Quick Book Reviews: ‘The Wicked Boy’, ‘The Light Of Paris’, ‘Champion Of The World’ And ‘White Bone’

The Wicked Boy (Penguin Press; in stores on July 12) written by Kate Summerscale. The actual true life story of 13 year old Robert Coombes’ who killed his mother in cold blood and left her body rotting for days in her bedroom while he and his brother nattie and family friend John Fox went about London having fun. The book stars with the murder, goes through the trial, Robert’s time in an asylum, his being released and the end of his life. An engrossing, well researched book tells his story in such vivid detail. I have to say the author did an outstanding job in writing this book and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I had never heard of this murder and it fascinated me up to the very end!

The Light Of Paris (Putnam; July 12) by Eleanor Brown. Two woman of the same family but different generations. Madeline is trapped in an unhappy marriage. Her husband like her mother before her controls her every more (or at least tries to). Her Grandmother Margie had the same kind of mother. She was expected to get married at a young age to a man she didn’t love. When she was asked to go to Paris to look after her cousin it was her escape. Margie stayed in Paris against her parents wishes. She found a job, met a man and feel in love.

Madeline who has left her husband and went to visit her mother and stay with her finds Margie’s diaries and reads all about her adventures in Paris. She draws strength from what she reads and decides to move on with her life. She even meets a new man. Reading about the past brings her future into a new perspective. A really great look at life, love and Paris (which I want to go visit now).

Champion Of The World (Putnam; July 12) by Chad Dundas. A look at the world of professional wrestling, carnivals and the way black people were portrayed in the early 1920’s is the story told in this novel. Pepper Van Dean is a former wrestling superstar. When his days ended he and his wife Moira joined a traveling circus. When things went wrong their, he was offered a chance to return to wrestling to help train the next contender for the heavy weight championship, an ex-con, African American heavyweight but the name of Garfield Taft (who was married to a white woman) which was unheard of in those days. Garfield also had a chip on his shoulder. Pepper was brought aboard to train him and get him ready. The more he trained Garfield and was around the crew of managers and promoters, he knew that something just wasn’t right. With a second chance to succeed, Pepper will have decisions to make that will effect everyone around him. A great look at what life in wrestling and life was like in the early 20’s (not at all like today’s wrestling scene).

White Bone (Putnam; July 19) by Ridley Pearson. The latest in the Risk Agents novel series following Grace Chu and John Knox. When Grace goes missing in Kenya on a mission investigating a clinic, John follows her there and searches for her. Grace was left in the jungle and has to fend for herself to survive the elements of animals, bugs and the weather. John follows every lead he can and soon finds himself in trouble just like Grace was. With the help of a few people he can trust he is on Grace’s trail and time will tell if he can reach her before it’s too late. The story is good against bad with twists and turns along the way. Nothing that hasn’t been written in every other novel series that I have read. Not saying it’s good or bad just a tried and true formula.

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