Archive for March, 2011
Any writer who can so completely capture the essence of cowness, even in translation (here by Sondra Silverston) is most certainly worth reading, and I am entirely pleased to make the acquaintance of Israeli novelist Amos Oz. Never mind that this airy little story of 2005, which the author describes as “A fable for all ages,” is almost certainly merely a footnote to Oz’s work, barely reflecting what I understand to be the seriousness of his major work, let alone the outspoken commitment of his political writings. It is still a story worth reading once for its charm and twice for its meaning.
Well-known for his Simeon Grist and Poke Rafferty Bangkok series, Tim Hallinan introduces a new series character in CRASHED. Junior Bender is a top-of-the-line crook, hired for specific jobs, and pretty much working when his child support payments come due. Junior is also a private investigator, and most of the time, he works for the down-and-out, the underdog and/or those who canâ€™t defend themselves. In essence, heâ€™s a burglar with a good heart.
The latest and 14th installment of Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole/Joe Pike crime fiction series is THE SENTRY, denominated “A Joe Pike Novel.” THE SENTRY is the third Pike book of the series, the other eleven being Elvis Cole novels. Pike, the ex-marine, ex-LAPD officer, ex-mercenary for hire (for the right cause), is forever stoic and withdrawn, except the issues that affect him are more in the forefront…
THE NUDE WALKER in Bathsheba Monkâ€™s entertaining read is Barbara Warren, a schizophrenic who tends to walk around downtown Warrenside in the buff when sheâ€™s off her meds. The Warrens were once the industrial scions in Warrenside, a fictional town in Pennsylvania. As the town, which used to be the center of the booming steel industry, gradually went into decline, so too rusted the fortunes of the Warrens. These days, Barbara isolates herself in the past, clinging on to memories of the glory days and worrying (because nobody else will, she says) that by 2012, European Americans would be the minority in town.
Kari Vaara is back on the job. After taking a bullet to the face in his last book, Snow Angels, he is back to working on new cases as a police detective with his partner Milo. As Luciferâ€™s Tears opens, Kari is assigned two investigations. One involves a murder and the other is bringing an alleged war criminal from World War II to justice. Meanwhile, Kariâ€™s wife, Kate, is eight and a half months pregnant with a baby girl. After losing twins in her last pregnancy, both Kate and Kari are very apprehensive and nervous that everything goes right this time. Both of them feel responsible for their prior loss. Kate has invited her brother and sister over to Finland from the United States to be there for the birth and this creates a whole new set of problems for Kari.
Jack Tartarus comes to his family house on Crab bent on destruction. What follows instead is a reconstruction of his life on this small island near Vancouver, a reuniting of family and neighbors, a closer understanding of those who have died, and the forging of new bonds.