Throwback Thursday 11.18.2021

I’ve been tracking my reading on the internet since approximately 2013 more or less continuously, and if you look on my sidebar, you will find 8 pages that are titled Book List with a designated year.

On occasional Thursdays I will use a random number generator to point me to three books from the lists (leaving out 2021), and then I’ll post about them – what I remember (if anything), whether I would recommend them – probably not, if I don’t remember anything about them – and if they have stuck with me in the years since I read them.

2018, Book 82:

The Brass VerdictThe Brass Verdict
by Michael Connelly
Rating: ★★★
Series: Harry Bosch Universe #18
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
Genre: mystery
Pages: 422
ReRead?: No
Project: throwback thursday

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.

Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Bringing together Michael Connelly's two most popular characters, "The Brass Verdict" is a thriller which reaches for, and then surpasses, the highest level!

I am a huge fan of most of the Harry Bosch Universe and really enjoy the majority of Connelly’s long-running series. The main exception to this are the Mickey Haller books,  which I generally don’t love. I found this entry mediocre – the pace dragged and the plot was uninspired. I’m sort of an outlier here, though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

2016: Book 122:

Tomorrow, When the War BeganTomorrow, When the War Began
by John Marsden
Rating: ★★★★½
Series: Tomorrow #1
Publication Date: May 1, 1993
Genre: fiction, suspense, YA
Pages: 276
ReRead?: No
Project: throwback thursday

When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.

This is the first book in a fantastic YA series that I listened to on audio. Published all the way back in 1993, the book involved sort of a “Red Dawn” scenario, set in Australia, with a group of young Australians who end up engaged in guerrilla warfare and a resistance against the occupiers who have taken over their community while they were camping. I ended up blowing through the entire 5 book series in about a month. I am a little bit surprised, on reflection, that this series hasn’t had a prestige t.v. adaptation, since it seems ripe for that sort of treatment.

2014, Book 155:

The Shivering SandsThe Shivering Sands
by Victoria Holt
Rating: ★★★★
Publication Date: September 3, 1969
Genre: fiction, gothic romance, suspense
Pages: 331
ReRead?: Yes
Project: throwback thursday

Ancient ruins. Family scandal. Forbidden love.

Caroline knows something is wrong. Her sister Roma has gone missing, and no one can tell her why. The only option is to go where Roma was last seen—an estate with a deadly history...

The Stacy family has lived off the Dover coast for generations, carefully navigating the treacherous quicksands nearby. But the sands aren't Caroline's biggest threat. Everyone here has a secret, especially enigmatic young heir Napier Stacy. No matter where Caroline turns, the ground she walks is dangerous. And the closer she comes to unraveling the truth, the closer she comes to sharing her sister's fate...

Victoria Holt can be very hit-or-miss, and this one was a hit for me. I liked the setting a lot, and I still remember the very effective use of “the shivering sands” or the quicksand that plays such a significant role in the events. The villain/ess is quite convincingly scary and the book itself, at least as far as I recall, was suspenseful. The plot was no more implausible than is usual for these old-fashioned gothic romances.

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