Monday, December 24, 2012

In the Shadow of Gotham

I recently finished "In the Shadow of Gotham," by Stefanie Pintoff. This is an excellent historical murder mystery with a wonderfully developed main character. Simon Ziele, formerly a detective in New York City, is working in Dobson, NY just north of the city when a murder with ties to a Columbia University research group brings him back into the city. Despite his recent loss in the city Detective Ziele carries on ultimately uncovering deception, blackmail, and two more murders on the way to apprehending the true culprit. The story and language are wonderful, particularly if a reader has any interest in New York City at the dawn of the 20th century. I found that the main character was likable and relate-able, a sign of the author's strength of character writing. The past he was avoiding by moving to Dobson never seemed far from his mind much like anyone who suffered a real tragedy. Ziele's skill and honesty about his errors and strengths made him a real and tangible character. I was hoping for a somewhat more twisted ending as I had assumed the true killer from the start but the story kept me involved throughout regardless. I recommend this to anyone looking for a little history and a good murder mystery.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dead Until Dark

I just buzzed through Charlaine Harris' first Sookie Stackhouse book, "Dead Until Dark." I'm not sure what I thought of the book, although it was a simple and quick read it was not quite what I expected in regards to plot. Although the Rene Lanier story line allowed for introduction of characters it seemed just too easily put together to me. I decided to read the book because I watched a few of the True Blood seasons. Which is a completely different post as I believe the show has jumped the shark. However while the book did present a different singular perspective, that of Sookie, it lacked that cool mysterious off the map Louisiana feel that True Blood used to have. If you are looking for a very quick read this may be the book for you but there are better and deeper stories out there.