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1.06.2017

Book Report - Intrusion and Grave Of Hummingbirds

The next two books I read last year, were Intrusion by Mary McCluskey and Grave of Hummingbirds by Jennifer Skutelsky. Both of these were free books of the month as part of my Amazon Prime subscription.

First up, Intrusion by Mary McCluskey.
After losing their only son, Kat and Scott Hamilton are dealing with their grief in very different ways. Scott has thrown himself back into his work as a lawyer, while Kat is barely capable of functioning. When Sarah, an old friend from Kat's past back in England, suddenly enters their life; Kat is almost greatful for the distraction until Sarah's sinister agenda is revealed forcing Kat to deal with life again or risk losing what little of it she has left.

Mysteries are always hit or miss with me. In general, I love the eeriness of them all, that slow build to the reveal, and the triumphant moment when the protagonist saves the day. If it's a good mystery, then it can be a really rewarding reading experience. If one of those is off or misses the mark entirely, the effect is ruined. Intrusion was eerie and had a good build; unfortunately, the reveal was lacking. When I found out Sarah's true intentions, my reaction was more, "Oh, that's it?" The experiences that lead her to seek revenge didn't seem nearly traumatic enough to warrant her actions. She just came off as nuts, but maybe that was the point - some people are just nuts.

Intrusion was okay while reading it, but in the end utterly forgettable. 

Next up, Grave of Hummingbirds by Jennifer Skutelsky.
In the small Peruvian village of Colibr√≠, a young boy stumbles upon a dead woman with wings. Dr. Gregory Moreno is called in to inspect the body. While shocked at the obviously disturbing work of a deranged killer, he's more stunned by the resemblance of the dead girl to his late wife. When a year later, Sophie Lawson, an American anthropologist comes to Colibr√≠ with her son, Gregory is floored once again by her resemblance to his wife. When Sophie goes missing, Gregory fears the previous murder may not have been an isolated incident. Together with Sophie's son, the two navigate the treacherous hillsides in an attempt to save Sophie before it's too late.

Grave of Hummingbirds had a lot going for it. The setting was described beautifully; I could picture the little village and wild hillsides perfectly. It also provided a bit of knowledge, as I had never heard of the Peruvian Blood Festival and the strangely cruel custom of catching then fastening a live condor on top of a bull for sport. In general, it was a pretty good mystery, although I did find it unlikely that these women both looked exactly like the guy's dead wife. I could see it if it was a slight resemblance or something, but the way it was described made it sound like they were identical triplets. On a creepiness scale, it was up there, and I'd say the reveal was decent enough.

Of the two books, I preferred Grave of Hummingbirds; but to be honest, I'd classify neither of them as a really great mystery novel.

What are you reading these days?

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