Hey, that header could be a title for a Jeff Cohen/EJ Copperman post! But this isn't about Jeff's series featuring one of my favorite characters Samuel. No, this is where I don't know what to blog about so I resort to answering questions.
This question, or idea, is from The Sharque herself, Janet Reid. She wondered what books I have read lately that I didn't publish. Now, I have to admit that I don't have a lot of free time for reading. AND, it's hard for me to read mysteries when I am doing developmental edits. That means when I do read, it is usually on a plane on the way to or from a conference.
The first one I want to talk about is Missoula by Jon Krakauer. I have enjoyed several of his previous books and I didn't realize he had a new one coming out until one of my authors, Gwen Florio mentioned it. She told me that she was mentioned in it. Was she ever! Krakauer used the town of Missoula as an example of rape culture in a college town. Gwen Florio was a reporter for the Missoulian and did several investigative reports on it. In fact, Krakauer cited 22 of Gwen's articles in the the bibliography. But besides the personal connection, why did did the story resonate with me?
I think because the rape culture should always be examined. In this case, in a rabid college football town, the players were pretty much given a free pass to do whatever they wanted. It was heartbreaking to read the stories of the women who came forward. And when the police or the DA refused to investigate, it felt like these women were raped again. It was difficult reading. We have a problem here in the US and we need to start addressing it. Krakauer's books read much like fiction. The narrative is strong and you almost don't realize the statistics that he is embedding in the story. It's a powerful read and I strong recommend it.
(After reading Missoula, I grabbed another Krakauer book, Under the Banner of Heaven. And wow, it too knocked my socks off. I had no idea that the history of the Mormons was so violent and blood filled!)
For fiction, the best one I have recently was a book given to me by a friend. Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall. The main character is a homicide detective in Los Angeles. A current case seems to have links to the disappearance and murder of her younger sister twenty five years ago. At the middle of it all is a self made millionaire and detective Elouise "Lou" Norton and isn't going to stop until she finds the truth. A very gritty book. I loved it. And it was refreshing to see an African-American woman detective who is very good at her job.
So go out and buy these two books. You won't be sorry!