Author Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, a number one bestselling author, and a broadcaster. He is the Guardian's executive editor for Opinion and also writes a weekly column. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series The Long View. In 2014 he won the Orwell special prize for journalism. Today we will take a peek at his new novel, a murder investigation with a twist setting.
Copyright: August 2015 (Harper) 480 pgs
Series: Standalone book
Sensuality: sex scenes-Adult reading
Mystery Sub-genre: Investigative Journalist
Main Characters: Journalist Madison (Maddy) Webb
Setting: Slightly Futuristic, Los Angeles
Obtained Through: TLC Book Tours for honest opinion
Madison Webb's sister is dead and everyone believes it was an accidental heroin overdose, but anybody who knew her can't conceive of such a thing. Madison digs in to investigate and finds she can't trust the police...even more than usual, and that two women prior to her sister appear to have died the same way. This takes place amid widespread national political and financial turmoil (defaulting on Chinese loans) that has resulted in Chinese military presence on US soil.
Maddy is stubborn and fearless/reckless often beyond common sense or considering its her sister's murder. She has insomnia, which sleep deprivation could explain some. Regardless, I found the character difficult to relate with. The setting of a different America where China has essentially moved in and taken over economically and now politically brings a dystopian feel.
The core plot is good, but it tended to drag. I found it confusing to use a reporter from the stand point of the decline of hard investigative reporting now, let alone in a future America that is kow-towing to China (journalists in China either write what they're told or suffer the consequences). Pacing suffered often in tedium and details of investigations, lots of internet research is not "thrilling" no matter how you write it, or even the politics surrounding a vicious Governor's election got bogged down. This work could have been considerably shorter and been better for it...IMHO.
Fair resolution, but the wrap-up was less satisfying with some story elements left unresolved and some "secret" of Maddy's that is brought up but never explained. This book has some good points with an interesting concept, but I just had a very hard time staying interested to read through the nearly 500 pages.
Rating: Good - A few good points but equally flawed, good but not stellar. Consider borrowing from a Library/swap/borrow if you want.
Find out more about Jonathan at his website, and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
Jonathan’s Tours StopsTuesday, August 4th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, August 5th: JulzReads
Thursday, August 6th: Priscilla and Her Books
Friday, August 7th: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
Tuesday, August 11th: Helen’s Book Blog
Tuesday, August 11th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Thursday, August 13th: Lilac Reviews
Tuesday, August 18th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Wednesday, August 19th: Stacy’s Books
Thursday, August 20th: Great Imaginations
Monday, August 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, August 26th: Queen of All She Reads
Thursday, August 27th: Mysteries and My Musings
Monday, August 31st: Apples and Arteries
Tuesday, September 1st: Beauty in Ruins
Wednesday, September 2nd: Imaginary Reads
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