Three Books I'm Reading Now, 12/22/20 Edition
01 The Searcher by Tana French
What do I love more than a Tana French book, a retired detective story, or an Irish setting? Nothing. There is nothing I love more than any of these setups, except all three in one. I've been saving French's newest book because I've had such high hopes that it would be stellar, so my fingers are crossed.
Retired cop Cal Hooper moves from Chicago, the site of his complicated career, his terrible divorce, and everything he knows, to the peace and quiet of rural Ireland. He's trying to keep his head down, work on his dilapidated house, get an occasional beer at the pub, not get forced into a romantic setup by a busybody neighbor, and adopt a good little mutt. He's got no jurisdiction and isn't interested in carrying any responsibility for police work anymore anyway. But when a skittish young boy with nowhere else to turn asks him for help, Cal finds that he can't refuse.
French is the author of six books in the Dublin Murder Squad series: In the Woods, The Likeness (my absolute favorite of hers), Faithful Place, The Trespasser, Broken Harbor, and The Secret Place, plus the stand-alone Witch Elm.
02 One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Five loosely linked Bayview High students walk into detention on Monday afternoon, all busted for having phones in class. The phones in question didn't belong to them, so none of them should even be there. But before they can put together the pieces and determine who might have wanted to get them all together in that room, one of them is dead.
The gossip site run by the deceased student made him detested and feared. And he was about to publish some juicy, devastating tidbits about each of his detention partners. Did one of them want so desperately to stop him that they would kill to keep him quiet?
In this first book in the One of Us Is Lying series, McManus takes us through each of the suspects in their own points of view. I love an unreliable narrator setup like this, and I'm listening to this as an audiobook so I like that I hear each character's voice. I can't wait to find out the big reveal. Also, my teenager already read this and is peppering me with questions about what's happening and what I think is happening, so I need to finish it quickly so we can discuss it.
03 In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Twentysomething Mae is spending the holidays yet again with her parents' college friends and their families. She's not satisfied in her job, she's unhappily single, she still lives with her parents--and she just kissed the wrong boy, the younger brother of her true obsession.
In despair about having had a rotten holiday and about the mistakes she feels she's made, Mae makes a plea to the universe to show her what would truly make her happy. Suddenly she's plunged back in time to begin the holiday anew and try to get things right, Groundhog Day-style.
In a Holidaze feels like a romantic holiday read that might be perfect for this pre-Christmas week.
I reviewed Lauren's The Unhoneymooners a couple of weeks ago. The author duo also wrote the fun and romantic Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating as well as Love and Other Words and the lovely, lovely Autoboyography.
What are you reading now?
I'm so excited about each of these books. French's book is starting off really strong, and One of Us Is Lying has me hooked. I'm fighting a little irritation at the moment with some implausible early details in Holidaze, which I sometimes struggle with in lighter fiction. I don't anticipate having any trouble with Mae's being whisked through time, but I do want the early interpersonal setups to feel real and not contrived.
I'll report back on all three of these holiday-week reads once I've finished! I hope you're managing some peaceful downtime and time to read something you love.