For the last part of 2019 the mystery book group read a modern mystery classic, a generation-spanning, family crime story and a twisty thriller. Of the three the twisty thriller was my favorite, the group's favorite and our best discussion item, so we ended the year on a high note.
We read the family crime story, After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman for our October discussion. This is the story of several women all of whom were affected by the criminal choices bookie, money launderer, Felix Brewer made - both before and after he disappeared. Felix is facing prison in 1976 and rather than let that happen, he takes off, never to be seen again and leaving a wife, daughters and a girlfriend behind. Lippman gives the reader various points of view to tell the story and the reverberating effects of Felix's life on those around him. It was a slow build and though many in the group enjoyed it, it wasn't the slam dunk that we know Lippman can pull off.
Our modern classic title (or at least I'm calling it so) was Henning Mankell's first in his Kurt Wallander series, Faceless Killers. Many of the group enjoyed this one, not least because they're fans of the PBS series with Kenneth Brannagh as Wallander. This is set in a wintry Sweden (perfect for those of you who want even more snow) and Inspector Wallander is called to a remote farmhouse where an elderly couple have been brutally murdered. The senseless murder is possibly connected to the refugee camps that have formed in the country and anti-immigrant sentiment is running high. Many of the group liked the police procedural aspect of this one, but I personally found it very slow going and kind of dull (which surprised the heck out of me).
Our December thriller was Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent and this was easily our favorite. And it certainly satisfied the need for "more murder, more quicker" (as coined by one of our members) as the book opens with this line "My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it." How's that for starting off with a bang? This one is told from multiple perspectives and each one alters your perceptions bit by bit. I won't say much more but the ending had many of us dwelling on the book long after we finished. Great discussion!
Thus ends my 2019 book group reports and a good year it was. We already have one discussion for 2020 under our belts, but if you'd like to join us going forward, here's what's coming up next for the Lakeview Mystery group and other book discussions across all of our libraries.