I initially didn’t set out to write a #feminist Mini Review post today, but all the books I wanted to review had that theme in common. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m glad I can talk about these three books because I believe they’re timely and important. Unfortunately, these aren’t books I can say I loved, but they all have interesting aspects and I believe some of you might enjoy them a lot.
As she saw his face for the first time, she knew he was going to kill her. She just didn’t know when. When the dismembered body of Lydia Steiner is found washed up in the waters of a blisteringly hot Louisiana swamp, Detective Jess Bishop knows for certain this isn’t the murderer’s first kill. Three other dismembered bodies have been found, all bearing the same marks. Marks that strike fear into Jess’s heart. They are identical to those from a case she’s spent her entire career trying to forget. As Jess and her team try to link the victims, another body is discovered and they fear the serial killer is taunting them. They know it’s only a matter of time before he kills again. As the body count rises, and the hunt goes cold, Jess knows she has to confront her past in order to catch the killer, even if that means making herself the bait…
Now You See Me is a new crime procedural featuring a bad-ass female FBI agent investigating a series of murders in Louisiana. Jessica Bishop has a dark past that wishes to keep secret and she’s used to deal with men who don’t take her seriously. I loved how she managed the relationships with her partners and defended the victims no matter their profession or status. She was strong and brave and I admired her for that.
The book was gripping and entertaining, and the Louisiana setting was great. I felt like I was there. The writing was engaging and I was never bored. Overall, this is a solid crime novel, but I can’t say I loved this book because of the predictability and the romance-focused relationships. I was silently begging for someone not to be the killer. It was way too obvious, I thought. It can’t be that person. I’m sure it won’t. And for a while, I was glad. But then I realized it was exactly who I thought it would be and that had me quite disappointed. In addition, there was way too much focus on Jess’s romantic life and her jealousy towards her partner’s wife and that bothered me because the case was more interesting than that and, to be honest, I believe that a man and a woman can be friends and that’s it.
Netgalley, Bookouture, 2017
At Windemere School for Girls, one of America’s elite private schools, Dr. Gregory Copeland is the beloved chair of the English Department. A married father with a penchant for romantic poetry—and impressionable teenage girls—he operates in plain sight for years, until one of his former students goes public with allegations of inappropriate conduct. With the help of an investigative journalist, and two additional Windemere alumnae who had relationships with Copeland as students, the unlikely quartet unites to take him down.
These Violent Delights is an easy-to-read novel that deals with a very important topic nowadays. Following the Hollywood scandal and all the Spotlight-like cases, I can’t think of a more timely book today. However, although the topic is not a happy one, I didn’t think the book was a particularly tough read, and that was kind of weird.
I enjoyed this book and I’m certainly interested in the topic, but I didn’t feel emotionally attached to the characters, perhaps because of the structure or the writing (too much dialogue/articles/e-mails). It felt a bit like non-fiction in the sense that the importance relies on the case per se and not on the characters’ experiences. We never witness their pain directly, only through their e-mails and texts.
Have you ever read a book and thought that you liked what was said but not so much how it was told? This was my experience with These Violent Delights.
Netgalley, Griffith Moon Publishing, 2017
In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.
This is another book that I believe it’s important to read right now. He Said She Said is the story of a couple who witness an attack and the consequences of their actions. I don’t want to say too much because I think this is a book that deserves to be discovered without knowing anything about it.
However, as much as I agree with the book’s message and its relevance today, I must say I was kind of bored during the first 60% of the novel. I know, I’ve read other reviews stating this was a slow-burn type of book, and it’s true , but despite loving the last few chapters, I’m afraid that didn’t make up for the rest.
Basically, I love the moral of the story and how the author embraces sorority above everything, but I wish I had been more engaged from the beginning. To be honest, the eclipse metaphor didn’t help much, and Kit chapters were kind of tedious to read.
Hodder & Stoughton, 2017