Tonight was my mystery book group night but I didn’t finish the book (barely got past 40 pages) and I was kind of tired so I skipped out on the meeting. The group read Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh and although some of the reviews I’ve read about the book make it sound like it’s a great, fun read. I found it a bit tedious and not funny really. I’m hoping next month’s book, Little Tiny Teeth by Aaron Elkins will be more interesting.
However, I have read some very good mysteries so let me tell you about those. First, is Let It Bleed by Ian Rankin. Over the past couple of years I’ve been following the adventures of Inspector Rebus and I found this, the seventh in the series, to be another great entry.
The novel starts with a terrific fast-paced car chase scene which ends in a double suicide. As Inspector Rebus tries to find out about the young men who died, he realizes he’s up against a powerful business conglomerate and a lot of political mischief. That part sometimes made the reading drag a bit for me but what keeps me coming back to these is the inspector. He’s such a complex guy.
In this novel I also got the sense that Inspector Rebus may be headed for more trouble in the upcoming books. He’s drinking more and his relationships are a jumbled mess. I was a bit shocked at one thing Rebus does which has tragic consequences and he does offer apologies but I don’t think he realized just what a line he had crossed. I am sorry this is so vague but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Let it Bleed is also my first read in the What’s In A Name Challenge.
My other crime novel was Acqua Alta by Donna Leon, which is the fifth book in the Commissario Brunetti series.
As the flood waters rise in Venice, Commissario Brunetti is trying to find out who savagely beat his friend, Brett Lynch. The art historian, who first appeared in Death at la Fenice, has perhaps uncovered some art forgery that was taking place and so her beating was meant as a warning. The world of art is shown as one where money and power are more important than the art itself.
One thing I love about this series are the little scenes of domesticity between Brunetti, his wife and children. There can be corruption, death and assorted ugly things yet his family and his surroundings provide a calming grace and charm, and not just for Brunetti but for the reader as well.
I am already looking forward to the next book in this series.
You know what else I’ve been reading? The latest edition of Mystery Scene. I’ll tell you about the books I’ve added to my list soon.