Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

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Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Front by Patricia Cornwell (♦♦♦)

Massachusetts District Attorney Monique Lamont is an ambitious woman with a painful, recent past. Her newest initiative is oriented towards rescuing neighborhoods from crime; for that purpose, she has decided to raise public awareness by reviving a cold case involving the brutal killing of a blind British young woman in Watertown, 1962.

Lamont orders Winston “Win” Garano, a state police investigator, to investigate the old crime in the company of Stump, a female police detective who heads a coalition of police agencies called the FRONT, which has the objective of uniting resources to avoid dependency of the state police. Stump makes clear from the beginning that she doesn’t want to be a part of the investigation; furthermore, she is convinced that Lamont has a secret agenda, and she may be right. When Garano starts to probe, he realizes that nothing is what it seems, and that Lamont, Stump and other characters all have their own reasons to lie.

I liked this book for several reasons: it is well written, and it is rather short (180 pages). The plot is compelling, but the end doesn’t live up to the rest of the story; it is a pity, though, because most of the book is compulsively readable.

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