Leighton Gage, EVERY BITTER THING. Police procedural set in Brazil. It's quite competent, but perhaps the main characters aren't engaging enough. In any case, not addictive.
Main gripe is the cover. It shows a pair of hands of a man hanging by chains. Very effective, if you're looking for torture. Unfortunately, there is no scene in the book where anyone is chained up like that.
Andrew Taylor, THE FOUR LAST THINGS. The jacket identifies this author as male (you cannot always trust the name), but I would have sworn this was written by a woman. Firstly, it is suspense. Secondly, the female protag. is a woman vicar. Thirdly, this hinges on a woman's feelings for her child, her troubled mrriage, and the temptation from another, recently divorced male.
Oh, well. It is well written, but God only knows what the religious stuff is all about (incl. the chapter quotes from RELIGIO MEDICI, for they don't seem to have anything to do with a plot that hinges on kidnapping, child murder and dismemberment, serial killers, and pedophilia. On the whole, this is a tad embarrassing.
I've been remiss in not contributing to this forum, so I have a bunch of books to describe.
FEVER OF THE BONE, by Val McDermid - Shorter than earlier books in this series, it's still wonderful to see how Tony and Carol are finding life.
FACES OF THE GONE, by Brad Parks - His first book, Parks sticks to what he knows, newspaper journalism. The pace is brisk and the conclusion satisfactory.
KNOWN TO EVIL, by Walter Mosley - I run hot-and-cold on my evaluation of Mosley. This book has a new protagonist, a bad guy turned private detective. Book kept my attention, but I'm not sure I'd want the guy as a friend. I would, however, love to be able to call him if I were in a jam.
More in a minute.
I read three books by k. o. dahl: THE FOURTH MAN
THE MAN IN THE WINDOW
THE LAST FIX
I really liked the way THE MAN IN THE WINDOW began; he introduced about seven people, all of which had good reason to see the victim dead. These are Norwegian police procedurals and feature the two most peculiar detectives.
The detecting is complicated, but the resolutions satisfying.
INVOLUNTARY WITNESS, by Gianrico Carofiglio, is an Italian courtroom novel. The author is an Italian judge who must be brave because he gives no quarter to the Mafia in real life. Hope he keeps writing; this was good.
THE CONFESSION, by Olen Steinhauer. This is the second in his series about an office of police detectives in Communist eastern Europe from WWII to the demise of Communism. Very engaging characters; it appears that each book will focus on one of them. There are about six in the series, and I'm sure I'll read all of them.
GHOSTS OF BELFAST, by Stuart Neville. The main character is another baddie gone good (sort of). An ex-IRA thug, he is haunted by the ghosts of those he killed. He vows to kill those who had ordered the killings. There's a sequel, and I can't wait to find out what happens to him next.
Three more of Stephen Booth's. Not terrific, but readable.
TOWER, jointly by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman. JUST WONDERFUL STUFF.
THE DEVIL, by Ken Bruen. JUST TERRIBLE STUFF. I like the character, Jack Taylor, but really this is stupid. He tangles with the Devil incarnate. Really. Pathetic. Not since Ann Rice had her vampire meet up with the Devil has there been such stupidity in fiction.
After reading these books, my shelf was quite bare. I ordered a bunch from Amazon. Silly me, I then went out of town for two weeks. Came home to a note from my mailman asking me to come to the post office and get my books.
It took two of their big boxes. Christmas in March!
I've just finished Patrick Lennon's second book - ' Steel Witches '. -Outstanding ! Definitely one of the most gripping books I've ever read. -I got through it in one weekend ! This is detective fiction at its best, using some facts and many possible assumptions, with a very plausible scenario.
This follows his 'Corn Dolls' which was excellent, but not as exciting as this one.
I tried Christopher G. Moore's THE RISK OF INFIDELITY INDEX, another mystery set in Thailand. It came highly recommended on another blog. Alas, I couldn't finish it. It is very poorly written and has not had any serious editing. The language is awkward (he doesn't know the difference between "lie" and "lay", something that really irritates me), the narrative style is marred by digressions into trivial matters, he switches pov constantly and for no reason other than that it occurred to him to wonder what another character was thinking at that moment, and he has an unfortunate addiction to figurative language unsuitable to the situation (i.e. extended similes and metaphors at the drop of a hat).
If you want to go to Thailand, read Timothy Hallinan (nominated for the Edgar), or even Burdett.
A change of pace for me -- Linnea Sinclair's THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. It is a SF-Romance-Action story, sort of a STAR TREK meets THE PROPOSAL. Great fun.
Author of FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Just finished the last in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. If you've read most of the great English novels and you're not annoyed by fantasy, try these books. The first is THE EYRE AFFAIR. It's laugh-out-loud funny.
Not funny at all is a spellbounding book OUT by Natsuo Kirino. Forget about geishas and cherry blossoms.
This is gritty stuff. She uses a form which I've never encountered. She'll write about an incident from one character's point of view and immediately repeats the incident from the other character's perspective. Well done. I've got to find more from this author. OUT won the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction in Japan and was an Edgar Award Finalist.