Michael Seidman, once active as an editor in the crime fiction area, is a highly knowledgeable, if sometimes irascible, man. But his understanding ofMichael Seidman, once active as an editor in the crime fiction area, is a highly knowledgeable, if sometimes irascible, man. But his understanding of the reader and of the way good genre fiction should be constructed is excellent. His talent is amply demonstrated in this volume. Every author should have this on their bookshelf. ...more
This is another of Bill Pronzini’s intensive, commanding, explorations of current social ideas and concerns which move a national colloquy in many forThis is another of Bill Pronzini’s intensive, commanding, explorations of current social ideas and concerns which move a national colloquy in many forums. But this is not a social treatise full of statistics. This is a moving, intense, crime novel, that will captivate and enthrall the reader. Take one large, dangerous looking, individual, John Faith, by name. He’s a traveler, a seeker, a man on the move. Insert this stranger into a small resort community during the off season. This community happens to be in northern California, but such are the author’s skills, it could be anywhere. It could be your hometown.
John Faith is the immediate object of suspicion, because he’s a stranger and he doesn’t look like he belongs. His presence gradually reveals and widens long-standing cracks in the comfortable, biased attitudes and ideas of almost everyone in town. Why has this man come to town? What are his motives? His answers are enigmatic, and even at the end we are left with questions. John Faith’s encounters with the police chief, the bigoted lake-side resort owner, some local Native Americans, and a bartender or two, are like pebbles dropped in a placid pool. The ripples expand and expand until they reach the edge of the pool and die. Except in this case, the ripples grow larger, intersect and become irresistible waves that begin to tear at the base fabric of the town.
This psychological thriller is tightly plotted, and intricately presented. It’s pace is irresistible. “A Wasteland of Strangers” is a thoughtful, satisfying crime novel. Artist Doug Henry has presented a handsome, evocative cover illustration. Highly recommended. ...more
This author is truly a national treasure (of Australia) I'm in love with Phryne Fisher, a self-made woman of the twenties, smart as a whip, quick, wilThis author is truly a national treasure (of Australia) I'm in love with Phryne Fisher, a self-made woman of the twenties, smart as a whip, quick, willing to put herself out there for her clients. A truly liberated woman. But not just liberated for the sake of saying so. These novels are a great commentary on society and the movements of nations. ...more
Moody, noir and suspenseful: Cork O’Connor returns to search vast wilderness for a missing singer amid swirling forces of evil with murky agendas.
This Moody, noir and suspenseful: Cork O’Connor returns to search vast wilderness for a missing singer amid swirling forces of evil with murky agendas.
This is the second mystery featuring Corcoran O’Conner, the part Annishinabe, ex-county sheriff in the town of Aurora, Minnesota. Aurora lies at the edge of the Superior national wilderness, and the Boundary Waters Canoe area. The BWCA in turn borders Canada’s Quetico wilderness area. Together these primitive and almost pristine areas encompass millions of acres of woodlands where virgin White Pines still hold up the sky, where the canoe paddle is often the only usable mode of transport power, and where the grey wolf still roams free in the dense forest. To experience the Quetico-Superior Wilderness is to experience profound stillnesses, and a vast sense of natural majesty. When one crouches by a small campfire and listens to the stillnesses, and sees the billions of tiny stars so close overhead, it’s easy to understand the reality of the legends of the native peoples who still inhabit this land.
It’s easy, too, to understand why country-western star Shiloh, needful of rest and rejuvenation has returned to her mother’s homeland for a summer of isolation. But now, her irregular letters to the outside world have stopped and the Indian who guided her to an uncharted lake with a single unknown cabin, has disappeared. To the small northern Minnesota town of Aurora comes Shiloh’s father to seek O’Connor’s help in finding his daugher. Fall is on the land, with its crisp air and its brilliant palette of colors.
To Aurora come others, the FBI, a state attorney general, people with ties to the Mafia, all seeking Shiloh. Reluctantly, O’Connor agrees to take a party into the untracked wilderness to find Shiloh and some answers. What secret does she hold? What dangerous knowledge has she imparted to the tape recorder she carries with her? Who will find her first?
Krueger again demonstrates why his first book, IRON LAKE, not only won the Loft-McKnight Fiction award, but also the Minnesota Book Award for Best Mystery of 1998. BOUNDARY WATERS is brilliant effort, well-paced with compelling characters in an intense, absorbing story of murder, greed, and love. Krueger is one of the elite writers of crime fiction working today.
