Showing posts from August, 2013

A Different Kind of Magic: Rowling Continues Weaving her Spell, Sans Wands

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. If so--and if you happen to find yourself in a tunnel--you’d better damn well hope there’s a glimmer of light shining down at the end of it.

Cormoran Strike is stuck in one of those abominable cycles--the kind where nothing goes right. After losing part of his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, he returned home to heal and figure out what to do next... which turned out to be putting the skills learned in the military police to practical use by setting up shop as a private investigator. It’s something he happens to be really good at; problem is, business has been scarce, and is now down to a single client... which doesn’t come close to paying the bills (not even for his tiny, very modest London work digs). 
But that’s not the end of his troubles; the icing on Strike’s unhappiness cake is that he’s just broken up with his longtime girlfriend... which leaves him effectively homeless, forced to sleep in his spartan office (at least, until the la…

Murder in Michigan... Broken Hearts & Dreams, Buried in Ice

“Growing up” means different things depending on what stage you’re at in life. To kids, it usually symbolizes forbidden fun--namely, whatever it is they’re currently not allowed to do. As an adult, though, it takes on rather an opposite, somewhat-ominous meaning--a mantle of responsibility resting on one’s shoulders, complete with obligations, choices, and repercussions.
A little growth is actually nice to see in a character--be it book, TV, or movie--in the “yeah, this stuff happens to us all” sense; no one goes through life without it changing them, and it’s good to have that reflected in the characters we follow (particularly in an ongoing series). 
Yet, for whatever reasons, a lot of times we don’t really see much of it... which is why it really struck me in P.J. Parrish’s latest mystery, Heart of Ice, featuring private eye Louis Kincaid.

Louis is at an interesting place in his life: after a tumultuous childhood spent in the foster care system, he grew up and became a cop... only to …