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Currently reading

The Invisible Eye
Alexandre Chatrian, Émile Erckmann, Erckmann-Chatrian, Hugh Lamb
Progress: 251/408 pages
Blood on the Tracks
Various Authors, Martin Edwards
Progress: 157/349 pages
The Great Captains
Henry Treece, James Cawthorn, Michael Moorcock
Progress: 9/224 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 374 pages.

What She Left - T.R. Richmond

this book is absolutely what I needed from the Crime & Mystery genre, after an underwhelming effort from Freeman Wills Crofts--an author I generally enjoy reading, but who doesn't flesh out his characters much more than is necessary to present his whodunit puzzle.


there is something I should stop doing, though: looking up reviews of books that I'm about to read, and seeing the negative ones. it puts me a little in fear of starting a book that I originally was excited to hear about--probably from one source that recommended it--and presets, in my mind, what I'm supposed to find disappointing. and multiple reviews that seem to react unhappily to the same characteristics in a book sure do build up a preconceived notion...


nevertheless, whether I break the habit of exploring widespread reaction to a book just before committing to it, or not, I am finding that in many cases I'm glad I read the book--which means I'm glad for the original good review, or list of recommended reading, that first made me aware of the book. and I've learned not to expect all the reviews I scan to be positive and glowing with enthusiasm. most of these books seem to get a split decision; it's just that I have happened upon one of the critics or list-makers who liked or loved it. I've also discovered that I may even agree with some of the specific "weaknesses" of a book, but not feel that the problems in a book tear the whole thing down to the extent that it wasn't worth reading, or worth an overall negative assessment from me. it's hard to find perfection, so I don't really look for it. and reading Freeman Wills Crofts, followed by something likes this, makes me appreciate the variety of approaches--especially as it has evolved in genres over the years as times change and people demand something fresh, different--and makes me realize that no one author can offer all things in one book. if they play to their strengths, and maybe risk a cool experiment now and then, I tend to have a good time with what's on offer.


anyway, I'm totally drawn into Alice's story here--this is a very involving, engaging portrait of a young drowning victim who left behind enough of a social-media footprint for a perhaps-oddly-obsessive former Prof of hers to pry into her life and secrets after she's gone. I love it. hypnotic stuff, and thank goodness for complex fictional characters! don't got those, and you better have something else wonderful on offer...