Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Night Rituals by Gary Paulsen
Released: July 1989

I'm a sucker for vintage thriller and suspense novels such as this one. I've had Gary Paulsen's Night Rituals lying around for a few weeks, and decided to read it immediately to take part in the February monthly keyword challenge over at Bookmark to Blog. "Night" is one of February's keywords.

Its gruesome synopsis is what originally drew me to Night Rituals. The novel begins when a janitor at the Denver airport finds a severed boob in an abandoned carry-on bag. Ed "Push" Tincker - the homicide detective assigned to the case - soon learns that a serial killer is cutting up women and scattering their body parts across the western part of the United States. Push also learns that the murderer is trying to follow a crazy ritual that could be satanic, or just merely part of an ancient Indian or South American ritual.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lydia's Party by Margaret Hawkins
Released: January 2014

Lydia's Party is Margaret Hawkins's third novel, about a middle-aged woman who hosts a belated holiday party every year at the end of January and invites the same group of friends (no men allowed!). Lydia has been hosting her Bleak Midwinter Bash for 20 years, but this year, Lydia plans on breaking some serious news to her friends that may break their hearts.

The first four-fifths of the novel takes place over the course of the weekend during which Lydia throws the party - with most of it being dedicated to Lydia's party-preparation much in the manner of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Although most of the novel is told from Lydia's point of view, there are a few chapters here and there told from the perspectives of Lydia's party guests.