When I came up with that subject, I thought it would be easy. Now I fear I have to actually pick one. But I can't so I will pick two.

I'd say my favorite would be James Lee Burke. When I read my first Burke book, I was blown away. The man is a genius with words. He is one of very few authors that writes in first person who I enjoy, I don't think most authors get the full point of first person...it's about being in one person's head! Burke is a master, I can't think of any instances where he deviates. His description is some of the most vivid I've ever read. He sucks you into the setting and gives you every aspect of it. He is a master at using all the senses.

My second favorite would be Julia Spencer-Fleming. She has many of the same talents as Burke, but she adds an element that I brought with me from my days in romance. She brings in emotion. Her characters are alive with beating hearts and lives and personalities and this makes the suspense so much more palpable for me as I'm reading. That's what it's all about, right?

How about you? Who and why?

Karen Syed, Echelon Press

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Comment by Maryann Mercer on August 21, 2007 at 4:34am
Hi Karen, I'll beg to differ with my own favorite, William Kent Krueger. His narrative sweeps me in every time (although I do concede to a lately discovered liking for James Lee Burke for the same reasons) and I have to keep turning the page just to see where he goes next. Flawed characters, gritty day to day and no guaranteed happy endings before the last page. I'm also a Ken Bruen fan for his way with words, spoken and written :o) Just had to add my two cents.
Comment by Meredith Anthony on May 8, 2007 at 12:56am
Karen, again, we're on the same wave length. Julia Spencer-Fleming would have to be in my top five. Of course, my first love is my husband Lawrence Light -- and not just because he's my darling -- he's really a great writer with just the right balance of humor, mystery and social commentary. I think the next spot would go to the great Jim Fussili for the Terry Orr series, which has an emotional arc and cultural touchstones that really resonate with me. Next would be Denise Mina for the Paddy Meehan series and Ken Bruen for everything -- Brandt, Jack Taylor, the works! I think the common element in my faves would be emotional depth, leavened by humor.

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