The Last Act of All by Aline Templeton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I must say I am rather in love with the way this woman writes. The story itself is not quite as riveting as it makes out to be but I didn’t find it at all predictable (though I did wonder along the right lines) which was kind of nice since I usually can tell who the murderer is as soon as he or she walks onto the page. Plot aside though, Aline Templeton’s writing is superb. It seems almost academic without being boring. I can’t quite describe it. She writes in that way that Stephen King and Margaret Atwood do – where the fact that this is their craft is so apparent and there is no room for a pesky personality to shine through (this I find particularly fascinating since I can’t write a single thing without vomiting my character all over the page). That said she has an uncanny ability to pinpoint human emotion and motivation in the most deliciously matter-of-fact way. Really did enjoy this book – and I’m pretty sure I paid next to nothing for it at a second hand book sale!
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Book: Just Take My Heart
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Publisher: Simon & Shuster (2009)
How long it took to read: 2 days
Where I Got It: Borrowed it from the Mom
When famous Broadway Actress Natalie Raines is found dying from a gunshot wound in her home, the obvious suspect is the husband she was in the process of divorcing. When a career criminal comes forward and claims that her husband offered him money to kill her, the case seems to be a slam dunk. Of course, in true Mary Higgins Clark style everything quickly goes pear-shaped, nothing is ever what it seems.
I do love Mary Higgins Clark. Where are the Children was the first “grown up” book I read as a kid, and I am pretty sure that I have read at least 80% of the books she has written. Unfortunately for me, I seemed to have developed some sort of subconscious understanding of her “method” and it usually takes me only a third to a half of the book before I figure out whodunnit – without her giving anything away! This of course doesn’t actually stop me from reading (it makes me read all the faster to be able to confirm if I was right or not…) but it does kind of spoil the enjoyment just a little. I’d rather be surprised with the ending than smug about my state of rightness…
That said, MHC is always a good easy read and I won’t say no to the next one I find on my doorstep. She writes simply but effectively and I can always trust that I will make it through her books without ever feeling a giant need to just put it down and find something else.