The last Whodunit meeting of 2012 was a lively gathering of eighteen diverse mystery lovers. We all know each other fairly well by this time which makes the club discussions even more interesting.
Those who were absent were missed, but we realize that this busy time of year - on a clear and crisp November evening there are many reasons why members might miss a meeting. To those members we wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Fall from Grace" by Canadian novelist Wayne Arthurson. Set in Edmonton, Alberta, the novel's protagonist is a journalist who is struggling to get his life back on track after losing everything he held dear.
Leo Desroche is assigned to cover the murder of a young native prostitute named Grace. His article starts a
chain of events that leads him to a much, much bigger story, and puts his life in danger.
Meanwhile he tries to re-establish relations with his family with whom
he has been estranged since his own personal 'fall from grace'.
As is our usual custom we canvassed the group to vote for the novel out of ten. Our votes reflect our reading experience overall and do not necessarily reflect directly on the plot. Other factors can influence our vote such as cover art, poor editing, etc. It was the latter that was mentioned frequently at tonight's meeting. The editor missed omitted words, misspelled names and added words where there should have been none. Many readers (of which I am one) find this very off-putting.
The group's overall rating was 6.47 out of a possible 10 points. Only five of the members in attendance said they would likely read another book by this author.
The protagonist of the novel was deeply flawed. A flawed central character is often appealing, but we must ask ourselves "How much will we accept?" Leo Desroche is a compulsive gambler, a dead-beat Dad, a bank-robber and a recovering addict who formerly lived on the streets. He is an army brat who comes from a mixed race family with Cree blood on his mother's side. These two factors seems to have created issues for him growing up.
Some readers found his many flaws acceptable, others found that though he seemed very intelligent he was a narcissist who tried to blame others for his many problems. He appeared to be a character you either love or hate. He seemed to be constantly calculating risks. The title "Fall from Grace" seemed well chosen and reflected the novel's plot. There seemed to be too many story lines happening concurrently. However, there were many gripping passages that showed the true potential of the author's writing.
Wayne Arthurson is a journalist in real life, so his descriptions of the busy newsroom come from first-hand knowledge. The setting was well described and accurate according to those members
familiar with the Edmonton area. The descriptions were well written
with the imagery so skillfully done that the reader could vividly picture
the places and feel the cold...
"Fall from Grace" won the 2012 Alberta Reader's Choice Award.
Visit Wayne Arthurson's blog "Big Time Writer? Yeah right!".
The lucky winners of this month's book giveaways were:
There will be no Whodunit meeting in December. The club will reconvene January 29th when we will discuss Mark Billingham's novel "Sleepy Head".