23 Following

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 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
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

Wings Of Fire

Wings Of Fire - Charles Todd This is the second of the Inspector Rutledge mysteries written by "Charles Todd", a mother/son team. I read the 8th or 9th several years ago, and tried the first last summer. Insp. Rutledge is a shell-shocked veteran of WWI who is now working at Scotland Yard. His superior, doesn't much like having Rutledge around, so sends him off on obscure missions in places far from London. This book takes place in Cornwall, the extreme south west of England.

A brother and sister from an old aristocratic family appear to have committed mutual suicide. One of their heirs had an accident a short time later, falling downstairs and breaking his neck. One of the other heirs, however, felt that something with the family history wasn't quite correct. She got a highly placed government official to request a Scotland Yard investigation. Since Rutledge's superior wants to get him out of the way, Rutledge is sent to Cornwall. Rutledge discovers a history of family tragedy, one member fell out of a tree and was killed, another wandered off on the moor and never returned, another "shot" himself in a gun-cleaning accident, another appears to have been thrown from his horse and cracked his head on the rocks. Lots of "accidents/suicides' over the years. Rutledge investigates and concludes that likely one of the family members was a serial killer, perhaps one of the brother/sister suicides.

So, basically, Rutledge flounders around for quite some time before getting some clarity in his own mind. He is hounded by the voice in his head of "Hamish", a Scott whom he had had executed during the War for insubordination. He's also hounded by the loss of his fiancée, Jean, who dumped him after the war.

The first few books in this series that I read (#s 6, 4, then 1) I liked quite a lot, but this one not so much. It felt formulaic or something. Or perhaps the cognitive dissonance of reading this after a string of Walter Mosley novels left me disoriented. I'm on the fence as to whether I'll revisit Insp. Rutledge again next summer or not.