At our February meeting we discussed The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis. Set in Israel and Crimea before the Russian annexation of Crimea, the story focuses on Baruch Kotler, a politician who refuses to abandon his principles, opposing his government’s action on the West Bank Settlements, and is subsequently exposed as having a young mistress. He flees with his mistress to Crimea where he finds himself renting a room in the home of the man who betrayed him to the Russian authorities decades earlier. Kotler spent years in a gulag; his betrayer has spent decades attempting to atone for his guilt. There was wide ranging discussion, including the topic of morality; whether it is inherent in humans or if it is learned. Themes of pride, survival, betrayal and forgiveness dominate the story. I did find it difficult to relate to the characters emotionally but the authors description of places and people were almost cinematic.

And here are recommended reads available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:30) and Thursday (6:00 to 8:00) or go online at to reserve a copy.

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen More Nordic Noir, the second instalment in the Department Q series by this Danish author is as absorbing and dark as its predecessor. A 20 year old case, the savage torture-murder of a young brother and sister, lands on the desk of Carl Morck. A twisted labyrinth of sadism disguised by wealth and privileged power brings the team close to death and, ultimately to a satisfying conclusion. (Kit)

Dark Money by Jane Mayer This straight forward and largely unemotional account by the American investigative journalist Jane Mayer is chilling and deeply disturbing. It details the history of the billionaires behind the rise of the Radical Right in the USA. The origins, rise, and dominance of a billionaire class mostly spearheaded by the fabulously wealthy Koch brothers to whom money is no object when it comes to buying people and power. A must read in order to navigate today’s political landscape. (Paige Turner)

Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at .