We seem to have a monthly resurgence of this topic so I thought I'd take a crack at starting it this time round. Except I'd like to put a little spin on this "Me, Me, Me" game by putting forth a three part question.

What book are you reading right now, what do you like about it, and what do you not like?

I'll start it off myself with John Connolly's DARK HOLLOW.

Likes: The language, the sentence structure, the mood and atmosphere. The slow, creeping buildup of tension.

Dislikes: The history lesson on every single location, the page long descriptions of minor characters, the length (I generally prefer books under 300 pages).

All this being said, I'd consider myself a newly minted fan of Connolly's work, and look forward to reading not only the Charlie Parker series, but everything else as well.

Anyone else want to play?

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The Paul Pry... now, that Nathan's got something. I wouldn't want to catch it, but he's a top gadgie!

Re the book - yes, please, that's damn good of you. And another pint chalked up on the slate!
I'm in! The book is THE OVERLOOK, the newest by Michael Connelly.

Likes: Killer fast-pacing. Pobably the fastest moving Harry Bosch story ever. And I admire how Connelly incorporates lots of our contemporary fears into the story.

Dislikes: One of my favorate features of all the Bosch novels was Bosch's observations of his home town, Los Angeles. And while there are dozens of local references throughout the story, things move so fast that Bosch doesn't have a moment to reflect on his city or the people who live in it. Because of this, THE OVERLOOK comes closest to being a pure "police procedural" in the mode of the dearly missed Ed McBain. Nothing wrong with that, but I still miss the Bosch introspection that made this series shine so bright.

Recommended? Oh, yes! But perhaps not the one I would point new Connelly readers toward.
Bill Pronzini's Blue Lonesome -

Good: It's Pronzini. Spooky small town, nefarious goings-on, a mysterious suicide, an accountant who's driven to find out why it doesn't add up.
Bad: It's surprisingly slow to start, for him. But I'm talking 35 pages of a 200 page book, so it's not slow by other writer's standards.
And the Pun Of The Day award goes to:

"an accountant who's driven to find out why it doesn't add up."
That's one of his best standalones. He really wrote some good stuff in the mid- to late-90s. His latest Nameless book comes out any day.
Just started "The Spellman Files," by Lisa Lutz.

Had to delay starting it until I finished my own WIP so I wouldn't inadvertently steal from it.. It's one of the few books I've noticed lately that I was drawn to. (Ok, I admit: I saw it featured at Books-A-Million and thought, "Man, I wish I'd thought of that." Can't remember that last time I thought that.

Likes: The smartass quick-cut voice of Lutz first-person character of Izzy Spellman, and the concept itself: A family of private eyes (mom and dad and three adult kids) working on a case together in San Fran. Quirky characters.

Dislikes: Nada, yet. Apart from me wishing I'd thought of it.
I just finished LONESOME DOVE.

Likes: Everything.

Dislikes: Nothing.

There really aren't words to say anything else.
Just finished DON'T CRY FOR ME ABERWYSTWYTH by Malcolm Pryce. A satirical fantastical vision of Wales where the druids rule. PI Louis Knight investigates the murder of an outsider who worked as a shop Santa.

Likes: the humour, the dystopian noir vision of a small welsh seaside town.

Dislikes: the torture scene. although the hero eventually relents it made for uncomfortable reading.
Just finished my ARC of BAD THOUGHTS by Dave Zeltserman. The protagonist's mother was the victim of a grisly murder during a home invasion twenty years ago, but the protagonist, then 13 years old, managed to kill the intruder before he escaped, nearly beheading him in the process. Flash forward and the protagonist, now a Boston-area police detective, has week-long blackouts each year on the anniversary of his mother's murder. Women are murdered during the blackouts in much the same manner as his mother, and the protagonist has nightmares that seem to implicate him in the murders.

Likes: I'm fast becoming a fan of novels that blend crime/mystery/horror and Mr. Zeltserman does this better than most. For my money, BAD THOUGHTS is more polished than his first effort, FAST LANE, which received good reviews when it was published by Point Blank.

Dislikes: Some words are wasted, and early on the pacing is a little uneven. But the final fifty pages or so really cook.
Blending crime/mystery/horror? I'll definitely have to check this one out.
I liked FAST LANE quite a bit. I didn't know you could blend Ross MacDonald and Jim Thompson, but that's what Dave Z. did.
Don, Graham, thanks! The writing in Bad Thoughts is much more polished than Fast Lane, but then again, maybe the roughness of Fast Lane works better with Johnny Lane's psychotic energy. Must've been my subconscious at work...

Years after writing Fast Lane I read about the last Lew Archer book Ross MacDonald was working on when he died, and some of the plot similarities between it and Fast Lane were striking.


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