Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sister Pelagia Fell in the Sea!

"The ship carrying the devout to Jerusalem has run into rough waters. Onboard is Manuila, controversial leader of the “Foundlings,” a sect that worships him as the Messiah. But soon the polarizing leader is no longer a passenger or a prophet but a corpse, beaten to death by someone almost supernaturally strong. But not everything is as it seems, and someone else sailing has become enmeshed in the mystery: the seemingly slow but actually astute sleuth Sister Pelagia. Her investigation of the crime will take her deep into the most dangerous areas of the Middle East and Russia, running from one-eyed criminals and after such unlikely animals as a red cockerel that may be more than a red herring. To her shock, she will emerge with not just the culprit in a murder case but a clue to the earth’s greatest secret."

(Plucked from my Goodreads update.  Punched into my phone via a moment of ranting.)

I'm on page 224 of 432 of Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel.  One of the most saddening DNF's I've ever experienced. The 1st book in this series was NEXT LEVEL. The 2nd book was a creepy yet gripping follow-up. And now this third book? Tsk-tsk. While the first 160 pages got my reading blood racing for more, the story derailed when the author strayed from Sister Pelagia's POV and into other characters for just a little too long. I found myself skimming and skipping around wondering what the hell happened to my girl Pelagia. 

Needless to say, once I found her, I also found myself unable to continue with the book.  It was as if the momentum just slipped out the window like a plumb of sage smoke.  Or, something to that effect.  Anyway, for any book I'm stuck inside of reading for over 8 days, BAD NEWS approaches!

With only three books in this series, I have to say I'm sad the ending of Pelagia's journey went down like this.  Evidently, I wasn't the only reader who felt her final book was a huge disappointment.

Oh well!  Moving right along!

Brush (the Hell) BACK by Sara Paretsky

"Chicago's V. I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in the gritty new novel from New York Times - bestselling author Sara Paretsky. 
No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she'd be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that's precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo's plea for help. 
For six stormy weeks back in high school, V. I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter's murder. 
Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V. I. for help. V. I. doesn't want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V. I.'s adored mother, Gabriella. 
But life has been hard on Frank and on V. I.'s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V. I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers' nest of Illinois politics she's wanted to avoid. When V. I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers."
(Stripped from my Goodreads review.  Plunked into my cell phone in a moment of ranting.)

Boring. Unexciting entry. Terribly convoluted, confusing and contrive (why has her editors not checked her on this by now!?). Too many characters, with little to no character. Repetitive (sick of the dogs jumping in lakes, ransacked break-ins, squeaking young woman sidekick, stupid fist fights, prejudice-ass Mr. Contreras, one-dimensional politicians/goons, whiplash pacing). All the characters are either angry or spastic AND angry. Nothing worth investing into, really. 

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