The last time I chimed in about a book was THE SHADOWS WE HIDE. So here is everything I have read since then.
THE KILLING HABIT - Mark Billingham
Wait....the last time I chimed in about a book was THE KILLING HABIT. Anyway, the latest, THEIR LITTLE SECRET, is coming on June 4th. I am v. excited about this book. [Editors Note: Sorry about the usage of 'v. excited.']
WALT FOR SIGNS - Craig Johnson
A book wanted to love but only liked. My issue is with the form, more than the writing. Set-up, punchline, out. Their inherent briefness is somehow not satisfying particularly for characters that I love to see and hang with. Extra points though for the evocative wintery setting of many of the pieces.
THE HIGHWAYMAN - Craig Johnson
A ghost story that I read way to fast. Mr. Johnson is a wonderful writer for place and mood, and with a ghost story, I feel like you need to savor that writing. Read a chapter or two over the course of many nights right before bed. Instead, I read it on a plane while continually was trying to figure how to move around in my seat so I wouldn't touch shoulders with the person next to me. Pretty sure this is not the environment to read this or any book.
THE DROP - Dennis Lehane
I saw the movie many years ago now and enjoyed it quite a bit. I was not surprised when the movie did not catch on with audiences. I felt the solid direction could have been uplifted by a better director in the Sidney Lumet vain. The book was just as satisfying, primarily for its ability to remind me of early Dennis Lehane.
HOW IT HAPPENED - Michael Koryta
All the pieces are certainly present for another winner from Mr. Koryta, but I found the third act just too convoluted. I wanted something a bit cleaner and more direct. This not to say the book is a loss, Mr. Koryta does not write bad books. [Editor's Note: Great cover blurb there Michael if you need it.]
THE MIDDLEMAN - Olen Steinhauer
In the acknowledgment section at the end, Mr. Steinhauer details the 5-year journey the book took from pen to publication. The book morphed a lot. I was at a signing where I think he spoke about the books as a novel about environmental/eco-terrorism which THE MIDDLEMAN certainly is not. I could obviously be misremembering the whole thing. In any case, the book never took off for me. I certainly appreciated the tight opener that time jumps into the rest of the book. But the back half of the book is just one too many flashbacks to scenes from that first section. Any forward momentum in the latter sections of the book felt neutered because of it.
All of this has gotten the TBR to 25 books. Woot! Woot! I celebrated this accomplishment by buying a bag of Hostess Donnetts at Walgreens on my way to work this morning. Sadly this will not last for too awful long. I keep a wishlist on Amazon partially to remember things I am interested in, but mainly to keep me updated about the books I need to buy. [Editor's Note: I wish there was a filter to sort this list by release date, but I guess that would be weird as things like toothpaste don't have release dates.] I looked over the list there are 4 books from authors I read out right now plus new Billingham and Ellroy on June 4. Further muddying the waters are a few outstanding books I am missing to continue with a couple of series, notably Stephen Booth, and Edward Marston. Still, this last spate of reading has given me a good amount of confidence to bring the TBR down to a number in the low 20's by year's end.
I'm gonna eat 1 or 4 of those donuts now.
Currently Reading: SHADOW OF THE HANGMAN - Edward Marston
To Be Read: 25