Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Books I've read this week

I've read 2 books since my last post, Thrown-Away Child by Thomas Adcock ©1996 and Anne Rice's The Witching Hour ©1990.

Thrown-Away Child is the fifth of a series of books about Det. Neil Hockaday, also known as Hock. He's an Irish Catholic NYPD cop married to a black woman from New Orleans. In this story, Hock is trying to decide whether to stay on the force or join with a buddy in his PI business. He also has a drinking problem which has caused trouble both on the job and with his
wife. Taking a break, they go to visit her family for the first time since their marriage and he gets involved in a mix of crooked politicians, racist cops, murders, old voodoo beliefs, and a scoundrel of a minister. The red-headed cop is also a bit of an oddity in his wife's family as you can imagine. The book paints a vivid picture of a very poor area of New Orleans, the people who live there, and some of their customs like jazz funerals. It wasn't too hard to figure out who the bad guys were but it was interesting to see how Hock handled it.

The Witching Hour was over 1000 pages and took me parts of 4 days to read. That's very unusual for me and I was beginning to think I was never going to get done! The book tells the story of the Mayfair family through 13 generations beginning in the 1600s in Scotland and ending in the 1990s in New Orleans. A group that studies and documents psychic and unnatural occurances, the Talamasca, has been following the family and it finds that there is at least one female witch in every generation. She has powers such as being able to read minds, make people hallucinate, or telekenesis (the ability to move things with the mind). A 'man' who just appears and disappears has also been seen near the witches through the years. It's assumed by the Talamasca that he's some kind of demon or devil. There seems to be a lot of insanity in the family and several suicides. There is a legacy that is passed down through the family that includes the requirement that the women retain the name Mayfair even when they marry. The 'man' provides riches to the family but he has his reasons. It was an interesting book but very hard to keep the different family members straight at times. Almost everyone in the book had the last name of Mayfair and with all the different generations, there were a LOT of people. The main characters are Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair. Michael is originally from New Orleans but living in California. Rowan is a neurosurgeon and the adopted daughter of one of the Mayfair cousins who also lives in California. She and Michael meet when he falls into the ocean and dies and she rescues him with her boat and revives him. They fall in love and end up back in New Orleans. The story follows them as she finds out her heritage and he tries to save her from it. The book was full of incest, murder, and a few pretty graphic sex scenes. I thought the ending left me hanging but there is a sequel, Lasher, which is the name of the spirit man.

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