ooh, how jealous am i, karen, that you've got your hands on the latest leigh redhead and stuart macbride!!?? i'm weighed down reading nominated books for the davitts - have read some very ordinary stuff but no names, no pack drill. i'm also trying out my first louise welsh - the cutting room - which i'm at this stage enjoying.
The MacBride - well Book Depository advance orders may as well be my home page :) but the Redhead is a review advance copy and I'm absolutely and utterly stoked to get it :)
I'm really looking forward to seeing what you think of The Cutting Room - Louise Welsh is one of my all time favourite authors (stand by for the notes of an interview I did with her last week). Talk about excited to talk to her about her books.
Am about 1/4 of the way through listening to Michael Gruber's latest 'The Good Son' a story about Pakistan. More of a thriller than crime fiction and you can tell Gruber ghosted several books for another thriller author (I think it was Lawrence Sanders but I'm probably wrong. Its on his web page if anyone wants to know for sure. Google it)
The story goes back and forth between the point of view of the son who is a Delta-type commando for the US army and his mother who has a very interesting backstory, yet the jacket synopsis call her a Jungian psychologist. She goes to Pakistan on a humanitarian mission and her group gets kidnapped by terrorists. Do not be put off by the allusion to her interpreting her captor's dreams. This isn't woo-woo in any way.
Maybe I've been spending too much time avoiding reality and the news, but the complexities in the plots are very good. Maybe if you read newspapers they'd bore you to tears - I dunno. But the ins and outs of Pakistani politics and religion...well I find it fascinating. I can only hope that Gruber isn't blowing smoke and making this all up out of whole cloth. So far, and like I say I'm only about 1/4 of the way through this, its smacking of The Ugly American and the best of John LeCarre's Smiley series (except not about Russia - I mean the sorts of complexities where you know something's happening but you're not sure what it is.)
I usually make it a policy not to talk about a book until I finished it becasue I've been burned before by books that start out great then end with a thud instead of a bang. I hope that doesn't happen here. Anyway, if yoyu've been wondering what this is like I really like the first 1/4, LOL!
James Hall's "Buzz Cut" is my current "commute read". Like most Florida based crime fiction Im finding it a bit far-fetched, almost cartoonish in fact. Bloody good fun though.
I rarely have more than two books on the go at once. Always have a crime fiction one for "Tube" commuting in London and an alternating History/Biography/Sport/Music/Cinema book for home reading.
Andrew Taylor's DEATH'S OWN DOOR. Just tossed. The second time. Taylor's books look interesting at first, but when you start in, you realize that this is very old-fashioned writing. No surprises are waiting. It's all the Christies and Wentworths resurrected. Turns out the books are set in the 50s. I didn't read the blurb all the way to the end and just assumed that something published in 2001 would be reasonably current. The 50s just don't qualify as historical fiction. They lack the colorful setting. And when the story, the places and the characters resemble those used in the 30s and 40s, one loses all interest. How many books have started with a funeral and the description of the mourners?
Baldacci's new Thriller 'Deliver Us from Evil', is not delivering. Granted, I am only a few chapters in. So far a dialogue recap of Shaw's last adventure, and a pretty tame murder of a war criminal. The characters seem to be 'dilly - dallying', which is quite unusual for Baldacci. For me it's certainly not up to 'Camel Club's' excellent storyline and dialogue. Still early days yet, page 70 is usually my cut off reading time. Anyone else read it?
So, I have finished Baldacci's latest. Hmmmm, disappointing/depressing ending, although his main characters tend to be a bit solemn/dark. The Camel Club characters had some delightful quirky and fun moments, none in this latest offering. Read Lee Childs ’11 Hours’, found the ending intensely irritating, why does an author feel that it’s okay to leave his readers with an unsatisfactory ending. (Won’t spell it out, in case others are about to read it.) Other ‘posters’ here, have said that his style is for 6th graders, however I like the punchy pace and who doesn’t love Reacher.
So my next book is Elizabeth George’s ‘The Body of Death’. I.J. have you read any of her recent work, what do you think? I stopped about three books ago as there was a boring repetitiveness to her storylines. So far a bogged down boring beginning...
The Camel Club did have some moments so I got disappointedly sucked into Baldacci. Hopefully never again. I've never understood the stature Lee Child has been able to achieve. The only novel of his I tried to read about a woman being kidnapped and he went along for the ride was so dumb that I couldn't finish it. I liked Elizabeth George's early work. I've read where her later work doesn't compare. I guess some writers fizzle out look at Michael Connelly.
Michael Connelly is barely on the shelves when I swoop and devour, and also De Mille, for me he is the master. I read Lee Child, much like you would a comic book, not expecting any real depth; however I do like his character Reacher. I think Sue Grafton is in some ways similar, maybe a few points up the scale and her other characters are always there, very colourful and rounded, like meeting up with old friends. I read authors rather than individual books, for me the continuing back story is just as enticing as the new scenario that the characters find themselves in. Different strokes for different folks (my Mom’s old adage).....
I devoured De Mille like you do Connelly, Gail. He wrote some absolutely fabulous novels. Grafton's plots have many flaws but I have always liked her, like I like Paretsky, because I like strong women protagonists. Thank goodness for different strokes.