her when he returns to his hometown.  There are only so many bad decisions in adulthood that can be blamed on a traumatic upbringing and Marshall crosses that line for me.  For the complete review, see this link to Amazon:

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