Here’s the latest of what I’ve been reading. These will be going back to the library today – conveniently enough, they’re due!
Cody McFadyen’s Face of Death, the second book featuring FBI agent Smoky Barrett. This book features the story of a teenage girl whose whole life has apparently been directed to be nothing but suffering by an assailant known only as “The Stranger”. Every family she lives with is destroyed, everything she cares about is lost, until finally she demands to see Smoky, who uses her team to seek out and destroy the unknown killer. Overall, I’ve been pretty satisfied with these books, but this is the second one in which the bad guy has ended up being an individual closely involved with the investigation. Hopefully this won’t be a pattern in later novels – it’ll get old fast.
Just finished last night Sharon Kay Penman’s Lionheart, the story of Richard I’s crusade in the late 12th century. I’ve always enjoyed Penman’s work – they’re a nice fictionalized look at historical events and people that really make them seem much more personable than an actual text. In Lionheart, we follow Richard’s dealings with King Philippe II of France, his difficulties with his brothers, finding a bride in Berenguela of Navarre and his voyage to the Holy Land in an attempt to recapture Jerusalem from the forces of Saladin. Ultimately, he is unsuccessful and comes to realize that, though his cause may be inspired by God (or so he believes) the lives of men are sometimes worth more than possession of a city. I’ll look forward to Penman’s next work, also to center on the second half of Richard’s life and career as King of England.