GRISHAM/THE WHISTLER/ANOTHER SUMMER THRILLER

This may be the strangest whistle-blower case ever!  No problem for John Grisham in plotting THE WHISTLER. Lawyers(of course), rogues, Indian Casinos, and Florida.

A most worthy heroine pitted against a female corrupt judge.  The Florida Panhandle becomes the perfect setting for crime and corruption with a whistle-blower protected by tiers of wannabes in on the action of a big, big payout.   That’s enough  from me.  No one tells this tale better than Grisham.  Pair up with Grisham’s Camino Island ( see gordonsgoodreads.com) and you  can cover half the state of Florida and be off with two great fun summer reads.

 

CAMINO ISLAND/ JOHN GRISHAM/AUTHORS REPLACE LAWYERS

Again, John Grisham proves himself among the great storytellers in American literature.  CAMINO ISLAND fits the bill for a wonderful summer read and Grisham leaves the lawyers  behind and writes of authors, writers and the theft of  the original  F. Scott Fitzgerald  manuscripts from their safekeeping at Princeton University.  He is so compelling in his prose,  of course, you believe it may have  actually happened.

And so the story begins  and the twists and turns roll through the pages. As is my custom, I will allow you to discover the conclusion. The good news is that the novel m,reads so well you will arrive at the finish in four sittings or less.

A refreshing good read,  An enjoyable break from some heavier selections on your summer list.

 

 

 

TOM CLANCY/FULL FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE

Prescient is my favorite description of Mark Greaney, Jack Ryan/ Tom Clancy novels.

TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE , although written in 2016 , speaks to 2017  cyber theft, the ISIS crisis, Saudi hidden agendas and terrorism inside the United States.  The book can only be described as another Greaney, Clancy page by page gripping thriller.

The entire Hendley Associates and White House cast is present and even if you have not read the majority of this series, TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE can work as a stand alone.

It is not summer yet but put this one on your reading list.  It will not disappoint.

You can find overviews of  the majority of  the Tom Clancy series here at gordonsgoodreads.com.

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD/COLSON WHITEHEAD

The dust cover  description of Colson Whitehead’s  The UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is clear:  The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors  of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation of the history we all share.

Written as a narrative, The UNDERGROUND RAILROAD spares little in its descriptions and depiction of the physical and mental horrors of slavery.  Despite the dystopia, Whitehead  delivers glimmers of hope amidst the despair of each turning page.  Written as a narrative and the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The UNDERGROUND RAILROAD spares little in its descriptions and depiction of the physical and mental horrors of slavery.  Despite the dystopia, Whitehead  delivers glimmers of hope amidst the despair of each turning page.

The book adds to the  contemporary narrative of Twelve Years a Slave and  more recently Y’a’a Gyasi’s novel Homecoming.  See my overviews of the aforementioned here at gordonsgoodreads.com.

 

 

SURRENDER, NEW YORK/ CALEB CARR

I have two favorite mystery/ crime thriller authors, C.J. Sansom and Caleb Carr.  I had not caught up with Carr since reading  The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. I just finished his latest, Surrender, New York.  While Sansom, a Brit, sets his novels of the Shardlake Series in England during the period of Henry VIII, Caleb Carr is very much American and very much New York. The setting for Surrender, New York is upstate in, of course, a town named Surrender.

Carr’s ingredients for Surrender, New York are a potpourri : a psychological profiler, a trace evidence expert, throwaway children,  corrupt politicians, a discarded vintage airplane used as high-tech office, horrific crime scenes, Death’s Head Hollow, an 80 pound cheetah named Marciana rescued from a petting zoo, love when there was none thought possible and of course plenty of bad guys and bad girls.

I will not attempt to put together a story line for you. That would be a disservice to Carr. You will quickly be captured by the pages of Surrender, New York and if you have not already done so will rush back to his earlier novels.

Want to know more about Sansom?  Since  you are already on the site, search here at gordonsgood reads.com The entire Shardlake Series, plus Winter in Madrid is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BARKSKINS/ANNIE PROULK

The cast in Annie Proulx’s new novel, Barkskins, is enormous. It rapidly grows as each chapter follows generations of fur traders, adventurers and would be entrepreneurs  from the old world to the new. The family tree ( no pun intended) expands and the blood line grows to encompasses Native Americans and Native Canadians.  The story landscape ranges from Europe to the Canadian Maritimes, China, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest.

Barkskins  makes a profound environmental statement as the perceived good folks along with lots of bad guys begin their devastation of the American colonial landscape long before mechanization and 19th Century greed. It is the era of wood,  white pine,  New England ship building ,the axe, logging, spring river runs and hard men who live harder lives in the deep woods.

“A thousand men could not cut all this in a thousand years.”  But they did.  ” He hated the American clear-cut despoliation, the insane waste of sound valuable wood, the destruction of the soil, the gullying and erosion, the ruin of the forest world, with no thought for the future.”   A strong woman  inherits a modest lumber enterprise  and converts it into a family fortune by developing a mechanized deforestation machine.

The book is not just about the forests but of the devastation brought upon the native people of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine.  It is the sad saga so often heard of American expansion, this time telling the story of the Mi’Kmaq.

“Now when the forest were gone there had never been so few Mi’Kmaq since the beginning of time, less than fifteen hundred, the remains of a people who had numbered more than one hundred thousand in the time before the white-man came.”

A fortune created by destroying the forests and an entire Indian culture. In the end a desperate search for an heir to the ill-gotten gains, and it comes full circle. Who is the family?

You may work at this read in the beginning but you will quickly be captured. Such  brilliant writing.

Annie Proulx is famous for The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain.

 

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN/FAST TRACK/FAST READ

I agree with the NYT review.  Think Gone Girl when you get on board Paula Hawkins’ The Girl On The Train.  Good writing  here but a map would help sort through the fast-moving scenes. A thriller for sure. A who done it? Absolutely. Find this book in your local library’s ” New Releases, Read and Return In Seven Days,” section.

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I have not seen the movie. Some have told me it was ” OK.”