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Showing posts from February, 2007

Recent Purchases - Los Angeles Edition

I was in Los Angeles over the weekend. Partially for business, and partially for pleasure. The Mystery Bookstore was high on my lists of stops.

Principally, I went to get Megan Abbott's first two books. DIE A LITTLE and THE SONG IS YOU. Both books were present but I ended up with only DIE A LITTLE. I wanted both. Will probably regret not getting both. But there were other books to buy and I was keeping myself to a strict three book minimum. Megan has a third book coming in June called QUEENPIN. Awesome title. Noir and written by a female. Plus I am a sucker for cover art this.... lurid. Should be fun.

I ended up with Louis Bayard's, THE PALE BLUE EYE. I nearly didn't get this and it caused me to put down THE SONG IS YOU, but I'm fascinated by MR. TIMOTHY. I need to buy that book soon. THE PALE BLUE EYE is nominated for an Edgar. 1830s, Edgar Allan Poe, West Point. Sign me up.

Finally there was Brad Smith's BUSTED FLUSH. Released in 2005 this was the follow up to ALL H…

The Dead Yard - Adrian McKinty

I think I have gone on record here to say how much I love DEAD I MAY WELL BE. This is the book that introduced me to Adrian McKinty. DEAD I MAY WELL BE is a huge book. Very much an epic written in three parts; birth, death and resurrection. My pet theory about DEAD I MAY WELL BE was that our hero, Michael Forsythe, is well..... dead. The last half of the book is a fevered dream in the moments before the ferryman claims Michael. If you, any of you, have seen John Boorman's POINT BLANK I think you might know what I am talking about.

With the release of this book, THE DEAD YARD, and a third in the series called THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD on its way, my theory is holding less and less water. If the torch of young new talent is being passed from Dennis Lehane then it is sure being passed to Adrian McKinty.

DEAD I MAY WELL BE is the grand opera. THE DEAD YARD is the intimate chamber piece. DEAD I MAY WELL BE impresses quickly given the ground it covers. THE DEAD YARD is certainly less ambitious …

Two Minute Rule - Robert Crais

I don't think I am alone in feeling that the last handful of books from Bob Crais have definitely lacked a spark that drove the early Elvis Cole books to be among the most read, most successful crime fiction novels of the 90's. Charm to burn coupled with some pretty tough plot lines have elevated Crais to the front ranks of the genre.

But for me, Bob's books of late have had a distinct 'what have you done for me lately' feel. Now that sounds worse than I mean it too. If any other author had written DEMOLITION ANGEL or THE LAST DETECTIVE I would have been very impressed with the promise that the author showed. But Bob's promise was proven in books like VOODOO RIVER and SUNSET EXPRESS.

Now for the good....

In some books, not all, I will read a passage that will stop me dead in my tracks, and break me down. The author in a few short words will whisper a secret in my ear that reveals a truth about the characters of their story that ultimately applies to my life. These…

Echo Park - Michael Connelly

Let's back track a bit. The first Connelly I read was THE CONCRETE BLOND. In the arc of the Harry Bosch character it ranks pretty high. I went back for THE BLACK ECHO and THE BLACK ICE, and then I read one of the best books of my life.

THE LAST COYOTE is the great book of this series. A huge book. I still have distinct memories of reading it. In terms of quality only THE POET achieves the kind of greatness that THE LAST COYOTE does. I can think of few one-two punches in crime fiction like THE CONCRETE BLOND and THE LAST COYOTE. And with the non-series THE POET following COYOTE, these three books make quite the trifecta.

That is not to say that the rest of Connelly's output is mediocre. Far from it. Only that because he has written at such a high level for so long I have occasionally taken him for granted. Tsk, tsk for sure. Let me say that when I recommend authors to friends, family, random stalkers.... Michael's name is the first to come out of my mouth. Ok, sometimes…

Two Weeks

Well this is just disaster. Two weeks and nothing new to be found here.

Reason? Laziness is usually suspect number one. Suspect number two is my somewhat impending travel plans to Los Angeles next week and my more ambitious plan to travel to Pune, India. LA is for a bit of fluff know as the Academy Awards. A friend of mine knows people and he can get me in to the show.Looks like I can see Scorsese finally get his Oscar. Ennio Morricone will also be getting an Honorary Oscar. Super-duper. At least one guaranteed amazing moment. India? Pune?A conference. Not worth talking about right now. I’m told there is a flight out of JFK to Mumbai(Bombay) that takes 15 hours! Just thinking about that makes me hallucinate strange colors.I've finished reading the Crais and Connelly books. Mini-reviews this weekend by which time I should be done with The Dead Yard by Adrian McKintry. Adrian, if you are out there .... Do you have a website?

An addtion to The Bible

I have added The Rap Sheet to The Bible(s) link section of my blog. At least the (s) will make a little more sense now.

I started with Confessions of and Idiosyncratic Mind because it was the one blog that I checked daily for crime fiction news. I knew of the existence of The Rap Sheet, but until recently I was an infrequent visitor.

I might be added a few other blog links to the side panel soon. My recent purchases of Sean Chercover's and Marcus Sakey's books have steered me over to a blog, The Outfit, where they are frequent contributors. Maybe a few other author links. Connelly, Crais, etc. Who knows the possibilities are total endless.... cue inspiring music.... like that Walking on Sunshine Song.