I just finished Nate Flexer's THE DISASSEMBLED MAN, which I thought was hilarious and grim -- remember the first time you watched "Pulp Fiction" and kept laughing at the most awful stuff going on on the screen? Like that. Right now reading WINTER'S BONE by Daniel Woodrell, and WILD TO POSSESS by Gil Brewer.
LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller. I just intended to sample it as I settled in for the night, but ended up finishing it at 1:30 AM. Emotionally involving. There was one spot where I was laughing and crying at the same time.
Sharon McCone, free spirited owner of a San Francisco detective agency, is shot in the head. A bullet at the base of her brain leaves her paralyzed but fully conscious. Her crew rallies around, forced to solve several murders to find Sharon's assailant, with Sharon still the center of their teamwork.
I'm taking a break from the heavy stuff and re-reading a book of Gary Larson'sartoons. I've been busy preparing my mp3 audiobook tracks for world wide distribution. I have fourteen titles, tghe majority mysteries. Audible.com has a couple of the. Thelearningzone (UK) has most, and a Canadian vendor has the entire list. It is a plodding, tedious job, but the culmination of 20 years of work.
I went back to the first Sharon McCone, EDWIN OF THE IRON SHOES. It's hard to believe it's the beginning, Marcia Muller's first novel according to her website, because the writing and Sharon are both maturely developed. Muller relies on her characters from the start, instead of on fear and fireworks. (Both exist, but as support for the plot, not as sensationalism.)
Moving on to the 2nd, ASK THE CARDS A QUESTION. I'm uncertain whether I'll go right on to the 3rd, THE CHESHIRE CAT'S EYES, because that cover says Sharon becomes the suspect. That type of plot always seems to me to be cheap sensationalism. Cheap because it requires no legitimate skill to upset the reader.
Why would the cover say Sharon was "implicated in Jake's death" when she wasn't? It almost put me off reading the book.
After THE CHESHIRE CAT'S EYE, I went on to GAMES TO KEEP THE DARK AWAY. A poetic title which never clicks with any specific part of the story. I get the impression Muller's publicity department back then was playing games.
Anyway, I enjoyed both the books, especially GAMES. Sharon's new man is the antithesis of her last, a colorful, multi-dimensioned DJ appropriate to the '80s.
Sigh! Tossed another one largely unread. Tana French's THE LIKENESS. She's said to be hot, and certainly a lot of things clicked for me: Irish police procedural, well-written stylistically, very good dialogue. The trouble? It's slow, very, very slow, because in this first person narrative from the female undercover cop's point of view we get bogged down in intense emotionalizing about just about everything. The female point of view can be a real downer.
y'know, sometimes I wonder if the "female point of view" you're talking about is really the female point of view at all. I share your difficulty with this kind of character and I think it's more of a shortcut than anything else. It's easier to have your character emotionalize everything than to be more nuanced. There is a perception with some basis in reality that women are more "emotional", but that doesn't mean they emotionalize everything or always do it with a lot of intensity.
Well,no. But there is frequently a dwelling on typically female concerns. In this book, there is the cop boyfriend and the romantically dangerous undercover cop who manipulates her into the assignment, so the agonizing also involves love problems and analysis of suppressed attraction to the other man. That's pretty standard female fare. You get it rather famously in the Evanovich books. Of course, French also goes on and on about other issues that can have an emotional impact.
I'm reading Stuart MacBride's first book 'Cold Granite' and loving it. Great characters, atmospheric, funny. I'm also reading Val McDermid's 'Beneath the Bleeding' - I'm enjoying it although I can't say it's her best. I'm still enjoying spending time with Tony and Carol though.