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Time, Hand Wringing, and Cari Mora

My first question about the new Thomas Harris novel, CARI MORA is... Is this big news? My immediate reaction was to be only mildly excited. Despite the fact that over the last 10 years, Google has received the following searching requests from me: 'New Thomas Harris 2012,' New Thomas Harris 2016, etc. CARI MORA marks Mr. Harris's first book in 13 years. I should be pumping my fist. It was only when I read the brief synopsis did my interest tick up because I was thankful to read Mr. Harris had left his singular creation behind, at least for this book.
I think the easy answer is yes, this is undoubtedly big news. The reason why is obvious. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is the most important Crime Thriller release of the last 30 years and I don't think there is an argument to be made against it. There may be better-written books, but no other book has the impact that LAMBS continues to have to this day. I think what complicates this question is the legacy that the book left b…
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Winter 2019 Preview

I enjoyed writing a seasonal preview of new Crime Fiction. One supposed that I could delve back into my post history to see that last time I did it, but that would be sad. Less sad, more happy in 2019.  Anyway, the following are books that piqued my interest.
This list is built off the back of Fantastic Fiction and more or less covers the time until March/April.
THE NEW IBERIA BLUES - James Lee Burke - OUT NOW Latest and, no doubt, greatest by the best working American author. My plan is to read all of the JBL I have on my shelf this year, thus catching up on an author I have been behind on for nearly a decade.
MURDER AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM - Jim Eldridge - 3/19/2019 Second in the series from this author. The first was released just this last November, and a third coming this Summer. I'm a sucker for Brits and cool looking covers. Check and check.
THE KILLER COLLECTIVE - Barry Eisler - 2/1/2019 I read the first 4 or 5 John Rain books. I drifted away from the series when the author…

The Monkey's Raincoat PBO

In the magical place of Glendale, CA. I bought a Robert Crais's first book and paperback original THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT.
A few years ago I made a list of books I wanted to purchase for my collection. This was one of them, and stroke of luck was I got it for $20 when I felt certain I would have to pony up 2 or 3 times that amount. Anyway,  I bought this in 2018 and it still brings a smile to my face.

Abandoned Projects

Two years ago, as I was casting about in an effort to rekindle my affection for Crime Fiction, I thought a good project would be to clear out the significant backlog of books that were waiting to be read. I made a list. It was long. 60 plus books. I gave myself the deadline of December 31st, 2018.
I did not make that deadline. In fact, even a year ago at this time, I know I would miss it. I think I was 40-ish books away and with all of my usual authors publishing something I knew it would be impossible. 
I refocused. I caught up with a few authors whose books I had not been up to date with in several years. I picked off Mark Billingham and Laurie R. King and felt a pretty good sense of accomplishment. Now, I am reading the 2nd of 7 books that I am behind on Stephen Booth. 
Mini-review. DEAD and BURIED (2012) is fantastic. One of the best in what is a great series.
After Mr. Booth, I will nail down all 5 of the James Lee Burke books I have on the shelf. And so on. Anyway when I sat dow…

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…

Old/New Content Post...

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 a very good cast. 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 a 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 lo…

... 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…