Both of these books are on my highly recommend list. Depending on what you like you should consider reading one or both of these.
Slow Horses by Mick Herron
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
“That was the true purpose of Slough House. It was a way of losing people without having to get rid of them, sidestepping legal hassle and tribunal threats.”
After a fantastic first chapter, this one then goes a little awry and it became a little hard to muddle through the next 50 or so pages. But once you get past that and get used to the writing style you are in for a great story. I think the beginning part is a little dry and hard to read because we jump from one character to another pretty quickly as we learn about each of the agents now working at Slough House. There is also a long description of the building itself, which was a bit much. But once the main story really gets going, you start to engage with the characters and even though they are a bit of a strange and eclectic group, you start to really like them and get them.
River Cartwright is more or less the main character, although we see the story through many eyes, his is the main one. I really liked him and felt like he did that he did not really belong at Slough House. But he does get the job done right when given the chance. Lots of other characters in the story, that were sometimes hard to keep track of, but all had great back stories and interesting abilities that eventually set them apart from each other.
The plot was full of conspiracies, backstabbing, twists and turns both seen and unseen, double crossings all told with dry wit and humor that is often dark. Also some political satire about spies and their purpose in the world. And once you get past that slow start you just keep going until the very end hoping for the best for everyone involved. A nicely done modern take on the spy novel with a very real feel to it.
Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
“I can feel myself losing something as I stare up at him, but I have no idea what it is. It terrifies and fascinates me in equal measure .”
This was such a good book. Loved the unique story and the writing was just perfect. There were a few points where I wasn’t entirely sure which way this book was going to go, which is always a delight for me.
The book is mostly told through two points of view. Nell is the modern teller with her story taking place in 2019. Lea is the past narrator with her story taking place in 1909. Both were excellent characters, with strong feelings of right and wrong and the need to do what they feel is the best for them. Lea’s story of course is the more difficult one as she is being forced by her family to marry someone she doesn’t love, and I can’t blame her. Nell is the more sympathetic of the two, she is dealing with a lot of grief over her mother’s death from four years ago. She has had help with that though.
The plot is hard to talk about with spoiling it, you really have to delve into this one with very little fore knowledge. That is part of the delight of it. There was only one thing I didn’t really like and that is Nell’s mental health being used to excuse what was really happening to her. Although her past struggles are acknowledge and the fact that she got help, she struggled with what was going on because of those past issues and thought that they were the cause of her current ones. Hopefully that makes sense to you all. But past that, I really enjoyed this one. I loved the supernatural aspect and the romance too. The setting of the hotel on the beach was also delightful, it sounds like a place I would like to visit.
This is the second book by this author and I think this was the stronger of the two. Although I liked the first one, this one had a better story and a better voice in her two characters. This is certainly an author I will keep an eye out for.