Polaroid Android: An English Summer
True to the must-write blogging trend that is for posting your good read list for the summer holiday season, I'd like to share with you two thrillers by my favourite authors that kept me transfixed as much by the quality of both plots as their engaging bruised protagonists, and which you might like to read as well.
The Butterfly Tattoo
The agony and ecstasy of a teenage love affair inspires this tense, romantic thriller. Sixth-former Chris falls in love with Jenny the moment he sets eyes on her as he works at an Oxford ball. But as their relationship blossoms, tragedy and violence wait in the wings. For Chris's boss has a shady past that won't stay hidden. And his ruthless enemies will use two innocent teenagers to exact their revenge on him...
This novella by Philip Pullman was initially published in 1992 as The White Mercedes and reissued a couple of years later as The Butterfly Tattoo on the occasion of a film adaptation. Though this thriller for young adults won Pullman critical acclaim upon release, he also got highly criticised by recent readers, mostly fans of the famous His Dark Materials trilogy (see Related articles) who couldn't relate to a world where smartphones had not been invented yet (sic). I cannot develop this point any further without risking to spoil the plot, whilst the opening line gives us a massive hint of the tragic ending. Even so, you can't avoid getting caught by the building suspense of this doomed intrigue full of twists and turns and impossible romance between two teenagers caught in the midst of a murky story of betrayal and revenge against a backdrop of Irish war and London mob.
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.
As every one knows ever since the release of the first volume of the Cormoran Strike series, Robert Galbraith is actually the second pen name J.K. Rowling took to write crime fiction undercover. Unfortunately, she was immediately spotted (leaked?) and exposed. Which is finally insignificant for even if Robert Galbraith and the author of the Harry Potter series had been two distinct individuals, I would have loved reading his books all the same. Though for all I know, I probably wouldn't have heard of them. All I can say is the lady is a master in weaving stories within stories and you end up eager to know the outcome of the relationship between Cormoran and Robin as well as the resolution of the main plot. Although, the guidelines of the genre are always so appearant so as the well-established recipe Rowling seems to apply systematically but so brilliantly and efficiently that it's irrelevant to mention. This novel may be read independently, still it's preferable to have read the previous three (The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silk Worm, and Career Of Evil) to enjoy (and understand) the subplot. Lethal White, referring to a genetic syndrome affecting white foals, was published in September 2018.
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