Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Reviews - Bride Of Recent Reads

Whoops, almost a month between reviews again! I've gotta stop taking so long. This set took me so long to type up that I've read two books since I started! Still, thirteen books in 28 days aint too bad.

I have fallen in love with Hard Case Crime, publishers of fine reprint and original hardboiled crime novels. They all have a stylin' new cover, painted exclusively for the book, lurid titles, excellent retro design. I love them ever so much. They even have a mail order service. Forget magazines, I want a new novel in the mail every month! Maybe next month I'd get Satan Is A Woman, or Losers Live Longer! Hooray for old-school crime!

By Stephen King
2005, 184 pages

What a great book. I've read online that a lot of people were either in love with, or despised the ending of this book. Without giving anything away, I fell solidly into the Love category. I wish King would write more stuff like this! Two old newsmen tell a roundabout story of a fellah's death to a young female reporter. There's both more and less to the story than it seems.


By Ken Bruen & Jason Starr
2006, 254 pages

Bust was the first HCC novel I read, and it was a great choice. Psychopathic hitmen, sexy women, rich men. Double-crossing each other left and right, with just the right amount of sex and violence. A perfect, old school crime novel.


By David Dodge
2006, 319 pages

My first real disappointment with the HCC line. If i'd read the afterword first, I would have gotten a pretty good handle on why I don't care for this novel. It was written by a woman's father, she edited and revised it, and from what I can tell, both of them were pretty pretentious about the story. These kinds of books need a sense of fun, not a feel that they think they're writing something important.


By Lawrence Block
1961, 205 pages

I love Lawrence Block. His writing always gives me a real feel for the era, and his deliciously immoral characters give me happy feelings inside. Read this.


By Gil Brewer
1958, 220 pages

Man, this book got me the funniest look from my nephew (in-law) when he walked in and saw me reading it. Nothing like a book with the word VIRGIN on it, with a shot of a blonde with a gun and money in front of a fire to shock a ten-year-old! Sweet ride from the author of Satan is a Woman. A pretty, naive and crazy young girl convinces the TV repair man to bump off an old man and run away with his money. Sounds so simple...


By Brian M. Wiprud
2006, 239 pages

I've liked Wiprud ever since I picked up Stuffed at a used book store in Newport a few years ago. His characters are wacky, but not so over the top as to be completely unbelievable, and the stories are a rollicking good time. Unfortunately, Sleep left me a bit flat. I don't know if it was the fishing or that the main character seemed a bit less developed than his norm, but It left me craving one of his earlier books. It kind of seemed like a Hiassen book, actually. Good, but not qute as good as it could have been.


By Vistor Gischler
2005, 340 pages

Gischler is one of those authors that I like a lot, but have a hard time remembering him when I go to buy a book or am shopping in a bookstore without my used list on me. I bought Gun Monkeys, one of his earlier books in a creepy old used book store in Northern Montana, and never saw another until last year when I managed to track down the rest. The story of Poets, which gets pretty convoluted has a teacher waking to find a dead student in his bed, a drug dealer trying to go straight, a reclusive professor, and a few little surprises along the way. I really got a kick out of this, though there were a few aspects that left me thinking I'd missed a paragraph explaining things. I'm also anxiously awaiting the arrival of his newest, Go Go Girls Of The Apocalypse. That's right, Go Go Girls Of The Apocalypse. a title so good that I had to write it twice.


By James Rollins
2009, 397 pages

I really wanted to like this. I dig Rollins' adult novels, they're Indiana Jones style adventures with enough intrigue and black ops in them to keep you guessing and his first kids book looked to be more of the same, but for a younger set with a more over the top theme. Unfortunately, the plot is VERY over-the-top, with too many convenient answers. It was still fun, a great adventure and I'll read his others in the series when they're written, but this one left me rolling my eyes a few times too often to fully recommend it. Also, he uses the name Brontosaurus at one point, is that an accurate dinosaur name now?


By Michael Connelly
2008, 422 pages

Connelly is a great writer, and his Lincoln Lawyer character is one of my favorites, second only to Det. Harry Bosch, yet this installment left me feeling pretty flat. The two never really seemed to mesh, Bosch especially coming off as flat, though that may have been because we saw him from Mickey Haller's view. Still, I get the impression that he could write a quick thriller on the pot, and this one still had a twisty plot and good dialogue.


By Catherine Jinks
2005, 486 pages

Man, I checked this book out from the library expecting a completely different novel. Somehow, I thought with the catchy phrases, cartoony design and big logo that I'd chosen a kids book, completely disregarding the fact that I'd grabbed it from the young adult section. It's about a kid that goes to an evil villain high school/college, where miscreants are trained for a life of crime. I had expected a book about a 12 or 13 year old doing that, instead, getting a teen with all of the angst and hormones that go with it, but that didn't make it a bad book. It was still funny, clever and a great read, just not what I'd thought I was reading.


By Charles Knief
1999, 292 pages

I loved this book. Funny, poignant and really action packed, this was my favorite from Kneif so far. His character, Private Eye, John Caine is a fellow in his late forties that is about as hard as they come. He lives on a boat, enjoys Hawaii and gets his butt kicked a lot. He always gives back better than he gets though and walks away with the girl. The settings for the book are gorgeous and his supporting cast, especially crime lord Chawlie and officer Kimo are very memorable.


By Max Brooks
2006, 342 pages

Overrated. I love the cheeky humor and daily usefulness of Max Brooks Zombie Survival handbook, but this overblown, "History" of a zombie war that never was left my calling out for brains and staggering around. It wasn't horrible and there were a few slivers of brilliance, but there was too much focus on silly things. Some people I know love it. Good for them.


By J.A. Konrath
2008, 271 pages

Aww, man, did this book piss me off. Which is part of why I loved it. Joe Konrath's books all feature the detective Jack Daniels, her portly partner, her smarmy ex-partner, her mom, a friend, her evil cat and her boyfriend, as well as some of the best, soulless criminals around. For Fuzzy Navel, he crams all of them into a single house, surrounds it with snipers and shreds the walls with bullets. I read this in one setting and after the cliffhanger ending, if I'd had the next book, I would have read it too. Good, suspenseful, yet hilarious book.


1 comment:

C.R. Evers said...

crap! now I'm hungry! :0)

Chrsity (via Verla Kay)