Firstly, I'm so glad that I discovered Circle of Pine Trees - the year in books blog link up. Laura started this in January, so I'm pleased thatI have found it reasonably early in 2014.
The two books I've read in March are - Stay Alive by Simon Kernick and Belle Cora by Phillip Marguilies and two more different books both written by male authors would be difficult to find.
I'm sure I've read Simon Kernick before and he has a reputation as a good thriller. So despite trying to swerve away a little from mystery thriller types, Stay Alive did sound like an interesting read. However (to this reader anyway) it was a disappointment. Claiming to be a fast page turner, it was just that. I couldn't wait to finish it and get it over and done! With clumsy writing, an unbelievable plot with bodies dropping left right and centre. (I couldn't escape the mental imagery of the movie 'Home Alone' with the boy outwitting the baddies constantly). The ending seemed a bit rushed as the author tries to tie (the many) loose ends together. All in all I would consider it a holiday read - airport or beach!
However, the book which really engrossed me was Belle Cora - oh my goodness, what an enjoyable read! This is riches to rags story of a daughter of a New York merchant who went on to become a millworker, a prostitute, a notorious madam, a murderess and eventually one of San Francisco's richest and most revered dowagers.
It's beautifully written - a spellbinding story of a single woman ahead of her time - the tale of an epic life. She managed to rise above many difficult situations to make something of her life when it seemed there was no hope. The book is tastefully written by Phillip Marguilies (can't believe a male wrote this particular book) and manages to celebrate a particularly strong woman.
Have a look over at Circle of Pine Trees for all the details of this wonderful virtual book club!
cheers for now