Thursday, July 29, 2010


French's 3rd book is probably as fabulous as the first two (though I loved INTO THE WOODS the best). The protagonist Detective returns home to Faithful Place (on the ugly side of Ireland, wherever it is) to find out that the girl whom he loved as a young man, and who vanished one night, was actually murdered, her body hidden in the basement of vacant house nearby. What unravels is typical Tana French ... a dysfunctional family, multiple motives, and the recognition that often the only difference between the good man and the bad man is that the good person doesn't do the things that they both imagining doing.


An old favorite that I read years ago, when I was (!) 24. The autobiography of a woman who grew up in colonial Kenya; as a child, she ran with kids in the bush and was nearly killed by a wild boar; at age 16 she was training world-class race horses; ten years later she was flying medical equipment and running safaris all over Africa. Born in 1902, she was the first woman to fly west across the Atlantic, against the headwinds, before crash-landing in Nova Scotia. She was Denys Finch-Hatton's mistress (you'll remember him as Robert Redford in OUT OF AFRICA) and was actually supposed to be on the plane that he died on. There's some debate about whether she actually wrote the book--Errol Trzebinski swears that one of her several husbands ghost-wrote it for her. But no matter. It's a fabulous read.


I went to see Zoe Sharp speak at Poison Pen in Scottsdale. She's very engaging, self-deprecating, with that dry "British" sense of humor. Book was fun, a slowish start, faster ending. I'd probably read another by her if it came my way.
My only gripe is the way that Charlie Fox (the protagonist/heroine/ex-military/bodyguard with a PAST) so quickly loves her little charge, Ella, age five or so, who actually seems sort of dull and spoiled, coy and giggly. But I must confess ... I don't always like other people's children in real life either. (Grin)