This TBR Love is part audio with my new podcast—Way I See It: eBooks For Traveler. In the second episode I discuss three books from series I’m currently enjoying, including more about Native Bones mentioned in my December TBR post as well books by Iris Chacon.
Why eBooks For Travelers? Whether on the move or in armchairs, ebooks are lighter by far and—I believe—more eco-friendly!
Death Valley Mysteries by Melissa M Garcia Stranger and Next Of Kin
Stranger (Book 1) was an unusual, atmospheric read for me. The characters were revealed gradually and the animosity and empathy between detective Stellar and ex-convict Alex was intriguing. The plot twists and turns in an engrossing way, while the ending was both satisfying and memorable. I highly recommend Stranger.
So, I was excited to read Next Of Kin a few months later. The story works well, even as a standalone, the crimes are horrific, and the mystery engaging. However, as the story unfolds and draws closer to the reveal of the killer or killers, the plot unravels. This might be partly because the story starts to set up the next book and then continues to do so until the last word. In doing so, I think it weakens the initial plot significantly. Nevertheless, most of the characters are still interesting and Stellar’s moral dilemmas grow even more conflicting. I would have liked to have seen more character development in Alex this time, like when she meets Stellar’s mother. Perhaps, Garcia intended exploring Alex’s character growth more in the next book. I don’t recommend this book as highly as Stranger, but it’s still worth a read if Stellar, Alex and the town appeal to you.
The Absolver by Gavin Reese (a Prequel to the Saint Michael Thriller series) This an almost stereotypical missionary tale set in a poverty-stricken parish in Colombia. Despite the moral questions and usual depictions of the Roman Catholic church and themes of faith vs justice and the refusal to listen to the ever more disenfranchised, this is a good, well written crime read.
The plot holds together well with intelligence and, by the end, doesn’t leave you with a feeling a loss of faith in humanity. The characters were strong, especially our anti-hero priest, as was the setting that doesn’t flinch in showing the realities of surviving in such neighborhoods. A very good short read, in my opinion.
Happy reading! Let me know what’s on your TBR or what you recommend for readers interested in the Native Americas.