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That Is Why They Call It the Present

On Sunday, I finished THE KILLING HABIT by Mark Billingham. I ripped off the last 100 pages or so while the person behind me on my flight home was vomiting in his chair. Happy Easter..... (bunny emoji)

Despite my inauspicious personal surroundings, THE KILLING HABIT was a good day for the author Mark Billingham. Over the course of the last couple books, he has transitioned his series from Tom Thorne to Tom Thorne and Nicola Tanner. And in fact, his next work, THEIR LITTLE SECRET, is firmly presented as Thorne and Tanner novel. [Editors Note: Well at least on the UK side it is ...] And given how THE KILLING HABIT ended calling THEIR LITTLE SECRET a Thorne/Tanner book makes a lot of sense if just for this one only.

Of course, I am reminded of another series trying to do something similar, the Bosch and Ballard books that Michael Connelly has been writing over a similar amount of time. And based on the limited sample size of both authors works, I have to say Billingham is doing a better job of it. If I had to place my finger on it I think it is primarily a storytelling issue. Connelly's writing has always been deeply procedural but lately, it has become heavily so. The 'who done it' has become less and less important to detailing the lives, Bosch and Ballard. Which is fine, but I am reading a 'crime' novel. And with Connely, over the last two books, the crime has felt a bit of an afterthought. Although I get it.....30 books not all of them can be locked room mysteries with Swiss precision plotting. Still...

Billingham for his part has just done a better job of blending the character story and crime story. Not that Billingham is entirely successful either, a side story involving Thorne and his girlfriend's sister is a bit ham-handed. However, the inciting crime of THE KILLING HABIT and its eventual conclusion is still a crackerjack piece of execution by Billingham. 

As for my TBR, I feel like I am terminal on 32 books to be read. I am on to Allen Eskens latest, THE SHADOWS WE HIDE. As a quick aside I was only so-so on THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING. The story was bifurcated with the story being told in flashback with the two ends eventually meeting up near the finish. It left both stories feeling kind of rushed. It was a book I wished was another 50-75 pages longer given the emotional weight of the story Eskens was telling.

But after THE SHADOWS WE HIDE I will knock off a few easy reads. The two collections of Longmire shorts, and the Lehane book THE DROP. Fingers crossed I'll knock those off in a week and get the TBR number to 29. I had hoped to get the TBR done to 18 or 19 but year's end. But given the pace, I am reading and what I will eventually buy 25 seems like a more obtainable goal.

Currently reading - THE SHADOWS WE HIDE - Allen Eskens
To Be Read - 32

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