An open discussion on what everyone is currently reading. Make recommendations to others, discuss what is new, hot, bestsellers, anything and everything related to books and the authors.

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John Harvey's EASY MEAT.  Harvey is one of the great crime writers. Certainly stylistically he is at the top. This novel is also very good, though he leans perhaps too much on the sociological theme of violent crimes committed by very young males from poor and disfunctional families. 

I've started two books. Alone by Lisa Gardner and Names of the Dead by Katia Lief. Both writers are fantastic with very different styles. I read the one that fits my mood best at the time. If I want deep feeling, I go with Katia Lief. If I want to just be embroiled in crime, Lisa Gardner. Both are excellent.

Just finished Texas By the Tail by Jim Thompson. Another excellent read.

Just finished Lee Childs "Never Go Back" a Reacher novel. It starts great...Childs can write a fight like no one else...but it takes a plot turn in the middle and never gets back into a compelling groove.

Haven't read it yet. But you're right about the fight scenes.

Currently reading IDES OF APRIL by Lindsey Davis. Several years ago, ms. Lindsey's long-time companion died. She announced that she wasn't sure she would continue writing. I'm sure glad she did. The main character is from the viewpoint of Alba, the abandoned child Falco adopted in Britain. Daughter has adopted Falco's profession. I look forward to many more books in the unique tone; as I once said, her books are like "The Rockford Files" in Ancient Rome. Bravo, Lindsey!

On a sadder note, I think Karin Fossum has "jumped the shark" with her latest, IN THE DARKNESS.
What makes her books compelling for me is the great empathy she has for her characters (both the heroes and the villains). There's no one worth caring about in this book. It reads as though her publisher pressured her to drag out an earlier, unpublished work, to publish. Anyway, I hope this is a temporary situation.

Mark Billingham's THE DEMANDS is terrific. You care about the characters and hope for as good an outcome as possible. The story is about a extremely stressed person taking hostages and making demands. Billingham's maintains the tension while the detective tries to unravel the problem. We'll done.

Andrea Camilleri's EXCURSION TO TINDARI. Usual high quality.

Kaaberbol and Friis wrote BOY IN THE SUITCASE. This is another case of not identifying with any of the characters and, therefore, not giving a damn about what happens to them, even the kidnapped child!

Ian Rankin continues to develop his second main character in STANDING IN ANOTHER'S GRAVE. In this book, the new guy Fox works with John Rebus to solve the case. Worked well.

Michael Connelly continues to write about his second main character in THE GODS OF GUILT.

So it looks like three of my favorite authors (Davis, Rankin, and Connelly) have chosen to develop new main characters, all of which have some connection to their original main characters. The writing stays fresh, and they can drag our favorite old main characters into the stories so we can learn how they're doing.

Wish Henning Mankell had considered this option!

Now reading a jan van wetering --- always fun.

We share pretty much the same taste in reading material. Agree on all points, except Davis dropping Falco in favor of a female (I'm tired of all the females solving historical crimes) and I thought Henning Mankell's last book on his protagonist was terrific.

I did also.  It's just that I wish he hadn't killed off the character.  I read somewhere that his plan was to write books about the daughter who had (inexplicably) decided on becoming a police detective.  In real life, the actress who had played the daughter in a Swedish film committed suicide.  Mankell said that this created a writer's block leading to his decision never to write a follow-on book.

With the other three writers, the readers can count on Rebus, Falco, and Bosch turning up now and again in future books!

Yes, it does sound like a better plan. I also hated Morse dying. Didn't know about the suicide of the actress. Perhaps Mankell will pull out of the slump.

Enjoy a trip to the past at the moment with the republish of June Wright's Murder in The Telephone Exchange - really pleasing to know somebody's going to publish most of Wright's work - very much under-known local writer.

Currently reading my way through Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series.  For those who don't know (and I didn't until November last), a single mother priest and 'deliverance minister' (read 'exorcist') confronts mysteries ancient and modern in rural Herefordshire.  Complex, multi-faceted fiction that blends history, myth and faith in a unique blend.  The dialogue and characterization are wonderful, though (IMO) the earlier novels suffer from too many ideas. As the series progresses, however, it 'deepens like a coastal shelf' to quote Philip Larkin. 

Jo Nesbo: Cockroaches.

The second Harry Hole book is finally available in English and is well worh the wait.

Harry battles booze, his enemies in Norway and an ambassador's killers along with those who want to cover up the reasons for the murder in Bangkok.

A great read.


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