Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Great Reads and Tough Women
I'm still reeling from hearing that I live in "the most corrupt state in the union." But the solution to all bad things is to read a good book, and I've been enjoying two good ones.
I just finished Thomas Perry's Runner. What an interesting and extremely suspenseful book! I realize that Perry's character, Jane Whitefield, has quite a fan following, but this was my first Jane Whitefield book. I'll certainly be reading the others. Jane, a Native American, has either learned or inherited a feeling of responsibility for those who need help. She is a self-appointed guide for those who are runners, and she is utterly dedicated to keeping them safe.
This is a most interesting premise: Jane is not a police officer, nor is she an FBI agent, but this is her calling. In Runner, she is called out of a five year retirement (she had promised to stay safe for her husband) because a young pregnant woman is in danger. The book focuses on Jane as guide, and all that being a guide entails. She is almost always in danger, but the danger is reciprocal. Those who cross Jane end up being sorry. She is not a vigilante, but she will do anything it takes to protect the innocent.
The reason that Jane is one of my new heroes is that she is tough. She is fair, but she metes out justice, often in a violent form. Those who prey on the innocent, to Jane, are like any animal predators.
If I were in danger, I would want Jane Whitefield on my side.
This book did the unexpected: it kept me awake while I was reading in bed. :)
While I'm on the subject of cool tough women, I have to give a nod to Tim Maleeny's latest Cape Weathers mystery, Greasing the Pinata. Cape's "deadly companion Sally," as the website calls her, is one tough woman, and an important reminder that toughness in a protagonist is just as believable in a woman as it is in a man.
I'll be interviewing Tim in the near future about his series, and you can read a former interview here.