Cloudland by Joseph Olshan

56%

11 Critic Reviews

Though the crimes are based on real events, the lack of suspense and an unsympathetic heroine (Catherine once had a romance with a student that ended in violence) make for a less than satisfying mystery.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A stunning literary thriller set in rural Vermont from the much praised author of Nightswimmer and Clara's Heart

Once a major reporter for a national newspaper, Catherine Winslow has retreated to the Upper Valley of Vermont to write a household hints column. While out walking during an early spring thaw, Catherine discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree near her house. From the corpse's pink parka, Winslow recognizes her as the latest victim of a serial killer, a woman reported missing weeks before during a blizzard.

When her neighbor, a forensic psychiatrist, is pulled into the investigation, Catherine begins to discover some unexpected connections to the serial murders. One is that the murders might be based on a rare unfinished Wilkie Collins novel that is missing from her personal library. The other is her much younger lover from her failed affair has unexpectedly resurfaced and is trying to maneuver his way back into her affections.

Elegant, haunting and profoundly gripping, Cloudland is an ingenious psychological trap baited with murder, deception and the intricacies of desire.

 

About Joseph Olshan

See more books from this Author
Joseph Olshan is the award-winning author of ten novels including Nightswimmer and The Conversion. He spends most of the year in Vermont.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Minotaur Books. 303 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Cloudland
All: 11 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 5

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 13 2012

Though the crimes are based on real events, the lack of suspense and an unsympathetic heroine (Catherine once had a romance with a student that ended in violence) make for a less than satisfying mystery.

Read Full Review of Cloudland | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Todd VanDerWerff on Apr 30 2012

The final solution to the mystery relies on Olshan producing a bunch of clues out of nowhere, and lots of time is spent with potential suspects who aren’t particularly interesting, outside of being suspects.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Kevin Allman on Apr 15 2012

Olshan’s attempts to flesh out subsidiary characters feel more like dawdles and diversions than plot development.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Lawrence DeMaria

There are flashes of his talent in Cloudland but not enough of them.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Jon on Apr 17 2012

Elegant, haunting and profoundly gripping, Cloudland is an ingenious psychological trap baited with murder, deception and the intricacies of desire.

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The Missoulian

Excellent
Reviewed by Olline Cogdill on Apr 22 2012

And the author also often lightens the tone of “Cloudland” with quite a few household tips that also move along the plot.

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Criminal Element

Good
Reviewed by Leigh Neely on Mar 28 2012

This is one of those books that you’ll read and relish and then read it again to enjoy what you missed.

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Of Books and Reading

Good
Reviewed by Hungry Reader on Apr 14 2012

What I liked about the book is that the book is not just about mystery – it is also about fascinating characters and some side-stories.

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Good
Reviewed by Lesa on Apr 10 2012

This is a gripping crime novel, with a perfect ending, a surprise that doesn't come out of the blue, but fits the story.

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Life is Short, Read Fast

Below average
Reviewed by Jennie on Apr 16 2012

What bothered me most is what I perceive as a lack of reality.

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JulieW8

Good
Reviewed by Julie

All in all, an enjoyable read because of the undeniably elegant writing, but not exactly a thriller, at least by my definition.

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Reader Rating for Cloudland
63%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 177 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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