Jonathan Deeâ€™s latest, THE PRIVILEGES, is a psychologically astute exploration of the toll privilege exacts on two generations â€“ the self-made and the born-eliteâ€“ of the Morey family. Cynthia and Adam Morey are easy to hate: theyâ€™re beautiful, socially adept, and madly in love â€“ and unapologetic about it. As Adamâ€™s brother says in his speech at their wedding (which opens the book), â€śThey are a charmed couple. No one who knows them can doubt that they are destined to spend a long, happy, extraordinary life together.â€ť At the worldly age of 22, the bride and groom donâ€™t doubt it either and they traipse through their wedding day with the breeziness and ease of people certain of their impending prosperity. From here, life only gets better.
Sebastian Faulks is nothing if not ambitious. In his latest book, a sweeping and piercing satire about contemporary London, Mr. Faulks takes on everything from the financial meltdown and the profusion of silly book awards to shockingly offensive reality TV, cyber porn, London football, and, for good measure, Islamic radicalism. The good news is, for the most part, he succeeds admirably.
Europa Editions, a New York based publisher founded in 2005, first came to my attention a few years ago through one of their noir titles. I really enjoy Europaâ€™s Italian crime novels written by Massimo Carlotto, Jean Claude Izzo, and Carlo Lucarelli. Thereâ€™s a predictable level of quality here that makes me return to Europa and peruse their titles regularly. My attitude towards publishers is similar to my attitude towards film directors–experience has taught me that some directors and some publishers consistently produce work that Iâ€™m interested in.
And this brings me to ZULU, from French crime writer, Caryl Ferey, a novel in Europaâ€™s World Noir series.
May 10, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Europa Editions, Greed & Corruption, Murder Mystery, South Africa Â· Posted in: Africa, Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
The Windy City is the setting for Michael Harveyâ€™s fast-paced thriller, THE THIRD RAIL. Private investigator Michael Kelly is part of a task force that includes a detective named Vince Rodriguez and a no-nonsense FBI agent, Katherine Lawson. Their goal is to find a sadistic sniper who shot several passengers riding Chicago’s public transit system.
April 22, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Chicago, Greed & Corruption, Gritty, Knopf, Michael Harvey, PI Michael Kelly, Police, Terrorism Â· Posted in: Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest
Reading SOLAR, Ian McEwanâ€™s entertaining and clever new novel, reminded me of an appearance by Al Gore on the Daily Show. Jon Stewart, it seemed, had grown increasingly tired of all the talk and dire warnings about global warming. He asked Gore if the former vice president was at all concerned that the urgency with which the warnings were declared, took some of the attention away from the solutions. In other words, was there a disconnect between the message and the solutions, which seemed so abstract? Stewart wanted tangible solutionsâ€”something we could all sink our teeth into.
After reading UNION ATLANTIC, one fact becomes increasingly obvious: Adam Haslett is one heck of a talented writer. But what might not be that obvious is that he is also prescient. His gripping novel essentially revolves around a large fictional bank (Union Atlantic)â€™s spectacular failure. Get this: Haslett completed it the week that a real-life bank, Lehman Brothers, collapsed.
Haslett has said that while writing UNION ATLANTIC, he worried that no one would know what the Federal Reserve was, or â€śif they did they wouldnâ€™t want to read about it in a novel.â€ť He neednâ€™t have worried. After all, lifeâ€”in this case sadlyâ€”imitates art.
February 9, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· 9 Comments
Tags: Bankruptcy, Boston, Greed & Corruption, Job-centered, Money Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Debut Novel, NE & New York, y Award Winning Author