Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Cloudland

Title: Cloudland
Author: Joseph Olshan
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
My Rating:SmileySmiley
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A stunning literary thriller set in rural Vermont from the much praised author of Nightswimmer and Clara's Heart

Catherine Winslow, taking a walk during an early spring thaw, discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree near her house in the Upper Valley of Vermont. From the corpse’s pink parka, Winslow recognizes it as the latest victim of a serial killer, a woman reported missing weeks before during a January blizzard. Once a major reporter for a national newspaper, now a household hints columnist, Catherine is disturbed and galvanized by her discovery and with the help of her neighbor, a forensic psychiatrist, as well as a local detective, starts to research the River Valley murders.

At the same time, her younger lover from an excruciating, failed love affair resurfaces after two years, trying to manuever his way back into her affections. As she delves into the murders, she realizes that certain friends and acquaintances may actually be suspects or even worse.

My Review: I'm not normally a huge fan of mysteries or thrillers. Occasionally one will come along that I really enjoy so I give them a try every now and then.  This one sounded interesting on Goodreads, I entered to win it and......I did!  When it arrived I settled down to read it.

Within the first few pages I began to wonder if this was going to be a book I had to force myself to read.  There was something about the writing style which was putting me off.  Luckily whatever it was either resolved itself soon after or I became too involved in the story to notice. After getting over that first hurdle I continued to have the problem that I just didn't like Catherine, the main character. She was inconsistent, and I often felt annoyed by her during her assessments of the investigation and of the other characters. Unfortunately a lot of the other characters weren't developed enough for me to put a lot of stock into their part in the story. The third problem was that the ending seemed a bit abrupt to me.

So after all that you may wonder why I gave it an "OK" or one smiley instead the unhappy face.  It was because at the end, no matter how I felt about the rest of the story I was on the edge of my seat, I was tense and anticipatory. The author obviously accomplished the lead-up well and the writing was enough to have me involved. I wouldn't read it again but I do not feel that my time was wasted with this book.

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