Elena Belinskaya Belinskaya itibaren Harinagar Chanddeva, Uttarakhand 263136, India
This novel is unlike any that I have read in this genre. For a murder mystery this has more than it's fair share of pop psychology. French weaves her characters lovingly, little details and subtle nuances, make this novel an engrossing read. The characters in the novel are described in great detail, we know of their habits, their likes and dislikes, and their personalities. The fluidity of her prose and the almost lyrical quality of it is something I'm used to seeing in more of a "literature" style of book. Her style of writing is quite unusual in this usually prosaic genre, in that the words pour out until you're enveloped in atmosphere; you can see and feel what the protagonist is feeling - so beautifully done is it. French describes the story from only one point of view - Cassie's, but does it so effectively that you can almost see the characters for yourself. Her words suck you in, draw you into the story, and into Cassie's head. Full review here.
Reading other people's opinions of this book it seems to me that whether or not this book gets a positive review depends on how friendly towards religion the reviewer is. I became an atheist at 18 and have avoided atheist groups since then. I put the book down several times, but I am glad that I finished it. Dawkin's devotes an entire chapter in the beginning of the book answering criticisms that he is negative towards religious people. He explains that is not his intent. My beliefs and attitudes are pretty much the same as Dawkins. Yet, I still found the first half of his book to have a hostile tone. I skipped his chapters reviewing the arguments for the existence of a god(s) and the arguments against. All of it seemed painfully obvious to me, but that is the point about being an atheist, isn't it? This book really shined for me in Dawkins' exploration of how there are double standards with and extra (undeserved) privileges for religious people. I never realized half of these things and I felt these chapters alone were worth reading the book. Also fascinating was Dawnkins' analysis how religious texts are truly not the source of most religious people's morals. I also found the chapters exploring why human beings seem to have an innate tendency to make religions to be extraordinarily interesting. The end of the book explored how to face the inevitable travails of life as an atheist. I found these chapters to be inspiring, the upshot being that people really don't need religion to cope well with death and dying. I was pleasantly surprised to read some inspiring quotes from Bertrand Russell in this regard. I had always considered him to be a stuffy logician type of philosopher. Since reading the book I've seen two news specials about Bible Belt priests who picked up a number of the "new atheism" books, including this one, in order to talk to their congregations about the books. The result being that a number of those priests have abandoned their religions. I found that to be fascinating as I didn't find the book to feel that persuasive.