The Child by Fiona Barton

Similar in style to The Widow (by the same author) this is an easily read, moderately twisty murder mystery. The chapters hop between a handful of female characters (in the beginning this was distracting, and I think it prevents the reader from fully embracing any one character).

The bones of a newborn baby are found during construction. Reporter Kate Waters begins investigating to see if this is a baby that was kidnapped from a hospital in the 1970s. It turns out that it is. And it isn’t.

The resolution became clear at just past halfway through the book. Still it was a fun engrossing read. I finished it in a few hours. I think of these books as a fun relaxing way to spend an afternoon – like bingeing something silly on Netflix.

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

Brilliant! I enjoy the premise of spy/espionage novels very much. The plan. The organization. One brilliant mind versus another. Obstacles, quick-thinking, action, twists, turns and sitting on the edge of my seat. The place where these novels fall apart for me is in the hyperbole. Too much jargon. Over-the-top, unrealistic, hyper-masculine heroes swaggering around blowing things up without repercussion.

This is what I would term a “realistic political thriller.” A clever plot carefully and meaningfully detailed. At first I was all “Go, Jackal!” The man is a genius, and his skills at making a list and checking things off made my toes curl. But when I met his adversary my heart went “BOOM BOOM BOOM” for an entirely different reason.

Total bonus? I learned things! This book is historical fiction, and I know now all kind of cool things about France, Charles de Gaulle and Europe during the early 60s. This fastidious, thought-provoking and brilliant book is likely to become a personal favorite of mine.

The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

Lisa Bellow is a middle school “mean girl.” When she’s kidnapped in front of her classmate Meredith both Meredith and her mom, Claire, have to deal with a barrage of (sometimes bizarre) feelings. The truth is, though, Lisa may be an acknowledged mean girl, but Meredith and Claire are not going to be winning any Miss Congeniality awards.

Beautifully written. Slightly repetitive. There were under currents and stories-upon-stories – little asides zinging through this book. Much couldn’t be taken at face value.

I thought the book was interesting, but I kept waiting for something to happen. And then I thought it had. But it hadn’t. Still a cool story and a fun odd read.