Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina. I really love all of Denise Mina’s books, and I’m especially enjoying her Alex Morrow series. Her writing is superb – she’s very streamlined and efficient and doesn’t tell you more than you need to know, while still managing to convey all that you do. Her characters are real and interesting – both the bad guys and the good. In this one Alex has had her twins and is back to work, while still absorbed in all things newborn. She is put on the case of a shooting in a post office, and is confronted with people who know much more than they will admit, and a young American whose presence at the scene of the crime is a bit suspicious. Of course, there is also a lot going on with the Strathclyde police force, and corruption both city-wide and in the force is about to out. A sleek read.
Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding The Courage To Lead by Cecile Richards. I enjoyed reading this book. I was already a fan, having met her a few times at work, but I became very impressed with the concentrated scope of her life’s work. She seems to have known as a young teenager what she wanted to do and has never deviated from that path -- I’m not sure I knew what a union organizer was at 13! It was interesting to read the details of her account testifying in front of congress as the president of Planned Parenthood, and equally interesting to hear of what it was like growing up a progressive in Texas, and the daughter of Ann Richards. I have no doubt that what she will go on to do will warrant an equally impressive part two of her memoirs, and I will read that one too.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I had heard that this was a fun read, and it really was. It’s a good summer book. Rachel is an Asian-American economics professor with a professor boyfriend, Nick, living in NYC. Nick convinces her to travel to his native Singapore for summer vacation, and when she gets there, she discovers that Nick is from one of the wealthiest of families in Singapore, heir to a vast fortune, and thus the target of marriageable women and their interfering mothers. Before Rachel even understands what is going on, she is hit on all sides with schemes. It’s fun. We also get Nick’s mother’s point of view, and Nick’s equally wealthy cousin, Astrid, who is dealing with stress in her own marriage, while spending half the year in Paris shopping couture. It was well crafted and quite entertaining.
The Red Road by Denise Mina. This is the 4th book in the Alex Morrow series. In it, Alex is testifying in court against a witness, and is charmed by the witness’s lawyer. She begins to realize, however, that the criminal’s original conviction back when he was 14 was part of a massive cover-up, the exposing of which will probably ruin her career and bring down her gangster half-brother, Danny. For all that, it is the usual excellent and calm writing – Mina doesn’t believe in extra words or extra drama, and the story unfolds in her unique way, which is never the way one expects. I might stall reading #5 for awhile because I don’t want to end my reading of the series! Sigh.