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Just a quick post to say that I finished with THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE by Michael Connelly...kind of awhile ago now Typically, fantastic. The guy has not really missed in a long time. I am digging the prevailing sense of finality that is hanging heavier with each new book in the Bosch series. In a previous post I talked about endings, and it would seem with the Bosch books Michael Connelly is staring down the barrel of bringing this character to a close.
The next book is Clive and Dirk Cussler's POSEIDON'S ARROW. I don't believe in guilty pleasures. Mr. Cussler, and now his son, write an entertaining series that I have been reading since I was a teenager. I am few books behind, and despite what I just said about guilty pleasures, these are great Summer reads. I think I'll try to finish them all before my birthday in August...even thought POSEIDON'S ARROW is taking a minute to read.
Recent posts

I Bought Book I Already Own

A first issue with this post is whether or not I should left justify or center the photo. You will have noticed I choose...by looking to the left of this post.
Anyway, I own L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. I bought a copy when I lived in Milwaukee. It was in a gigantic three story building that I think no longer exists, and I believe needed to be condemned by the city. That bookstore was one of the places where every nook and cranny was filled with books. There was a bare acknowledgment of the alphabet and its order. Subject headings were parsed to an insane degree. Books were piled in front of books making the systematic attempt to insure that you have seen all of the James Lee Burke's is thwarted because several large boxes of books with a UPS notice of delivery from 11 months ago are blocking your path.
And I hate those places. I collect books and hate a disorganized bookstore. Occasionally when I enter a bookstore with suspect shelving habits I will arrange books in series orders just br…

A Letter from a Fan

Dear Michael McGarrity,
I really like your Kevin Kerney series. I just finished the last two books, DEATH SONG and DEAD OR ALIVE. I wish I could say I finished the latest in the series, but as you know DEAD OR ALIVE, was published in 2009. Eight years is a long time to wait for another Kevin Kerney book. I know the Kerney Family prequels exists, but for right now I have to say they are not the same thing.
It is sort of in the nature for the reader to want a series to go on and on. I wonder if the author has other thoughts. When I attend author signings the one question I want to ask again and again is: "How will it end?" Recently I have had to confront the juxtaposition of the 'end we want' versus the 'end we get'. And although a fundamental part of me is desperate for the end I want, it is in fact the ending that we get that holds more value to me.The ending that we did not consider has the ability to teach us something about ourselves...as long as we are …

Edward Marston Does This Thing

Edward Marston does this thing. He builds a compelling crime narrative, elucidates some subtle character moments and interesting 'B' and 'C' story lines. Then something happens about three quarters of the way through  DEEDS OF DARKNESS, Mr. Marston's fourth book in the Home Front Series.
The 'A' story here concerns the murder of two young women by a sexual deviant. The 'B' story line follows the peculiar behavior of a neighbor who has lost two sons in WWI and refuses to allow a third to join up. The 'C' story concerns the experiences of Paul Marimon, the soldier son of our lead Detective Harvey Marimon, during the Battle of Somme. These story lines are interwoven to great effect, but with the end of the novel in sight, Mr. Marston abandons the 'A' plot and camps out in the 'B' and 'C' stories. And even though it is only for a chapter or two, front lining these sub-plots has the effect of draining much of the tensi…

That is Why We Call It the Present

All too often the past gets confused with nostalgia. And nostalgia  is all to often despised as a cheap indulgent emotion. The restless pursuit of forward is bizarre to me because what is so great about this future we are rushing too?
In the acknowledgment at end of the Duane Swierczynski's REVOLVER he quotes William Faulkner: "The past isn't over. It isn't even past." There is a practical truth to that as REVOLVER follows three interlocking stories involving a family of Cops over 50 years. There is more of an emotional truth to Faulkner's quote as well for someone like me who's central preoccupation is the passage of time. The ripple effect of our lives starts before we are born and continues well after we are dead. REVOLVER is about that effect, and how it makes and destroys us. Near the end of REVOLVER he writes a small, almost throwaway scene. Nothing really happens expect that Jimmy, the only character to be featured in all three stories, is referr…

Back to the Start

DEVIL IN THE BLUE DRESS written by Walter Mosley was the first Crime Fiction novel I bought. FACT
Easy Rawlins and his sidekick Raymond 'Mouse' Alexander are the most iconic literary creation of the last thirty years. FACT
Up there on Mount James Lee Burke it is probably just Mr. Burke and Mr. Mosley reminding each other all the things about Crime Fiction they have forgotten. FACT. Ok...probably more of an ecstatic fact here.
I thought about how I would approach this blog entry. Reviews are meant to make an argument to sway a perspective reader in one direction or the other. I could write a that CHARCOAL JOE is very good and that Mr. Mosley has been on a hot streak since 2013's LITTLE GREEN with his titular character. If I had the words I could expand on his use of Los Angeles as a primary character, and how Mr. Mosley's own appearance in OJ: MADE IN AMERICA don't necessarily reshape that outlook for me so much as just cements it. I would end with something about …

The Ocean of Stephen Booth

I have gotten back into reading Stephen Booth after a prolonged absence of five or six years. An absence that was due to the loss of a US publisher for his books and not picking them up once he found a new one. Last summer, I purchased all of the missing books in UK editions. Condition is lacking in most, but seeing as I got the five of them for about fifty dollars I'm not that concerned. Mr. Booth is one of the reasons I am embarking on the this project. As it turned out, I had more unread then read books by Mr. Booth. With that in mind, at the end of last year, I picked up where I had left off with THE KILL CALL (Yay!) and LOST RIVER (Eh...).
I find Mr. Booth to be a super reliable author. His best books are very good, and his lesser efforts are only minor dips in the road. If I had any trepidation in reading 2011's THE DEVIL'S EDGE it is that THE LOST RIVER was one of those dips in the road. Long story short the plot just never came together for me. Also giving me p…