In the Woods by Tana French


In the Woods

by
Tana French

Rating:

After his friends Peter and Jamie mysteriously disappeared in the woods near their home, Adam Robert Ryan’s parents sent their son away to boarding school. The shock of the 1984 event had already given Adam amnesia, but he could never completely forget his best friends. When the three twelve-year-olds climbed the wall of their County Dublin neighborhood that summer day and entered the woods they knew so well, only Adam came out, with a slashed shirt, bark under his nails and shoes full of blood. Despite an intense investigation, the disappearance of Peter and Jamie was never solved and it’s been haunting Adam ever since.

Now, twenty years later, Adam goes as Rob and, although he’s back in his old neighborhood, he’s kept his past a secret from everyone except his partner, Cassie Maddox. As detectives on the Dublin Murder squad, they are investigating the murder of twelve-year-old Katy Devlin, whose body was found at an archeological dig site, on the edge of the same woods where Rob’s friends disappeared.  Are the two cases connected?  Should Rob even be on the investigation?

Tana French tells an excellent mystery, which is part murder investigation, part psychological study, part political tale and part love story. Clues point in many directions as Rob, Cassie and a third detective, Sam O’Neill, work the case. Is there abuse in the Devlin home? Is the murder connected to Jonathan Devlin’s involvement in a protest group that is trying to stop a highway from going through the dig site? What else happened in the woods the summer Peter and Jamie disappeared? The investigation continues to uncover facts that may or may not be related to the crime, muddling up an intriguing mystery. In addition, French develops sleeper characters that suggest new motives, leaving the reader to sort it out.

Rob, privately and desperately, wants to confront his past and connect it to Katy’s murder, but the intense investigation sends him into a destructive spiral.  As his relationship with Cassie teeters between professional and personal, new events could jeopardize the case.  And Rob, Cassie and Sam may not be ready when the case breaks with shocking revelations.

I enjoyed In the Woods very much for the same reason I like reading any book with many layers of plot and character development:  there’s a lot going on. It’s much more than a classic mystery with a fast-moving plot and red herrings. It’s a commentary on family, relationships, society and police work.  I especially enjoyed the dynamics between Rob and Cassie, their slick interrogation skills, and the unraveling of several key characters.  I also liked the story because of its open-ended finish, with some satisfying tie-ins, but plenty to think about afterwards.

I recommend In the Woods to readers who enjoy complex mysteries and character studies.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Glen Craney

whos-that-indie-author
Author name
:  Glen Craney

Genre:  Historical Fiction and Mystery-Thrillers

Books: The Fire and the Light: A Novel of the Cathars; The Spider and the Stone: A Novel of Scotland’s Black Douglas; The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Christopher Columbus Mystery-Thriller; The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army; The Lucifer Genome: A Conspiracy Thriller (with John Jeter)

     

  

Bio:  Glen is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. He holds degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I love to travel to and research the historical sites featured in my books.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Wearing two hats–creative artist and businessman–at the same time.

Favorite bookThose by Nigel Tranter, Sharon Key Penman, Gore Vidal

Contact Information:
Author Website:  glencraney.com
Facebook Author Page:  @GlenCraneyAuthor
Twitter: @glencraney
Blog:  historyintofiction.com

Awards/special recognition:

  • Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Prize for Screenwriting
  • Chaucer Award First Place Category Fiction
    Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Honorable Mention/Finalist (3 times)
  • Best New Fiction, National Indie Excellence Award
    indeBRAG Honoree (2 times)
  • Nautilus Silver Award Winner
  • IPPY Silver Award Winner
  • Eric Hoffer Finalist/Honorable Mention Winner
  • Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

Blog views and other obsessions – what happens to the blog when life gets in the way?

