Sunday, December 09, 2007

Book Post

Its been ages since I did a post on books - have been pretty busy of late, hopefully only until the end of 2007. Anyway, here's some of the stuff that I have been reading of late:

Andrew Vachss: The inept website notwithstanding, here is a fine author who would be a dead-sure certainty for those who like the work of Michael Connelly. I am still in the process of completing the Burke series, but there is no doubt in my mind that here is an author whose books I want to buy and read repeatedly. Burke (the word burke is slang for 'killing silently/without leaving evidence', as an audio clip on the website informs you) comes with a deeply scarred past, and today he lives only for his family - and to protect abused children. Each of the novels opens up only a tiny bit of Burke, merely hinting at the rest ever so tantalizingly. Vachss puts it best:

I intended the book as a Trojan horse. A crime novel that pulls the reader into the story at the same time it delivers a steady diet of hardcore reality... Even the name "Burke" is part of that. The infamously homicidal partnership of Burke and Hare began as a graverobbing enterprise. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the duo supplied the local medical school with fresh cadavers. When they finally emptied the graveyard, they began to create their own "product," by opening a hotel. Very few guests checked out. Because they could not present a corpse with fresh wounds to the medical school, Burke became so adept at killing without leaving marks that, to this day, the phrase "to Burke" means just that.

Sandra Dallas: I have read just one novel of hers, 'Tallgrass', which suffers from a definite Atticus Finch hangover, but is an engrossing read nevertheless. I plan to read more from this author, will keep you posted when I do.

David Ellis: Since Grisham seems to have given up on legal thrillers in the hopes of becoming a more serious writer nowadays, and I have exhausted the likes of Steve Martini, Scott Turow and Brian O'Shaugnessy long ago, I had to really search for a new author. I appear to have found a good one in David Ellis. His 'Line of Vision' is as good a thriller as anything else you have read, and his 'Jury of One' is on my bookshelf right now.

Cody MacFayden: I know I wrote about this author before, but I find myself wishing for another novel featuring Smoky Barrett, despite 'Face of Death' not being a patch on the first installment of the series 'Shadow Man'. Smoky Barrett (whoa, what a name!!) is, I imagine, what Clarice Starling would have been if she had never been touched by Hannibal Lecter.

Richard North Patterson: He falls under the category of authors I had mentioned earlier, who seem to have given up gritty courthouse dramas for a 'higher calling'. Well, if it results in novels like 'Exile', I can only be thankful. This giant of a book deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an unbiased manner, and is often an eye-opener (at least for me). Most of all, this book espouses the adage 'One man's revolutionary is another's terrorist' in a pretty convincing manner.

Chris Bohjalian: Am currently reading 'Midwives', my first book by the author. It certainly is an interesting read so far, and the author promises to be another whose collection of books I just have to read.


Anonymous said...

Haven't read any of the authors you've listed out except for Michael Connelly and Richard North Patterson. I love Harry Bosch. Have you read John Connolly - the killing kind, black angel, the white road, etc. Love his books though his latest Every Dead Thing is a bit of a disappointment. Another author I like for the humour although his plots tend to take twists and turns that kind of become familiar over the course of the series is Harlan Coben - The Myron Bolitar Series and his stand alones as well. Have read all of them and enjoyed them all. One author I have read pretty much everything of but have come away dissatisfied with every book of his that I have read is Jonathan Kellerman. Sometimes I feel his books happen in slow motion or deja vu.

Ranjit Nair said...

I like Harry Bosch too...haven't tried out John Connolly or Harlan Coben yet, should...if you like M.Connelly you really should try Dennis Lehane..he's of 'Gone Baby Gone', 'Mystic River' etc.

I agree, J.Kellerman sucks....however, his wife Faye Kellerman is damn good!!

Anonymous said...

Yup! Read all the Dennis Lehane's except for Shutter Island. They're great. Love the humour and the atmosphere. The electricity between Kenzie and Gennaro was great unfolding! Was wrong about Cody Macfadyen - read and liked the Smoky Barrett character. Such a great mix of toughness and tenderness AND she reminds me of Clarice Starling. Couple of authors I like reading are James Siegel - Derailed, Deceit, etc and T. Jefferson Parker. An author I am not sure of - reminds me of the HIghlander movie/TV series a bit - is John Twelve Hawkes of the Traveller fame. You must try reading the John Connolly coz me thinks we thriller junkies like our heroes a certain way. So you will find parallels between Kenzie and Charlie Parker and the authors' love for their localities and the penchant for big friends. In fact, I wish I had a continuous supply of such books to keep me hooked. Will have to try Faye Kellerman. Have you seen the film? Is Casey Affleck good at translating Kenzie into flesh?

Ranjit Nair said...

Have picked up John Connolly's 'The Killing Kind'...let us see how it goes.

Smoky Barrett and Clarice Starling...there's a definite hangover, I felt it too. Didn't like the sequel as much though.

Did see 'Gone Baby Gone' the movie. Not bad, but left me a little underwhelmed. Casey Affleck was alright, thought not half as cocky. They took away the angle of the Angie's husband, and reduced her role a lot - she was a pretty strong characater in the book. And - I hated this - they reduced Bubba to just a regular gunda type, but they have tried to put in most of the other stuff. Pretty good if you haven't read the book, in fact.

Best book adaptation IMO was 'The Green Mile' - EXACTLY like the book. I thought even 'Shawshank Redemption' fell short of the book.

loubank said...

You wise to the fact that Vachss' final Burke novel ships december 30?