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Showing posts from July, 2009

Road Dogs - Review

This is my first Elmore Leonard. I am not one to read the work of our master's. Chandler, Hammett, et al. I have trouble reading books I buy this year. The idea of stepping back to read the admitted great works of even the last 25 years is mind boggling to me. So, I'll admit that what attracted me to the book was the continuing adventures of Bank Robber Jack Foley, as I believe the film adaptation to be a masterpiece.

ROAD DOGS follows Jack as he finally, legally, makes it out of prison. While riding out the last three years of sentence he strikes up a friendship with Cundo Rey. Rey is yet another character from the Leonard universe to make an appearance. Rey wants Jack to keep an eye on his wife who Rey worries may not be faithful. Jack feels obligated to Rey for helping to reduce his sentense, so Jack goes to Venice, California to keep an eye on Dawn... or is it vice versa?

Laconic is about the best word to describe the plot, prose, and characters. It is easy to see why Mr. L…

Murder and Mayhem in Muskego 2009

Last year I attended the 4th incarnation of the Murder and Mayhem in Muskego event. Hopefully it will serve as the one and only time I see a gun discharged in a Library. I'll keep you posted.

The one day conference is a great way to see a lot of authors without the financial commitment of the longer gatherings. The event organizers Jon and Ruth Jordan, along with the Muskego Library, have recently updated the event website, and also posted news about the event on the Crimespree blog Central Crime Zone. It is another great line-up of authors. A strong list of Chicago based authors will be in attendance along with James O. Born, C.J. Box, Jeffrey Deaver, Barry Eisler Laura Lippman, and Michael Koryta .

The Hungry Detective is not sure he can attend this year's one day hullabalou. THD recently joined a Gym, plus the roof needs work......

CWA Dagger Awards 2009

Sort of a mini crush of Crime Fictions Awards this last week. There were the Thriller Fest Awards handed out on Sunday. Congratulations to Jeffrey Deaver, Tom Rob Smith, and Alexandra Sokloff.

Today saw the announcement of the first half of the Crime Writers Association (CWA) Awards for 2009. Winners are in Red. Highly Recommended, a kind of second place, are in Blue.

Official announcement here.
The CWA International DaggerShadow - Karin Alvtegen, translated by McKinley Burnett, (Canongate)
The Arctic Chill - Arnaldur Indriðason, translated by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker)
The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland (MacLehose Quercus)
The Redeemer - Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (Harvill Secker)
Echos from the Dead - Johan Theorin, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Doubleday)
The Chalk Circle Man - Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker)
The CWA Short Story DaggerSpeaking of Lust - Lawrence Block, from Crime Express ser…

Killer Summer - Review

The thriller novel is most susceptible to the hyperbolic pull quote. As a reader I generally react pretty poorly to things like 'The action never lets up!' Because the minute the action does let up not only does the person blurbing the book sound ridiculous, but the book lets me down.

KILLER SUMMER by Ridley Pearson is just one of those thrillers. A book that starts fast and is never meant to let up. But this is not possible as ever increasing intensity always leads to ever increasing amounts of unbelievability. What can be appreciated about Mr. Pearson's book is the length to which he seems to go to protect the stories credibility. Let's face it, on the surface most thrillers strain credulity from page one, but it is what happens inside the heightened air of the suspense thriller that can pull a reader into or out of the story. There is escapist entertainment and brain dead stupidity. Mr. Pearson never allows KILLER SUMMER to fall into the later category.

The plot, in …

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Review

As book reviews go THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is hardly in need of another.

What can I say, it is a great book, but not without its problems. The central story of a long missing girl is fabulous, that is until Larsson tires of it and wraps it up a little too conveniently.

[Spoiler: Highlight to read] T

The two main characters happen upon two separate pieces of information that essentially solves the crime at the same time is difficult to believe in the context of the story. Up til now the reader has been lead to believe that the missing girl's Great Uncle has pursued this case relentlessly for the last 40 years. That he could not have come upon similar information was hard for me to swallow.

Ultimately this is a minor quibble as it is all written fantastically. I think I am just expressing my disappointment that it was coming to an end because until then the book and this story of long dead family secrets is enthralling. DRAGON TATTOO certainly does not lack for scope. It plea…