Here are the next four books that made a huge impact on me this year that took me to times and places during the lockdown.
ACTS OF CONVENIENCE Alex Craigie
Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.
Imagine a near-future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.
I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.
However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.
It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.
It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger.
This rang eerily true for me in the wake of the Covid restrictions and sent chills down my spine. Again, I was glued to the pages. This is a new author I’ve discovered and I will read every book she writes.
THE ASSASSIN Thomas Baeur
During the Napoleonic era, Umberto Guardo, a naive son of a baker in an insignificant Italian village, falls under the spell of a radical revolutionary. When the great general himself sets foot in the village, the awe-stricken lad is given a task that could alter the course of history. The Assassin portrays an Italy that once was and a small village, isolated and unaware of the world beyond its borders until the unexpected intrusion by the most famous man in the world.
This was a book I was asked to review and it was absolutely delightful! Not only was there a smile on every page, it sums up the human condition with a sharp eye for detail. How do you rouse a group of young men to go on the offense when all they want to do is drink and chase girls? I laughed and I cried as I turned the pages.
THE ARCHITECT Lesley Hayes
September 2020, and Covid has swept the world with devastating consequences. In England, after months of lockdown followed by a cautious loosening of restrictions, friends and family are now allowed to gather if they abide by the government’s ‘rule of six’. Ric is an architect, both by profession and by nature. He has invited guests he refers to jokingly as ‘the usual suspects’ to celebrate his son Noah’s thirtieth birthday. His crazy ex-wife Allegra will be there, and his dependable business partner Jake, together with his nubile girlfriend Eden, and of course Ric’s long-suffering partner, Sally. Secrets and lies and the bitter taste of corruption are items on the menu, and they all have reasons to be suspicious and resentful. Not one of them is exactly who they seem to be. Can anything they say be trusted? Will this be the occasion when one of ‘the usual suspects’ is pushed too far?
I am a huge fan of this author, who writes books with depth and meaning that brings them above the thriller level into the literary world.
FALL OF GIANTS Ken Follett
Ken Follett’s magnificent historical epic begins as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.
A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits. . . . An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. . . . A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy. . . . And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.
Another spellbinding family saga that moves through the decades. I could not turn the pages fast enough.
The last four choices next week.