Both on Amazon, for Kindle:
$1.99: Tourist Season, by Carl Hiaasen. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson.
Describing a thriller/mystery as "quietly entertaining" may seem perverse but it was the overall impression I was left with. Joe Pickett and his family are good people who work hard, try to do the right thing and be the best family they can.
Joe works as Warden in a Wyoming State Park. It's a low wage job, with long hours and many opportunities to come into conflict with your (always armed and not always sober) neighbours who object to being ticketed for hunting violations. He and his pregnant wife are raising two daughters in the small, isolated house, that comes with the job.
Things go from challenging to life-threatening when Joe gets tangled up in a mystery involving a dead man in his backyard and outfitters shot dead in their camp.
Joe is a quiet man, calm in a crisis and slow to anger. I found watching him work out what is really going on is surprisingly calming.
The thriller aspects of the book are well done. There is a real sense of menace, especially in the scenes with Joe's oldest daughter, and some very violent confrontations that are dealt with unflinchingly. There is also death and loss and poverty and corruption.
Yet at the heart of it is Joe and his family and you know they will stand strong.
I enjoyed the outdoor feel of the book, which takes the time to describe the landscape and sunshine instead of just rushing on with the plot. This is necessary to take in the sheer scale of Wyoming.
This is the start of a series of books. I'll be reaching for the next one when I want to be in the company of a good man doing difficult things as well as he can.
If I said that The Bone Season is like a roller-coaster, I would be lying. Most people would think this is a bad since roller-coasters are the most exciting rides at amusement parks. Well, most people are wrong. I am of the opinion that roller-coasters are just metal death traps with a deceiving name. We should not tempt fate by flinging ourselves in the air at unnaturally high speeds just for the sake of an adrenaline rush.
Anyway, The Bone Season is more like bumper cars. You are shoved into a small, mostly dark arena and told to smash into other people. There is no real structure to the madness. Due to conservation of momentum and other principles of physics that I vaguely remember from high school, as soon you crash into each other, both of you are repelled from each other. In The Bone Season, as soon as you touched something interesting, you are immediately pushed away. You bump into a lot of other people (or a lot of people bump into you if you are a rookie) but in the end you don't really accomplish anything.
Click the link above to read more of my thoughts on The Bone Season and my final rating!
Elliot smiled and lowered his lashes flirtatiously. "Quite. Rob, darling, I think I have a little on my face too. Can you get it?"
Matty rolled his eyes. "Give up on the threesome idea."
"Really, Matty, there are mothers and children in the room." Donna threw up her hands.
"And brothers," Joey added.
"Dads too," Randy said gruffly from the head of the table.
lol - Matty has the most amazing family :)
"Do you have any idea how it hurts to watch you give your entire self to something that isn't me, and then watch that thing kick you in the nuts? It doesn't even hold you afterward and tell you that you did a good job. It just hurts you and then hurts you some more."
Rob finally letting it all out in the all-important talk - I'm a mess....