REMINDER: APRIL 5th anything you can say about Robert Bloch to celebrate his 100th birthday.
And in two weeks we have a special edition on small town cops or sheriffs.
Chris Knopf, Dead Anyway (2012), (from the archives: reviewed by Jeff Meyerson)
People always ask (I know, I ask too) how you decide what to read next. Might as well ask, how do you decide what to read, period? I have a list of favorite authors whose books I read when they come out but for newer writers or ones I don't know I tend to lean on recommendations from friends, reviews here or on other blogs, plus newspaper and magazine reviews. If they sound interesting to me, I'll check them out.
Chris Knopf had two earlier series set in the Hamptons but this is the first in a new series. Apparently Bill Crider reviewed it when it came out last year but somehow his review did not make enough of an impression on my brain until I read his review of the sequel a few weeks ago, linking back to his Dead Anyway review. Then I thought, this sounds good. And it is.
How's this for starting with a bang? Arthur Cathcart, an overweight 40ish guy working at home doing market research and other high end computer research, married to a gorgeous woman who owns a real estate firm near their home in Connecticut, comes home from a walk to find his wife sitting on the couch and a man holding a gun on her. The man insists she answers five questions written on a paper, and to emphasize his seriousness, he shoots her husband in the thigh. She answers the questions only to have the man, clearly a hired killer, shoot her in the head and kill her. Then he shoots Cathcart, who somehow doesn't die.
Now you may be able to resist seeing what happens next, but I sure couldn't. Cathcart is gravely injured and decides (with the help of his physician sister) to stay dead and use his computer skills to discover who killed his wife and why, not easy in the post-9/11 world. But first he has to recover enough physically and mentally to be able to act. Along the way he gets some help from a woman named Natsumi Fitzgerald, who throws her lot in with his.
I really enjoyed this one and will be reading the sequel as soon as it comes in to the library. Definitely recommended.
Something for publishers to think about: look how poorly this cover shows up online. A terrific book but the cover will never pull you in.
Mark Baker, MOUSE TRAP, Sandy Dengler
Joe Barone, A FINE SUMMER'S DAY, Joe Barone
Les Blatt, CRIMSON SNOW, Martin Edwards
Bill Crider, QUINTANA ROO, Gary Brander
Martin Edwards, THE MURDER ON THE BURROWS, E.C.R. Lorac
Richard Horton, WITHIN THE LAW, Bayard Veillier
Jerry House, THE GUNSLINGER, Stephen King
Nock Jones, THE FOREVER WAR, Joe Haldeman
George Kelley, THE HORROR ON THE LINKS, Seabury Quinn
Margot Kinberg, DEATH OF AN OLD GOAT, Robert Barnard
Rob Kitchin, DEAD SKIP, Joe Gores
B.V. Lawson, THE LONG SHADOW, Celia Fremlin
Evan Lewis, SIX SCARLETT SCORPIONS, Will Murray
Steve Lewis, POWDER SMOKE, William Colt MacDonald
Todd Mason, THE MIRACLE OF RONALD WEEMS, Robert Bloch
J.F. Norris, DEATH IN THE DARK, Stacy Bishop
Matt Paust, HIPPIE BOY, Ingrid Ricks
James Reasoner, THE GRAND CHAM, Harold Lamb
Richard Robinson, FINAL PROOF, Marie R. Reno
Gerard Saylor, MR. STANDFAST, John Buchan
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, NATURE GIRL, Carl Hiassen
TomCat, THE MAZE, Philip Macdonald
Westlake Review, PUT A LID ON IT,