January Rosepoint Review Recap—Hello Frigid February!

Rosepoint review recap-January banner

No Christmas snow or the most part of January, but here is February and with it our heaviest snow period in the area this season. This week promises to be a douzy with a foot of snow forecast. The CE has prepared his snowblower with fresh gas and assured himself that it will start. In our mini-banana-belt, however, we may or may not get that accumulation.

This time of year has me looking at the blog and thinking of housekeeping the ole website from opening new (2022) folders to gathering old lists to archive. Seems like it’s a yearly learning process and takes me a while. I’ve opened up a couple new menus that I hope will make for easier or faster navigation.

The CE meanwhile is content to crank out most every book I send his way and is happily engaged in reading. He’s doing well with his reviews and I appreciate the help!

Between the two of us, we managed seventeen book reviews for January, most from NetGalley, several from audiobooks (local library and NetGalley), a couple from author requests as well as one blog tour. (My reviews in the links below.)

Rosepoint Review Recap-January

The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni
Talk by Greg W Peterson
Going There by Katie Couric
Head Shot by Otho Eskin
Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra
Where There’s a Will by Roland Sinclair
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Enter a Wizard by Connie diMarco
A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie Graves
Roaring Liberty by Jean Grainger
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Texas Job by Reavis Z Wortham
Red Buring Sky by Tom Young
Hidden Agendas by D Marshall Craig
Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski
The Berlin Exchange by Joseph Kanon
Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O’Connor

 

Reading Challenges banner

As mentioned above, my reading challenges have all been updated and the older challenge years archived in the drop-down menu. The new challenges are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. I hope you’ll join me in a Challenge or two! Which do you routinely join yearly? Will you join a new challenge this year? (I’ll be adding Ireland Reading Month in March.) You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. (Goodreads has upwards of three million participants this year with an average challenge of 46 books. That’s impressive, huh!)

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As the Page Turns Book Club is well into The Song of Achilles and it appears that The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, a Goodreads Choice Award nominee as well as a Reese Witherspoon Book of the Month back in May of 2020 is next. Reese was one of the Celebrity Book Clubs I blogged about looking into during the first burst of Covid. She has a very lively and active digital book club as well as Instagram account. The moderator of our local club works hard to entice participation, but so far for those who joined, it’s the usual few that contribute. I wonder if one of the problems is that she proposed one book a quarter rather than one a month. I’m already well into the audiobook (once again gained from my local library for Overdrive); much too soon.

(Kindle) Reading StreakKindle is one of the sneaky little entities gathering your reading history and from time to time I get these little updates to my values. Obviously, I missed a day (or two) when we were traveling by RV in remote areas as I have successful Goodreads Challenge badges (except 2015) from 2013 with no way to include those years on my list in the widgets.

Audiobooks

I finally landed my first two audiobooks from NetGalley and discovered a few small problems with skipping or blanking dialogue. Not significant enough to lose the thread, but a glitch I’ve not encountered with the audiobooks from my library. Do you also download books from NetGalley through their NetGalley Shelf app? Have you noted any problems?

Thank you again for joining my community if you are new and much appreciation to my established followers for shares, likes, and comments. It’s not a blog without you!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

Real Easy: A Novel by Marie Rutkoski – #BookReview – #crimethrillers

Real Easy by Marie Rutkowski
(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Book Blurb:

A compulsive, tenacious, and unexpectedly hopeful thriller set in a Midwestern strip club, told by New York Times best-selling author Marie Rutkoski in the spirit of Gillian Flynn and Tana French.

It’s 1999, and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to taking anyone under her wing – after all, between her disapproving boyfriend and his daughter, who may as well be her own child, she has enough to worry about. But when Samantha overrides her better judgment to drive a new dancer home, they are run off the road. The police arrive at the scene of the accident – but find only one body.

Georgia, another dancer, is drawn into the investigation as she tries to assist Holly, a Harvard-educated detective with a complicated story of her own. As the point of view shifts from police officers and detectives to club patrons and children, the women round up a list of suspects, all the while grappling with their own understandings of loss and love.

Drawing on her personal experiences as well as interviews with police, Rutkoski immerses us in a subculture that is all too often reduced to cliché. Gripping, deeply feminist, and character-driven, Real Easy spellbinds us and gets to the heart of this timeless question: How do women live out their lives knowing that men can hurt them?

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company.

(Includes a bonus conversation between the author and narrator.)

My Review:

Wow, when I step outside my normal genres, I go WAY out. This audiobook on NetGalley caught my attention—and once I started listening—kept listening.

It’s 1999 and the reader is introduced to Samantha, a veteran dancer at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s been there long enough to have the best stage, the following, and the income that comes with experience and being very good at what she does. She lives with her boyfriend and his daughter but she appears to be closer to the daughter than the disapproving and abusive boyfriend.

Marie RutkowskiA new dancer is hired, and as dancers come and go, she is extremely naïve, inexperienced and not the brightest. Samantha provides some mentoring and volunteers to drive her home but neither reach home that night. That’s unfortunate as the reader is just beginning to develop empathy and engagement with her.

The reader is gradually introduced to the entertainers, the employees, and the boss, with a few backgrounds providing the explanation for the how and why they became sex workers. The owner has enforced a number of rules, but the patrons are there to drink and satisfy some carnal urges providing various *ugh* moments. Any violence happens off page and left to the reader’s imagination.

Upon the discovery of the body of the newbie, police become involved in the investigation and the other side of society now views the strip club, the dancers, and the patrons with a jaundiced, somewhat crude eye. The newbie isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

It’s a character-driven narrative as seen through the eyes of the women and the community that supports or protects the trade. The women are drawn with individual goals, stories. This is a world of the salacious underbelly of fringe society and one where most of us are ignorant. It’s dark and atmospheric and a far cry from the sex entertainment trade movies that produce a rather starry-eyed version with happy endings.

While I suspected the perp, was disappointed in the reveal and the slight let-down of the conclusion. Otherwise, I found the audiobook to be engaging and entertaining. It is well paced with little filler and moves the storyline well, producing more than one or two heart-pumping moments. An unusual premise, plot, and unique characters. Looking for something different? This is out now.

I received a complimentary audiobook review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B094DQ32N7
Listening Length: 10 hrs 28 mins
Narrator: Eva Kaminsky
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Marie Rutkoski - authorThe Author: Marie Rutkoski is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for children and young adults, including THE HOLLOW HEART (September 14, 2021). Her debut for adults, REAL EASY (January 18, 2022), is a literary crime novel.

Born in Illinois, Marie holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University. She is currently a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

(photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

©2022 V Williams

V Williams

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