Just As Good the Second Time I Read It

Sometimes I get tired of being the one who is responsible; it often means I get stuck doing everything myself. My mother told me to ignore little imperfections and let others do some things for me, but it isn’t easy. I’m working on it, and sometimes people surprise me.

In Megan Abbott’s Give Me Your Hand, Marie Curie lurks in the background as the model for two responsible girls who aspire to make a difference in the world of science, and would rather do it themselves. Kit Owens doesn’t realize her full potential until she is challenged by the seemingly perfect new girl in class, Diane Fleming. Best friends and competitors, the two rise to a final challenge when they meet again as adults, and then their worlds explode.

Secrets challenge the reader’s expectations, and Megan Abbott writes in the same vein as Ruth Ware, with complicated characters and twisting plot notes. Lots of murders dot the landscape, and the story is scary.

When I started to read this book, I thought I had read it before; pieces seemed familiar Sure enough I found I had reviewed it last year, but I had forgotten the plot and how it ended. Has that happened to you?

Killer Books – You Will Know Me and Dear Mr. M

If you are feeling withdrawal from The Girl on the Train, two thrillers may help you sort through your need for psychological suspense.

9780316231077_p0_v2_s192x300   You Will Know Me

Did the Greeks have the modern formula in mind when they prepared for the Olympics?  In Megan Abbott’s thriller You Will Know Me, the author uses girls’ gymnastics as the focus for yet another  unreliable narrator with a killing secret.

The story envelopes the reader in a family’s ambition to see daughter, Devon, rise to the top, with financial and psychological cost to both her and her family.  Only the younger brother, Drew, seems unscathed until later in the plot, when he too becomes an unlikely and silent victim.  As mother Katie tells the tale, she notes three pieces of the story driving the eerie plot: a lawn mower accident with her three year old daughter’s foot, cutting off her toes; her daughter’s fall at the end of a competition; and the pit in the renovated gym, bringing a handsome lover into their lives.

Although finding the killer keeps the suspense, the lives of the young gymnasts and their hovering parents may be more frightening.

9781410491572_p0_v1_s192x300   Dear Mr. M

Herman Koch once again managed to scare me in the first fifty pages, with the promise of more eerie episodes yet to be explored.  I still shiver when I think of reading The Dinner and Summer House With a Swimming Pool.  I may wait to read Mr. M another time, but here is the short summary, if you are up to it.  When the book opens, Mr. M is being stalked by his neighbor who has a mysterious connection to his past.

“Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M’s novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.” Kirkus

 

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