Skip to main content

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 pause is that Mr. Booth has always been a slow read for me, as they average about two weeks. This presents a real problem in that I am trying to read a lot of books by a predetermined date. I have four more books by Mr. Booth on the shelf, plus one that I need to purchase, and whatever else he publishes between now and the conclusion of this project. Simply, I could spend 3-4 months just reading Cooper and Fry novels.

Of course, that would be a great pleasure if they all are as good as THE DEVIL'S EDGE. Mr. Booth has always been good at stripping his character down to their raw emotions. Small slights and perceived threats hold the most danger in his work. He draws common characters with uncommon honesty. People pushed to limits who make stupid decisions that all too often are only protect their ego, and this goes for criminal and cop alike.

Detective Ben Cooper has always been the cop with folksy charm, maybe not the smartest tack in the drawer, but certainly dogged. He is the lead here as Mr Booth's other creation, Detective Diane Fry has taken the back seat in the last two novels. Fry has always been a prickly character and never more so in this book. Her rare appearance in THE DEVIL'S EDGE seem timed to not only bring an audible groan out of her (former?) colleagues, but the readers as well. I am certainly interested in where this is going as the success of Mr. Booth's books balances on a scale between the two detectives. However, there is no denying Fry's presence in the proceedings has been a bitter pill to swallow going back a few books now. In any case all will be revealed soon as I will undoubtedly pick up another Cooper and Fry novel soon.

 I'm on to the next one now. Walter Mosely's CHARCOAL JOE.






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part I

I was about 50 pages into the latest Michael Connelly book, THE SCARECROW, when I flipped to the front. This is the 20th novel. I decided that rather than write a review of the novel, pretty good by the way, I would write a think piece about the relationship between a highly regarded crime novelist and how reader's take for granted the author if the high standard to which they have become accustomed to is not maintained over a lengthy run of books.

This idea was quickly abandoned out of laziness. Instead, I decided to take a cue from my friend, Peter, who recently ranked all of the James Bond films. I didn't feel I could tackle all 20 novels so the list below is just the non-Harry Bosch books. Mr. Connelly's next book 9 DRAGONS releases in October so don't be surprised to see a Bosch only list then.

I wrote this list up a couple weeks ago. I have given it some time to marinate. I did make any changes but I do want to say that there is a definite break between ranking 5…

Live By Night: First Image

First image from Live By Night the latest Dennis Lehane novel to be directed by Ben Affleck has appeared. Here is the accompanying article from Indiewire.
What can you say about one singular image from a film that will include a hundred thousand or so? It looks good. I'm a sucker for big fields of grass, what can I say? I have enjoyed all of Ben Affleck's directing efforts to date, even if I wasn't wowed by any of them. I don't mean to damn him with faint praise. He is a solid, unpretentious director of capital m 'Movies'. And even if he wasn't making the best thing Dennis Lehane has written in the last ten years I would still go see his next effort.
The movie is slated for a 2017 release which I'm not certain should be believed. In spite of the film already vacating a Fall 2016 date, if the movie is even kind of  good, dollars to donuts it sneaks into a late 2016 release for Award show consideration. A 2017 release date seems more accurate, if early t…