Monday 24 September 2012

Book ~ "Night is a Shadow Cast by the World" (2012) Brian Panhuyzen

From Goodreads ~ A mysterious airplane lands behind Cordell and Marla Bechard’s house. Cordell steps out to investigate, and as Marla watches from the window, he climbs aboard – and it takes off. 

Marla is left grappling with a question – was Cordell kidnapped or did he leave willingly? The answer may be buried at Bechard’s Books, Cordell’s eccentric bookstore, a creaky, captivating shop packed to the rafters with books old and new, and serving as a hub for the town’s idiosyncratic bibliophiles. As she assumes management of the store – a task that includes overseeing Cordell’s awkward and hilarious assistant Daniel – she encounters puzzles she will be forced to solve if she is to understand not only what has happened to Cordell, but the very nature of his love for her. 

Cordell meanwhile is flung across the globe in a series of harrowing adventures that will test his mettle, compelling him to apply his vast scholarly knowledge to a practical endeavour in which he has been casually participating – an enterprise that involves political intrigue, clandestine dispatches, and violence. And to his horror he will discover that his role in this conflict has placed both himself and Marla in grave danger, and the only way to protect her is to remain silent about his whereabouts and safety. His journey will ultimately take him around the world to the place of Marla’s origin – and the core of her own secrets. But will they be reunited?

Imagine you and your husband are doing the dishes at home one evening.  He seems distracted.  A big old plane lands in your field, your husband runs out and climbs on board.  The planes takes off and you don't hear from your husband again.  Huh?!  You are left behind wondering what the heck just happened.  That's how this book starts.

The chapters alternate with the focus on Marla and then on Cordell.  Marla is concerned and puzzled about Cordell's disappearance but Cordell can't let her know where he is or what he is doing in order to protect her.

To me, this book read like two different novels when the focus shifts.  When the focus is on Marla, it is more down-to-earth ... she is still living day-to-day with her dog and friends a couple hours north of Toronto in a small town and just wants to know where her husband is and if he is okay.  When the focus is on Cordell, it is more dangerous and adventurous ... lots of crazy world-wide traveling, guns, prisons, etc.  The focuses complimented each other.

I liked the writing style, though I found it at times a bit draggy.

I liked the characters, Cordell and Marla ... they obviously cared about each other.  Though Daniel is described as "awkward and hilarious", I didn't find him amusing at all.  In fact, I found him annoying ... I wouldn't have the patience to spend a lot of time with him.  I like quirky characters but Daniel just not my kind of guy, I guess.

I received an ecopy of this book from the author at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

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