This classic thriller by Patricia Highsmith is the basis for one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films by the same name. In essence, the title mostly describes the plot of the book- it is about two strangers who meet on a train. But that’s also where they discuss murdering people in their lives. Bruno wants to kill his father and Guy his wife. This one-time encounter means that they can both have solid alibis for committing the other’s murder and never be a real suspect.
Guy is a normal man currently going through a divorce- because his wife cheated on him. He fantasizes about killing her, but not in a serious way. Bruno is obsessed with killing his father. But as the novel goes on, that obsession is redirected towards Guy. Bruno stalks him and inserts himself constantly into Guy’s life and mind.
I thought this novel was going to be about the murders and the plotting. It was, but it was more about the psychology of a killer and what circumstances have to arise for a typical man to commit a murder. Especially a murder for someone else.
This novel wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. But I still enjoyed listening to it. I would want to read more of Highsmith’s work, especially The Price of Salt.
This collection of fictional short stories by Roxanne Gay centers on a variety of women that have suffered hardships. When I first started the collection, I thought that it was non-fiction and I was horrified that Gay went through that situation. Then I started the second story and I realized that these must be fictional stories about different women. But none of them are dramatized, and similar, if not exact replicas of these situations, happen every day.
While I wouldn’t call any of these stories ‘happy’, some of them did have hope. My favorite was “North Country”. This is one of the longer stories in the book and follows a woman who teaches engineering at a college in the Midwest. Due to the dark color of her skin, people assume time and time again that she is from Detroit. Like most of the stories in this collection, the plot revolves around a traumatic event that occurred in this woman’s life. But unlike most of the other stories, this one ends with a hopeful tone. She is able to find love again and is part of a healthy relationship.
My biggest problem with Difficult Women was that every story had the same themes and tone. There was a variety in plot, but Gay centered on the same themes of trauma and the crimes against women. These are extremely important topics, but it was difficult to read stories about them over and over again. But Gay is a fantastic writer and I moved through these swiftly. I can’t wait to read her novel, now that I’ve finally finished one of her works.
This horror/thriller was my first time reading Joe Hill. While I thought that certain sections of the book could have been condensed, I liked it overall. I especially enjoyed listening to the audio book for this title because the narrator, Kate Mulgrew, was awesome.
This novel is the story of Victoria “Vic” McQueen, a woman with a special talent- she can find lost things. Opposing her is Charlie Manx, a man who steals children and takes them to Christmasland, a place where they can always be young and never have any responsibilities. Both of them are able to do this because of their imaginations and the strength of their interior worlds. This concept was one of my favorite things about the novel.
There are some scenes in this novel that are truly terrifying. To me, the scariest character in the novel was Bing Partridge, Manx’s helper. He’s just a sick and twisted man who likes killing and sexually abusing women, even after they’re dead. Those were the parts that made my stomach turn.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to this novel. Mulgrew is a talented narrator reading Hill’s great story. It was a little longer than it had to be, but I enjoyed all of it.
I’m glad that I didn’t read the second book until I also had this one in my hand. The cliffhanger at the end of the second one was intense. The final book in this trilogy follows the same characters as the previous two. Kell must deal with the consequences of his actions from the beginning of the series and Lila finally comes into her own.
This novel also mostly stays in Red London. It is focused on the Antari from every world and the power they have. I liked most of the plot and resolution, but there were discrepancies that made this novel feel under-edited and rushed.
When Lila and Kell first meet in A Darker Shade of Magic, one of the first things he notices is that her eyes are different- one is fake. Then in this one, for no apparent reason, Kell doesn’t know about her fake eye until it is a plot point. I think the reason that Lila had a fake eye was cheap and predictable. It was treated as a huge plot twist, but I thought it was obvious. Maybe Schwab wanted Kell to “find out” with us to lend credibility to her poorly crafted plot twist.
Overall, I found this novel to be predictable and way too long. This series started out promising with the idea of quantum physics and magic, but it quickly became just another fantasy series in this conclusion to the trilogy.