I love this time of year. The garden is full of bright, yellow daffodils and now that the clocks have changed the evenings are so much lighter. Can’t believe, though, that we’re already a quarter of the way through the year!
My work-in-progress, Scarborough Rock, is progressing slowly but steadily. I now have 38,000 words. I always find getting from 30,000 to 40,000 quite tricky. That’s when I usually start to have doubts about the story and whether it’s any good or not. If I can push past 40,000 then I’m on the home stretch. Hopefully the next month will see me over that particular hurdle.
I read lots of fiction in March and finally finished a non-fiction book that I’d been reading for a few months.
Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat is a tragic love story set in war-torn France and featuring members of the French resistance. The climax of the story is based on a true event. A moving account of life in Nazi-occupied France.
A Greater World by Clare Flynn tells the story of Elizabeth Morton and Michael Winterbourne who both emigrate to Australia in the 1920s for different personal reasons. They meet on the ship going over and fall in love, but fate and circumstances conspire to keep them apart.
I love Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series of detective novels and thoroughly enjoyed re-reading The Cuckoo’s Calling. I’ve been struck recently by J.K. Rowling’s Dickensian qualities and wrote a blog post comparing the two authors. This is a novel about much more than the murder. It explores issues of fame, celebrity, wealth and poverty. Strike is a brilliantly drawn rough diamond and his assistant, Robin, is feisty and instantly likeable. A winning combination.
Devil May Care by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant is their second attempt at a literary work of fiction. Their other one was Axis of Aaron. I haven’t read any of their other books (except Axis) because I’m just not into sci-fi or alien invasions. But I’ve enjoyed both of their literary offerings. One of the things these authors like to do in their literary writing is blur the boundaries between what is real and what isn’t. Devil May Care is really a book about the creative process of writing a novel, so all very meta. The writing is sharp and witty and stylish.
Welcome to the Hotel Yalta by Victoria Dougherty is a collection of intertwined short stories set in Cold War Eastern Europe. The writing is extremely evocative. The stories are linked through the characters who pop up, unexpectedly, in different settings. Based on the strength of this collection I would definitely like to read a longer work by this author.
Forensics by Val McDermid is a detailed look at how forensics has developed from its earliest beginnings to the present day. Val McDermid interviews current practitioners about their work and discusses in detail how forensic evidence has been used to solve a number of different crimes. It was a fascinating read and the book will stay on my bookshelves for future reference.