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Showing posts from March, 2017

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…

Buying things will make this harder....

A post about recent purchases.
POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON'T LOOK FRIENDLY - Adrian McKinty My favorite series, and current working author. You should read all the Sean Duffy books. Probably should also read everything in the expanded Duffyverse... McKintyverse... as well.
BLIND TO SIN - Dave White One of the lost Hungry Detective posts deals with the return of Dave White and Jackson Donne after an extended hiatus. I have a long list of authors I have had to pour one out for because of the once a decade cull of mid-list crime fiction authors. I still lament a handful of authors who disappeared in the mid 90's! 
[Editor's Note: Sandra West Prowell anyone? She wrote only three books and they are all fantastic. WHEN WALLFLOWERS DIE is...well...I still think of it 25 years later.]
Anyway this is Mr. White's third book since his return and sixth overall.
CALL FOR THE DEAD - John Le Carre First George Smiley book. On top of the fact that I am aiming to read down my to b…

One Less than Before.

An extended flight delay two Sundays ago meant I had plenty of time to read Allen Eskens's third book THE HEAVENS MAY FALL. It is the inaugural book in my To Be Read Project.
Back at the Long Beach Bouchercon I got up exceedingly early on Sunday morning to attend a panel with a few first time authors. I was there to hear another writer, but was prompted at the end of the panel to walk straight into the book room to find a copy of Mr. Eskens's first book, WHAT LIES BENEATH. It is a winner, one that I would recommend to people looking for a new voice in crime fiction. It is a haunting story full of finely drawn characters. It is without doubt the best first mystery I have read in a very long time. I have almost zero memory of his second book except that I was disappointed. My high expectations probably damned the book from the outset.
THE HEAVENS MAY FALL will not suffer that same fate as this was the most enjoyable work I have read in some time. The book has a nice set up and …

The To Be Read Project

[Editor's Note: It has been a minute. I realize. When last we spoke I had several posts planned, even written. All I needed to do was push the publish button and there would have been fresh content to keep the blog... relevant....maybe too strong a word, but still. Anyway time passed, maybe one day I can salvage some of it. Today, however, forward]
At the height I had no idea how many books I needed to read. There was a sinking feeling that I would never read most of them. I entertained notions that in the next house the spare room would become a library, but the next house turned into a one bedroom apartment. Putting them in storage probably meant a future of water damage from all and mold for most.
The decision making process was ruthless. Things I never read and who didn't belong to an author I was not currently reading went. Aborted series, disappointing stand-alones, and flyers taken on overstock tables at booksellers all went out the door and into the local library.