Thursday, May 06, 2010

Wednesday WAS Library Day!

Oh, Wuh-Laa!
I missed library day yesterday! Amidst the writing deadlines & the internet outages & the PT appointments & driving children to and fro & the four hours in the metalsmithing shop it just didn't get done.
So, I will make up for it today! =)

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
From the cover: Examining a badly decomposed corpse is de rigueur for forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. But puzzling damage on the body of a shooting victim, an Orthodox Jewish man, suggests this is no ordinary Montreal murder. When a stranger slips Tempe a photograph of a skeleton unearthed at an archaeological site, Tempe uncovers chilling ties between the dead man and secrets long buried in the dust of Israel. Traveling there with Detective Andrew Ryan, Tempe plunges into an international mystery as old as Jesus, and centered on the contoversial discovery of Christ's tomb. Has a mastermind lured her into an elaborate hoax? If not, Tempe may beon the brink of rewriting two thousand years of history- if she can survive the foes dead set on burying her.

Normally, I thoroughly enjoy Reichs mysteries. I enjoy her characters and the situations and the archeological explorations that span from the U.S. to Canada to Mexico. However, I found this one slow and annoying.
My impression was that she was trying to cash in on the popularity of The Davinci Code by pandering to those who want to de-construct Christianity. But since this was obviously fiction it just didn't cross over into that realm of fact-search.

Heart of Gold by Sharon Shinn
From the Cover: A scientist by nature... he used his rational powers of observation to examine more closely the privileges he was born to enjoy- and the people he was raised to despise.
A rebel at heart... she followed her fiercest passions in the struggle to overthrow a legacy of hate- one that had poisoned her family for generations.
On a planet divided... between rich and poor, strong and weak, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together: a stricly forbidden desire.
For justice. for equality. For each other...

Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors, but this just did not reach her noral caliber of writing. Shinn has created a believable and fascinating world, fraught with racial and gender issues, and I loved the characters. I enjoyed the story and the world.
She created an interesting situation, but it felt like she wasn't given as much time as she needed for the idea to flourish. The first half of the story is rather slow and almost dreamy, while the second half feels too quick, smashed and forced. Also, the touch of romance while definitely necessary in this heavy and stifling world wasn't quite believable and felt formulaic.
Well worth reading and committing the time, but not up to her normal quality of writing.

Dust to Dust by Beverly Connor
From the cover: FBI agent turned private investigator Ross Kingsley comes to Diane Fallon for help after his client's family suffers a double tragedy. Nine years ago the client's son went to prison for rape and murder. Now his daughter is dead under suspicious circumstances, and her father believes she was killed uncovering evidence of her brother's innocence.

Against her better judgment, Diane agrees to help her old FBI friend. Now she is about to discover that crime can have deep roots, and that some bones, like secrets, are deadly to uncover- especially when there are skeletons in the closet.

I've never read any of Connor's mysteries, and put off reading this one till I had almost nothing else. I was surprised at how involved I became with the world and the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty, rich and detailed mystery. Her characters (while a little over-detailed) are interesting and I found myself drawn into the tragedy and needing to find out what had happened.
This is the sixth or seventh in the Diane Fallon mysteries and I look forward to finding the rest in the library.

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