Margin Notes: It's a Mystery

I've read a couple mysteries lately. Both were actually quite fun reads!

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
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.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How could I not read this, when I love Harry Potter so darn much! I enjoyed reading this book--so very different from Harry, it's still an engaging, well-written plot. Cormoran Strike is a little depressed / depressing, however you understand where he's coming from. He's portrayed as this hairy, manly, brooding type. Surprising that he hits it off with all the models, but maybe he has a bit of the rockstar gene from his father. His assistant, Robin, I loved. I thought she was bright, and fun, and added an element of lightness to the book that made it better in my mind. (It's fairly obvious that her engagement is headed nowhere good.. that could have been less heavy-handed). I felt like as she was learning about the trade, so was I. It was a fairly typical mystery--the celebrity angle didn't hook me that much. But it made London come alive, which was fun.

Reconstructing Amelia

A stunning debut novel in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter's life, sifting through her emails, texts, and social media to piece together the shocking truth about the last days of her life.

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.

Kate can't believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who's never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate's faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead.

Seemingly unable to cope with what she'd done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of "spontaneous" suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text:

She didn't jump.

Sifting through Amelia's emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall's roof that day-and why she died.

Told in alternating voices, Reconstructing Amelia is a story of secrets and lies, of love and betrayal, of trusted friends and vicious bullies. It's about how well a parent ever really knows a child and how far one mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she could not save.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think is give this a 3.5 if possible. It was seriously readable-I gobbled it right up. The story was sad and interesting and compelling, but the way it wrapped up was too neat, too quick, not enough accountability. Just what I needed though! An enjoyable read.

Defending Jacob

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was quite the legal thriller. I must admit, I don't often pick up legal thrillers, but this is based in Newton (I live near Newton), and so many people are talking about it, I wanted to get in on the action. The story is told primarily from one perspective (the ADA, father of the accused) but also via court transcripts. I liked that--but at times I got annoyed by the main characters repetitive emotional state. Because he was looking back on the story, he could see what he did wrong. He didn't really have much emotional growth throughout the story, just in hindsight (which we all know is 20/20). I loved the pace, the plot, the fact that we don't actually ever know what happened. I've read better legal thrillers, but this was a fun, crazy, interesting read and I appreciate it for what it was!
 View all my reviews


Popular Posts