Wednesday, December 09, 2015

What is your favorite book you read or reviewed on FFB this year?

Not exactly a forgotten book since C.J. Box's BLUE HEAVEN won the Edgar in 2009. But I have been meaning to read it and since I did, here is my review. This is a masterful book that manages to tell a fairly complex story in a completely lucid way. There is no fat in the story. It takes place over 48 hours and you can feel those hours ticking by at breakneck speed.
Two kids in northern Idaho watch the murder of a man, see that they've been spotted and are immediately on the run. They are lucky enough to find themselves in the barn of Jess Rawlins, a rancher who is one of the few good men left in his neck of the woods. He is also a hardluck guy who has lost almost everything. But Jess must hide the kids, figure out if their story is true, and determine just who the murderers are and why. Can he trust that what they think they saw really happened. And is it fair to keep the kids away from their worrying mother.
Blue Heaven is a term for the part of northern Idaho that is now a haven for ex-policeman. And some of those ex-policemen have taken over Jess's town for their own purposes. The is an exciting read and a nice introduction to this part of the country. Not a false step in the story and Box creates great villains and great heroes. Not an easy thing to do.Here's mine:

18 comments:

George said...

My favorite FFB of 2015 was Agatha Christie's HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS. It was one of the few Christies I hadn't read and it was terrific! I read it for your "Holiday FFB."

Brian Busby said...

Margaret Millar's The Fiend was my favourite by far. As is so often the case with her novels, it was not at all what I expected. I'm thrilled that her work is now slowly being reissued. This is certainly one to look out for.

Deb said...

Although I didn't write an FFB for either of them, my favorite new book of the year was Peter Swanson's THE KIND WORTH KILLING, a sort of take on STRANGERS ON A TRAIN with some unexpected twists. Like Brian, my favorite old book was Margaret Millar's THE FIEND where the fiend turns out not to be the person you expect and where every adult is dysfunctional in some way or another.

I didn't write too many FFBs this year, but I think my favorite of the year was Michel Faber's UNDER THE SKIN.

troutbirder said...

This book sound right up my alley. I like the occasional thriller and Northern Idaho for years was on of the favorite trout fishing venues. Although I can't pick out one favorite book I was late to the table of Barbara Kingsolver and read a bunch of her books this year. I loved them all....:)

Mathew Paust said...

Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time. Been so long since I'd read a cozy I can't remember the last one. But a Welsh friend recommended Tey, and this book in particular, and I was hooked. I've read two more of hers since Daughters, and have another on my Kindle cloud to go.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My favorite is THE FRANCHISE AFFAIR but all of them are good.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

DAUGHTER OF TIME is my favorite of hers.

I'd have a difficult time picking a top 10 list, let alone one favorite. I was very impressed with Allen Eskens' two books, THE LFIE WE BURY and THE GUISE OF ANOTHER.

I HEAR THE SIRENS IN THE STREET by Adrian McKinty was a definite favorite. Also his IN THE MORNING I'LL BE GONE.

Joe R. Lansdale, PARADISE SKY.

Barry Ergang said...

Unfaithful Servant by Timothy Harris.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I agree with McKinty, Jeff. He is a real find. And THE LIFE WE BURY was vg.
Will look for the Harris book, Barry.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Looks like I can't get it for under $70. Will have to try libraries.

Anders E said...

For me, 2015 was the year I finally read Vilhelm Moberg's Emigrants quartet. Why on earth didn't I do this before?...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emigrants_(novels)

The two movies are great, too, with one the best casts I've ever seen.

Another great literary experience was of course meeting Megan IRL, at her appearance in a bookstore right here in Uppsala.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The movies were fantastic. Not sure if I read the books. Glad you met Megan!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I really liked the EMIGRANTS movies (I still remember certain scenes vividly, like the little girl eating all the porridge) but have never read the books.

Margot Kinberg said...

Not surprised you chose this one, Patti. C.J. Box is such a talented writer!

Anders E said...

The EMIGRANTS books elaborate a bit on certain things not seen in the movies. Most importantly, how vague the migration plan really was. From the movies, I always thought that they had a clear idea of where they were going, i.e. Minnesota. Nope. According to the novels they were going to get to America. And then they'd take it from there. Really.

Btw, may I suggest that FARGO (the movie, that is) is subtly related to the EMIGRANTS movies? First, Kristina in THE EMIGRANTS is played (exceptionally well) by Liv Ullmann. Also, Kristina happens to be one of the most honest and kind-hearted characters in cinema history. Now, FARGO. Peter Stormare - Sweden born and bred - plays an extremely evil character named Gaear Grimsrud - a name so extremely Norwegian it borders on parody. So - one movie has a very nice Swede played by a Norwegian, the other movie has a very evil Norwegian played by a Swede. Kudos to the Coen brothers, I'd say.

KW37 (Jason) said...

This is wonderful! I have nothing to add since my book blogging has only just begun, but I am delighted to read about other blogger's reading favorites. My reading list is growing with great titles. Thanks, from Jason at "Talking About Detective Fiction," a new blog with a question for everyone who stops by to visit.

Todd Mason said...

I would say that the book new to me that I most enjoyed in FFB citations this past year would be YESTERDAY'S TOMORROWS, Frederik Pohl's autobiographical, annotated anthology limning his editorial career. Even given the scanty information I've posted so far, the mix of long-ago familiar volumes and those new to me in my most recent post makes for the best nostalgic post/set of books from earlier in my life (1965 best of the year fiction, and the one drama, anthologies).

pattinase (abbott) said...

I do like books like that one.