I have really enjoyed this series. Claire is just a character I could really sink my teeth into. In Claire Obscure, I thought at the end, we would see an older wiser Claire make better choices in the sequel. There were many times..I just kept thinking "What are you doing??" and that is what I like in books.
OK, I must confess to the reader of this review that I am a bit biased to Kathleen Valentine's writing. I fell in love with it in her book, The Old Mermaid's Tale and with almost every piece I have read of hers since. Her range of writing, from women's lit to this piece of work which she classifies as a psychological thriller, is spectacular. Her character development...always superb! This piece of work has a specific aura of sarcastic wit to it, which adds to the vibe of the story. I also tend to devour this "feeling" in books that I read. I always feel when I pick up a Kathleen Valentine work that I am picking up an authentic adult piece of literature...
Another thing I must confess to the reader of this review..I am your typical type A personality who loves to classify things...Kathleen Valentine is certainly on my list of top 10 contemporary authors
They Don't Exist is a prime example of why I am not a huge fan of short stories. Normally, I would still give a short story of a minimum of 3 stars, but this one was just really goofy and bounced around, to boot.
on June 19, 2012
Hmmm, to be honest, I think this is one of the most unusual books that I have read this year. Mattioni writes a very deep book relating to the grief of his main character, yet is able to keep it light. You can feel his grief from your fingertips to the tips of your toes, yet his character and the supporting characters have that deep south charm and wit that I happen to love about the South.
The only thing that kept throwing me off was that Mattioni kept throwing in references to the historical South. Some I think fit into the story line and some I kept asking myself what the point was. This was also the reason this book wasn't a 5 star read.
I can put this book on the list of works on why I prefer Indie authors over Big House Publishing. I think it is also a prime example of what those who are closed minded to the works of indie authors are missing. This book was incredibly unique in its' presentation and I think the author showed talent to present two levels of storyline...A charming one on the top level to warm the hearts of the readers while capturing the pain, hurt and loss of Alberto in the "sub level". I think if he would have chosen to write this book in any other method, he would be missing a critical component.
What gripping emotion this book held and that everything on the surface isn't quite what it appears. This author utilized words and his storyline masterfully to keep me, as a reader, engaged.
I loved that the book wasn't written in such a way that the abductor (Anna Meade) wasn't an "awful" person and that Evan Meade or his new wife weren't quite the stellar individuals that one would see in most books, which comes off as black/white.
Now, on a side note, I must say that I took the storyline a bit different and felt that the antagonist/protagonist roles a bit differently than a number of other reviewers. In the beginning, I truly felt that it was Evan as the protagonist and Anna as the antagonist (she did kidnap her son after all). What was truly rockin' about this book, is that the author was able to turn that around (in my head) and elicit sympathy for Anna, who then became the protagonist with Evan as the antagonist. What was masterful is that, in my humble opinion, he was able to do this with the slightest of moves and underneath the surface. Although in the book's description, it describes Evan as mean-spirited, as one reads the book, it came across to me as "eh, it is just your typical he said, she said divorce situation". However, as one continues to read it suddenly becomes apparent that that is probably not the case.
The quality in this book is a perfect example of Indie authors being able to hold their own in regards to larger publishing house authors and that those readers who dismiss Indie authors are truly missing out. The thing to boot, is that this is a debut author. Imagine what is to come from this author!!
So, why not a full five stars. I felt that there was SOME redundancy or "information" thrown into the book, particularly related to the private investigator and sheriff. I thought scenes could have been either tighter writer or omitted all together.