Jim S. (Austin, TX)
Catherine Winslow is a multifaceted character who early on discovers the body of a woman near her property in Vermont which turns out to be the latest of several murders of women all having similar characteristics - strangulation, assault. Catherine and her friend Anthony, a psychiatrist, along with the unlikable detective, Marco Prozzo, team up to attempt to discover the killer. Catherine's daughter, who almost died of anorexia following the death of Catherine's ex-husband who died of cancer at her home, is in a relationship with an attractive older woman.
Matthew is the younger mid-20s man who Catherine (age ~42) had an affair with and who is a suspect in the murders. He persists in wanting to pursue their relationship.
The story was somewhat slow at points but the ending was good making the slow reading worth the read. I enjoyed it.
Carole R. (Burlington, WI)
What could have been a great plot with intriguing characters couldn't make up for a rather disjointed story with too many sidetracks. I just never got the "thriller" part of the story.
Joy N. (Gilbert, AZ)
Cloudland by Joseph Olshan
I loved this book. I really liked all of the characters. I liked the pacing especially the last few chapters. It would be a good book club pick because of all the different characters involved and the situations they find themselves in. I really enjoy stories that I don't see the ending coming. It was a great light read.
When I read this book was described as a psychological thriller I was drawn to the story. However, I found it to be more of a traditional who-dun-it. The reader follows the investigation through the narration of Catherine Winslow who writes a household hints column and who, in the book's opening sentence, has discovered a woman's body near her home. The body is only one of a series of women who are believed to be victims of a serial killer. There were quite a few things about this novel that just didn't work for me. Foremost among them was the way Catherine was involved in the investigation. I wanted to like it but sadly it just didn't grab my interest.
Diane S. (Batavia, IL)
Cloudland by Joseph Olshan
I love books that are based on true events, which apparently this one was. This was more of a character based mystery than a plot based one, so I felt the story moved slowly. Loved the details in the setting, really got the feeling of how it was to be one of only three people living on a deserted road. Liked the character of Catherine, enjoyed reading about her life, problems with her daughter and career. Thought his writing style was a little different but once I became used to that I just kept reading away. This book really held my interest and I look forward to what the author will be writing next. Also liked the title and felt the cover really fit with the story.
Gerald R. (pompton lakes, NJ)
Slow Moving Rural New England Murder Mystery
If you're looking for a fast paced, action filled and non-stop suspense thriller, look elsewhere. At times this book moves as slowly as Vermont maple syrup in the Winter. The only things that kept me hanging in there were the seemingly accurate depiction of the down home flavor of New England life, and the desire to see how it all ended up. If you're in the mood for a laid back, easy-going serial killer mystery, this would work for you. It didn't work for me.
Kathy H. (Richmond, VA)
Cloudy with a chance of murder
I'd torn between giving Cloudland a 3.5 - 4. I was compelled to finish it, because I was invested and curious as to the identity of the murderer. Yet by the time "he" was revealed, I felt a little deflated, and I'm not sure why. I found Olshan's writing to be very good...descriptive, evocative and with great imagery...his dialogue and even storytelling, not so much. I imagine it must be difficult to write from the perspective of the other sex, but I think he succeeds quite nicely. I liked Catherine very much...appreciated her candor and self-awareness. I didn't find the other characters to be as fleshed out, particularly Paul, Breck, Prozzo and Matthew. I did, however, like Henrietta and Hiram. Overall, a good read but not sure I would recommend. And I feel bad about that, if it makes sense! Thanks for the opportunity to review.