Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No One You Know [Richmond]

Book: No One You Know
Author: Michelle Richmond

Review: After Ellie's older sister is murdered, her friend/college English professor betrays her friendship by writing a best selling true crime book about the crime. He boldly claims her sister's married lover was the killer, although no charges were ever filed.

Twenty years later, Ellie (who travels the world as a coffee buyer) finds herself face to face with the supposed killer. He acknowledges that he was cheating on his wife with her sister (a relationship that quickly dissolved after he was publicly branded a murderer), but they were in love. He proclaims his innocence and questions a few details in the book. Realizing she has blindly believed the book's version of events for years, she realizes her quiet, shy sister may not have been killed by this man. Ellie embarks on a journey to find her old professor, understand his motivation for the book and locate her sister's killer.

Although the title character in this novel is impacted by her sister's murder and searches for her killer, I wouldn't classify this book as a murder mystery. In fact-Ellie is able to solve the case relatively quickly (20 years after the fact) once she decides to find the truth. I won't spoil the ending here, but obviously there wasn't a big criminal mastermind at work. This book is fascinating because it explores the relationship between sisters, how a family is impacted by tragedy and most importantly, how perceived truths impact each of us.

Overall, this was a very interesting read. There was a strong math theme to this book and I foresee some people skimming those sections (Ellie's sister was a math prodigy and graduate student at Stanford working on a difficult math proof) as well as some interesting details about the business of buying coffee beans. As a non-coffee drinker myself (someone Ellie wouldn't be able to relate to!) I found the process fascinating. The pacing of the novel was slow at times.

Grade: B+

Love at First Flight [Force]

Book: Love at First Flight
Author: Marie Force

Review: Michael is engaged to a high maintenance rich girl he's been dating for years while 28 year old hairstylist Juliana is patiently waiting for a ring from her high school boyfriend. They meet on a flight to Florida to visit their respective significant others and quickly connect. After they experience disastrous weekends (Michael calls off his engagement while Juliana and her boyfriend decide to take a break for a few months) they end up on the same flight back. The book completely jumped the shark at this point when she moves in with Michael (after only meeting him days earlier!). Force attempts to add some "tension" to the book with a subplot involving a court case Michael is prosecuting and some waffling on Juliana's part as to which man is the right one for her, but it is obvious how this book will end. I love a good romance novel like many women but this book was not good. It was a free download for kindle and I got what I paid for. Don't waste your time on this one.

Grade: D