Whilst going through and adding my reviews to my new favourite thing, Pinterest! I found an old review of Louise Penny’s The Brutal Telling.
I reviewed the book in 2009 and looking on Amazon I found it had a completely different cover look in 2011, something that made it look a lot fresher, more exciting and intriguing to my mind. I think she might have moved publisher’s and that’s the reason why. It’s made me think that I might create a covers board on Pinterest that charts the different cover looks of the same books – so whether it’s an update for a new audience or an overseas cover, I think it could be something that would be interesting to have all together, to see the evolution of a book. So that’s coming soon.
For illustration here are the three covers, the first is the original book I reviewed, the second is the newer cover I found on Amazon and the last is the US cover. Let me know which you prefer!
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
The blurb: Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life ? solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. Desperate to understand the secret that torments this genius, Marlowe embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.
Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy; from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve hope.
My review: I want to start this review on a positive note. I read The Historian before I started this blog but if I had read it after and reviewed it I would’ve given it ten stars out of ten, without question, a book I just couldnt put down.
I approached The Swan Thieves with trepidation, could that mastery be performed twice. I was sadly disappointed. To be brutally honest I didnt finish it. There are so many amazing books around at the moment that when you reach page 258 of a book and its still not grabbed you, its time to put it down and walk away. It’s not a bad story, I hear there’s a twist at the ending which Im going to have to look up on wikipedia but it lacks the mystery and drive of The Historian.
The characters are interesting, you do care about them, especially the ones in the past I found. But the pace is slow, very slow. You need to dedicate yourself to this book, the writing style is lovely and Kostova has made creative writing a fine art. For me though I want to be hooked in by my literature, for it to pull me into another world/story/life that keeps me enthralled and reaching for it again. This one sadly made me want to reach for something else. Out of respect for the writing it’s a five.
Five out of Ten stars *****
BUY ME! The Swan Thieves
Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid
The blurb: ‘You should have been a detective. If there’s one thing the last year has proved, it’s how good you are at finding things out. Not simple things. Hard things. Things that nobody is supposed to be able to find out. Things that are buried so deep nobody even thinks twice about them. The sort of things that turn people’s lives inside out once they’re exposed.’ Meet Tony Hill’s most twisted adversary – a killer with a shopping list of victims, a killer unmoved by youth and innocence, a killer driven by the most perverted of desires.
The murder and mutilation of teenager Jennifer Maidment is horrific enough on its own. But it’s not long before Tony realises it’s just the start of a brutal and ruthless campaign that’s targeting an apparently unconnected group of young people. Struggling with the newly-awakened ghosts of his own past and desperate for distraction in his work, Tony battles to find the answers that will give him personal and professional satisfaction in his most testing investigation yet.
My Review: Firstly I’m going to start off by saying congratulations to Val McDermid for winning the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. While this is the first book I have read of McDermid’s having a back catalogue of 22 books means she must’ve been doing something right!
I really enjoyed Fever of the Bone its the 6th instalment in the Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan series and part of me wishes I had started at the beginning. Which is a good thing, I didnt feel as if I was missing out on huge chunks of back story but the characters were so likeable that I wish I had started from scratch!
There was a certain amount of predictability in the story but in a pleasing, familar way rather than something that would make me scoff! The mystery is engaging, keeping the pages turning, but its the relationships that make this a corker. I often find with crime books that its the detectives and the people affected that make the really great books, great and this is no exception. I will definitely be reading more Val McDermid.
7.5 out of 10 stars *******.5
BUY ME! Fever Of The Bone: 6 (Tony Hill)