Mr. Krueger, a friend of mine, writes dynamite stuff about a group of people in Northern Minnesota. In his Cork O'Conner series, Krueger tackles it alMr. Krueger, a friend of mine, writes dynamite stuff about a group of people in Northern Minnesota. In his Cork O'Conner series, Krueger tackles it all, mostly focusing on personal relationships--family,colleagues,mixed races, you name it. His writing is smooth, the plots are timely and the author's outlook is careful, well-planned and well worth considering at length....more
So readers know, Mr. Krueger and I are very well-acquainted. This is his eighth entry in a powerful award-winning series about Corcoran O’Conner, fami So readers know, Mr. Krueger and I are very well-acquainted. This is his eighth entry in a powerful award-winning series about Corcoran O’Conner, family man, ex-sheriff, sometime private investigator, and an upright and very moral man. O’Connor’s life is complicated by his staunch roots in both Native American and Caucasian ethnicity. His life is also complicated by his two daughters, a son, and his feisty, bright and somewhat uptight wife, Jo. Their communication at times seems as obtuse as between strangers from different worlds. There are times in this story when this reader would like to reach out and kick O’Connor in his well-shaped backside.
Krueger has carefully shaped each episode in this long family saga to explore significant and troubling aspects of our modern society. Red Knife is no different. It begins with a significant and violent episode in the life of a young Ojibwa boy. The story then commences to explore in some detail the influences of violence in our society. The genius of this storyteller, aside from his consummate storytelling skills is that he is careful to avoid sweeping polemical statements. The novel examines some of the causes of violence in intimate and personal ways. Then it goes beyond the acts themselves, almost always leaving to reader to sort out her or his own reactions to the violence. Red Knife commences to also explore how violence can affect individuals not directly engaged in the violence itself; family members, friends and even enemies, members of the law enforcement community, and those on the periphery. And always there is that layer of intimate struggle for understanding and connection between Jo and Cork O’Connor.
I don’t wish to suggest this is a heavily violent novel. It is not. It is, rather, a smoothly written, carefully plotted and laid out examination of an intimate group of individuals, some of whom are family members, some not, and their responses to the violence they experience and observe. Krueger has produced a thoughtful, richly textured human novel, one that most readers, I suspect, will remember and think about long after they close the book. ...more
An excellent debut novel. Lawyer Andy Carpenter discovers a major secret when his dad drops dead at a baseball game. He's very wealthy. The whys and wAn excellent debut novel. Lawyer Andy Carpenter discovers a major secret when his dad drops dead at a baseball game. He's very wealthy. The whys and wherefores amid a legal wrestling match over a man scheduled to die on death row. Is he really innocent? Complicated story with hidden layers and relationships that add significant weight to a good story. read it! ...more
Incendiary Designs is a complicated novel that skirts the edges of coincidence, but always draws away and resolves itself in logical, thoughtful ways. Incendiary Designs is a complicated novel that skirts the edges of coincidence, but always draws away and resolves itself in logical, thoughtful ways. It’s a tribute to the control and talent of author Dymmoch.
Chicago Psychiatrist Jack Caleb is jogging one hot dark night when he comes across a riotous scene and discovers that a small mob of crazies is intent on burning a car. With a shock, he realizes the car is a police squad and there is a semi-conscious cop still inside. Since these squads almost always carry two officers, where is the other? Caleb risks his own life and rescues the officer, thereby placing himself squarely in the middle of a complex case of murder, arson, greed connected to the charismatic membership of a small storefront religious group.
The murder of a cop sends shock waves and high determination through the entire ranks of the Chicago PD and detective John Thinnes is immediately assigned to handle the case. The book brings together two strong dynamic characters, the consulting psychiatrist Caleb and the detective. Theirs is an uneasy if complementary relationship in which each draws on the experience and skills of the other to solve the case. Throughout this gritty, fast-paced novel, the author has woven an enthralling sub-plot, the developing relationship between the psychiatrist and his new-found friend, Dr. Martin Morgan. Morgan is in the throes of a pending divorce and a difficult examination of his identity. The scenes of their gradually deepening friendship are among the most moving and sensitive one is likely to find in the genre. When Dr. Morgan is found to be linked to the people probably responsible for the destruction of the squad car and the initial murder, a whole new level of complexity is introduced.
The book takes readers inside the Chicago PD, through some of the city’s meanest streets and explores several levels of Chicago’s social structure. And always, in a complex city with a complicated plot, the clear, direct writing of the author, her sensitivity and her realism, makes this a fine novel with clear and logical conclusions. A fine effort. ...more
Michael Dymmoch is one of the best writers of police fiction alive today. Vastly underrated, her books take you immediately inside the minds and dailyMichael Dymmoch is one of the best writers of police fiction alive today. Vastly underrated, her books take you immediately inside the minds and daily activities of interesting motivated cops and aides. The Chicago Ed McBain....more