Archive for July, 2012

STOP THE PRESSES!

Well I’ll be darned… all has been revealed… MICHAEL REDHILL has confessed – HE IS INGER ASH WOLFE. Read all about it in The Globe & Mail (The real Inger Ash Wolfe stands up). His name had been floating around as a possible source since day 1 but I must admit I thought he was a long shot. So obviously I was way off course, it’s not Margaret Atwood as I suspected. (B T W book #3 – A Door in the River, is due out the end of July.)

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The Sins of the Father

Jeffrey Archer always weaves a good story. And this book doesn’t disappoint. The Sins of the Father is his second book in the Clifton Chronicles. Archer left us with a real cliff-hanger at the end of book 1… young Harry Clifton was hoping that he could start his life anew if he assumed the identity of Tom Bradshaw when he set foot on American soil in New York City. Bradshaw and Clifton were on board a Merchant Navy ship when it was sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic and unfortunately, or fortunately for Clifton, Bradshaw died before the ship docked, giving Clifton the opportunity to start fresh in a new land by switching identities, or so he thought. To find out why he’d want to do this, you’ve got to read book 1. Little could Clifton imagine that the police would be right at hand to arrest Bradshaw (Clifton) for murder. That’s how book 1 ended, leaving the reader with a huge “OMG!”.  So… book 2 picks up with Harry forced to a life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, based on legal advice that certainly was never meant to be in his favour. Why would any lawyer want their client to assume an identity that wasn’t theirs? But Harry’s not your average inmate and he ends up working in the prison library, and writing about life behind bars. (Ha, that bit made me laugh – Archer writing about life behind bars.) Then he’s plucked out of Lavenham to go fight for the Americans in the war. In the meantime, family back in Britain have a suspicion that dear Harry may not be dead after all, but end up with roadblocks at every turn when they try to discover his whereabouts. And once again, at the very end, we’re left with a cliffhanger. It’s a wonderful saga that spans decades, and I look forward to the final installment.

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The Underling

The Underling is Ian McKercher’s first book and I have a soft spot for local first-time authors so I decided to give it a read. (I just learned it took him 30 years to write it!) And I was so pleasantly surprised, it’s a great book! This novel is about the formation of The Bank of Canada in 1934. It’s fiction. Why I would be fascinated by a subject like this I can’t figure out. But fascinated I was. It captured my attention from the get-go. At the core of the book is 17 year old Frances McFadden who is plucked from grade 11 at the High School of Commerce in Ottawa to work for the as-yet-unnamed, but hopefully soon-to-be Bank of Canada. She is recruited by Dr. Wilbur Grace from the Department of Finance to organize the entire operation from a card table and chair, in a rented office that looks like hell from the previous tenant, on the 4th floor of the Blackburn building at 51 Queen St. B T W, as an aside, did you know that before the formation of the Bank of Canada, every bank issued their own currency?  Bizarre eh! OK, back to the book…With pluck, courage, and no experience at all she helps build the foundation of the Bank of Canada before the government even gives it royal approval. In 1939, with the threat of war looming, Frances becomes involved in a desperate attempt by the bank to help Poland get their gold reserves out of the country. Just the description alone of flying on the Pan Am Dixie Clipper from New York to Marseilles is worth reading… it takes 48 hrs because they have to stop in Bermuda, and Azores and Lisbon to refuel! It’s a hefty read – there’s 361 well written pages, and I found it riveting. Well done Ian!

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