Arnaldur Indridason's VOICES. Icelandic police procedural that is well above average. (Thank God. Everything else has been disappointing lately). Should add that his JAR CITY was also very good.
Oh, as an afterthought, I have McBain's FAT OLLIE'S BOOK in audio in the car. It's simple. Very simple, and I can't keep my mind on it. Just don't like McBain, I guess.
Finished BLOODSHOT by Stuart McBride. Very good, but just a tad familiar from the first two. Reading Miyuko Miyabe now. A strange one. (Audiobooks: RUMPOLE AND THE PRIMROSE PATH was wonderful. An Archer Mayor and a Philip Kerr got tossed for being extremely boring).
Hey, I just finished two, as-yet-not-available-in-the-USA books by Declan Burke or Ireland and a CrimeSpace member, check him out. Eight Ball Boogie and The Big O are published in Ireland and have been picked up by an American publisher (name slips my mind as I write this) and will be available late next year in the USA. He is going to take American crime writing by storm; think of Donald Westlake's John Dortmunder and pinch of Calr Hiaasen with a lot of hardboil Elmore Leonard. Two great reads and I can't wait for Declan's third novel, set in Crete! I am getting hooked on Irish crime writers! I just wish they knew how to spell in American English! Only joking, but I did pick up a lot of Irish slang from the books.
PAYING THE PIPER by Simon Wood (November 2007, Dorchester Publishing Company, Leisure Books, NY), was not what I expected. His short horror stories had left me literally gutwrenched (felt nearly eviscerated!) and I was having a tough time repeating the experience by reading his latest book, PAYING THE PIPER. He's here on Crimespace and our Alaska Sisters in Crime site, and double-dared me to read the book. Despite agreeing, I procrastinated and wasn't looking forward to the experience, because I'm not much of a horror fan. I once nearly slammed a roommate with a fire poker when reading Stephen King, it scared me so badly, and had the same type of total immersion, nightmares, and emotional responses to Wood's writing to date.
But a dare is a dare. After getting to know Simon somewhat at Bouchercon, I felt that sense of not letting down a new friend and so hey, I bought the book yesterday afternoon. And started reading it on the way home from the bookstore while hubby drove through the powerful winds and dust storms whipping through the Anchorage Bowl in our fleeting 3 hours or so of daylight this time of year.
I quickly came to care about these people and wanted to see this man, the Piper, caught. The different layers and motivations that I was encountering, the twists that kept cropping up, and the straightforward way Wood has of telling the story and describing it, just kept getting better and better. It's been a long time since I sat down and read an entire book in a few hours and was really disappointed to get to the last page.
It's also been a long time since I was able to get through nearly the whole book before realizing what was really going on. The reviews I read were all talking about Wood as an author and a new voice in the genre. Little was said by reviewers about the story itself, so let me assure you, it's truly a great read. Did I say I couldn't stop reading? The emotions it generates are honest and not overdone. The characters are real (a little too real in one part, as the Rudolphs and Gottfrieds appeared as former victims of this killer) and the killers all too real, too, and very human. You'll find yourself living this story. When you think you've got it figured out, you'll discover, as I did, it was all wrong.
The only criticism I have was the naming of the characters. The FBI agent Sheils looked too much like the badge was missing the "D" or kept reading as "Sheila." I also didn't like the names for the twins that were kidnapped. Peter and Sammy didn't do it for me or seem to fit their personalities. Too many "s" names - Sheils Sammy Scott... and Rooker didn't really fit, either.
I'm really glad I got the book and I suspect I'm even going to do something I rarely ever do, and that is ... read it again!!! Well done, Simon. With this type of writing, I suspect I will be saying, "I knew you when..."
I like to read some non-crime fiction every once in a while. I just finished Steve Mosby's "50/50 Killer" yesterday (the book is GREAT!), and right now I'm reading Diane Setterfield's "The Thirteenth tale". Pretty sick and weird for now.
In a moment of desperate need for relaxation, I picked up John Maddox Roberts' series set in ancient Rome. Starting with SPQR, I planned to reread the whole series. Since I got the most recent release, UNDER VESUVIUS, for Christmas, that reinforces my idea.
However, I have the new Jacqueline Winspear for review: AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE. There's a temptation to do some work reading! And my next edit is to be Nate Fanshawe's NO DEVIL, NO REDEEMER, a noir mystery. The reader loved that. There's lots to look forward to in the mystery field. :-)