Bits and Pieces by Noa Aliha

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An amazing reflection from a young voice…  *****

There are many different types of poetry. Some that express a political thought, or a reflection on nature, or an observation of people or places. Then there is the poet that lays bare their soul, laying out their inner most thoughts and struggles. Noa Aliha is of this last category.
With a refreshing honesty and candor she expresses through her poems the feelings, the search for meaning, and the frustration of her life. While written from a female viewpoint, there is much all of us can learn and relate to in her work. Her words are at times melodic and each piece allows us into just a bit more of her thoughts.
This is a must read for any one who loves poems. This one gets five stars
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The Secret Place: A Novel by Tanya French

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An excellent read…..   ****

One of my favorite authors is John Connolly. Tanya French reminds me of his style, both are more literary than the likes of Child, Deaver, or Michael Connelly. Thus, this was an excellent read.

The story is intricate and moves back and forth in time in alternating chapters. A student was killed a year ago and as the detectives seek to solve this cold case, every other chapter tells the story of what actually happened as it was unfolding before the murder. Once into the rhythm of the back and forth, I settled into this page turner.

French does an excellent job of writing from the point of view of not only the detectives, but also from the minds of the young girls central to the story. While the reader knows from the beginning who was killed, the revelation of the murderer does come as a bit of a surprise.

My only negative comment is at times French over writes. There is a bit too much description in some parts. This was my first of her novels I have read, and will definitely be reading the rest.

This one gets four stars.