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Patch Book Club: Red Herrings Galore but Few Surprises in ‘The Lost Years’

What have you been reading this week?

I admit it. I haven't been doing much reading this week. I have been caught up in watching all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. What can I say? I did, however, get a little reading done. I'd love to know what you've been reading lately, so please leave a comment and tell me about the books you have read recently. 

“The Lost Years” by Mary Higgins Clark – Verdict: Predictable. For a writer as popular as Clark, she must have some better books out there. This one was a disappointment. A grieving daughter, Mariah Lyons, is left to figure out who killed her father, a renowned scholar who may have discovered a priceless Biblical text before he was murdered. Was it Mariah’s Alzheimer-stricken mother or one of her father’s friends or her father’s mistress? Clark throws some very obvious red herrings across the reader’s path, but honestly the answer to this mystery was painfully obvious early on in the book. Yes, I kept reading because I felt surely I was missing whatever it is that makes Clark so popular. After all 288 pages, I still had not found it. 

“The Blessing Way” by Tony Hillerman – Verdict: Slow and meandering until it becomes inexplicably and pointlessly rushed. I’m new to Tony Hillerman, so I won’t judge his entire body of work based on this one book. There were parts of the book that were truly interesting -- in particular the parts describing various Navajo tribal ceremonies and lore. However, the actually murder-mystery part of the book was lacking. The last 50 pages or so just seemed like a very rushed, unconvincing explanation of everything that had transpired beforehand. Also, there wasn’t much in the way of character development. One of the main characters, Joe Leaphorn, is a central figure in later books so I guess readers learn more about him throughout the series. In this book though, it ended with me knowing little more than I did before the book started. That said, I would probably read another Hillerman book for the cultural elements if nothing else. 

What have you been reading this week? Let us know in the comments.

You might also be interested in reading:

Pat Thomas September 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM
It's on. I'm breaking out "Storm Front" (Book #1) tonight. =D
Ed Varn September 14, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Shirer is heavy reading indeed, but no historian beyond Churchill analyzed the Third Reich as well as he.
Kristi Reed September 14, 2012 at 09:41 AM
I haven't come across a better historian. I also haven't come across too many people who have read Shirer. I like you better and better all the time Ed.
Jan Schredl September 15, 2012 at 04:26 AM
For something raw, humorous, mystical and true try 'Graffiti On My Soul' by Johanna, a girl's journey from a monastery to a nightmare--different and gripping!
Kristi Reed September 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM
That certainly sounds different - I just looked it up on Amazon and it has great reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Graffiti-My-Soul-Johanna/dp/1608609618

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