Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Book review: The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

The blurb.
"a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family’s secret past"

A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.

My opinion.
Wauw, what a novel. This is definitely one of the best books I've ever read. It's a brilliant mystery, but it's not just a story about solving a mystery. The outcome is delayed by telling the story of all the different generations involved. We get to know each and everyone of the characters in their own time, and how they are remembered. Brilliant. You fall in love with little Nell first, you fall in love with little Cassandra and little Eliza next. But the more the story goes on, the more you start to get to know the grown up versions too. Cassandra and her own troubling past, trying to uncover Nell's. By giving you the chance to get to know every one of them, you get so deeply involved in the mystery that you just can't let it go. You feel part of it.
The plot has a lot of unexpected turns. Every time you think you've got the answers, another secret is uncovered. Brilliant read, brilliant brilliant brilliant!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Book review: The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling

The blurb.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

My opinion.
The story started out slow. But a good slow, if that makes any sense. You really have the chance to follow Strike's thinking process, and although he gets there faster than you do, you still got to think, guess and accuse without the story running ahead of you. I don't have much experience with detective novels, but I'm guessing this is a good thing. It was for me. The last 100 or so pages were absolutely thrilling. Very exiting and unexpected, until the very end.
I did not really know what to make of Strike at the beginning, but I liked him, in all his strange ways. I liked how he treated his "secretary" and enjoyed their strange, but interesting relationship.
As I said, I normally don't read a lot of crime fiction/ detective novels/ however you want to call it, but "Robert Galbraith" might just have introduced me to a "new" genre.
And as always... I'm excited for more!