Like a visit with old friends, the 31st book in the Alex Delaware series, is familiar and completely satisfying. In Breakdown, Dr. Delaware is drawn into the past when the mother of a former patient is found dead in an upscale part of LA. Delaware's patients are children so he wants to know what has happened to this woman's child. No one seems to know. Because the death turns out to be murder by poison, Milo Sturgis is back working with Alex. Sturgis is a gay police officer(before having a gay character was cool) with gargantuan appetites, especially for food. He has always run afoul of department regulations but is brilliant enough to keep his job. This unlikely team manages to unravel the mystery which takes a lot of twists and turns even for a Delaware novel.
If you are looking for entertaining stories, look no farther. The setting is LA and some of the characters, rich or famous. Besides the puzzle, these books offer a peek into how these people live. Give Alex and Milo a try.
Everyone is gathered in the auditorium of Opportunity High as Principal Trenten gives her usual, boring start-of-semester talk. It's 10:00 and in the next 54 minutes, the lives of the students, teachers and residents of Opportunity, Alabama will change forever. The students are dismissed from the assembly but no one can leave. The doors to the gymnasium are locked from the outside.
Enter the shooter and the horror begins. Nijkamp tells the story from the viewpoints of Autumn, Claire, Sylv and Tomas. Claire isn't in the assembly so we get the tension of knowing there is a tragedy taking place but being outside. Autumn and Sylv are trapped inside and the shooter just happens to be the brother of the former and the ex-boyfriend of the latter. Tomas and another "bad" boy are in the principal's office where they have broken into a filing cabinet.
In the 196 pages and 54 minutes over which the novel takes place, we learn about family dysfunction and abuse, teenage angst and mental illness.
I usually don't read YA fiction but this book is a New York Times bestseller and a Big Library Read. It is available for download on Overdrive- no reserving, no waiting. If one is interested, there is an on-line discussion group. I stayed up later to finish this book. It was well worth the time.
This 2013 novel is the latest of Neil Gaiman's books. In it, an un-named protagonist returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. A stroll down a physical lane to the neighbouring Hempstock's farm leads to a psychological trip of an entirely different kind.
Our protagonist sits by the pond (an ocean in his childhood memories) and is transported back in time. The story gets underway as the odd and bookish seven-year-old sits at a table awaiting the arrival of the guests invited to his birthday party. No one comes and he retires to his room to read. The family is in a bit of a financial squeeze and has rented a room to a boarder who takes their car and commits suicide in it. This sets in motion the rest of the story as the protagonist seeks reassurance from the Hempstocks. Weirdness begins and when his mother goes back to work Ursula Monkton is hired as the new nanny for him and his sister. She isn't what she seems but a supernatural being who he and Lettie Hempstock inadvertently let into our world. All kinds of supernatural beings threaten them and the protagonist has forgotten the adventure for 40 years.
Neil Gaiman bends reality and nothing is as it seems. He explores the relationship between adults and children and memories of childhood and reality. Some reviews have called The Ocean at the End of the Lane a fairy tale for adults. It is a relatively short book but you have to pay attention or you won't know what is going on.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.