The Opportunist, by Elyse Friedman (HarperCollins Canada, 275 pages)
Confession time: I haven’t missed an episode yet Succession. Not since the time of 1, Claudius he has family flaws kept inspiring me on screen. So I read the blurb further Opportunity by Toronto writer Elyse Friedman, I couldn’t resist. Succession Canada? Why not?
Ed Shropshire is a zillionaire patriarch, he was happily welcomed on his private island of BC and planned his wedding to his nurse, a bright young woman of 50 years. Could this be a love game? Enter Ed’s sons who are deeply suspicious of the bride’s motives, especially the charity foundation that will be hers to manage and control once Ed is born. Anything the boys say will be ignored. After all, they have a lot to lose. But Ed has a daughter, Alana, a cut off, abandoned, single mother with a severely disabled daughter. Alana may be able to contribute to the marriage plans.
This plan sounds strange but you should keep reading. What does Succession Work is a clear path for every player, especially the aptly named Shiv Roy, his only daughter and a professional gambler. Alana could use Shiv’s hatred but Friedman is a good writer and gives Alana enough vinegar to keep her interesting. Friedman has written several books and a book of poetry. If this is his first secret, he should keep it. Opportunity it is beautiful.
The General Of Tiananmen Square, by Ian Hamilton (House of Anansi, 326 pages)
What’s better than a book about hugger-mugger movies? Many selfish people meet with bigger funds, and it is a perfect place for international business espionage. Enter Ian Hamilton’s astronaut, Ava Lee, on her fifteenth tour. At a time when many series are falling apart, Hamilton’s hero stars in his best book yet.
The story opens in the perfect setting, the huge Cannes Film Festival where fortunes and fame are made. Ava is along for the ride. His partner Pang Fai is one of the stars of Overview of Tiananmen Square, one of the highlights of the festival. At the end of the week, Summary it won awards for everyone, especially star director Lau Lau, and the film received good distribution sales.
Successfully, everyone, including Ava, heads to Hollywood and the Oscars, but then things start to go awry. Delivery is delayed. Then the seller disappears. The Chinese government has good reasons for not wanting the film to be released and Ava realizes that her friends could lose more than an Oscar if she doesn’t get involved.
The Bullet Garden, by Stephen Hunter (Atria, 466 pages)
I grabbed this book off the shelf and read it over the weekend. I loved Stephen Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger series, as well as his other works, but I loved his earlier books featuring Bob Lee’s father, Earl, who lived my life in Hot Springs. , Ark., his hometown. Earl turned away when Bob Lee came into the picture, but I missed him. Now he’s back inside The Bullet Garden, a prelude to his adventures in France during the Second World War. Whoopee!
We begin with a conflict between French underground fighters and a group of OSS operatives preparing for D-Day. Earl is gone but the problems are there and we know he will be gone soon. The British manager in charge is impatient. The American seems to be easy. What happens next sets the stage for all future actions. Amidst the terrible news coming out of the Ukraine, Swagger and Hunter seem to be very important and the twists just keep coming.
The Murder book, written by Mark Billingham, (Small, Brown, 405 pages)
Be careful. This is DI Tom Thorne’s book and that means lots of bodies and gory scenes. It means: the first man killed (who died in his bed, naked) has his ears removed. The following are even worse. DNA evidence reveals that Thorne and his partner, Nicola Tanner, are looking for the killer of the women. The suspect shows up and fits the bill, but Thorne’s psychologist, Melita Perera, isn’t convinced. Then things get really scary. This is one of Billingham’s best.
Sleeping Beside You, by Michael Robotham (Sphere, 389 pages)
This excellent story is a whodunnit that turns into a serial killer that turns into a chase for a victim, then adds a final twist. And all this is done without shame (what they ate and drank) or casual and unwanted sex. Add that to two incredibly well-crafted authors and you have an amazing mystery book.
The story begins when psychologist Cyrus Haven faces a life crisis. His older brother, Elias, who is a patient in a secure psychiatric hospital, is about to be released. Twenty years before that, Elias killed his parents and his twin sisters. This is the reason why Cyrus became a psychologist. Now, Cyrus must take responsibility for Elijah’s future. Is he still dangerous?
The speech ends when Cyrus is called by the Nottingham police to the scene of the crime. The husband is dead and his daughter is missing. The foul play is clear. The police started gathering information when Haven started talking about the murder. When the second woman disappears, it becomes clear that there may be a serial killer.
As the police collect their information, another person becomes involved. Evie Cormac is Cyrus’ guest, a girl he rescued from an orphanage and tries to survive a series of tragedies. Who Evie really is, and what happened are bits of flotsam in this story. But Evie’s ability to read the truth is key and her clever (often non-combat) tactics are part of the solution. As the trial continues, there is doubt and Robotham does not let up until the last paragraph. Will Evie and Cyrus return? I don’t know, but I can hope.
Before You Know My Name, by Jacqueline Bublitz (Atria, 320 pages)
Alice Lee was a small town girl who needed a new life. With $600 and a bus ticket, he headed to New York with high hopes and bigger dreams. After a few weeks she ended up as a nameless corpse that no one missed: a sad little Jane Doe. Ruby Jones is another woman looking for a new life in Manhattan. What he finds is the body of Jane Doe. There are no clues, no forensics, not even a name, but Ruby is determined to follow up on everything she can find and give Jane Doe a name if it’s not fair. That’s where this wonderful book begins, and I found it irresistible.
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