Tag Archive | Mystery

Taking on Water

by David Rawding

This was another book that was given to me, so I started out having no idea of plot or genre and was pleasantly surprised to find this a very good Audible listen. Set in a small fishing town in New Hampshire, this is a mystery/thriller novel involving the decline of the blue collar worker and the influx of illegal drugs.

blogAs a debut novel, Rawding was very successful in penning characters who seemed very real. Having grown up in a small fishing village on the coast of New Jersey, I was impressed with the attention to detail about fishing, and appreciated the time spent explaining the industry. Rawding also was very accurate (not speaking to the drug running, lol), but I certainly saw my share of fisher-families devastated by bad seasons, acts of God and industry regulations.

The main character, James Morrow, is employed as a social worker who has lived, and seen, his fair share of abuses. He is more than a 9-5 worker and because of his off work hours spent with young teen Kevin, Morrow is drawn into the underside of this “quiet” fishing village. A mixed race marriage to a police woman adds to the investment Morrow makes in the mystery of fishing and drugs and ultimately leads to traumatic loss and questionable choices.

“Taking on Water” is a very solid mystery worthy of a read. Having listened to this via Audible, my experience with the material, as always, is influenced by the ability of the narrator.  I’d never heard Curt Simmons before, but instantly connected with his voice. If you are an audio book listener, you likely know that it’s sometimes a hit or miss. There are some voices, inflections, pauses….which can ruin good writing. In my new world order, if I don’t enjoy a book, I’m out. Life is too short to waste on bad material. Simmons helped make this novel pleasurable and the time passed too quickly. His voice choices for each character were fitting, and aided in my own visualization of who was speaking which brought the work to life for me.

I recommend “Taking on Water” and would read more by Rawding and would definitely listen to another Simmons narration.

 

For the US Book Challenge – this was set in New Hampshire.

 

 

 

Book #30 – he’s GONE

by Deb Caletti  book

Another book both liked and disliked.  The author knows how to speak to a reader.  The first few chapters, especially, as I listened to the narrator’s voice, I thought to myself that I could have written this.  Not because I am an amateur, but because in my own head I narrate my life using the same words and thought processes as this main character.  I was very comfortable with Dani right away.

The story begins with Dani talking about her secret thoughts, her view of life.  Immediately I saw myself in her shoes, which as a reader makes the character even more believable.

“…before I traveled, I did wipe up spilled stuff in my microwave and remove that big slab of fluff from the dryer vent that wasn’t supposed to be in the dryer vent.  I made sure my house was clean.  Tidying up my domestic crimes so no one would find out that I made messes and couldn’t keep my appliances under control, which is probably some version of the wear-your-clean-underwear-in-case-of-an-accident game.”

That is me!  My kids get so irritated that in addition to packing for vacations, I am vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the house.  I have always held a secret fear that in the case of my unexpected death, my girlfriends would enter my “normal” home and judge me.

This is a story of two middle aged people with grown children who “found each other” while they were both married to other people.  Going back and forth from the initial mystery of where is her husband now, Dani tells the story of their courtship, their destruction of their former lives, the rejection felt from old friends and children, and the realization that fairy tale endings don’t happen.  The other ultimate irony which seems expected, “if he’ll cheat with me, won’t he cheat on me?”

Once I realized how much of the book focused on the breakup of two families to make a new family, I lost interest in Dani.  Long time readers know a bit about me, but as a daughter to a thrice-divorced woman, I am solidly in the ranks of injured children.  Instead of oohing and aahing at the true love they each (thought) they’d finally found, all I could feel was sadness for what ended up destroyed.

And this topic upset me.  I have now promised my husband to be more careful in book selections.  I am already dealing with my recovery from brain damage, and he really, really wants me to read more uplifting material 😉

3/5 Stars

If you want a glimpse into real life Sue and why I need “happier” books, please visit:  http://newoldgirl.wordpress.com/