Because I read two behemoth 660+ page books back-to-back, I went on a little reading binge this week to “ketchup.” I liked most of these, two more so than the two others.
Black Cherry Blues ***
I want to go through the David Robicheaux series for two reasons: 1. I love Louisiana and 2. I want to see how Burke develops this story. After enjoying Heaven’s Prisoners, I found this a step back for multiple reasons…
1. Burke pads an already thin story with a lot of introspection and dream sequences featuring Robicheaux’s murdered wife. I usually don’t mind the introspection but I felt like he got carried away here and the sequences, while scenic and sometimes touching, didn’t add much to the story.
2. Is every Italian in south Louisiana a mobster? And does every mob boss Dave whacks have to get replaced by another?
3. Yet another use of LGBTQIA+ villainy.
The story is good, I liked Dixie’s character (an obvious stand-in for Jerry Lee Lewis) and I didn’t mind the transfer to a Montana setting as much as I thought I would. But in terms of developing the series, this entry felt like a step back.
Last Call ****
Wonderfully written and heartbreakingly sad. It’s a true crime novel in the classic sense but it also captures the atmosphere and danger of the gay male scene in 80s and 90s Manhattan. Elon Green has a heart for the victims that shines through. It’s their story.
The Revelators ****
I set aside the Quinn Colson series for a bit after book nine because I feel like book nine would have been a perfect capper to the tale. Yes, it ended with a cliffhanger…so what? It felt like Atkins was building up towards that story. And it exploded when he finally got there.
He picks back up here with hardly any denouement. Tibbehah is still in trouble. By the time things are resolved at the end, the chess board has been rearranged completely. The ending seems like a soft reboot of the whole series, which is probably needed, given how played out many of the dynamics are.
Despite my idea for a “perfect ending,” I enjoyed this book and I continue to enjoy this excellent series.
The Last Flight ***
Mixed feelings on this one. The thriller itself was fine. I really liked how Clark explored female relationships and the #MeToo era. That was the strength of the book. It should be a 4 star read but…
*minor spoilers *
There’s an adoption angle that plays a big part with a main character. I think Clark handles it ok. Just ok. She talks about the difficulty of feeling safe and trustworthy and I get it. But the bad behavior of a person is implied it’s due to abandonment issues. And that’s just too close to my cranky zone. Adoptees and foster children have a tough time; they don’t need their feelings exploited to justify sinister motives. That’s what gives me pause with this one.