The Thirteenth Tale (2006) by Diane Setterfield is a gothic suspense novel, the author’s first published book. The title of the book is derived from a collection of short stories penned by Vida Winter entitled Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation; the collection was supposed to contain a total of thirteen stories but was shortened to twelve at publication.
The chapters of the book switch between the past and present day life of the two main characters (Margaret Lea, Vida Winter). At the novel’s inception, Lea divulges her work in her father’s antique book store, her one-time jaunt as an amateur biographer, and her chance discovery at age 12 that she was born a conjoined twin, her sister dying shortly after their separation. This discovery has caused her pain and provided a reason for longing she felt before that, as does her strained relationship with her mother, who became depressed and withdrawn after the twin’s death. After the character of Vida Winter is introduced, she narrates sections of the book, in sessions with Lea in her library. Given Winter’s detailed and vivid account of her past, Lea later finds it easy to write a narrative from her notes. This becomes the biography that Winter commissioned Lea to do.
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Atonement is a 2001 British metafiction novel written by Ian McEwan concerning the understanding and responding to the need for personal atonement. Set in three time periods, 1935 England, Second World War England and France, and present-day England, it covers an upper-class girl’s half-innocent mistake that ruins lives; her adulthood in the shadow of that mistake; and a reflection on the nature of writing.
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A Time to Kill is a 1989 legal suspense thriller by John Grisham. It was Grisham’s first novel. The story takes place in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi in the 1980s, a period of time during which racial tension was heavily prevalent in America. A Time to Kill is ultimately a story about justice. It is a narrative about the different ways people view justice based on race, personal experience and love, and how far people are willing to go in the name of justice. The story centers on the horrific rape of a ten-year-old black girl and a father’s vengeance. Grisham adds to this heartbreaking narrative the issues of race relations and “blind” justice, thus allowing the reader to question morality, hope and justice in the same way that Grisham’s characters must question these issues throughout the novel.
A Time to Kill highlights the depths people are willing to go for their beliefs, including views on love, hate and personal views of justice. There is no real character in the novel above reproach, and in this way, Grisham shows just how fallible people are. He shows how dangerous it is to place items on a pedestal, and how malleable items, like the justice system, can in fact be when people do place them on a pedestal.
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The Pelican Brief is a legal-suspense thriller written by John Grisham in 1992. It is his third novel after A Time To Kill and The Firm. The hardcover edition was published by Doubleday in that same year.
In suburban Georgetown a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home… In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to death… The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief… To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it was political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder — a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds there is only one person she can trust — an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate — to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House’s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby’s brief. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.
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The Broker is a suspense novel written by American author John Grisham and published in the United States on January 11, 2005. The novel follows the story of Joel Backman, a newly pardoned prisoner who had tried to broker a deal to sell the world’s most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder.
Joel Backman is “the Broker,” a Washington power broker-lobbyist, considered by some to be one of the most powerful men in Washington. However, his life falls apart when a deal collapses involving a hacked spy satellite that nobody knows about, and Backman ends up in jail. Six years later, the political wheels in Washington have turned and other power-hungry men are eager for his blood. Bargains are made, and after an outgoing disgraced president grants him a full pardon at the behest of the CIA, he finds himself spirited out of the prison in the middle of the night, bundled onto a military plane, and flown to Italy to begin a new life. He has a new name and mysterious new “friends” who will teach him to speak the language and to blend in with the people in Bologna.
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The Partner (1997) is a legal/thriller novel by noted American author John Grisham. It was Grisham’s eighth novel. The Partner uses setting and peculiar characters to engage readers into the fascinating fictional world of Patrick Lanigan. Ponta Porã would seem as the least likely place to hide such a scouted criminal. With little kids playing soccer barefoot in the streets, no one would guess the quaint town would hold such a deadly secret. Patrick, or Danilo, being caught was inevitable, but no one would guess it would be in Ponta Porã. The setting of Brazil was essential to the plot of the plot because it is where he hid, along with much of his money and his partner in crime, and also where he was caught.
Along with the deceiving setting, comes deceiving and interesting characters. Just a few of the characters include Patrick Lanigan, Jack Stephano, Benny Aricia, and the most deceiving of all, Eva Miranda. Patrick is a very introverted character, scarred by his past and haunted by his future, making him all the more intriguing.
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