BACK OF BEYOND by C. J. Box is just what a mystery thriller should be – a wild ride through twists and turns with rogue characters that have depth of spirit and lots of baggage. This book is a hardcore page-turner with characters the reader gets to know well. It’s well-plotted and everything comes together just when it’s supposed to; no red herrings and no deus ex machina. Box knows exactly how to plot his book so that each page brings the reader closer to crisis and then conclusion. There is the dark side that is required in order for good to prevail and there are lots of cold, dark pathways that wind their way to a fine conclusion.

August 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, US Northwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson

It’s 1987 and New York’s lower east side and alphabet city are places for the homeless, vagrants, the impoverished, hippies, some immigrants who have held out through the next generation and some younger folks who call themselves “straight edge.” Straight edge refers to teenagers who like hard rock and punk but live a straight and clean lifestyle – no meat, no sex, no booze and no drugs. Many shave their heads and are into tattoos. That’s what TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson is about – a group of straight ddge teens and their parents trying to understand themselves and one another as they venture through life, a lot of it in alphabet city in Manhattan.

June 8, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, NE & New York, New York City

C by Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy’s latest novel, C, is a strange book that, without the draw of a gripping plot or the pathos of interesting, well-rounded characters, somehow manages to intrigue all the same. Perhaps the appeal lies in McCarthy’s haunting prose. Or, perhaps it’s the unshakeable feeling that underneath it all – underneath the layered ideas – there’s a message of sorts, a message as profound as it is ephemeral: just as you think you’ve figured it all out, it escapes you. Whatever the reason, C, while far from perfect, is a bizarrely captivating book.

September 26, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Literary, Reading Guide, United Kingdom

ELEGY FOR APRIL by Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black’s third 1950s Dublin thriller featuring pathologist Garret Quirke (after CHRISTINE FALLS and THE SILVER SWAN) finds Quirke in a rehab hospital, from which he will shortly spring himself, for his daughter’s sake.

May 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Noir, Sleuths Series


If you are at all familiar with any of Anne Lamott’s books, IMPERFECT BIRDS will have a very familiar ring to it. It tackles the themes of addiction, spirituality, 12- step programs and enabling.

April 15, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Family Matters, Reading Guide


In Jo Nesbø’s The Devil’s Star, Harry Hole is an alcoholic who will be lucky to reach his fortieth birthday. His job as an inspector in Oslo Police Headquarters is hanging by a thread. He would not have a position at all if his supervisor, Crime Squad Chief Inspector Bjarne Møller, did not feel sorry for him, especially since he knows what a terrific detective Harry is when he manages to stay sober. Harry’s self-loathing is deepened by regret over his crumbling relationship with his lover, Rakel. He is all too aware that he cannot offer Rakel the stability and security that she and her young son, Oleg, need and deserve.

March 24, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Norway, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author