Book Review: “The Healer” by Antti Tuomainen


A man searches for his missing wife as the world falls apart.

This is one time when an Early Reviewer program brought me a book I enjoyed without reservation.

I completely believed this dysfunctional, damaged world (here focussed on Finland), spiraling toward ecological apocalypse, and I got sucked into the story. The characters kept me at arm’s distance but it actually would have been out of sync with the tone if they had been more engaging. Overall there were too many coincidental connections among characters; that is my only complaint.

What most impressed me about this novel was how vivid and atmospheric it was, given the extremely spare writing style. Every word counted, every word needed to be there! I can’t think of many books that I can say that about – and reading Tuomainen has inspired me to go in and whack quite a few words from the novel that I am currently writing.


I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Here is a synopsis of the book, with some embellishments from the publisher.


Book Review: “Loyalty” by Ingrid Thoft


When I started this book I expected to give it 4 stars, maybe 5. The set up was strong and fun. The tangle of plot threads intrigued. The family dynamics entertained. And you really can’t have too many detectives with Attitude, so it was a pleasure to meet another one. Also, early on, there was an absolutely great line about how children are like NASA launches – you can invest lots of money and time in them only to see them go quickly off course. (Sorry I can’t provide the actual quote – i loaned my copy of the book to a friend.) But as the pages turned, my enthusiasm waned. The detective lost some appeal when she became preoccupied with wardrobe changes and when she turned out to be well nigh perfect (wealthy, smart, gorgeous, ballsy and more). The threats against the detective felt increasingly manufactured rather than intrinsic to the plot. The shocking family secret was telescoped waaay in advance. There were many references to real places and neighborhoods in the Boston area, yet overall the book was low on atmosphere. And by the end of the first book in this series, I am already tired of the family. Because I loved the first third of this, I would try another book in this series, to see whether the stuff that bothers me was tied to this particular book, or persists through the series.

I got this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Here is a synopsis of the book. The synopsis is from the publisher so expect extravagance.