The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Very skillfully constructed.

Sophie is a mystery writer (like Jewell) who reluctantly moves to the country because her husband took a new job.

She finds a sign nailed to a nearby fence with an arrow and the words “Dig Here”.

She does. And it begins to unravel the mystery of a young couple that disappeared a year earlier.

Flashbacks take us back.

I would say the book could have been shorter. Jewell would be better with a more ruthless editor.

Still. Recommended.

books, philosophy

The Way Home by Mark Boyle

GREAT book. Excellent and entertaining writing.

The audio book is even better, by my favourite reader Gerald Doyle.

Mark did not touch cash for over 3 years, writing about his experience in The Moneyless Man.

Later, he tried living with as little modern technology as possible.

It was 11pm when I checked my email for the last time and turned off my phone for what I hoped would be forever.

No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce.

In this honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle explores the hard won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the spring, foraging and fishing.

What he finds is an elemental life, one governed by the rhythms of the sun and seasons, where life and death dance in a primal landscape of blood, wood, muck, water, and fire – much the same life we have lived for most of our time on earth. Revisiting it brings a deep insight into what it means to be human at a time when the boundaries between man and machine are blurring.


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The Hit by David Baldacci

Book 2 in the Will Robie series.

Baldacci is not nearly my favourite author. BUT this book really kept me interested from start to finish.

A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst–enemies of the state …

No one else can match Robie’s talents as a hitman…no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she’s gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency.

To stop one of their own, the government looks again to Will Robie. His mission: bring in Reel, dead or alive. Only a killer can catch another killer, they tell him. …

books, TV

Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

It’s not historical fiction, however. The olde English dialogue is anachronistic.

But for some reason, the story works.

Anticipate an adaptation for the screen.

Two time frames:

Late 1700s London. An apothecary who sells poisons only to kill misbehaving men. And her curious 12-year-old assistant.

Modern day London. An American woman who’s whose marriage is disintegrating — by chance — decides to investigate the apothecary.


books, climate change, hiking

Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire by Trina Moyles  

Trina Moyles is a northern Alberta woman who decided to write a book about climate change and the resulting increase in forest fires.

Forest fires are one of the few outdoor “dangers” that truly worries me when hiking and cycling.

Over several 5-month summers alone in fire towers, it evolved into more of a life memoir.

And Trina has had a very interesting life.

While searching for smoke, Trina unravels under the pressure of a long-distance relationship–and a dawning awareness of the environmental crisis that climate change is producing in the boreal. Through megafires, lightning storms, and stunning encounters with wildlife, she learns to survive at the fire tower by forging deep connections with nature and with an extraordinary community of people dedicated to wildfire detection and combat. In isolation, she discovers a kind of self-awareness–and freedom–that only solitude can deliver.  …


I learned a lot. And found the book very entertaining.

Canadian Geographic REVIEW.


The Guide by Peter Heller

“Peter Heller is the poet laureate of the literary thriller.” —Michael Koryta

An endorsement by Koryta was good enough for me.

“The Guide is a literary work and a paean to fishing, as inspiring as A River Runs Through It… Poetic… Engaging….”
—Sandra Dallas, Denver Post

He gives us fast-paced action and intrigue, interspersed with closely observed, reflective nature writing. Speed up for the crime-solving, slow down for the Zen.”
—Julia Rubin, Associated Press

The hype sounded good. AND Heller can write. I did enjoy his description of trout fishing. The Zen.

The plot itself is dumb. WAY too over the top.



Traveller and Other Stories by Stuart Neville

Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published …, Stuart Neville has … achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers.

… Neville offers readers a collection of his short fiction—twelve chilling stories that traverse and blend the genres of noir, horror, and speculative fiction, and which bring the history and lore of Neville’s native Northern Ireland to glittering life. …




Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

Quite good. The first in a series of 28 Eve Duncan novels, so far.

After losing her beloved child to a serial killer, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan survives by focusing on her career.

The best in her field at rebuilding faces from bare skull bones, Eve specializes in identifying missing children.

When billionaire John Logan requests her help in identifying an adult skull, Eve–already swamped with work–tells Logan that she isn’t interested. But when he volunteers to donate a large sum of money to a charity for missing children in exchange for her time, Eve reluctantly agrees.

Logan neglects to tell her that there are powerful, desperate people who are determined to keep the skull’s true identity a secret at any cost.

From the Corner of his Eye by Dean Koontz

Perhaps the BEST Koontz book I’ve read so far.

And the most like Stephen King. It’s long. Sprawling. Surprising.

Supernatural horror.

MANY original and interesting characters.

One of the leads makes a pilgrimage to thank Dr. Jonas Salk for inventing the Polio vaccine.

Bartholomew Lampion is born on a day of tragedy and terror that will mark his family forever. All agree that his unusual eyes are the most beautiful they have ever seen.

On this same day, a thousand miles away, a ruthless man learns that he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew. He embarks on a relentless search to find this enemy, a search that will consume his life.

And a girl is born from a brutal rape, her destiny mysteriously linked to Barty and the man who stalks him.

At the age of three, Barty Lampion is blinded when surgeons remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. As he copes with his blindness and proves to be a prodigy, his mother counsels him that all things happen for a reason and that every person’s life has an effect on every other person’s, in often unknowable ways.

At thirteen, Bartholomew regains his sight. How he regains it, why he regains it, and what happens as his amazing life unfolds and entwines with others results in a breathtaking journey of courage, heart-stopping suspense, and high adventure.