Confession time – this time I have a lot to confess, which I think is the opposite of how this works traditionally, but still . . .
I have actually written this week – not a lot, nothing publishable, but I have written. Plus, I’ve sent several pieces out for consideration at journals like MonkeyBicycle and Relief. We’ll see what comes of those submissions.
I’ve done a lot of reading about my book topic – ghosts and such – and you guys have been immensely helpful with your suggestions. Thanks.
I’ve chatted with people about the topic, and I think I’ve honestly made some real headway in terms of my concept . . . I keep plugging along. . .
I also finally finished reading Theft of the Master by Edwin Alexander. Here’s the basic gist – a one-of-a-kind piece of art is stolen by the Nazis and smuggled around the world with them as they avoid capture. In the process of the art being brought back to its homeland, Estonia, a young woman is killed, and her family hires PI Al Hershey to find her. . . Chess comes into the plot, as does a bit of romance. But ultimately, it’s a complicated whodunnit with some groundings in historical events.
I found this book very difficult, mostly because the person I was to be sympathizing with in any given chapter kept changing. At one moment, it’s a German neo-Nazi (I know it’s hard to imagine sympathizing with him); the next it’s a young woman falling in love; the next it’s a Private Investigator; the next it’s the young woman’s parents. . . all in all I found the book to be choppy and hard to follow. I kept losing track of people because they didn’t get much attention in the book but then ended up being crucial later on.
The concept here is very interesting, and Alexander’s detective has some great quirks – particularly his very responsible wife, Mrs. Hershey, who never appears directly in the book – but all in all, it was a tough one for me to follow. My sense, however, is that if Alexander keeps writing, he will be able to develop a stronger through-line that will hold the book together more solidly.
Booking Mama had a very different take on this book than I did, plus she links to some great “bonus features” on the novel. The post is worth a visit.
The book did bring up a question for me – what do I think of historically-based fiction? I’m usually not a big fan, but sometimes – in the case of something extraordinary like the Nazi theft of art – I find it engaging. What do you guys think?
If you reviewed this book, post a link to your review here. Thanks.