Some January books. Already a month behind.
from description: Recently blacklisted from the police for punching a priest on live TV (long story), D.I Declan Walsh is one step away from quitting the force for good - and privately investigating the mysterious death of his father, Chief Superintendent Patrick Walsh, who died shortly after writing a tell-all memoir of his time on the force.
Despite his problems, when his father's old friend DCI Alex Monroe offers Declan a place on his recently formed cold case squad, made up of "officers who are too valuable to lose," but who have had some kind of problems within the force--Declan accepts.
Known as "The Last Chance Saloon," the new squad has an ensemble of characters that create loyalty in a reader. The kind of team that keeps me intrigued and eager to read more about them.
Victoria Davies died when pushed off a roof in 2001, and her husband Michael was convicted. Two decades later, a letter is discovered that casts doubt on the earlier conviction of Victoria's husband and adds some powerful men to the suspect list.
Complex and complicated, and I don't usually use both terms in describing a plot, but this was a Gordian Knot (maybe a net of Gordian Knots) of threads and connections. As the team attempts to ply through all the implications of the new suspects, each member of the team begins developing into a three-dimensional personality. One lead after another untangles in the team's investigation of a twenty year old murder.
Letter to the Dead was a great introduction to the New Year. So much so that I read books 1-8 in quick succession!
Hooded Man Publ.
Mystery/Thriller. Print length: 334 pages.
The Lincoln Highway was a surprise for me. I'd seen positive reviews, but had not read them because the book was on my list. When I finally got to it (audio book), much of the plot was a surprise for me.
I certainly enjoyed it and got a lot of chores done while listening: Because it was long--16 hours of listening.
The Lincoln Highway is a sort of "hero's journey"
as young Billy reads Professor Abernathe's Compendium of Heroes, Adventurers, and Other Intrepid Travelers on the road trip he and his older brother Emmett set out on. There is a definite Joseph Campbell vibe (Professor Abacus Abernathe) as The Lincoln Highway is a picaresque novel with shifting points of view and the much abbreviated stories/myths in Professor Abernathe's book.
In a hero's quest, the hero is supposed to be changed, and Emmett certainly has experiences that have changed him, but does he bring back something to his community? Maybe--if that community is Billy and perhaps Sally, who will have fresh hope in California. At any rate, I like books that reimagine myths and archetypes, often turning them on their heads.
The last section of the book takes a rather abrupt turn in tone; it has been set up, but still seems sudden. The conclusion was ambiguous, and I still can't decide what Emmett intended. I was not disappointed because I've not read A Gentleman in Moscow or The Rules of Civility the books most often associated with Towles, but I did have mixed feelings about some things.
Viking. 2021. print length: 564 pages; audio 16 hours, 39 minutes.
Joel Cohen's The Tragedy of MacBeth was a big disappoint for me. I'd looked forward to it and to the performances of Denzel and McDormand, but the entire film felt like Cohen's effort to be original and artistic--and the nuances and language of Shakespeare were less important than Cohen's need to be innovative.
Frustrated with the lack of emotion and passion in the actors (due to Cohen's direction?), I still looked forward to Malcolm's testing of MacDuff's sincerity in Act IV, scene III. I love that speech in which Malcolm claims to be worse than MacBeth in order to determine if MacDuff wants him to return to Scotland to meet the same fate as his father had at MacBeth's hands. It wasn't there. Skipped. Absent.
And MacDuff's reaction to hearing about the deaths of his wife and children? Must have taken an effort to make that speech bland and without genuine grief.
My daughter liked it; I didn't like it at all. Maybe it would make Shakespeare more appealing to some because of the famous actors, but hopefully they will see a better production in the future. Rant concluded.