Another week in reading

After enjoying Natchez Burning so much, I wanted to immediately go back and read the books which came before. I hesitated, wondering if they might feel amateurish by comparison but I needn’t have feared. In fact, I thought The Quiet Game (Penn Cage Book 1) was every bit as good as Natchez had been. Characters were well-drawn and plotlines believable. Greg Iles can certainly write! When I finished that book I was wiping away a tear as I went straight to the kindle storefront to download book 2.  Five stars from me.

Early on, I was enjoying Turning Angel: A Novel (Penn Cage Book 2), but overall it did not ring as true for me. Oh, I could buy the primary love affair, though my sympathies were not with Drew Elliott, Penn Cage’s childhood friend (now forty years old and a respected local physician, charged with murdering the high school senior with whom he had fallen head over heels in love.) Regardless of any unhappiness in his own life, there isn’t  justification to try to start over with a minor. But I digress, and am being judgmental, so we’ll set that aside for now. I understand that good plotlines often involve putting characters in positions where they show poor judgment. But honestly, that same criticism pertains to the part of the book that I found ultimately less persuasive; because it wasn’t just Dr. Elliot. We are expected to believe that Penn very nearly falls into the same pattern, and that’s a relationship I simply didn’t buy. No way can even a “special” 18-year-old compete with the terrific woman Penn Cage was involved with for the past several years. Not even while they’re trying to sort through issues of career and the future of their relationship. I didn’t find the dynamics convincing, though perhaps that shows that I’m a grown woman and not a man. I don’t want to think it’s really that simplistic, so I’ll call this one a weakness in the book. It won’t stop me from going on to book three in the series after being so impressed with two others in the series. Three stars, and that may be a bit too generous.

But first I simply must read something that will count toward my Literary Birthday Challenge for the month of February.


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