Friday, February 23, 2007

LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER

I had a bit of a reading-fest yesterday. I find sometimes stepping away and cramming in some good books will give my own writing the extra added punch it needs. I often find myself inspired to _do better_. That's what happened with LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER by Diana Gabaldon.

Brief synopsis: Lord John is pulled into the investigation of a murder of a fellow soldier as well as a more personal matter relating to his family. He juggles the two lines of inquiry, which in turn, pull him into some of the seedier parts of London -- forcing him to rehash events from his past as he closes in on the truth. (Hey, at least I didn't throw beloved in there.)

Okay, let me begin by saying I'm a HUGE fan of Diana's OUTLANDER series. So much so, I sort of hesitated to read this book. To put it simply, if Jamie and Claire weren't in it, I didn't want to read it. (G) I love those two characters that much. However, over the last year I've read several snips of LJ and he really began to grow on me. You could say Diana did a fine job of wooing me to see the error of my ways.

This book only solidifies my liking of the character. He has a certain regality...an ability to carry himself well despite the ludicrous/horrifying situations he was called upon to suffer in this book. He's smooth -- that's all I can say. (g) He presents such an unruffled exterior that when he does have certain moments of awkwardness, I found myself laughing uncontrollably by how he manages to pull it all off with a sense of grace. When he has moments of weakness, I felt the loss of control and the sorrow it created within him. When he recalled lost lovers/loves, it was heartwrenching. He made me laugh and cry.

Once again, the writing in this book is excellent. It flowed, went at a great pace, and ended well. Diana dropped enough clues along the way that when the final AHA moment came, I didn't feel like she pulled an ending out of nowhere. The imagery was wonderful and I felt like I was _there_. There's one particular scene where LJ was rather uncomfortable, sweating profusely, etc... I felt the misery of it all. LOL. I found myself wanting to urge him to get the heck out of the cramped building because _I_ couldn't handle it anymore! Now that's writing.

Her other characters are painted marvelously -- I especially enjoyed his mother who seems to have a bit of wild streak despite her position in society (g), and von Namtzen, the plumed maniac. I'm really looking forward to the next book.

Buy or Rent? Buy. (Run!)

4 comments:

Carol said...

Hi Jen,
I'm glad you enjoyed the LJ book, especially after the disappointment yesterday. Diana does have a unique way of painting a scene. I too, enjoy the Outlander story, but have never read the LJ books. I'll take your word for their quality. I would expect nothing less from Diana. She does deliver.

Jen said...

Yes, she most definitely delivers. :) Come on Book 7! (g)

Chris said...

I enjoyed LJ too. Diana has a way with her characters- they're very likeable.

Jen said...

Chris,

Most definitely. Quite frankly, I didn't know what to expect...but, yup...she sucked me right in and made me like him. (g)

Jen