The Kept by James Scott

Book Description:

Published: January 7, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Set in rural New York state at the turn of the twentieth century, superb new talent James Scott makes his literary debut with The Kept—a propulsive novel reminiscent of the works of Michael Ondaatje, Cormac McCarthy, and Bonnie Jo Campbell, in which a mother and her young son embark on a quest to avenge a terrible and violent tragedy that has shattered their secluded family.

In the winter of 1897, a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Midwife Elspeth Howell returns home to the carnage: her husband, and four of her children, murdered. Before she can discover her remaining son Caleb, alive and hiding in the kitchen pantry, another shot rings out over the snow-covered valley. Twelve-year-old Caleb must tend to his mother until she recovers enough for them to take to the frozen wilderness in search of the men responsible.

A scorching portrait of a merciless world — of guilt and lost innocence, atonement and retribution, resilience and sacrifice, pregnant obsession and primal adolescence — The Kept introduces an old-beyond-his-years protagonist as indelible and heartbreaking as Mattie Ross of True Grit or Jimmy Blevins of All the Pretty Horses, as well as a shape-shifting mother as enigmatic and mysterious as a character drawn by Russell Banks or Marilynne Robinson.

Review –

I don’t know where to start with this one except to say that is the MOST DEPRESSING book I have ever read or listened to (I listened – which made it worse because the narrator made the characters come alive).

Elspeth is a midwife and stays away from home for months at a time and is returning to her homestead, which is a six-hour walk from the nearest town. Once there she finds her husband and four children all dead from gun shots. She is accidentally shot with a rifle by her twelve-year-old son, Caleb, who survived the massacre by hiding and being quiet.

Caleb does the best he can to doctor her wounds but she almost dies. When she is able to stand it he tells her of the three mens with red scarves around their necks who did the killings. She says they must go and hunt them down and kill them. 

Thus starts the saga.

Once arriving in the town they suspect the murders reside Elspeth dresses like a man and gets a job hauling ice and Caleb, who quickly tires of staying all day cooped up in a hotel room, gets a job as a janitor at the brothel.

The things these two endure is amazing and when facts come out about Caleb’s “brothers and sisters” he is not really shocked because by that time he had a suspicion.

Do they find the killers? You’ll have to read the book, but let me warn you it is depressing, especially the ending.

After listening to this, I had to find a “fluff” piece to read/listen because my mind was not ready for another serious tome.

 

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The Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis

Book Description:

Published: May 4, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

How can you prove your innocence when you can’t remember the crime?

Being a cop runs in Billy Harney’s family. The son of Chicago’s Chief of Detectives whose twin sister, Patty, also followed in their father’s footsteps, there’s nothing Billy won’t give up for the job, including his life.

After a brutal shooting, Billy is left for dead alongside his tempestuous former partner and an ambitious assistant district attorney out for blood, But somehow Billy survives. He remembers nothing about the events leading up to the shootout and is charged with double murder.

Desperate to clear his name, Billy retraces his steps to get to the bottom of what happened. When he discovers the existence of a little black book that everyone who’s anyone in Chicago will stop at nothing to get their hands on, Billy suspects it contains the truth that will either set him free… or confirm his worst fears.

Review –

I found this  book fascinating from the first chapter and the characters believable, the plot plausible and the action  fast paced. Even though I figured out who the “murderer” was early on, I didn’t see the fact that he had a partner. The storyline was a bit on the predictable side but the suspense  and the surprise twist made the read/listen very worthwhile. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys police drama.

 

Perdition House-Part 1 An Erotic Saga by Bonnie Edwards

Book Description:

Published: June 25, 2014

Perdition House…

When Faye Grantham inherits Perdition House, her family’s secret shame, she expects to sell the property for millions and marry her long time fiancé.
But the spirits who still reside in the mansion have other ideas. Trapped in the bordello, the women who lived and worked there wait to tell their stories to Faye.
The “girls” don’t just hang around waiting, though. They control Faye’s libido, influence her decisions and drive her into the arms of two very different men.
Liam Watson wears comfort like most men wear cologne, but with an interest in adventurous sex, he’s a lot more man than he first seems.
Mark McLeod is a strong, decisive businessman who was not meant to be more than a hot one-night stand. But Mark is in no hurry to end their liaison, and hopes to continue her lessons in sensuality.
As Faye becomes enthralled with her family mansion, she’s soon embroiled in a life-changing situation that has her re-examining her engagement, her business decisions, and her beliefs about herself.
As the spirits reveal themselves one by one, Faye learns their stories: how they came to Perdition House, why they joined the women there and some of the secrets that only a high-class bordello could hold.
But can decades-old secrets affect Faye’s life today?
Ghost stories are not always frightening. Sometimes they’re cheeky, naughty and often erotic…

Welcome to Perdition House: a house of sin, secrets and seduction.

Review –

I’m fast learning that I AM NOT a fan of paranormal erotic romance.

This story line is just a bit much for me and I found my mind wondering, unable to stay connected with the plot. Somehow Ghosts in an old house that used to be a brothel is hard for me to swallow. I won’t be reading Part 2.

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