Searching for a book that fits.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I’ve been having a devil of a time finding a book to read lately. Nothing has held my interest, or quite suited my mood. I must have started and stopped half a dozen books in the last month. In fact, I think I’ll have to change my side bar to show: "Abandoned", as well as "Reading" and "Read". gg

Last night, I started something I hope will be the trick. Home Killings by Marcos M. Villatoro.
This is the Canadian Cover:

So far so good –although I haven’t passed the magical chapter 3 mark, where most novels fall apart for me because the author has decided we were well and truly wed, so they didn’t have to impress me anymore and could do the literary equivalent of belching at dinner, farting in bed and forgetting our anniversary.

Anywho, things I like so far:

1. The pacing. Despite the details included (and there’s a quite a bit) it doesn’t slow things down one iota. They ‘feel’ relevant and necessary, adding to the setting, mood and characterization. I’ll have to re-read parts to see exactly how Mr. Villatoro is doing this. Normally too much detail—-even in a mystery-—make my eyes glaze over and I start to skim, but just this morning I read a page and a half of details re setting and he held my attention. (This wasn’t a crime scene, by the way.) Partly I think it’s sentence structure (including the use of the dreaded colon and semi-colon. gasp! Neener Neener to Da Rulz policia! gg ) variety of sentence structure, word choice, and the specific things he chooses to point out. Hmm, is an aside, this is reading more 'thriller' than mystery.

2. The heroine is Latino. Specifically of El Salvadoran heritage (but raised, if not born in the good old USA). Her heritage is not just lip service, and while the author isn’t beating you over the head with it either, it definitely a big part of who she is and how she thinks. It really is part of *character* rather than window dressing. Also, filtered through her pov, are the subtle differences of Mexican, vs El Salvadoran vs other Spanish speaking backgrounds. It adds texture to the story. Very often you’ll get a whole geographical, or racial group all presented as a big anonymous bland X factor.

3. The heroine is the rookie detective, and new in town, so there’s the subtext of sexism, and tiny bit of, not necessarily ‘racism’, but you see other characters making ‘assumptions’ about her because of her sex and heritage.

4. The story takes part in Nashville (in and around). Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t read a lot of books that use this city as a setting.

The back blurb mentions that she eventually gets partnered up with the ‘local hero’ detective, so I’m kinda hoping there will be some attraction evident there. I don’t need a full blown romance subplot, but a hint of possibilities, or a bit more than that, would be nice.

I’ll let you know how this book works out for me.
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Trace said...

I went to Amazon and read the excerpt, so far it does look pretty good!

Jaye said...

It is good! I'm on chapter 6 and really enjoying it. When I went to Amazon to look up the link I noticed there was another book in this series. If this novel continues to go well, I'll definitely pick up the next book. :-)

Sylvia Day said...

Hey, thanks for the link! :D

Jaye said...

Sylvia, you were one of the original links on my sidebar. I'm not exactly sure when you 'disappeared' gg.

Amie Stuart said...

Sounds good! Lemme know! I htink you definitely need an 'abandoned' list =(

Elizabeth said...

I've been looking for some good reading too...thanks for some good suggestions.

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