Summer of Love
Though Bobby Doyle suspects that the recent, consecutive murders of the two girls he was dating are not coincidental, he can’t imagine anyone would want to harm him. Unlike his more competitive twin, Jack Doyle, Bobby is easygoing and unlikely to have enemies. While working as a freelance journalist in California, Bobby makes some exciting new friends and revels in the rock ‘n’ roll, carefree atmosphere of California in the late 1960s.
Meanwhile, Jack, who believes in fighting for his country, has to deal with the reality of losing new friends to war and seeing dead bodies in Vietnam. The two brothers, who pursue clearly different goals, stay in touch with each other by sending letters about their individual battles on two different continents. Will Bobby finally discover the killer before he takes down another one of his friends, and can Jack survive the trauma and brutality of war? Summer of Love depicts a deeply immersing, character-rich plot about the horrors of war and murder and the richness of art, music, and the youth culture of 1967 in California.
With the skill of an expert storyteller and a special talent for bringing different pieces together to form a harmonious story, Paul Martin weaves together a spine-chilling and intense search for a killer, the brutal scenes of war, the thrilling and sensational moods of romance, and a relaxed and artsy atmosphere. The book’s intricate description of the artworks, rock ‘n’ roll songs and artists, and dressing styles of the 1960s awakened my inner artist and connected me to that part of me that seeks to enjoy life’s bountiful blessings. I enjoyed imagining the texture on the pears in James Peale’s 1821 painting and “the bluesy psychedelic shows” performed by the band Quicksilver Messenger Service.
One of my favorite elements in the book is its highly creative and humorous metaphors. I laughed out loud when I read this particular sentence: “People in the audience were bobbing their heads like a bunch of chickens pecking for food.” It also has quite distinct characters with relatable, realistic problems—like Susie, who is estranged from her overbearing, religious father.
A truly enthralling read from start to finish, Summer of Love presents characters who, like most of us, wish for the beautiful things in life but find themselves experiencing them with the ugliest things. We see a sort of duality, where the best of humanity—in terms of soul-lifting art creations and camaraderie—is contrasted with the worst of humanity, with brutal wars and cold-blooded killings. This one is definitely going to my list of favorite books for this year!
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller