Been doing a lot of reading to pass the time during the quarantine. I finished these two books back to back, both were good in their own respective ways. So here are the reviews…
I didn’t mean for this to be my first Denise Mina book. I’ve tried and failed twice to get into Garenthill. But the premise seemed too good to pass up and I thought it would be a fun pleasure read.
It starts off rocky. The main character, whose perspective we get first person, is an unreliable narrator and I’m not always a fan of that trope. I had trouble caring about her circumstances and the only thing keeping me going was the propulsive nature of the book, which felt cheap. Slowly, I was able to see what Mina was doing with her character and I appreciated it more when her back story was revealed. This changed my outlook of the first part of the book and I ended up enjoying it, though I found its conclusion predictable and dull. I’m glad I broke through with this book from Mina and I hope to read more from her.
Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death
Donald Westlake is a prolific writer. He wrote this series of NYC-based private eye novels under a different name (Tucker Coe). I’ve picked around on Westlake’s novels but only recently heard of these. In the mood for a NYC tale, I figured I’d try it out and I’m glad I did.
It’s nothing more than a hardboiled mystery novel with its failed cop protagonist traipsing through New York trying to solve a murder (fortunately, he’s not an alcoholic). But it’s Westlake so that means it’s one of competence. The characters are well rounded, the mystery finely textured and the conclusion was a pleasant surprise. In Westlake’s large corpus of work, these books are pretty far down in terms of laudation but I enjoyed this immensely and will likely read the series.