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A Price for Genius

by Lin Wilder

This is my third Lin Wilder book in the last 4 months, and I’ll be reading her Dr. Lindsey McCall series as long as she writes them.  Although each book could stand alone, as a methodical reader, I really appreciate reading a series sequentially. Watching characters grow and develop make or break any series, and Wilder is proving herself adept at stretching the boundaries for her characters.

Book 3 in the McCall series, “A Price for Genius” is very different than books 1 and 2. Reviews for those books can be found here:

https://eyesandearsbooks.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/the-fragrance-shed-by-a-violet/

https://eyesandearsbooks.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/do-you-solemnly-swear/

This book is primarily set in Switzerland, and much of the plot centers around a kidnapping. Wilder keeps the material fresh by introducing new characters, and they assemble to form a rescue team. Unlike the McCall we met in book 1, by book 3 a small community (more accurately a family) develops and we get to enjoy relationships growing deeper. It will be interesting to see how the group grows in book 4.  Yes, book 4 is in the works already.  blog

One thought which runs through my brain while reading all of Wilder’s books is that she must be very, very intelligent. Her writing is not dumbed-down and she manages to use her own previous experience in the medical field to write material which is interesting as fiction, but which also is informative to a reader.  I read a wide variety of material and I really am drawn to that which challenges me, rather than simply turning pages to finish. Wilder writes for a smart audience.

Here is an example of the level of intellect found throughout the novel:

But the threats to twenty-first-century man can rarely be solved by fighting or fleeing. Rather than dissipating through extreme physical exertion, these hormonal and neurochemical products are built up over time and can be toxic. The consequences of severe stress and adrenal exhaustion over prolonged periods of time can be fatal, leading to the belief that stress is considered one of the top contributors to the leading causes of death in the twenty-first century, heart disease and stroke, cancer.

The only thing I did not like, and I didn’t even realize it until the last chapter, is that one of my favorite characters didn’t get much time in this novel.  Max.  A Doberman. Yes, I missed the dog.

 

 

Six Seconds

by Rick Mofina

Finally, a benefit to an asthma attack followed by a round of insomnia inducing steroids – another book finished in a matter of days.  Healing brain is coming back online!  This was another bonus gift from the bookshelves of our newly purchased, fully furnished home.  “Six Seconds” by Rick Mofina became my constant companion while I laid awake trying to relearn how to breathe.  I loved this book.  twitter

I don’t know the previous home’s owners but this one intrigued me because as seen on the cover, it was not for sale and contained advance uncorrected proofs.  The final edition may be different than the story I am reviewing, but I was thoroughly captivated by the plot and characters. Written @2008, I also was intrigued by the behind the scenes glimpses into capturing terrorists as our world is now so entrenched with dangers from all corners.  If you’ve watched a ‘reality’ cooking show, and then been impressed that we ever get a table full of hot meals delivered simultaneously at a restaurant, that’s kind of what it felt like to see the inner workings of agencies on the task of protecting an international figure ripe for terrorist anger.  Yet, we see within our own 24 hour news cycles how quickly a terror cell is discovered when, from a distance, it seems highly unlikely perpetrators will be caught.

There are several main characters in “Six Seconds” which, in this case, helped move the story along and kept me interested.  From the Canadian Mountie detective, to the grieving American mother to the radicalized British mom who was central to the terrorist plot, I felt connected to each for very personal reasons.  Mofina writes in a way that he brings out the human-side of suffering, living with our own failed choices and acting out of desperation with seemingly little choice but to cope.  This is a skill few authors possess but which really work to bring “Six Seconds” from locations throughout the world, into my own brain.

This is a fast paced story which occurs in multiple locations including Iraq, California, Montana and includes enough detail that you can’t coast through while you read.  That was good, because I appreciate having to put some effort into a book without it feeling like effort.  One of the greatest compliments I can give an author is that while reading the story, I don’t want to step away from it.  This book was exactly that for me.  It didn’t matter which character was being featured in the current chapter I was reading; when I had to stop for sleep (very little) or life (a lot), I didn’t want to put it down.

Next step is to find more of Mr. Mofina’s writings and stock up.

I started a travel book journey across the US and, although this book takes place in many locations, I’m classifying it as Montana fiction since much of the story, and culmination, centers on that state.