Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seven thrillers, a few good reads

There's this ungodly stack of books sitting next to my computer. I haven't posted in 12 days, but I've been reading.

There's two non-fiction books I've completed that I'm going to hold off posting on for another day or two or three. As for the rest, I'm still slamming through a stack of thrillers and mysteries, trying to reduce my to-be-read pile.

So let's get to it . . .

Book 22: Wild Thing by Josh Bazell

Josh Bazell's debut novel, Beat the Reaper, was crazy wild. We're talking the mob and a shark tank and a former hit-man on the lam.  

The hit-man, Pietro Brnwa, is back in Wild Thing. This time he's the wilds of Minnesota, trying to figure out if there's really some sort of Loch Ness monster lurking in an all but inaccessible lake. What I'd say? Crazy. Wild. And a hell of a lot of fun.

Book 24:  Raylan by Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard is the king of cool. No one. Absolutely no one writes better dialogue. It's a form of poetry.

A lot of folks may be familiar with U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens from the tee-vee.  I haven't seen the series, Justified, but I need to. I really do. At least if it is as good as the novel.

Raylan is set in Kentucky and is more a series of vignettes -- sort of a week in the life of a U.S. Marshall -- than a cohesive narrative. That's OK. It's Elmore Leonard, which is to say it's as good as it gets.

Book 25:  A Quiet Vendetta by R.J. Ellory
Book 29:  Saints of New York by R.J. Ellory

I don't know what it is with R.J. Ellory.  One book I love. One book I hate.  That's been the pattern since I started reading the guy.  And it's the case here.

Didn't like A Quiet Vendetta one bit.  It's slow and preposterous. Preposterous, I can handle once in a while, but I can never forgive slow -- not in this genre.

Saints of New York is excellent.  A nice yarn about a driven cop haunted by his father's past. It's riveting read that will keep me coming back.

One small bone to pick.  Ellory is a Brit living in New York. Would someone please tell him that American's don't say "fortnight." Please.

Book 26:  All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley
Book 28: Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

Two notable authors of the mystery/thriller genre. I've voiced my displeasure with each in the past.  I think they've both well past their sell-by date. One book is pretty much like the last, especially with Burke. Whether the setting is Texas or Louisiana you get the same book every time.

So here's the thing -- so many books, so little time -- and I taking a pass on these two in the future.

Book 27: Blood Is The Sky by Steve Hamilton 

I'm still reading through the complete oeuvre of Steve Hamilton and my attitude has not changed.  I love this guy's work. The novels are well-written with a touch of humor. Hamilton's skillful with character, pacing and setting.  What more could you ask? Maybe the next book in the series.

1 comment:

  1. sadly i agree about the Burke...i stopped 'reading' them as they came out and try to go back and catch up, but since they are all similar it's hard to tell if i read it already. i use quotes because i seriously prefer Burke's as audiobooks as Will Patton's perfectly matched as a performer. The Raylan is also worth seeking out AND watching the series.