Tag Archives: literary thriller

‘The Curiosity’ by Stephen Kiernan

Stephen P. Kiernan is an author of fiction and nonfiction. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an award winning journalist. His books are beautifully written, this one is a literary thriller. The Curiosity was Kiernan’s  debut novel in 2013 and I also enjoyed another one of his called The Hummingbird earlier this year.

A team of scientists working on reanimating creatures from hard ice in the far North, stumble upon a man who has been frozen for a hundred years. Against all odds he is awakened in the present day and finds so many things have changed…and yet what hasn’t changed is that the greatest thing in life is still love.

The Curiosity features a scientific process called cryonics. The way the novel plays with the science and weaves it into the novel, reminded me of Michael Crichton’s books–scary and fascinating because it all sounds so plausible. The characters are unforgettable,  and the novel touches on all aspects of this type of scientific breakthrough–media, ethics, politics, protestors, greed, jealousy, but also focuses on humility, humanity, kindness and love.

Though I’m usually not too fussed about endings, I had a strong feeling after finishing this book that the author might have ended it differently. Wondering why he didn’t, I thought I would just ask him and I got the nicest reply. He was so gracious about my alternate ending suggestion, and took the time to thoughtfully answer my query. I was very impressed. Thanks for being available and willing to discuss, Stephen Kiernan. It’s what I love most about reading, talking about the book afterwards, and what a treat to have a conversation with the author himself!  The Baker’s Secret is next on my list and he said he thinks I’ll be happy with that ending! 🙂 He also said there’s one more book in the works which has a brilliant ending, so even more to look forward to!

 

‘The Quality of Silence’ by Rosamund Lupton


Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrive in Alaska and are met at the airport by a policeman instead of her husband. The police are convinced that Matt has died in a tragic fire but Yasmin refuses to believe this. Within hours she and her young daughter are driving across the frozen wilderness where nothing grows, and tears can freeze in an instant. In round the clock dark they search for Ruby’s father and as they travel ever deeper over a silent land and into an approaching storm they become aware that they are being followed.

This stylish and unique literary thriller has it all: not only is it beautifully written and gives the reader a meaningful glimpse into what it is to be deaf, it has edge-of-your seat suspense, memorable characters, current and relevant issues, multiple twists in the plot, and some glorious and terrifying descriptions of the Arctic landscape in all its beauty and deadly darkness. It contains not only an exploration of an extraordinary Arctic land, but also the interior landscape of a profoundly deaf child.

The author makes you experience the biting cold, the sting of grief, the drive to survive, the weight of responsibility, the love of family, the mustering of courage, the agony of defeat, and the triumph of overcoming. Atmospheric and gripping, this is the kind of gem I look for where literary excellence and commercial readability meet.