Friday, June 19, 2009

New Author, New Book, Thoughts on Covers

"A Twisted Ladder" was one of the books that showed up in the office after the Book Expo. The staff that attends is always very good about putting out the books they have received and letting the staff pick through the freebies. I already had a few but this one was still sitting around on one of my walks by the free books. Once I read the back it sounded like something I might like so I picked it up.

The main character is a psychologist in New Orleans. Her father is schizophrenic and her brother commits suicide early on in the story. The author sets part of the story in the 1900s to show the family history. The other part of the story is set in 2009/2010. The convention of going back and forth in time kept the plot moving and held my interest. Mix in murder, a love interest, commentary on New Orleans and voodoo and you have a substantial first outing from a new author. I wouldn't say this was one I couldn't put down but I will say that it was one I looked forward to getting back to when I had time.

The author introduces quite a few characters and plot lines and they interconnect in interesting ways. I thought she held it together pretty well until the very end. There was a chapter or two at the end, and a family connection, that made me feel the book had gotten away from her. But I would read the next book by Rhodi Hawk. "A Twisted Ladder" is my idea of a beach read. It's entertaining but not too challenging. It's long enough that it takes you a few days to finish it. I don't mean that as a negative. It was a great read for the bus rides during the recent rainy weather and at the park last weekend when it was sunny.

Here's the comment about the book cover. The advance copy that I had showed a dark stairway and a pair of bare feet from behind walking up the stairs. The figure is shadowy and wearing a dress so all you see are the soles of the feet and a hem. I think that cover was better for the story than the haunted house shown on this book. It's not a book about a haunted house. It's a book about haunted people. If I see it out at the bookstores I'll be curious to see which one makes it.

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