This past month life has been crazy. Not crazy bad, just busy. Lots of work commitments, a trip to the desert to see my grandfather, taking up a new hobby (guitar) and getting ready for my big trip to Nosara, Costa Rica for my pilates certification course. I leave this weekend! When I return I will do one big book review highlighting everything I enjoyed while traveling, relaxing and learning. Voy a escribir cuando regrese. Adios!
I learned of Hour of the Red God from NPR. I was drawn to the location, Nairobi, Kenya and the protagonist, a former Maasai warrior, Detective Mollel knowing both would create an interesting, different type of mystery. Also having traveled to Nairobi, I was curious how Richard Crompton would depict the city and its people. Crompton uses descriptive prose to bring Nairobi alive. The city is more than a simple setting for a brutal murder of a prostitute. It is a textured part of the story line exposing the gritty yet modern Africa during the turbulent elections of 2007.
The Secret Keeper significantly lacked what is expected from a Kate Morton mystery. Morton's other books were magical exposing an intricate story line with fascinating characters. This tale faltered. The primary character, Dolly is unlikeable. Laurel is lukewarm. Vivien's situation with her husband is extremely predictable. Jimmy and Vivien's disappearance is not well executed and hence lacks intrigue to prompt the reader to consider alternative scenarios. The book is far too long detailing aspects of characters lives that do not contribute to the overall story line. I was truly taken with The House at Riverton, The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden. The Secret Keeper was not Morton's best work, yet I will not disregard her as a talented author and will openly embrace her next read.