Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan.

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About the Book

The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.

With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.

Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…

My Review

Watch Her Disappear is the fourth book in the series that features Zigic and Ferreira and is my favourite one so far. You can always rely on Eva Dolan to write something a bit different and in this book the hate crimes unit are looking into the murder of a transgender woman and other attacks that they suspect are linked. Corrine, the victim doesn’t come across as a very nice person, either as Corrine or in her previous life as Colin. In all honesty, I had more sympathy, if not liking for her family.
All the trans women who featured appeared more confident and happy when they could live their lives as women. Eva demonstrates how the trans community are regarded in society. Some people are supportive but many treat them with no respect and as an object of ridicule. Some of the terminology used by members of the police force excluding Zigic and Ferreira made me cringe slightly and it was believable. Even more believable was the storyline regarding the attitude of certain people on social media.
Alongside the investigation is another that is looking into rape. The two detectives who are involved in the case know who is responsible but it is impossible to prove it. Ferreira is also doing some work on this case and I loved how she could get under the suspect’s skin.
The last third of the novel, when I had figured out who was responsible if not why was impossible to put down. I felt upset for Ferreira who struggled with guilt and frustration at having to stand aside. She has been a favourite character since the first book, I just like everything about her.
I read a lot of series fiction and with all the books that I read I usually fall behind but this is one series that I have kept up to date with. I hope that it will continue.
With thanks to the publisher for my copy received.

A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin.

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About the Book

The flame of genius scorches every generation it touches.
Following a lonely upbringing in the woods of northern Michigan, Milo Andret enrols as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, where the faculty is the first to recognize that the young man’s childhood solitude has created a prodigiously unusual mind. Yet with Milo’s great gifts come great risks, and California in the seventies is rife with temptation. The research he begins at Berkeley will make him a legend; the woman, and the rival he meets, will haunt him forever. For it soon becomes clear that Milo’s brilliance is linked to a dark need that ultimately threatens to destroy not only his work and his marriage, but the lives of all his children, as well.
A Doubter’s Almanac is at once a captivatingly virtuoso illustration of the powers of the mind and a deeply moving exploration of the nature of love, ambition and genius. It is a novel of flawed characters and unreachable dreams, of bonds that tie and passions that destroy; a major work of dazzling and seductive beauty from one of our foremost writers.

My Review

My first book of 2017 is a completely different type of book to what I usually read. It is also by an author that I have never read before.
Milo is a genius, a mathematician whose life is governed by trying to solve mathematical problems and be the first to do so. There is a lot of focus on mathematics in the novel and all of it was beyond my comprehension. However, the story gripped me enough to carry on reading.
He is a troubled person. There are many words you can use to describe him. Abusive, aggressive, bullying, condescending, critical, impatient, selfish and unforgiving are just a few. He is also a loner, has been from an early age and his inability to mix with people accounts for many of his faults.
Most of the emphasis on mathematics occurs in part one, it is present in part two but the narrative here switches from Milo to his son Hans. The story was much easier to read in bigger chunks in part two, probably with there being more of a story and it being told by a more likeable person.
The author demonstrates how a genius can be in every generation but also an addict and sometimes they are linked. The consequences of addiction from both characters was quite upsetting to read, especially the scenes that concerned Milo. What became evident towards the end of the novel was that despite all of Milo’s faults he was also loyal and loving but probably due to his own isolated childhood completely useless at showing it.
I loved the female characters in the novel. Mom, Audra and Paulie were all fantastic, warm, humorous, patient and forgiving people. I felt that they all gave the novel its depth and humility. I also liked the chapter headings, I’ve never read any like them before. ‘ You can’t comb the hair on a coconut’ is a firm favourite.
I did find the mathematics slightly off putting but the story and the female characters more than compensated and I will look out for Ethan Canin’s previous novels.