Yes. All that is good and well, and it was in the first couple of novels. But to do the same thing in every novel is a bit much. It seems to me that both the dysfunctional family and Icelandic myth and culture can be substantiated in many new ways.
Blood Ties by Kay Hooper, the 3rd in the trilogy of Bishop's Special Crimes Unit. It's a special unit with psychics, mediums, that investigates unusual deaths. This is the last in the Blood trilogy. I love all of her mystery books. Some have paranormal elements, such as this trilogy. If you haven't read her, any of her mysteries are worth the read.
After this I'll be reading Dean Koontz' Strangers. From what I understand it's supposed to be a good one.
The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh. I've been wanting to read it for a while and it's fantastic. Mr. Wambaugh, along with Jack Webb have definitely been the biggest influences on my writing. For those who don't know, it takes place in early 1960's Los Angeles and follows several young officers as they graduate from the academy and begin their careers in the LAPD.
James Lee Burke's RAIN GODS. Not sure I'll make it. Burke is not my cup of tea, even though he is techically a very good writer. I really dislike the Robicheaux books because they are sooo "deep south" and rather repetitive.
This one is in Texas: a young couple (you've got to love a vet who's been wounded in Afghanistan and a girl who learned to shoot from her dad who was a cop), a sheriff with a conscience, a fed who is the typical arrogant FBI asshole, and a group of gross villains who murder Thai sex slaves by the dozens and chop off people's fingers. I suspect I just don't much like that particular recipe for bestsellerdom -- even if it is well written.
I'm reading "Blind Man's BLuff" the true expose of the submarine surveillance during the Cold War. It is a thrilling account or heroism and government waste.
I'm also nearly half way through my new book, tentative title "Betrayal." Visit my web site www.hu.mtu.edu/~hlsachs and look for my score of books at amazon.com or lulu.com. Free samples.
Just finished Timothy Hallinan's A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART. (Yes, you may have guessed that it easily replaced the still unread James Lee Burke for me). I had sampled one of the author's earlier books in another series and knew he was a fine writer, but his Thai series blew me away. This is miles better than Burdett. It's also a fast and thrilling read while dealing with shocking social conditions and crimes. The characters are vivid and memorable, and their problems are complex. Take for instance the fact that here the killers are the innocent, while the victims are guilty. I highly recommend this series.
Just finished: Val McDermid BENEATH THE BLEEDING. First off, the title doesn't refer to anything in the book -- of, if you like -- to any number of things rather remotely. Secondly, the cover shows a man walking into an underpass. This doesn't happen in the book and is typical of many book covers these days. Now for the content: McDermid writes well and you'll stay with this book. It's one of her thrillers featuring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, thus combining psychological profiling with police procedure. Other than that it has the usual absurd serial killer plot. I wish I could explain, but trust me: you'll shake your head when you're done.
I certainly enjoy your comments.
McDermid's plots sometimes are incredulous. This is more noticeable in the television adaptions of the Hill/Jordan series. However, the characters of Hill and Jordan fascinate. Her descriptive prose is good, and she writes conversation well.
Her other series, with female journalist as protagonist, are much less interesting.
Her A PLACE OF EXECUTION would be included on my top twenty of the century.