Last week my library visit yielded two books that I'd been waiting for. :)
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny was, of course, excellent! I love the Three Pines series and can't get enough of the characters.
The death of a nine-year-old boy who had a penchant for telling fantastic lies sets the plot in motion. When the death is about to be written off as an accident, Armand Gamache insists on a closer look.
As usual, Penny writes beautifully and weaves her plot with consummate skill.
Her description of grief just floored me:
"Clara knew that grief took its toll. It was paid at every birthday, every holiday, each Christmas. It was paid when glimpsing the familiar handwriting, or a hat, or a balled-up sock. Or hearing a creak that could have been, should have been, a footstep. Grief took its toll each morning, each evening, every noon hour as those who were left behind struggled forward."
I was surprised when I finished to discover that there was one of the most fantastic elements of the plot was based on reality. Gerald Bull was a Canadian scientist and arms designer, and it was believed that he was building his missile launcher for Saddam Hussein. Really--the truth is often stranger than fiction, and Gerald Bull is proof.
Mystery. 2015. 376 pages.
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. Like everyone else who read the first three books in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series, I was apprehensive.
I read all three in 2009 and 2010 and was fascinated by them, but I read a lot and so that was a plenitude of books ago. This distance allowed me to be a little more open to any changes in style and focus.
So... while many fans of the series have not been pleased with this new entry, I thought it was very good. If I'd read it soon after my initial experiences with the series, I may have made too many comparisons and been disappointed.
However, with hundreds of books between my reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the last of Larsson's original series, and beginning this new one, I found adapting to Lagercrantz' Spider Web much easier. And I liked it!
"It was true that nobody in Hacker Republic could claim the moral high ground here.....But they were not without ethics and above all they knew, also from their own experience, how power corrupts, especially power without control. None of them liked the thought that the worst, most unscrupulous hacking was no longer carried out by solitary rebels or outlaws, but by state behemoths who wanted to control their population" (59). The emphasis is mine, but that sentence highlights something we are all concerned about.
Suspense/Thriller. 2015. 400 pages.