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Thursday, January 25, 2018
The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens and Shadow Play by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Three points of view make up The Other Side of Everything, and the novel's main interest for me has to do more with the characters than the crimes. The first crime provides an inciting moment that begins changes in outlook.
Bernard, a widower, feels isolated and has little desire to do anything about it. Amy is an artist who won't paint and her marriage has been strained by Amy's cancer surgery, depression, and drinking. And fifteen-year-old Maddie,whose mother just left one day, leaving Maddie, her brother, and her father bewildered and bereft.
In the small Florida community, an elderly woman is brutally killed. The effect on each of our protagonists is different, but far-reaching. Then another elderly woman is murdered, the police are making no headway, and the entire community feels besieged.
I really liked the insight into the three main characters, each one presenting emotional and social problems: the difficulties of an aging population, the intense trauma of cancer, the feeling of being deserted by someone you love. And more.
Just an aside-- as Bernard frequently drops into memories of the small community, he remembers an exceptionally cold winter when iguanas froze and fell from trees. An unusual cold for Florida. Now, in January, I just read an article about that happening during our current deep freeze!
Read in January.
Crime/Mystery. Jan. 23, 2018. Print length: 272 pages.
Shadow Play is another well-plotted police procedural from Harrod-Eagles that follows Bill Slider and his team as they investigate the murder of a well-dressed man found in the yard of a car workshop. First the team must identify the man, then the investigations becomes even more confusing.
I felt less connected to Slider in this one. but Porson and his malapropisms remain amusing, partly because he is a genuinely supportive boss, and Atherton is making a gradual change from playboy to a more mature character.
Read in Oct.; review scheduled for Jan. 25, 2018
Police Procedural. Feb. 1, 2018. Print length: 224 pages.