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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Second person?  Wow!

Henning Mankell's  THE TROUBLED MAN.  This is the nervously awaited final Kurt Wallander novel.  You note from the start that Mankell plans to do away with the man. This arouses considerable pity in the reader.  Wallander suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.  He adds to this black-outs and memory losses, and eventually a heart attack.  Maybe we're overdoing things a bit, but it works.  It frightens Wallander who begins to relive his past and revisit the women in his life, all the while dealing with a murder case close to his family.  The case soon broadens into the past and focuses on submarines, the Swedish navy, and spying by the Russians.

This branching away from the police procedural (Wallander takes time off to deal with spies!) may make the novel appeal to a broader audience, but for me it weakened it considerably and accounted for the reason the book dragged in places. 

Just started reading Don Delillo's latest, Point Omega, sucked me in right away. Unidentified man watching slo-mo movie ... turns out it's Psycho. Why is this man watching this movie? Why is the movie slowed down to an incremental crawl?  Much food for thought here. And I haven't even started chapter 2 yet

I'm playing catch-up here and will comment on several books:


Peter Robinson, THE FIRST CUT.  Robinson is generally a fine writer of police procedurals.  This is a thriller.  I don't care that much for thrillers and didn't finish it. Part of the reason is the back and forth between the past and the present.  The rest is the nature of the crime: the perpetrator abducts young women and then slowly carves them up while they are alive.  One of his victims tries to hunt him down.


Stuart Kaminsky, A WHISPER TO THE LIVING.  This is a Rostnikoff novel.  I did finish this.  Nothing much new here from past ones.  Perhaps of interest is the political change that has taken place in Moscow, but this didn't affect any of the usual characters.  The series is beginning to feel flat.


Ed McBain, EIGHTY MILLION EYES.  Another one I didn't finish.  McBain is called seminal for police procedurals and has influenced some of the Scandinavian writers.  Alas, I cannot take the style:  nothing but dialogue.  It's like being forced to listen to recorded phone conversations for hours on end.  Needless to say, there is no internalizing and no sense of character.

Sorry to hear you're not enjoying McBain. It's been years since I've read his stuff, but as a kid I loved his 87th Precinct novels. Remembering them as very fast reads though,s so that might be the dialogue heavy prose. 

Anyway, I'm reading ALONE by Lisa Gardner and am enjoying it quite a bit.

David DeLee - a Grace deHaviland novel

Reading John Verdon's SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT. About a quarter of the way through.

I'm reading Wyatt by Australian crime author Garry Disher. Terrific so far.


Also got to meet Garry at the Sydney Writers' Festival, so my copy is signed!

Must remember his name.
Just getting to the end of Hollywood Station by Joseph Wambaugh, then it's on to The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton or Devil Red by Joe R. Lansdale.

Reviewed Wyatt by Garry Disher, a great Aussie crime author.


IJ, this was definitely worth reading. Keep an eye out for it next time you shop.

Well, I was hoping for the library -- which is notoriously slow on Australian writers.  I've had too many disappointments.  These days, I sample in the library, and then buy.
I'm reading the second of three books written by Kate Atkinson about detective Jackson Brodie.  The first was CASE HISTORIES.  The second is ONE GOOD TURN.  Both books are structured the same.  She starts with a half dozen unrelated characters.  Eventually she connects them in plot.  Her forte is characterization; these characters are complete people with idiosyncracies.  Reading her books is like sitting down with a friend who wants to tell you a story.  There is one joke she put in which I enjoy.  One character says, "I found Jesus."  Another replies, "Was he lost?"  If you find this funny, you'll love these books.


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