Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a historical fiction read by a favorite author that has reconfirmed my love for her books, and a nordic noir translation and final book of a trilogy that failed to blow me away.
“It’s strange how quickly everything can change. How your life can be on one path, and suddenly, you’re on a completely different one with little to no warning at all, ill-prepared for the challenges ahead.”
I became an instant fan of Chanel Cleeton after my first experience with her writing in Next Year In Havana, and her second Cuban story was splendid as well. The Last Train To Key West was on my most anticipated 2020 releases list, and I’m still not sure why it took me this long to actually pick it up… But better late than never right? I had high expectations for this historical fiction story based on the true event of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, and I’m happy to say that my expectations once again were more than met. Chanel Cleeton‘s stories are simply a delight to read and I couldn’t stop reading once I met the three woman in the spotlight in this story. The Last Train To Key West can be read as a stand-alone as it takes place years before the first two Cuban stories, although two are related to the previous characters. The plot focuses on three different women and their stories, the POV switching between them as the events take place before, during and after the hurricane hits. I loved slowly learning more about the characters as well as seeing their storylines being slowly woven together. There were so many different elements incorporated apart from the natural disaster angle, and as a result the story offers a rich and multi-layered plot. The descriptions were thorough, a true pleasure to read and definitely set the right tone for this story that offers a wide range of emotions. Highly recommended if you enjoy well written historical fiction with a lot of dept and well developed characters.
Title: The Mist
(Hidden Iceland #3)
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Translator: Victoria Cribbs
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 2017
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Finished reading: May 18th 2021
(Originally written in Icelandic: ‘Mistur’)
“Life wasn’t that simple; the line between good and evil wasn’t that well defined.”
After feeling disappointed by the second book earlier this year, I still wanted to read the third and final book The Mist to see if it would work better for me. Sadly enough though once again there was just something about the story that didn’t work for me. I think that already knowing what happened to the main character after finishing the first book kind of put a damper on things, as I wasn’t as invested in her past knowing where it would all end. While I do still think it’s a clever and innovative strategy to start a series where the story of the main character ends, I don’t think it actually worked for me in this case. Part of this has to do with the fact that Hulda comes over as quite self-absorbed in this sequel; not caring about how her state of mind is affecting her current cases and more worried about how her colleagues see her than about her own family. The chapters involving her family were quite annoying and uncomfortable to read, and I much preferred when the focus wasn’t on her and on the investigations instead. The descriptions of the Icelandic setting were great though and were part of the reason I was still able to mostly enjoy the story. The twist in the case was cleverly done too… But overall I much prefer his Dark Iceland books so far.