Neshama's Choices for late September

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this installment covers a novel about the greedy rich,  Anne Tyler's latest, and a new C.J. Box mystery!


   The Darlings  by Cristina Alger

Ahh, schadenfreude.  So satisfying when the rich get theirs. In this case the Darlings are indeed the darling of NYC high society. Carter is a financier and his wife is deep in social circles. His son in law Paul, a lawyer, ends up working for the firm and two months into it, cracks appear: a ponzi scheme. Loyalties and cover ups tussle and there's corruption all around. Quite a surprise ending. I love to witness those who think they're on top shaken to their knees. And the press, as is often the case, blows the whistle. A lively read.

   The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

A new Tyler book is always cause for celebration. This one's quieter than most. Aaron and Dorothy have an almost accidental courtship for two previously solitary people. He works for the family vanity press which has developed a "Beginner's" series, everything from bird watching to heart attacks. Dorothy's a doctor. They don't seem romantic but have a solid bond, abruptly broken when a tree falls on their house and kills her. (Shades of the Wizard of Oz.) Aaron's flattened too, emotionally, until Dorothy's specter, in fleeting appearances, gets him in touch with what he had, what he lost, and what he might have done better. Meanwhile a romance is growing between Aaron's good-guy contractor Gil and his sister Nandina. Finally Aaron rejoins life--whew! What I love most about Tyler's books is the modest, unglamorous nature of her protagonists, with their quirks and private rituals.

   Force of Nature by C. J. Box

I've been reading C.J. Box for years and this is his latest and very gripping indeed. I'm not sure how I got hooked originally, because very few of the coordinates match my usual reading tastes. But there's something about Joe Pickett, principled game warden in Wyoming and dedicated family man, that spoke to me. The terrain is wild and vividly described. His daughters, now teenagers, speak authentically. Arrogant, stupid sheriff McLanahan is still blowing hard and making his life a misery. And his fugitive friend, Nate Romanowsky, is facing a standoff with his arch enemy who now threatens everyone in Pickett's world as well. Nate's a falconer and there are many references to the art and sport, including "yarick," the ultimate primitive focus of a raptor at its peak. Yes, much of the action is formulaic, and Box gives us a bit too much detail about weaponry for my taste, but in the week I listened to this book on CD in my car, I looked forward to every mile on the road.


Back in October.  How time flies...


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Posted by: Neshama

Neshama works at the Fairfax Library.

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