Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ellis delivers while Mosley, Burke and Block stumble

Book 10: Breach of Trust by David Ellis

This is the second novel by Ellis featuring Chicago attorney Jason Kolarich.

Determined to solve the murder of a potential witness in a trial, Jason uncovers evidence of corruption in the Illinois Governor’s Office. (Now that’s a stretch.)

Jason agrees to aid the Feds in their investigation, believing that his efforts as an undercover informant will also lead him to the men who ordered the witness murdered.

It’s a compelling thriller. Ellis is a solid writer and the book is given a boost by Ellis's inside knowledge of Illinois government – he was the impeachment prosecutor who convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich before the state Senate. How's that for credentials?

Book 9: When The Thrill Is Gone by Walter Mosley

Book 12: The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

Mosley and Burke have been at this a while.  I think it’s time they retired. Both books feel tired and as if the author is mailing in it.

Mosley is trying to gin up energy with Leonid McGill, a character he introduced a few books earlier.  It isn’t working as Mosley is more interested in sorting through his attitude toward this country’s race relations than he is in any plot points.

Burke is simply retelling the same story book after book after book. If you’ve read any of his earlier novels featuring Dave Robicheaux you’ve read this one. 

I could enumerate a host of faults, but I don’t care to do it. There are some indications this could be Burke’s final Robicheaux novel. The ending is unresolved, and the outcome could go either way. Wish I cared what that outcome was.

I started reading both authors long ago and I’m only reading them now to satisfy some obsessive-compulsive need to keep a series going. Gotta stop that.

Book 14: Getting Off by Lawrence Block

A female serial killer finds true love.  Lots of gratuitous sex and violence. Not my cup of tea.

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