Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another day, another story

Just wanted to make sure that I mentioned that Shred of Evidence has published one of my stories. It's a little tale called "The Inspector." The title character is based, in part on a pastor I had in the Bronx when I was a child. He was a meat inspector and sometimes came to church striaght from work, wearing his uniform and gun. He had the sweetest temper, but the gun... well, I suppose that kept some members in line at least. Anyway, take a look at the story if you have the chance.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blake Crouch

Finished Desert Places, Blake Crouch's debut novel from way back in 2004. Loved it. While I've seen several serial killer movies, I'd never read a serial killer book. (Or at least I don't recall doing so.) In any event, this one kept me reading -- a page turner as they say/ I've seen complaints that the book was too violent, but a) I honestly didn't see it. Certainly it's no Miss Marple, but I've read more graphic violence elsewhere. And b) It's a novel about a serial killer (or two or three) so I certainly felt forewarned -- if I wanted something drastically different, I would have chosen a book with "Cat" "Tea" "Garden" or "Quilt" in the title or on the cover. The hardback cover for Desert Places has the photo of a deranged looking man. I mean of course, the front cover. Blake Crouch himself is on the back flap.

Ah yes, the plot. The main character is framed for murder by a serial killer. Since the main character is a mystery writer, he should be able to come up with a way out from under this trouble, but that proves easier imagined than carried out. Since the topic is broached in the book, I do wish there could have been a fuller explanation as to why the killer kills, but this is not pointed out as a drawback since I would have been just as happy if no mention of motive had been brought up at all. That's the strange thing about serial killers -- no motive is ever really going to be good enough; after all, we still do lock them up or execute them.

Anyway, if you're looking for a good serial killer novel, I found one for you.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Desert Places - Blake Crouch

I'm reading the above mentioned title. I'm on page 42 so far. I started last night, so this is a very good clip for me.

The story so far revolves around a serial killer who is framing up a mystery writer, torturing him, bringing him out into the desert, making him read Machiavelli and Democritius (the reading is not the torture, but it doesn't sound so pleasant). In any event, not only is the book "compulsively readable" as the cover says, it's damn fine writing too. You may think you've read the "mystery writer stalked by a killer" book before, but this ain't that, trust me. You'll savor this one.

Can't wait to see how the writer wins the day. I mean, after all, there can't be a book where the writer comes out badly, right?

Friday, October 07, 2005

In a Teapot

Terence Faherty's "In a Teapot" was recommended to me by several people at Bouchercon. I bought it and read it; it's only 118 pages, but it still took me several days because I am so slow a reader. My slowness is no indication of what I think of the book. It was wonderful. Set in the 1940s, the story really made me feel like I was reading an artifact from that time. There was tarnish on Hollywood's Golden Era. The tone was pitch perfect throughout, the characters interesting (especially the new bride) and the mystery a tidy knot. Great fun, I thought.

I'll look out for more Faherty in the future.