New book reviews

Some quick reviews of recent reads:

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg : Swedish crime novel, recently published in the U.S.  Synopsis: Erika, a writer whose parents just died in a car accident, has the horrifying misfortune of finding her childhood best friend’s body in a bathtub. It quickly becomes obvious that this wasn’t suicide–Alex was murdered. With the help of childhood friend, and now police detective, Patrik, Erika works to discover her friend’s killer, and uncovers the many long-buried family secrets, passions, and betrayals that are just under the surface of her seemingly quiet hometown.

Lackberg does a good job with her characters, making their interactions believable and well-drawn. The only thing I found less than compelling was the way the killer was revealed–I didn’t think it a plausible ending. But that didn’t diminish the pleasure I had in reading the book too much. Erika and Patrik are also found in Lackberg’s new book, The Preacher (recently published in the U.S.)

Lost December, by Richard Paul Evans: I’ve loved Evans’ books ever since I read The Christmas Box in 7th grade. I’ve read every adult fiction book he’s written (I still have to read his new YA novel, Michael Vey). Lost December joins the rest of his books in being a heartwarming story that revolves, in some way, around Christmas (Christmas figures in all of his books, either peripherally or as the main thrust of the story. Maybe that’s why I like them so much.) Synopsis: Luke Crisp is going to have it all. His father is a multimillionaire who built a business from the ground up–and he’s going to leave it all to Luke, his only child. When his father suggests Luke get his MBA, Luke is initially reluctant, but heads to Wharton Business School. On his own for the first time, he reenacts the story of the Prodigal Son, becoming estranged from his father and blowing through his entire $1M trust fun. How will Luke manage to get his life back on track–and can he be reconciled with his father?

(Note about Evans’ books–some are series, and some stand alone. I listed the series below

SERIES: The Christmas Box–> The Christmas Box, Timepiece, The Letter

The Locket–> The Locket, The Looking Glass, The Carousel

The Walk (ongoing series)–> The Walk, Miles to Go)

Out of Oz, by Gregory Maguire: The final novel in his wildly successful Wicked Series (yes, the same Wicked that the musical is based on). Definitely, definitely, definitely read the other books before you tackle this one, otherwise it won’t make any sense. 🙂 So I’m not going to give you a synopsis here, for that reason. But Maguire retells the story of Oz with panache. There are some moments when he seems to lose the thread of his story (this happens in all of the Wicked novels), but eventually the novels come back to themselves.

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