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The Last Two Months

I have been reading the same book for the last two months. AN UNCERTAIN PLACE by Fred Vargas. I started it over the Thanksgiving weekend. I thought, incorrectly, that I would have the time to read between Parades, Turkey, and shopping. I read one chapter. And then proceeded to barely look at the thing for the next two weeks. I picked it up infrequently. I took it with me on our Holiday to England. I don't believe I read a word. January arrived and I picked a chapter or two off every few days. Another airplane trip, this past weekend, meant that I would have four hours of confinement to finish off the last 150 pages. I am still not done. I'm still not done and I am writing a blog post about not be done rather than actually finishing it. 
I am nominally trying clear out all of my 'To Be Read' pile by the end of 2018, and even a chapter in I could tell this was going to be a long read. I should have put the book aside. With 11 months to go, I know that I will not make my…
Recent posts

Read, Write, Delete

This past Sunday I watched THE ALIENIST. I, more or less, waited 24 years for this show. It was exciting to see, even if by comparison it is doomed to a kind of failure. Much to my wife's ever-patient chagrin, I am not a binge TV watcher. I like to savor things, but I can tell already that I would prefer to binge THE ALIENIST rather than watch this show teased out over the next ten...now nine...weeks. I feel like it will be death by a thousand cuts. On the upside, I think it is very good casting. I imagined Lazlo Kriezler taller, but Daniel Bruhl is a capital G, capital A, Great Actor. I'm cautious but intrigued.
Over the fall I read Caleb Carr's most recent work 2016's SURRENDER, NEW YORK. I wrote a post about the book and then sat on it for couple months. The post was largely negative. I felt the book was overlong, the dialogue was by turns bizarre or stilted, and the story was by virtue of its length both overstuffed and underdeveloped. Mr. Carr clearly had a lot t…

... And less of some other stuff.

This was meant to be a quick addition to my previous post on Dennis Lehane and SINCE WE FELL.  I pulled it out of that post because I found I had some small things to say about the Serial Killers genre.
I read UNSUB by Meg Gardner and was let down by it. Months-long positive press raised a lot of hopes at Hungry Detective HQ. I like books about Serial Killers. I have read a ton of them. If you can believe it, before Nordic Fiction there was Serial Killer fiction...hard to imagine I know.

But what most writers get wrong, and even Thomas Harris eventually got wrong about the Serial Killer genre, is that characters like Hannibal Lector only work in small doses. An author can spend 300 pages waxing rhapsodic about the preternatural abilities of their serial killer but eventually, the story will demand you spend the last act undoing all of it because justice must done. The Hannibal Lector's of the fiction world are incredibly confining characters to write and read. They are characters…

More of somethings...

When I started getting into Crime Fiction in a serious way, what that meant was, I started going to bookstores that exclusively sold the stuff. For me that is, and now sadly was, the Milwaukee store Mystery One run by the great Richard Katz. I can't be sure what I bought that first visit.... I think it might have been CROSSROAD BLUES by Ace Atkins.  Richard quizzed me on my likes and I am pretty certain [Editor's Note: Or at least as certain as one can be in a blog post.] that he recommended Dennis Lehane's first book, A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR.

I promptly went home and ordered the book from Amazon. Sorry, Richard. As a way of an apology, for as long as I lived in Milwaukee I purchased every subsequent book Mr. Lehane released at Mystery One. It was the best place to turn a pastime into a passion. Places like Mystery One and writers like Dennis Lehane are a perfect combination to draw you in.
Driving to work recently, I was trying to figure out what I like about Mr. Lehane&#…

How to Stick a Landing Without Trying

I closed out the last of the Clive Cussler books about a month ago. Bit of a personal victory for me here as I don't think I have been caught up on the Dirk Pitt novels in ten plus years. I moved on to the latest, and seemingly last, of the Sean Duffy books by Adrian McKinty, POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON'T LOOK FRIENDLY.
Quick aside... I was able to type that title without looking...small victories people. Small victories.
I have been reading Mr. McKinty since the beginning. I called DEAD I MAY WELL BE the best book of the last decade. I have never written a truer statement by the by.....
Just another quick aside... I kind of believe that everything from the two-thirds point in DEAD I MAY WELL BE through the rest of the Michael Forsythe trilogy is a fever dream. My primary evidence is that there is an escape from a Mexican prison that strikes me as.................unlikely.
Now. One could quibble that the start for Mr. McKinty is ORANGE RHYMES WITH EVERYTHING. Those who…

Lately

I have been working my way through the three most recent Clive Cussler novels. These are the Dirk Pitt Novels not the myriad of off shots that he has done over the last ten, fifteen years. Over the last six weeks I worked my way through CRESCENT DAWN and HAVANA STORM and I am about two-thirds through ODESSA SEA, which was released in 2016. 
I had hoped to be down with these three books by now. Ostensibly because we are firmly in Summer release season. I have seven, maybe eight books to purchase. I am eighteen months from finishing the Too Be Read project and I am already feeling the heat.
Unclear about the next book, as for right now I am going to read. Happy 4th of July everyone...

Quick Note

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.