OK….OK…..I loved this story! I picked it up and started to read it on the way home from Virginia (a six-hour drive)…..I was glued to the pages for half the drive….turning the pages forgetting where I was. The story is The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon. It is the tale of a serial killer in the year 1985 in a small New England town. A bit grisly, so I will spare those details for those with weak stomachs. Not that the story is terribly grisly, but I have learned that the definition for grisly varies for everyone.
The story follows Reggie who is 13 years old in 1985 and lives a dysfunctional family life….her mother was once a beauty queen, but has now become an alcoholic and a bit of a whore. Reggie’s only friends are the town’s misfits who smoke, cut, and a variety of not so wholesome activities. It is during the summer of 1985 when the bodies of women begin to pile up. The serial killer, Neptune, follows a set pattern….he keeps the women alive for 4 days, and then on day 5 he murders them. Reggie’s mother becomes Neptune’s last victim; however, her body does not show up on day 5 or ever. She is presumed dead. And life goes on.
25 years later, Reggie, who has not stepped a foot into her old hometown of Brighton Falls, receives word that her mother has been found. Reggie leaves her somewhat solitary life as a world-renowned architect to return to her hometown where Neptune has also returned.
I don’t want to give much detail, but I loved the pace….I loved the story. I loved Reggie and found myself rooting for her. I came close to figuring out the identity of Neptune, and I think I knew it to be true early on…..just wasn’t confident with my instinct. Anyone who loves suspense and action will appreciate this book.
This is such a sweet story….such a pleasant read. Remarkable characters….original story line….I really enjoyed this little story: The Truth About Love & Lightning by Susan McBride. She has written a love story that spans decades that involves 60-something Gretchen Brink who lives with her two fabulous twin sisters: Trudy & Bennie in a tiny farmhouse in the midwest, her daughter Abby who lives in Chicago, and Sam Winston….a man who is more than just a man, who just happens to appear one day.
There is a secret that has haunted Gretchen for the past 39 years….she gave birth to a baby girl Abby. At the same time, Sam, Gretchen’s one true love, goes missing and is presumed dead. Flash forward 39 years and we find Abby pregnant and unwed, but involved. She is confused and scared….and shows up at the family farmhouse after a tornado has hit the town and bringing with it a mysterious man who has lost his memory. This man has no identification, but he seems bizarrely familiar to all the women on the farm. How did he get there? It doesn’t seem possible, yet it must be. Gretchen is drawn to this man…she takes to nurturing him and at the same time, Abby is convinced this mysterious man is her long-lost father.
The story flashes back and forth through several generations revealing rich characters and a wonderful story that is truly one of a kind. I would recommend this for those who love a good love story.
Filed under adult, fiction
I have in my hands the conclusion to The Wicked Series by Gregory Maguire entitled Out of Oz. I must warn you that I have only read Wicked, and this was ages ago….way before the musical came about. And, I did not read the two books that came between….(YIKES!). [Those books are Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men] I have read many of Maguire’s other books, and I have adored his perspective and spin on an old story. I love the way he takes the characters we all believe we know so well, and he helps us see things differently….he helps us realize things are not so black and white.
In this installment, he provides the reader with maps, family trees, and a brief description on the previous books….which was a tremendous aid to someone like me who is missing a few pieces to the puzzle. The story begins with Dorothy (I am under the understanding that she has been absent since Wicked, but I could be mistaken). Dorothy’s Aunt Em and Uncle Henry have sold everything to take her to see parts of the world to help her deal with her delusions….mental illness….obsession with OZ. She has become some sort of freak in Kansas, and there seems to be no hope for her. They head to San Francisco and spend the night. The date is April 18, 1906. You can see where this is heading……..(I will allow some time for you to google the date….if you need to ; ))
In the Land of Oz, there is much chaos and Emerald City and Munchkinland are at odds, Glinda is on house arrest and the Cowardly Lion is on the run. All very chaotic. I do not want to reveal too much of the plot….but it is fast-paced and cleverly written…once again. I am just a little unsure of the ending….it could be due to the fact that I have not read the entire series…..I must go back and do so. I do recommend this novel for those who loved Wicked and the other tales that followed. A must read to complete this epic story.
This is an Inspector Rutledge Mystery….he is an inspector from Scotland Yard in the 1920’s, and he apparently has solved multiple mysteries. This is my first experience with him. This mystery takes place in parts of London and the surrounding area….we meet two wealthy families who produce and sell the famous Madeira wine that is sold world-wide. And tragedy has hit these families. The war has ended, and many surviving soldiers have returned and life is not what is once was. Some have lost their lives such as Michael French. He was the older brother and part partner in the Madeira wine business. There are now two remaining partners….Matthew Traynor, a cousin to Michael, and Michael’s younger brother Lewis. Both men go missing, and an unidentified body turns up with Lewis’ pocket watch, but the body is not his.
No one has seen either men….Lewis’ sister and fiancée have not seen or heard from him….no one at the firm knows their whereabouts…..it is a true mystery. And to think this is in a time before cell phones and state of the art technology, so there is no “find my iPhone app” to locate them….no GPS tracker….nothing. In fact, there were only a select few who had telephones in their own homes….shocking, I know.
Enter Inspector Rutledge who has a keen sense for figuring people out. Thank goodness for that since I provided no help for him! Believe me, I tried. I took notes the entire time I was reading the crimes as they unfolded. I had the same clues as Inspector Rutledge, but that did not help. I have pages after pages of my theories and notes as I jotted down suspects, clues, possible motives, etc. It did me no good…..for a while I thought I was on the right path, but unfortunately I was not to be successful. It was probably a good idea that I nixed my 8th grade dream of being a police detective and became a librarian instead. Yet, I do try, and I will try again I am sure. I am a sucker for Agatha Christie and Frank Mackey and Sherlock Holmes and now Ian Rutledge. Good luck to all you mystery lovers, and let me know if you solve this one. Thanks!