Short Reviews

  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell: How does one approach the fifth book of a favorite writer? Each book brings the fear that it won’t be as good as the last. Never fear with Thousand Autumns. While it might seem slow to start, Mitchell spends time creating layer upon layer of detail. It’s a very mature novel, one that I appreciated fully only at the end.
  • The Reversal by Michael Connelly: A new chapter in Conelly’s Lincoln Lawyer series finds defense attorney Mickey Haller recruited to be prosecutor in a high-profile case of a child murderer, who’s just been released after 24 years in jail.  There’s never any doubt that he did the murder, but Connelly excels at building courtroom drama suspense as well as the tension in investigating a old case. Harry Bosch is back as well, leading the investigation.
  • The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker: This book is mesmerizing. I can already imagine the film version with lots of empty landscapes and lone sheep grazing. The novel begins thirty years after Helmer has to return to the family sheep farm after the death of his twin brother Henk. He moves his elderly father upstairs and begins remodeling the house in a minimalist style. Then Riet, his brother’s fiance, shows up and asks that he let her son come live on the farm. Oh, his name is Henk, but he’s not Helmer’s nephew. Henk’s arrival throws things off course. There’s a surprise in the fourth part that I won’t ruin here. It’s a quietly humorous and tender novel.

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