On My Reading List
Megan Abbott’s latest novel The End of Everything was released earlier this year and has been sitting on my shelf just waiting be hungrily devoured. A new Abbott novel is a crime fiction event, and this one, set in an affluent 1980s Midwest suburb and focused on the disappearance of a young girl named Evie and the affect it has on her closest friend Lizzie, promises to be as gripping and powerful as Aboott’s previous novels Die a Little (2005) and The Song is You (2008).
This one is actually a reread but always worth a visit; Meyer Levin’s Compulsion (1956) is a epic novelisation of the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case. A precursor to the non-fiction novel which some critics claim began with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (1965), Levin thrillingly explores the psychology of the young killers (here renamed Strauss and Steiner), in the process giving a fascinating insight into upper middle-class Jewish life in 1920s Chicago. The subsequent murder trial where the killers were represented by Clarence Darrow (renamed Jonathan Wilk in the novel) includes some of the most dramatic courtroom scenes in crime fiction. Highly recommended.
As much as I love reading crime fiction, it is in some respects my job, so I like to read other types of books as well. In order to diversify my reading I’m trying to read more history books. I’ve just checked out from the library Antony Beevor’s The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This appealed to me as Beevor appears to be one of those historians who can write to a wide audience and not get too bogged down in excessive details. I know very little about the conflict other than it was a forerunner to the Second World War. I’m looking forward to this one.