Skip to main content

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


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…

A Little Break

Hi Team, 
One of my goals for the Summer was to read three James Lee Burke books. THE WAYFARING STRANGER, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, and THE JEALOUS KIND. 
I liked those books probably in that exact order. My lingering issue is not properly understanding the Holland Family tree, especially in THE JEALOUS KIND. This despite JBL's own explanation of the Holland Family. The critical piece missing is who is the connective tissue from Aaron Holland Broussard to Hackberry Holland. THE JEALOUS KIND explains that it is his mother, obviously. But Aaron's mother is never referred to in STRANGER or RISING SUN as far as I remember. It leaves me wanting. Still lovely work across the board.
This aside I have 24 books on my to be read pile. I want, and at this point maybe need, to bring that down definitively into the mid-teens before the end of the year. Titling this post 'A Little Break' does not bode well for me finishing that goal. But it leads me to look at what is on the list an…

An Overnight Sensation about 15 years in the Making

Often my wife and I make tentative plans to go out later. These usually occur just as we are getting home from work. We never go out later though. Within 5 seconds of entering our apartment, we are in for the night.
But a few weekends ago, after an extensive wardrobe reduction project and watching a movie, we ventured out into the world at 8pm! Vapors!? We went to Target in Burbank California ostensibly to look for removable hooks. We bought those hooks. I also purchased a cute baby outfit for my best friends 9 month old...
...and THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty.
Target is not my bookstore of choice, [Editor's Note: Ha!] but seeing THE CHAIN sitting there on the end cap in an honest to goodness Target is likely to be the most pleasing book experience I will have this year. I don't advocate buying books at Target under any circumstances.
However... I hold this writer in the highest regard. I have bought his books in many fine independent bookstores since DEAD I MAY WELL BE. So to …