Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader


First Daughter is a fast moving political thriller, penned by NYT Best-Selling author Eric Van Lustbader. The novel starts off with the ending rather than the beginning, which adds great intrigue throughout the story. That was a very clever move, because the ending was so horrific that I just had to know what could have led up to these events.

Central to this novel is character Jack McClure. The author takes us a on a fascinating journey through Jack’s life, a dyslexic ATF agent who is put into the service of the Secret Service just as the President Elects daughter goes missing from her college dorm room. His job is to find her and bring her safely home. His past becomes eerily linked to the present, and to the missing daughter of the President Elect. Murders, people, and places almost too neatly relate back to Jack McClure throughout this novel. I felt that there were simply too many coincidences to make the story believable. Alas, that is the beauty of a novel rather than real life.

The final 25 pages are almost magical. The writing style is fluid and uncomplicated. If you are looking for your next contemporary political thriller read, this book should fit the bill very nicely.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher


Okay, it's all my fault I misunderstood what this book was about. I take full responsibility. I was thinking this was a novel based upon the style, artwork, and overall presentation of this book. I imagined a whodunit novel with twists and turns and clues to piece together as I read it. I was excited to say the least at the prospect of reading this book.

Instead, I found out about 60 pages in that this is in fact a history book! Not even historical fiction, real history! I kept wondering as I read this book when the story was going to start, but once I got into the frame of mind that I was reading a well researched history book the reading became a bit more manageable as I changed my expectations.

If the names Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes excite you, then this book would be a great addition to your library as it expands upon the early development of detective work and the origins of procedures, terminology, and the fascination with such work and the authors who write the stories.

At the core of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher however is a real story about a real detective and a real little boy who gets murdered. Along the way readers are sure to pick up a plethora of knowledge and a deeper appreciation and understanding of the birth of modern day detectives.