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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

The Woods

The Woods - Harlan Coben Holy crap! Three books in a row written within the last 20 years. How'd that happen?

Anyway, I picked this book up because one of my alleged "friends" on GR—someone I don't know at all, so how'd we connect?—said it was so compelling that she found herself volunteering to drive young people all over the place just so she could continue listening to the audio-book version of this book. I haven't figured out audio books yet, and don't drive much (especially since my mother died in April), so I had to contend myself with a library copy, albeit in Kindle format.

After having finished Wicked Autumn, I was a bit worried that I'd find this book similarly poorly written, or alternatively, that it might be overly Steven Kingish and creepy. Fortunately, it was neither. It is actually a very good and well-written story.

So, we have Paul Copeland, a county prosecutor in New Jersey. Some twenty years before, he was at a summer camp, out in the woods making time with his sweetie of the moment. Two other couples were out in the woods at the same time, but they didn't come back. One couple was found with their throats slit. The other couple, one of whom was Paul's sister, disappeared. Paul was separated from the girl he was with and never saw her again.

Now, twenty years later, he is dragged off by the police to view a murdered body. The police are sure he has something to do with the murder because the dead man had been carrying clippings from the 20-year old mystery. Copeland first denies knowing the man, then realizes he is one of the two people who had disappeared twenty years previously. Could that mean his sister was still alive as well?

So, anyway, we keep getting more clues and more tie ins with the 20-year old tragedy. The old girlfriend shows up again. She's been pining for Paul for the past twenty years. She's a college professor and has taken to sitting in the dark, drinking vodka straight from the bottle, and listening to cheesy romantic songs. Eventually, there is a resolution of some kind, although far be it from me to tell y'all about it. Along the way, we learn the extent to which fathers will go to protect their children. Quite an impelling story, actually. My GR friend was correct.