On the nightstand … Week of November 30th, 2015

It’s been a depressing week of reading. It’s exam season at work, and all my reading time has been taken up with marking. Exams end this week, so I’m hoping to be back to my regular reading patterns soon.

So, even though I have the following books on the nightstand, only a page or two of each have been read so far this week:

The Son by Jo Nesbo (lent to me by a student)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (savouring it)

It never ceases to amaze me how much I miss reading when I’m not able to; it’s an addiction; it’s food; it’s a necessity. Does anyone else feel this way?

Review: Edge of Black by J.T. Ellison


Summary (from http://www.goodreads.com)
Dr. Samantha Owens is starting over: new city, new job, new man, new life. She’s trying to put some distance between herself and the devastating loss of her husband and children, but old hurts leave scars.

Before she’s even unpacked her office at Georgetown University’s forensic pathology department, she’s called to consult on a case that’s rocked the capital and the country. An unknown pathogen released into the Washington Metro has caused nationwide panic. Three people died, just three.

A miracle and a puzzle.

Amid the media frenzy and Homeland Security alarm bells, Sam painstakingly dissects the lives of those three victims and makes an unsettling conclusion. This is no textbook terrorist causing mayhem with broad strokes, but an artist wielding a much finer, more pointed instrument of destruction. An assassin, whose motive is deeply personal and far from understandable.

Xander Whitfield, a former army ranger and Sam’s new boyfriend, knows about seeing the world in shades of gray. About feeling compelled to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Only his disturbing kinship with a killer can lead Sam to the truth
and once more into the line of fire.


Now, this book I finished in two days! This is my first J.T. Ellison novel (and I started with the second one because that’s what was available in the library), and I enjoyed it.

It was a heart-pounding mystery from multiple perspectives that kept me guessing fro beginning to end. Dr. Owen’s is a likable, intelligent, no-nonsense woman who knows exactly what she wants (her relationship with Xander is complicated, but ironically simple) and knows how to say, “no” to what she doesn’t (the advances of Detective Fletcher). While the writing is quite basic and simplistic, the plot is interesting and full of suspense. Because the novel is written in multiple perspectives, we get a chance to get to know the characters in quite a bit of depth.

If you enjoy a mystery or a who dun’ it, then I would recommend this for you.

Review: The Wolf in the Winter by John Connolly

wolf-in-winter-225Summary (from http://www.goodreads.com)

The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town…
But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet. Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive. Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins…


I have to admit something … this is embarrassing … oh dear … I didn’t finish the book.

I started it and it was absorbing because how can you not be when the first scene is a home invasion by armed men and an explosion?! After that, life got in the way … In short, two weeks of not touching the book (being distracted by work and other books), I have decided to move on and come back to it later. A little distance is always a good thing, I find, especially for books that don’t pull you to them, if that makes sense.

Has anyone read this? What are your thoughts?