I feel like today should be Saturday. The week goes by so fast and I'm totally uninspired to do anything even remotely productive when the weather is this nice. I want to lay in the hammock and read and maybe take a nap and then barbecue. But, I have work to do and I don't even own a grill : ) I do own a hammock, however, and I'm thinking lunchtime...
So I guess I'm off my horror kick temporarily. I have some in the review stack. (Pinborough's Feeding Ground, for one. I've started it but haven't finished it yet, so it will come later.) I have been reading some other stuff, though.
One of my reads this week was the amazingly wonderful literary mystery (hey, it's got literary elements and it's a mystery, ergo, literary mystery) A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory. This is Ellory's American debut, but he's got handful of books already available in the UK. Good news is that even though it's taken this long for the author to get his well-deserved break stateside, Overlook, the company that released A Quiet Belief in Angels, has plans to release at least two more Ellory titles here. YAY!
A Quiet Belief in Angels is the story of Joseph Vaughan. It begins in 1939, rural Georgia, when Joseph is 11. His father has just died and the bright young Joseph is facing mortality for the first time. Then a classmate is kidnapped and brutally murdered. Joseph is touched in a way that even many of his friends are not. He begins collecting articles on each new girl, because the killer does not stop with just one. He also becomes, in his mind, the protector of one of his young neighbors, promising to make sure that nothing happens to her. But then she, too, is killed and Joseph becomes convinced that he could have stopped it. Later, Joseph leaves his small town, but the murders follow him. He is unable to leave this chapter of his life behind and eventually he returns, dead-set on solving it for good.
This book is one of my favorites of the year. Ellory's style just pulls you in. It's amazing to think that this Brit has completely captured the essence of a small southern town. I can't speak for the era in which he's written -- it comes across as wholly natural and flowing for me, but I'm not old enough to attest to that! I can tell you, being from the south, that he's done an amazing job.
Interestingly enough, this is one of the issues his bio touches on as being a reason that he was unpublished for so long. British publishers did not want to publish books set in the States written by a Brit and American publishers had the same issue. Hope they're all biting their tongues and kicking themselves now!
And I can tell you right now, I think I've fallen a little in love with Joseph Vaughan. Such a great character.