FALLING TO EARTH by Kate Southwood

FALLING TO EARTH is the kind of novel that makes me want to grab the very next person I see and urgently say, ”You MUST read this.” I read this rabidly with increasing awe and respect that Kate Southwood had the chops to create a debut novel with this degree of psychological insight, restrained power, and heartbreaking beauty.

The story centers on a tragedy of unimaginable proportions – a tornado hits the small Illinois town of March in 1925, causing devastation and grievous loss in the homes of every single resident of the town.

Except one.

March 5, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Family Matters, Literary, US Midwest

THE VISIBLE MAN by Chuck Klosterman

It was more than one hundred years ago that H. G. Wells penned the science fiction classic, The Invisible Man, which subsequently paved new paths in the horror genre. The idea of a mad scientist who makes himself invisible and becomes mentally deranged as a result, is one that has taken root in popular culture ever since.

In his genre-bending new novel, Chuck Klosterman borrows the essential elements from Wells’ classic with some modifications. For one thing, he fixes the science. There has been some discussion that a truly invisible man would have been blind whereas Wells’ lead character, Griffin, clearly was not. So Klosterman’s protagonist, referred to simply as Y_, is not invisible — he is the visible man. But Y_ , much like Griffin, has an ability to make himself invisible to others.

October 6, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Scifi, Texas

CALLING MR. KING by Ronald De Feo

CALLING MR KING by Ronald De Feo is an exhilarating read. It is poignant, funny, serious and sad. It grabs the reader from the beginning and we go on a short but rich journey with Mr. King, a hit-man, an employee of The Firm, as he transforms himself from a killer to a would-be intellectual and lover of art and architecture.

September 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Debut Novel, Humorous, Mystery/Suspense, New York City, Psychological Suspense, World Lit

THE CRY OF THE OWL by Patricia Highsmith

American author, Patricia Highsmith, who died in 1995, left behind a respectable body of work. Highsmith is known primarily for her psychological thrillers, so perhaps it’s not too surprising that a number of her novels have been adapted for the big screen–including THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, RIPLEY’S GAME, RIPLEY UNDERGROUND, THE CRY OF THE OWL and THIS SWEET SICKNESS. Highsmith’s first novel, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, was made into a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock–a man with an uncanny ability to spot new talent. While STRANGERS ON A TRAIN is my all-time favourite Hitchcock film, it veers away from the darkest corners of Highsmith’s tale. I like to think that even Hitchcock wasn’t ready to wrestle with some of Highsmith’s controversial and insidiously buried themes.

July 21, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Classic, Mystery/Suspense

DELIRIOUS by Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer’s DELIRIOUS is a nightmarish tale in which Charlie Giles, “an electronics superstar,” suddenly loses his job, his reputation, and quite possibly, his mind.

June 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Macavity Award, NE & New York, Psychological Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE ART OF LOSING by Rebecca Connell

Rebecca Connell has written a finely fraught literary thriller and romance in her debut novel, THE ART OF LOSING. It examines the legacy of loss and betrayal and the extent to which a person will go to seek out the truth.

October 1, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Literary, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Thriller/Spy/Caper, United Kingdom