Sunday, April 8, 2018

Review: American by Day

American by Day American by Day by Derek B. Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After I notoriously did not care much for Norwegian by Night, unlike the rest of my book club, I was a bit hesitant to pick up the sequel. But I was interested in the idea that it was about a periphery character in the first novel, one I didn't like all that much, the female Norwegian cop, but focusing on her journey to upstate New York to try to find her brother. It's lucky she did because he is a suspect in a murder case and people are closing in. (Also lucky because he is an adjunct professor and could never afford to defend himself.)

I liked her personal journey, questioning herself about the man she shot and killed, which of course in Norway is hugely rare. I liked the discussions about police shootings in the United States but it all had a distasteful tinge of white people sitting around talking about race instead of actually including anyone they're talking about (except as victims of shootings) so ... I am not sure that is helping anything. There's some in here about mental health and privilege too.

If this series continues I'm guessing the American sheriff might be the next main character, as he has some complexities to him, such as wearing cowboy boots so people make the wrong assumptions, but really he has degrees in theology and other things like that. The setting is ripe for more stories, a small upstate town with no major industry anymore, lots of poverty and drugs. It would be nice to see this play out through characters who actually live there rather than these random Norwegians that the author keeps wanting to write about.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an eARC; this book came out April 3 and I'm a bit behind.

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