One Night. Eric Jerome Dickey. 2015. 370 pages. Dutton. [Source: public library.] I consider myself an Eric Jerome Dickey fan that’s fallen off the wagon. I began reading his novels in my early 20s, and after I read Chasing Destiny, Genevieve, and Pleasure, he could do no wrong in my eyes. I’ve since expanded what I read, so it’s been a few years since I checked for him. I was surfing my public library’s audiobooks when I came across One Night and was completely intrigued by the description. Two strangers, one night, murder, lies, etc? I was sucked in immediately. Unfortunately, the book failed to live up to my lofty expectations of EJD. One Night is a few hours short of a day in the life of former actress Jackie and The Man from Orange County. Seriously, that’s how he is referred to throughout the book. The book chronicles their introduction and parting in painstaking detail, giving minute-by-minute accounts. It starts with Jackie trying to scam the wealthy, attractive man at the gas station into purchasing a iPad. It ends with a body in the trunk of a luxury car with sirens approaching.
The Couple Next Door. Shari Lapena. 2016. 320 pages. Pamela Dorman Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Like playing a game of Clue, minus the board, the players, and the hope that when it gets to the end it’ll make sense … Ironically, the book reminded me of a notable case from Colorado where nothing makes sense and there’s a bunch of missing pieces to even the most trained eye. However, the mystery and crazy degrees of separation didn’t distract from a well written book.
Wives, Fiancées, and Side-Chicks of Hotlanta. Shereé Whitfield. 2017. Dafina. [Source: Personal copy.] It was everything I expected it to be…ratchet, basic, based on Real Housewives of Atlanta characters. Seemingly depicting Kim, Nene, Sheree and Dwight, the book was the whirlwind drama that comes with being in the “in-crowd” of the TV version of Atlanta. With the opening, she could have recapped the saga of Sasha & Terrance without going into so much detail, and that would have allowed her to cover more ground. My guess is the detail and redundancy will allow for a book 2 and 3 so that we can see just how Sasha learns to “play”. Three stars; it wasn’t good, but like the show I’m sure I’ll pick up sequels because it’s like a train wreck you can’t turn away from.
Fire in the Firefly. Scott Gardiner. 2016. 313 pages. TAP books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a satire, which is generally a departure from what I read. So while I enjoyed the story itself, the approach missed the mark for me. Julius Roebuck is a very self-assured man, and prides himself in his ability to read and understand women. The entire book follows him as he tries to balance his precarious relationships with the women in his life – his wife Anne, her ovulation-clocking business partner Yasmin, and his mistress, Lily. Insert a maybe-botched vasectomy and you’ve got the makings of an suspenseful story that reminds me more of slapstick humor than anything else.
Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn. 2012. 432 pages. Broadway Books. [Source: Personal copy.] I wanted to like Gone Girl, really. And I enjoyed most of it, if I’m honest. But sometimes, my enjoyment of a book can crumble in moments, and that’s exactly what happened to me when I finished reading. Gone Girl is the story of Nick Dunne and his wife Amy, who goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. What follows is the investigation into her disappearance but also a retelling of their courtship and married lives. Amy’s perspective is presented in a series of diary entries that bounce around, but usually start from that past forward. Nick’s perspective is presented day by day, starting from Amy’s disappearance.