Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I Wake Up Screaming

Yikes, someone found by blog by typing in: picture of backed up toilet. Talk about portents.

I finished some "Book Beat" reviews for Pomp and Circumstantial Evidence, the little magazine that comes out in support of the Magna Cum Murder Mystery Conference, and thought I would post them today, for anyone looking for a summer read.

TRAIN by Pete Dexter
Noirish crime novel from the author of PARIS TROUT features clear-eyed commentary on marriage, race relations, the bonds of family, and the milieu of life in the 50s in L.A. Packard is an adrenaline-junkie cop, Norah is a socialite with a sadistic crime in her recent past, and Train is an African-American caddie at an exclusive golf club who skirts on the edge of danger. Where these three people intersect, through circumstance and coincidence, is at the explosive heart of the novel. Hard-nosed and compelling throughout; though runs out of steam a bit at the end, a worthwhile read.

LIME’S PHOTOGRAPH by Leif Davidsen
Peter Lime is a jaded Danish photographer who snaps a picture he shouldn’t, leading to a shattering life-altering crime that sends Lime on a spiraling path of retribution. Lime moves from Spain to Denmark to Russia, getting involved in tangled political conspiracies at every stop, as he tries to piece together his devastated life. Danish writer Davidsen has a crisp writing style and sure-handed plotting in this nicely-done English translation of his work; hopefully more of his writing will appear here. This complex, mesmerizing thriller evokes favorable comparisons to John le Carre and Len Deighton.

THE CONSPIRACY CLUB by Jonathan Kellerman
Kellerman veers away from his Alex Delaware series with mixed results. A serial killer, a shadowy group of elderly people with an unknown agenda, and the psychiatrist caught between them make up a triangle of murder and revenge. Engrossing throughout, though has plenty of those moments where a normal person would have quit snooping around and called the police. Not the strongest Kellerman entry, but an enjoyable outing.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

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