Source: brainsonfire.com

I didn’t believe it when I read that it might take me two weeks to recover from the flu.  I was sure that I could beat it after a few days, maybe a week.  So during that time, I put all non-essential activities on hold.  My head was in a fog.  I didn’t feel like reading.  I couldn’t tolerate a computer screen or a phone.  Social media roared on without me.  And to my horror, I developed a disinterest in blogging.  My obsessive need to check my stats, reach out and comment sat alone and ignored on a distant shelf.

Bloggers have a funny relationship with their real life and their blog life.  We all know that the real life takes priority, but we need the other part too, so our feet are in both worlds.  And getting the flu, while temporarily dramatic, is a blip in the routine.  People have much bigger problems.

It has taken the full two weeks, but the fever is gone and the fog is lifting.  So watch out, because I’m feeling like my old self again.  I want to know all your news and tell you mine!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Blogger? Norah Colvin

whos-that-blogger
Blogmaster
:  Norah Colvin

Blog names:  Norah Colvin and readilearn

  

Type of blog:  NorahColvin: education focus; readilearn: early childhood education teaching ideas and resources

Where in the world?  Australia

Blogging since when?  Norah Colvin August 2013; readilearn August 2016

What’s your story?  When I started thinking about self-publishing stories and teaching resources, I did a lot of online research and attended many writing seminars. The collective intelligence promoted blogging as the primary avenue for writers to make connections and establish audience, and insisted on the importance of doing so prior to publication. Social media was also important, but secondary to blogging. At that time, I didn’t know much about social media and had no idea about blogging. Some of the course presenters suggested bloggers to follow, so I quickly got started and developed an understanding of what blogging was about. I was then keen to get my own blog started, and haven’t looked back. While I began with a particular purpose in mind, and that purpose is definitely still there, what keeps me going is the feeling of community, of connection with others, that I have established through my blogging with my blogging friends.

What types of blogs do you follow? My choice of blogs to follow is quite eclectic, but reflective of my interest in education. Education is rather a broad topic after all. I read blogs with any connection to education including early childhood education, children’s literature, psychology, neuroscience, general science, writing, and literature. It is impossible to list all the types of blogs I read. But the ones I follow are those that engage in discourse, who are interested in developing a relationship and being part of an online community. I am very fortunate that I have met many wonderful bloggers who fit this description. A few years ago I coined a phrase to describe us: S.M.A.G. Society of Mutual Admiration and Gratitude. Anyone can join. You just need to be supportive, kind and encouraging.

Early bird or night owl? I’d love to be a night owl and an early bird, but my candle doesn’t stand straight if I now try to burn it at both ends. I am fortunate that I no longer need to work full time for another employer so, although it doesn’t actually feel like it with the schedule I create for myself, I have the luxury of a little more time to devote to my writing. I have maintained a schedule of posting twice a week since I began blogging in 2013. Since the launch of readilearn last year, one of those posts is now published on the readilearn blog, and reposted on NorahColvin.com. I prioritise writing the blog posts and creating the teaching resources which are explained in the readilearn post, so this generally comes first in the morning – but not too early; usually after breakfast and housework if I can’t think of a good excuse to delay the housework for one more day (week or month).

Coffee or tea? Peppermint tea for morning tea, coffee after dinner.

Most recent binge watch: My grandchildren playing! 😊


Check out these recent posts on Norah Colvin and readilearn:

Easter holiday wishes – Readilearn
But why?
Can you guess:  Who am I?


Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

Calmer Secrets by Jennifer Kelland Perry


Calmer Secrets
by
Jennifer Kelland Perry

Rating:

Samantha and Veronica Cross had to start fresh when they moved with their mother Darlene from Newfoundland’s Calmer Cove to St. John’s.  Attending a new high school and making friends were their first challenges and soon they discovered the charms of Ben Swift, a handsome local boy with his own troubles.  As the sisters rivaled for his attention, jealousy and misunderstandings threw the Cross family off balance into a spiral of disaster.

Calmer Girls is Perry’s first coming-of-age novel about the Cross sisters.  Calmer Secrets picks up in 1998, four years later.  If they thought the teenage years were turbulent, they are now learning that relationships in their twenties can be just as complicated.

