Review: So Cold the River

So Cold the River
So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Hoosier bias would have this as five stars: Koryta knows his setting! If, for some reason, a reader would like to immerse themselves in contemporary southern Indiana, this is the book to read. That is, if they want a creepy, haunted version of that part of the state. The living people are authentic, the not so living appear pretty much as you'd expect them. The thriller plot line goes on just a little too long and I thought the explanation for the grad student's heavy involvement was thin and cliched. However, there's a lot of originality in the rest of the story, enough to make me want to read another of Koryta's non-Lincoln Perry stories.

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Review: The Stranger's Child

The Stranger's Child
The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hollinghurst's ability to immerse a reader in time and place is all that kept me going to the end of this book. The selective omniscient point of view is used to drag out scenes that go nowhere while plot lines that might have been interesting (How did Jonah end up working for Harry Hewitt?) are teased and then dropped. There's also a tantalizing theme, almost buried in the soap opera passing as history plot, about how facts are only as factual as the person reporting them.

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