Book Catch-Up Part One

Oh my I am so behind on reporting on the books I’ve read, I don’t know where to start!

With all the traveling back and forth we’ve done between Tennessee and Pennsylvania I’ve gotten 3 audio books read so I guess I’ll start with those…

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
This is an epistolary novel, a fictional autobiography of Rev. John Ames, a congregationalist pastor in the small Iowa town of Gilead. He is writing an account of his memories and the legacy of his father and grandfather, both of whom were pastors also, to leave to his young son who will be growing up without him as he is quite elderly and dying of a weak heart. His grandfather was a radical abolitionist who carried out raids with John Brown before the Civil War and served as a chaplain for the Union army during the war. His father on the other hand was a Christian pacifist. There is much wisdom to pass to his son from both sides of the aisle so to speak.

There is tension as his best friends wayward son returns home and pays quite a bit of attention to John’s wife, Lila, and John is worried that he might be hoping to move into the position of husband and father when John passes. There is a bit of a mystery as to ‘young Boughton’s’ previous life and some great sin he committed. John is trying to decide if he needs to warn Lila or let it lie. Young Boughton is named after John Ames and he was like the son he never had when he was a young man. Now he struggles with forgiveness and understanding and affection for the young man.

I enjoyed this book and particularly was glad I read this one in audio form. It was as if Rev. Ames was speaking to me across the table telling me his story. I learned a lot from this book too as I listened to this man dissect his life and his faith and the purpose of life as he knows his days are short. If you get a chance read this one!

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
What can you say about a Rebus book that hasn’t already been said?! I always enjoy them, even though I am not reading them in order. I especially love reading these books on audio too as the narrator has a Scottish accent and it really takes you there. Pity my library only has 3 of his books on audio.

In this one Rebus is asked by Fox who is with the complaints dept. and coming back as a detective soon to help him on a case. A murder ties in with the original group of detectives Rebus started out with. They had a ‘code’ book they called the Shadow Bible. They went by their own set of rules and they weren’t always lawful back then. It puts Rebus in a tight spot as they are his cronies but if one of them is a murderer… Rebus has to have justice, it’s just the way he is. I did figure this one out before the end!

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
Very tense, suspenseful tale set in the Missouri Ozarks. The story is told by different voices throughout, alternating between 16 year old Lucy, her mother Lila (who vanished when Lucy was small), a neighbor Birdy, and her mother’s friend, Gaby.

Lucy’s friend Cheri is found dead and her body cut up and strewn up in a tree. Lucy finds Cheri’s necklace in a mobile home owned by her uncle. She is haunted by the disappearance of her mother long ago and the death of her friend and begins to think they might be connected. But in a town where family and blood ties run deep Lucy might have some tough decisions ahead of her.

Good book! Good sense of place too, you could hear the insects and feel the heat of the Ozark summer.

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
I had to wait forever to get this audio book from the library! There was a long hold list on it.

A taunt psychological thriller, first novel for Ms. Hawkins too! Rachel see’s the same scenes day after day on the train ride to work. She even starts to ‘feel’ like she knows the people she sees as the train passes their houses. But when one of the young women she sees everyday goes missing she learns things aren’t always as they seem! Worth the wait!

Peggy Ann


Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin

John Rebus returns to investigate the disappearances of three women from the same road over ten years. For the last decade, Nina Hazlitt has been ready to hear the worst about her daughter’s disappearance. But with no sightings, no body, and no suspect, the police investigation ground to a halt long ago, and Nina’s pleas to the cold case department have led her nowhere.

Until she meets the newest member of the team: former Detective John Rebus.

Rebus has never shied away from lost causes – one of the many ways he managed to antagonize his bosses when he was on the force. Now he’s back as a retired civilian, reviewing abandoned files. Necessary work, but it’s not exactly scratching the itch he feels to be in the heart of the action.

Two more women have gone missing from the same road where Sally Hazlitt was last seen. Unlike his skeptical colleagues, Rebus can sense a connection – but pursuing it leads him into the crosshairs of adversaries both old and new.

Rebus may have missed the thrill of the hunt, but he’s up against a powerful enemy who’s got even less to lose.

This is only my second Rebus book, but I’m hooked just like everyone else. Great character! All through the book they make Rebus sound so bad, but I think he’s great. He’s just driven to do what he does. 

This one I listened to on audio book. The narrator was James MacPherson. Excellent job. I’d like to read them on this way as the soft Scottish accent adds so much to the atmosphere of the book. My library only has 2 in audio though 😦

This is book number 6 for Read Scotland 2015. How’s everyone else getting on?

Peggy Ann

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin


‘Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…

Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.’         (from Goodreads)

My first Ian Rankin. Excellent! So much of this book was about our detective John Rebus. Being the first book in a long series, it introduced us to him properly. But what a wonderful thrilling ride to finding the killer! I liked the complex relationships between characters and watching the journey of a very broken man finding himself again. Looking forward to seeing more of Rebus!