Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart by Peter Swanson

It was dusk, but as he turned onto the rutted driveway he could make out the perimeter of yellow tape that still circled the property. ~ Opening of  The Girl With a Clock For a Heart


The Girl With a Clock For a Heart by Peter Swanson
William Morrow, 2014
Crime Fiction; 289 pgs
Source: I received this book for review via NetGalley for an honest review.

I was really excited when this book won my August TBR List poll. I had been wanting to read it for awhile now, having heard great things about the author’s work. The premise especially intrigued me and I went into this one not sure what to expect.

Ultimately, I enjoyed reading The Girl With a Clock For a Heart while I was reading it, but I had hoped for more, and, at the end, found myself asking if that was it. It follows the noir tradition with the downtrodden cynical protagonist, moral ambiguity, and being a hard boiled mystery. George Foss is a rather unhappy man, just getting on with his life. He never got over his college girlfriend, and when she reappears in his life, just getting by turns into fighting to survive. There is an acronym that came to mind a couple of times as I read Swanson’s book: TSTL (Too Stupid to Live). George makes some pretty bad choices; I kept telling myself if he’d made a different decision, there would be no book. But it bothered me enough that I stopped reading to tell my husband. And then went to work the next day and told two of my coworkers (separately). Clearly, I didn’t see what he saw in his old flame. Or feel the way he felt about her.

The Girl With a Clock For a Heart was on the predictable side (even my husband knew what was going to happen from what I told him about a particular scene here and there, and he wasn’t even reading the book). Even so, I really liked Peter Swanson’s writing. I did not like any of the characters, but with a book like this, I didn’t expect to. It was fast-paced, and I was engrossed in the story. I wanted to know how everything would turn out--if I was right. Will I read more by Peter Swanson? Absolutely. For all my complaining about this one, I actually did enjoy the reading experience.


You can learn more about Peter Swanson and his books on the author's website. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Wendy. I read Peter Swanson's other two books and enjoyed them. For some reason I haven't picked up this one and I'm glad to hear your thoughts on it. Guess I'm not in a hurry to read it but still it had me curious and I'll probably read it someday.

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    1. Melody - I am looking forward to reading his other books. I have heard they are better. I did like this one, even with all my complaints about it--I just hoped to like it more, I think.

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  2. I've read two of his books and loved both of them so had high hopes for this one. Sorry to see it wasn't great. I do think maybe this was his first book.

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    1. Kathy - I think this is his first, as you said, and am still looking forward to giving his other books a try. I did like his writing and enjoyed much of the book, despite my complaints.

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  3. :) I haven't read anything by Swanson and guess I will skip this one.

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    1. Jenclair - You might like it even if it wasn't a favorite of mine. I do want to give his other books a try.

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  4. Sounds like a pretty good read, but not a must-read.

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  5. TSTL makes me cringe every time. I mean I get that not everyone makes perfect choices but there are some characters that just make me want to pound my head against a wall! This sounds interesting but I know what you mean about wanting more. When I really expect a book to be spectacular and it's just good that can be very disappointing. Great review!

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    1. Katherine - Thank you! This was one of those instances I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I mean, how could he not say no?! Anyone in their right mind would have. But I guess that's the point. he wasn't in his right mind maybe.

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  6. Sounds like the type of book I'll enjoy if I pick it up, but I don't know if I'll ever feel like picking it up (does this make sense? :p)

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  7. This got a lot of hype when it first came out and I believe it is being made into a movie. IMDB says "in development".

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    1. Ti - I remember the hype. I hadn't heard it was being made into a movie, but I think it could be a good one. It seems like something that could do well if done right anyway!

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  8. I read this one too awhile back and remember it being fast-paced and a quick read. I believe I enjoyed it more than you but I do agree that the main character just made bad choices left and right. Great review Wendy!

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    1. Sam - It was both for me was well. I do wish I had liked it more though. Hopefully I will enjoy his other work better.

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