Crime and Insanity in Victorian Britain. In the 1800’s there was a lot of debate and controversy surrounding the use of an insanity plea in criminal cases. In this books, the author starts by presenting and overview of the points of controversy and introduces the reader to the major players in the medical and legal communities during this time. The bulk of the book is case studies of individuals whose crimes brought into play the issue of insanity. Finally, the author includes an overview of the various changes in the law and their impact on the criminal cases of those using the insanity plea.
I found the stories in this books fascinating. The thinking within the legal and medical communities during this time period was going through a lot of changes and the two sides often clashed in trying to achieve their goals. Public pressure also seemed to play a significant role in the outcome of some of the cases presented. In some cases, the outcome seems obvious until the nuance of the law is applied. Some attempts to improve the situation ended up only making things worse. I think anyone with an interest in legal history or the history of psychology will find this book really interesting as it gives insight to how the legal system got to where it is today.
Three lonely souls find themselves thrown together after 2 tragic deaths. They each must face the past and push through the hurt before they can move forward. Merritt has lost both her parents and her husband. When her husband’s grandmother dies, Merritt finds herself the owner of the family home in South Carolina. Her husband had never spoken of his family but Merritt knows deep down she needs a new start and so she leaves everything behind in Maine and heads south. Meanwhile, her father has died leaving a widow and a son. They too need a fresh start. Loralee picks up stakes and drops herself and her son Owen in Merritt’s lap. Loralee needs something from Merritt but they are like strangers and she knows she must gain her trust first, before she runs out of time. With the help of Merritt’s previously unknown brother-in-law, Gibbes, these three will unravel the mysteries of the past and set a new path for the future.
This is a beautiful story. It’s tragic and heartwarming, sad and uplifting all at the same time. I loved the South Carolina setting where life seems to move a little more gently, which is just what Merritt, Loralee, and Owen need. Merritt’s marriage was traumatizing for her but Loralee’s cheery outlook on life is just what she needs. I found Merritt and Loralee to be much more complex than they at first appeared and one of my favorite parts of the story was how the author gradually made the characters know to the reader. It was like watching a dying plant slowly come back to life. I think Owen was my favorite character though. He’s smart as a whip but he struggles to make friends. I especially loved how the author wrote the interactions between Owen and neighbor girl Maris, and how Maris was able to bring Owen out of his shell so he could be a kid again. Loralee turns out to be the wise one in the group and she has such an insight into what makes people tick and knows just what they need to hear and when they need to hear it. The story itself moves at a steady pace but without the feeling of plodding. Overall, I found “The Sound of Glass” to be a great story and a perfect pick for a summer read.
It was a pretty quiet week for me, except for the thunderstorm part. So let’s see if I accomplished anything. TBR – started at 280, I added 1 and finished 2, so it now stands at 279. NetGalley score – a boost here, those 2 books I finished bumped me from 71% to 73%. Goodreads challenge – as of right now I am 3 books behind on my challenge. So, a mixed bag of results for the week.
Now let’s look at what’s ahead for the coming week. I will have my review of “The Sound of Glass” going up tomorrow.
After that will be “Ill Will”
I will also try to post a couple more Journeys Through Bookland stories. If you haven’t noticed, I have created a separate page for the audio narrations so you can find them all in one spot. That’s all I’ve got right now. Hope you have a great week.
Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are back in this, the fourth installment in the Brit in the FBI series. They and their team are busy setting up their new office space when a call comes in from Kitsune, the world’s greatest thief. This is not the first time they have encountered her but this time she needs their help. After dropping off a stolen item to her client in Venice, she now finds herself being hunted down by the client, and they have kidnapped her husband as leverage. While talking to Nick she also mentions that she may know of a plot to take over the world by manipulating the weather. There is too much at stake for Nick and Mike to say No, and the team heads off to Venice.
“The Devil’s Triangle” is filled with action and thrills from the first moment to the last. These guys just can’t seem to stay away from trouble. But it makes for a very exciting read. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Nick and Mike, and the camaraderie that all of the team members display throughout the story. The good guy characters are very likeable, but I also really enjoyed the bad guys that the authors created. They are intelligent buy highly disturbed criminals and made the story that much more enjoyable. The story line is very creative and takes some great twists along the way. You will definitely want to wear your seatbelt for this thrill ride!
“Every Dead Thing” is the first book in the Charlie Parker series and it is a fabulous debut for this character. Parker is a former NYPD detective who has become a private detective. In this book he is on the trail of missing persons and a serial killer. A rich widow in New York asks him to look for her friend who has gone missing, but is not as simple a case as it at first appears. Following her trail to Virginia, Parker uncovers a pair of serial killers who prey on children and brings their reign of terror to an explosive end. Then he is summoned to Louisiana but a psychic who is having visions of a girl trapped in the swamp. While investigating he must confront his past and what he uncovers will test not only his detective skills but also his loyalty.
I have read one other book in this series and I just love Charlie Parker. He’s a good guy but he plays the edges with finesse. He is surrounded by a motley crew of characters, from assassins to university professors. I found each of the characters to be very realistic and I really enjoyed the way that their stories come out gradually and in a way that feels natural to the story. This story is loaded with thrills and at times may take your breath away. One caution: there is quite a bit of graphic violence, so this would not be a good pick for a younger reader. I loved the way the author weaves the different components of the storyline together to make a seamless whole, and I can’t wait to dig deeper into this series. I highly recommend.
I hope you all are having a great weekend. Rainy here yesterday but the sun is shining this morning. Let’s see how the TBR has changed over the last 7 days. The week started at 282 and I did not acquire any new books this week. I managed to finish 2 books this weeks which means the TBR has dropped to 280! One of the books I finished was a NetGalley pick which bumped my score up to 71%. In spite of this I am still 2 books behind on my Goodreads challenge.
So what’s coming up this week. I’ve got a review of “Every Dead Thing” by John Connolly going up tomorrow. I’m currently reading “The Devil’s Triangle” by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison.