Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Events Of the Last Week

Wow what a week, I have been sick with a cold for a week now. Everytime I think I am finally getting over it I seem to have a relapse and am back in bed. It did however allow me a lot of time to read and so I will give you reviews on three books I read over the last week.

The first was Michael Connelly “The Lincoln Lawyer” a legal thriller put out by Little Brown and Company 2005.

An entertaining book, a fast, fun plot, quirky yet believable characters, The Lincoln Lawyer is Mickey Haller - so named because his office is the back of his Lincoln Town car. He works from the car as he travels between courts in Southern California defending riff raff. He has two ex-wives and a daughter. He sees the law not about justice but how he can manipulate the evidence against his clients. In the end he decides to go for justice and as is often said no good deed should go unpunished he ends up being shot, his previous clients sue him and bleed him dry, and he is suspended for conduct unbecoming an attorney. As I said it is an entertaining book by an established writer.

I read two Books by Charles Todd in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries series. For those not familiar with Charles Todd; Charles Todd is a made up name for a Mother-son writing team, the mother lives in Delaware and the son has since moved to North Carolina. They have recently put out their 15th book in the Ian Rutledge series and it is called “The Confession”.

Inspector Ian Rutledge is a World War I veteran suffering from shell shock. He has returned to his job at Scotland Yard where he deals with a boss who doesn’t like him and a ghost of a Scottish soldier he had shot for disobeying an order. The books are set in post–World War I England so I guess they fit the category historical mysteries.

Both books were taken out on loan from the Delmar Library where they put a small label on the back of the book to show which number they are when there is a series of books. In this case I read Number 12 “The Red Door’ and number 13 “A Lonely Death”.

In “the Red Door” Harper Collins Publishers 2010; a woman who has been bludgeoned to death in one part of England, in another part of England a man suffering from a mysterious illness first goes missing, Scotland Yard is called in and then he suddenly reappears and in London, and in London a young robber is cutting up people. Inspector Rutledge relates the first two mysteries into one and the third he handles on it’s own. I found the book very complicated by entirely too many characters (old people can’t remember who they are as there are so many) and way too many twists and turns in solving the case. Eventually the book became interesting but it was not one of the better ones I have read. Perhaps if I had read the previous eleven books of this series I would have better understood the character of inspection Rutledge. Also having never been to England I can only assume the many details of towns and villages are correct.

The second Book “ A Lonely Death” Harper Collins Publishers 2011; Again this book has three elements in it, first, a captain of artillery whom Rutledge had befriended in the war just killed himself due to the effects of the Great War. Second, three men in the village of Eastfield in Sussex are found dead, by being garroted and left dead with an ID disc in their mouth. Third, a retiring Chief Inspector, Cummins, shares details of a murder committed on Midsummer's Eve in 1905 at Stonehenge which by a series of coincident he manages to become involved in.

Again this story had too many characters in it to keep track of. By the time it is done you have been introduced to everyone in Eastfield (Thankfully it is a small town). Once again the three events tend to intermingle and each one lends itself to solving the mysteries of the others. This isn’t a bad story and I found it more interesting than “The Red Door”. It develops the Ian Rutledge Character better as far as his problems left over from the Great War are concerned. It also brings out the politics of Scotland Yard. I think I will try some of the other books in this series.

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