Late January Reading

End of Watch – Stephen King, I See You – Clare Mackintosh, Rattle – Fiona Cummings, Inherit the Bones – Emily Littlejohn. 

This is what happens when you have a busy two weeks getting a new job (!) and moving house. Suddenly you find yourself with a whole load of books read and waiting to be reviewed.

I’ll try and do this is order.

The first I finished was End of Watch. This is the final installment in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy, Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers and now End of Watch. This last book is named for the retirement period for cops. The general sentiment being that it’s difficult for them to switch off from the life they’ve lived for so long, and this is reflected in Hodges’ ‘final story’ as it were.

Brady Hartsfield, also known as The Mercedes Killer, has been present through the whole series, though he did become a lesser player in the second book. I can’t say I’m massively enamored by him as a villain. It’s just all a bit ‘why though?’ with everything he does. Pointless and needless violence, though I guess that’s the point.

I was a bit disappointed by End of Watch, I have to admit. The first two in the series were great because they were so different from King’s typical MO; they were straightforward detective fiction. End of Watch however has elements of the old supernatural, though it’s gussied up to initially appear scientific, and I just felt this was a bit of a shame.

I still enjoyed it. It’s still a gripping and interesting story and by this point I was attached to the characters and very much hoped they’d all be ok.

I then read I See You, and here’s where I have to be a bit careful as these three other books I’m writing about today all have things in common so I have to try hard not to get them confused. I picked up I See You mainly because my sister had read one of Mackintosh’s other books recently and had really enjoyed it.

The premise of this one is interesting, a woman sees an advert in a paper for what seems to be a dating website and alongside it is a picture of her. If that wasn’t weird enough, there is then a murder of a young woman who is recognised as also having appeared in these adverts. It would be enough to make anyone really rather paranoid.

This strange set of circumstances is picked up by a Transport Police officer called Kelly… something. I forget. Anyways, she’s in disgrace having assaulted a prisoner (and for good reason!) but is sure there’s something in the advert connection.

Overall, it’s rather sinister, but there are a few bits where the course of action the characters take just seems rather… unlikely, but I guess that’s to be expected with such a plot. Generally though, not a bad read.

Next, Rattle. Now, this was weird, though not necessarily in a bad way. It opens with Erdman Frith buying a beef dinner at the supermarket, with lots of suggestions that if only he hadn’t done this, things wouldn’t have turned out the way they do. We also have a little girl, Clara Foyle with cleft hands, getting abducted. I don’t really want to give an awful lot away about this one as a lot of the joy of this is in just not knowing what’s coming.

It has a solid female detective with her own personal issues (of course), a slightly naïve dad on a mission to do the right thing, and a lot of selfish mothers.

It’s another case of a villain whose true evil isn’t fully explored. Because he remains a mystery for so long, when there is a finally a face to a name, it all happens rather fast.

In all a solid debut.

Now for another debut and the last on my list for now. Inherit the Bones was on my ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads which means at some point I’ve seen some promotional post about it and thought it looked good.

It’s actually really good.

Set in rural, ski town America, the small police department, and particularly our protagonist, the heavily pregnant Gemma Monroe, are faced with a death of a circus clown who, it soon transpires, has a much larger history with the town than first expected.

There are two ‘mysteries’ to be solved and there is the definite sense that nobody is safe. The cast of circus performers is colourful and interesting, giving an extra dimension to the otherwise sleepy and safe town, and this is littered with the sort of small town politics I like reading about.

There’s a lot to like here and of the four, this is the one I would really recommend.

I’ve also done a whole load of proofreading recently but you don’t really need to hear about all them.

Right, I’ll try to be a bit more on it next time!

Currently reading:
Book: The Vegetarian – Han Kang
Audio: Home – Harlan Coben

One thought on “Late January Reading

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