Mini-Review: Interrupted, Solitary House, Silent Witness


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Title: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words

Author: Rachel Coker

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Christian Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie s heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.

Review: Allie, our main character, isn’t very pleasant. After losing her mother, she becomes a bitter, sometimes even cruel person. Even when Sam, and old childhood friend movies in, and slowly, Allie lets her guard down. She no longer hates christianity, and with World War II raging around them, the world has begun to change, and so has Allie. While the book isn’t very upbeat, it does have a happy ending and was overall enjoyable.

The Solitary House

Title: Solitary House

Author: Lynn Shepherd

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.

London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.

But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.

Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.

Review: A mash-up between “Bleak House” and “The Woman in White” that never matches the greatness of either of those novels, but does offer an intriguing book. Charles Maddox is an intriguing protagonist, and the mystery at hand is complex and interesting. The book is a bit pretentious though, with stiff Victorian dialogue that could’ve flowed better. I did enjoy it, and I wouldn’t mind reading more books by this author.

Silent Witness

Title: Silent Witness

Author: Shirley Wells

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he’s innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.

Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there’s even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect—the victim’s second husband—has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there’s more going on than meets the eye in Dawson’s Clough.

The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn’t murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?

Review: Dylan Scott is one of my favorite private investigators, and Lancashire is a great background setting for the investigator to do his work. The mystery has a great plot, interesting to the last minute, and the writing is solid as well. Ideal for mystery fans, and I certainly enjoyed it.

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