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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

GUEST COLUMN: Check out these good reads

Stein
Stein
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:01 am

I've received more nominations of favorite films from you, so there will be another column, but right now I want to write about books I've recently read.

Let's start with “A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman. By now you probably have read it; it has been on the best-seller lists for ages, both hard cover and then paperback. I thought with all the raves I would be disappointed when I finally read it. I wasn't!

I loved watching this man stick by his ideas of right and wrong. That's thought to be integrity in some circles. I relished his relationship with his wife who knew a precious jewel when she saw it. I enjoyed meeting the characters and waiting for the denouement — and I was sorry to say “goodbye.” If you haven't read it, give yourself a treat.

Bill Mishler sent me “Amsterdam,” saying it was one of the best books he had read recently. I'm so glad he did. The author is Ian McEwan, who is a brilliant writer. Occasionally I stopped reading it to reread and reread and taste again a phrase that was so right and so brand-new.

It's the intriguing story of two men, Clive, a composer, and Vernon, a newspaper editor, and Molly Lane, whom both men had loved and who is dead but still very much a part of both men's lives. They hated how she deteriorated and wanted to prevent their own endings from being like hers, so they made a pact which guaranteed they would die with some dignity. Clive was hurrying to finish a symphony, and Vernon was involved with a moral decision in a possible scandal. Watch how each handles his challenge and enjoy a good read.

Have you read McEwan's “Atonement”? You should.

“Garden of Lamentations” has characters you may have met in Deborah Crombie's novels. Gemma and Kincaid, the two protagonists, are persons I think you'd enjoy meeting. They've solved mysteries in other books by Ms. Crombie. Here we find a nanny dead in a private garden closed to the public. Soon another murder occurs. Is there a connection? Is there a traitor lurking?

Let me be honest: I enjoyed the book, but I kept wishing it had a cast of characters up front so I could keep the many characters straight in my mind. Sometimes books should — and do — have a list of characters, who they are, whom they're related to, et al. I'm sure you know what I mean. I would have been more comfortable, especially in the early pages, had such a list been available.

This is a murder mystery with an ending that completely took me by surprise. I had no idea that person was the murderer. That's quite a trick for an author to pull off. See if you're fooled.

“Lethal Ghost” is Blake Sebring's latest book, and this one is a murder mystery with a serial killer. Now let me tell you that Blake and I are friends, very good friends, so I might be accused of bias. So be it; you are warned. This is a quick read, but you will have a good time watching this killer who commits perfect crime after perfect crime — and I can just imagine how much fun Blake had killing off all these people. Blake covers the Komets for The News-Sentinel. You may wish he spent more time writing murder mysteries. Enjoy it.

More books next time.

Betty E. Stein is a retired teacher and resident of Fort Wayne.

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