Title: The Lady in the Cellar
Author: Sinclair McKay
Page Count: Unknown
Publishing Date/Publisher: 30 October/ White Lion Publishing
Review: I really enjoyed this book. Sinclair McKay has an amazing writing style, bringing the historical mystery to life and giving enough background information without it feeling like you’re being bogged down with too much information.
The mystery is so engaging and kept me guessing the whole time, which is not something I can say about too many mysteries these days. They tend to be predictable and the twists and turns aren’t actual twists and turns. This one had me at the edge of my seat, so definitely no complaints there.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good yet quick read.
Title: Killers on the Flower Moon
Author: David Grann
Page Count: N/A
Publishing Date/Publisher: April 2017, Doubleday
Review: I loved this book, I kept recommending it to everyone. David Grann has a very unique way of writing, and it flows so well. The history itself is compelling and tragic at the same time, and Grann does a great job at highlighting the injustice Native Americans faced at the hands of both the government and the general public.
Grann detailed the history of the Osages and how they came to be the richest people in the world, as well as the history of the FBI, excellently. It was very interesting to read about how the FBI started investigating murders- something we associate with them so much today thanks to TV shows like Bones.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Native American history or their treatment in the early parts of the 1900s.
Title: Blood Brothers
Author: Nick Pope
Page Count: Unavailable
Publishing Date/Publisher: November 2018, Thistle Publishing
Review: This is an excellent book and reads like a TV miniseries. The quick jumps, the suspense, the action- it could easily be turned into a BBC show. The quick jumps between scenes might be annoying to some, I understand that, but the big problem I have when reading is that they focus too long on one particular thing. I blame the ADHD but at this point, it could just be my personality. Anyway, I liked that; it kept the energy up and didn’t let the plot lag any.
The plot was engaging, the characters were relatable (on the good guy’s side, obviously). Being the only main female character, I latched onto Jenny fairly quickly. She’s a strong character who knows her limits and can hold her own in a group full of Alpha men. But I felt connected to the male characters anyway. I understood Quill’s methods and motives and found him to be an enjoyable character with a good arc in terms of his development over the course of the book.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a fast-paced, action packed read.
Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Author: Michelle McNamara
Page Count: 352
Publishing Date/Publisher: 1 Mar. 2018,Faber & Faber
Format: Print, hardcover
Review: This is a masterfully written book, and you can tell that a lot of hard work went into it, both by Michelle McNamara and by her two researchers who picked up the task after her untimely death.
Even though I grew up in the relative area of the crimes, I had never heard of the Golden State Killer prior to this year. Once the news came out about the arrest, I became interested in how someone that prolific could evade the police for so long. Thankfully, I was not alone in that; McNamara was obsessed with the case and trying to find out who the killer was. Amateur detective and novice writer, she wove an amazing tale not only of the crimes but of her own search for answers.
The book is compiled of articles she’s written previously and chapters she had mostly written before her death. Her researchers dutifully took up the task of finishing off the book, making footnotes where needed and marking where her work left off. It is a brilliant way to preserve her memory and I highly recommend reading it.
Title: The Fact of a Body
Author: Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Page Count: 352
Publishing Date/Publisher: 3 May 2018, Pan
Format: Print, paperback
Review: This is a hard book to read but also so worthwhile. It’s not hard because of the author or anything like that; it’s hard because it’s based on the murder of a little boy and the author’s own past abuse. Marzano-Lesnevich weaves the two traumatic pasts masterfully, never focusing too much on one at a time. She details the reasons behind why she thinks Ricky Langley, pedophile and murderer, did what he did, while also coming to terms with what was done to her and the mess that leaves behind. She discusses her family and their reactions to what happened in their own home, their legal professions that led her into the same field, and the horrible loss they went through at a young age.
While reading the lead up to her own story, I knew what was about to happen to her and a surge of emotions came out. I almost couldn’t deal with it. Marzano-Lesnevich’s writing is so unique and engaging that I felt her anger and horror so acutely. I think it is important that I felt these things for her because this sort of thing happens so often and it’s horrific and disgusting and we need to do better to protect our children. Her telling her story and about the PTSD that came afterwards is incredibly brave, and we need to acknowledge this and try to stop it from happening again.
The same goes for Ricky Langley’s story. From the circumstances of his birth to his subsequent imprisonment, it is important to understand what led to his crimes.
This book is a very compelling, interesting tale of two separate people with commonalities woven into their lives. Marzano-Lesnevich’s debut work is intense, yet worth the read.