Friday, December 13, 2013

Thank you, Library2Go

Ever find yourself at a loss for something to read, but unable to get to the library? If you have a home computer or other compatible device, the library can come to you!

Last week I was stuck at home in the snow, but a quick search on Library2Go for currently available eBook mysteries led me to a list of reading options.  (To limit your search to available items, use "advanced search" and check the box that says "only items with copies available.")

Newer bestsellers won't show up on this list, because they generally have patrons waiting.  However, Library2Go has a large enough collection that there’s always something worthwhile available, if you take the time to look.

For instance, Anne Holt was unfamiliar to me, but her books sounded intriguing.  It turns out she's a Norwegian author who’s been nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Norwegian Bookseller’s Award.  I checked out and downloaded two of her books, What Is Mine and the sequel, What Never Happens.

Holt's work is notable for gritty, finely-detailed characterization and an emphasis on relationships, which made up for a slightly rambling plot in What is Mine, the first in a series of mysteries featuring Johanna Vik and Adam Stubo. Vik is a researcher and profiler, in an unofficial consultant capacity. She shares custody of a special needs child with her caring but immature ex-husband. Stubo is a police detective, who lost his wife and only child to a terrible accident. The two are drawn together during an investigation of child disappearances, when Vik agrees to profile the killer. A lot of time is spent developing the dynamic between Stubo and Vik, exploring their histories and current circumstances, and fleshing out the factors that affect their attitudes toward each other and the case.

What Never Happens, the second book, isn’t quite as well done. The concept is a little too pat—the perfect murderer, Johanna Vik tells Stubo at the beginning, would be a woman with no motive and no empathy, circumventing the standard lines of inquiry of the police, able to act coldly, without guilt or fear. And voila—one appears, killing random celebrities in a grotesque and unlikely fashion. Despite that, and an ending I found much too abrupt, I still enjoyed the characters and the way their relationship grew and changed in the years between the two stories.

Library2Go and Anne Holt saved me from hours of daytime television, and for that, I will be forever grateful. For more information on how to use Library2Go and what devices are compatible, please check out their website, stop by the library, or call us at (541) 265 2153.  Anne Holt's books are also available in hardcopy at the library-- see our catalog.

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