Veronica is a single mom to three-year-old Henry and Samantha is an art student at Grenfell, seven hours away.  Their old friend Ben may be far away at the moment, but he’s on the minds of both girls, for different reasons, and it will be a long time before the sisters forget what happened.  Veronica copes by finding, then quickly discarding boyfriends.  And while on break, Samantha takes up with her old friend, Kalen O’Dea.  He’s charming and gorgeous, and fronts a popular cover band in town, but there’s something puzzling about his behavior.  Veronica warns her, but who is she to give advice?

The real elephant in the room, however, is Darlene’s drinking.  She’s met a new man, Cash, who owns the Bambury Tavern and the two work side-by-side.  He’s a great guy, but can he see the problem?  How long can the family look the other way?

Calmer Secrets is an excellent story about the difficult and unsettled years that are the twenties.  As with all quality writing, Perry’s storytelling flair is enhanced by her descriptive talent.  Reading about St. John’s makes me want to move there and, thanks to Perry’s introductions, I feel like I already have some friends in town.  As with Calmer Girls, Calmer Secrets includes many enjoyable and relatable details about the 1990s, as well as local customs, foods and phrases, giving the Calmer series a unique brand.  In addition, Perry integrates themes of family, friendship, love and second chances, giving the reader a great deal to think about afterwards.  I especially enjoyed seeing her characters transform and step up when they are needed most. And an extra treat are the quotes from classic literature at the beginning of each chapter, a smart detail that ties her story to larger ideas.  I’m looking forward to reading more about the Calmer sisters!

I recommend Calmer Secrets to all readers who like realistic stories about family and community in a friendly and colorful setting.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Click here for a review of Calmer Girls.

 

Who’s That Indie Author? Eliot Parker

whos-that-indie-author
Author name
:  Eliot Parker

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller

Books: Breakdown at Clear River, Making Arrangements, Fragile Brilliance, Code for Murder (to be released in September 2017 by Black Rose Press)

      

Bio:  Eliot currently teaches writing and literature at Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, West Virginia. He received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2015 and was honored by the West Virginia Community College Association (WVCCA) for Outstanding Contributions to Community College Education. Eliot is also a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project and his a certified online course reviewer for Quality Matters. Eliot also hosts the television show “Chapters” across the Armstrong Television Network, which profiles authors, editors, and publishers in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Click here to view episodes of the show on YouTube’s ArmstrongOneWire. Eliot is the proud pet-parent of two loving, and spoiled cats, Layla and Buddy, and enjoys sports, traveling, reading, and movies when he’s not writing.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Creating stories and characters

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Marketing

Favorite books:  all books by John Steinbeck, Pat Conroy, C.J. Box, and Lisa Scottoline. I love the non-fiction/history books written by David McCullough and Doug Brinkley as well.

Contact Information: eliotparker.com

Awards/special recognition:  Eliot’s latest novel, Fragile Brilliance, was a finalist for the Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize (part of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize) in Thriller Writing. In 2016, the National Literary Habitat Organization awarded Eliot with the Bronze Award for mystery/thriller writing. His short fiction has appeared in One Story Magazine, Apex Books, Evil Jester Press, and others. In October 2016, Eliot was awarded the Literary Merit Award from the West Virginia Library Association for his books and stories.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

Out with the flu – new post tomorrow!

Image: Pixabay

Hello!

I got slammed with the flu and have not been able to post.  But stay tuned for a new post tomorrow.  I’ll be back in the blogging world soon…

Image: Pixabay

…and next year I’ll get a flu shot even though I tend to faint when I get a shot!


Thank you for reading.  Here’s what’s coming up:

A new Who’s That Indie Author



A review of Calmer Secrets by Jennifer Kelland Perry
Great follow-up to Calmer Girls!


A review of The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin
Wild and exciting medical thriller!

See  you soon!