Author Topic: What are you reading lately?  (Read 138384 times)

random axe

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Re: What are you reading lately?
« Reply #1560 on: January 07, 2020, 11:36:42 AM »
I read a few detective novels by Jeremiah Healy, an author I only heard of when a customer asked if we had any of his books.  I don't know why I'd never heard of him -- Healy wrote something like a dozen "Cuddy" novels, about an Irish private investigator in Boston, and three novels as Terry Devane, about an Irish female attorney who turns PI, also in Boston.  He was publishing from something like 1984-2003, and the Cuddy novels aren't terribly similar to Robert Parker's Spenser books, but I'd think there was considerable audience overlap.

The ones I read (Blunt Darts, The Staked Goat, Invasion of Privacy) were all fine -- it was easy to read all three of them in the same month, which says something.  The structuring is a little odd, but not broken, and it helps keep them from being too predictable.  They're not stunning, but I'll ready more of them if I see more of them.


Right now, I'm re-reading Wintersmith, by Pratchett, which I haven't read since not long after it came out.  I'm impressed by how little I remember of it.  :lol:  :whatever:

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: What are you reading lately?
« Reply #1561 on: January 08, 2020, 07:48:39 PM »
I recently read, in rapid succession, "The Broker" by John Grisham, and "The Ghost" by Robert Harris (Enigma, Fatherland, Archangel, etc). What a contrast. The Grisham is so freaking routine as to make me wonder if he's actually far more clever than we ever realized and has come up with an AI to write Grisham novels. My wife was ranting about his consistent, rigidly followed formula. Anyway, it mostly takes place in Italy, which is why we bothered, because we just went there! Anyway.

"The Ghost" is one that it turns out I've read before, duh, but dang, Harris can write creeping dread better than almost anyone. The story is, a hack ghostwriter is retained to write the memoirs of the recently retired and extremely unpopular British Prime Minister (and obvious Blair clone) because the previous ghostwriter fell drunk off the Martha's Vineyard ferry in the middle of the night on a trip no one knew about. Not suspicious at all! And, of course, like in all Harris novels, there's a Big Secret, worth killing to preserve, and the tension ratches up on the main character as he closes in, wittingly or unwittingly, on the answers. Also, utterly formulaic, but so much better somehow than the Grishams that I don't feel bothered by it.

And speaking of formulaic ... well it's not like that, but I read a new Louise Penny Inspector Ganache novel, "A Better Man." I might be done, there, even though I like the characters, the silly little invisible Quebec town, and the murderous office politics in Montreal. But they're all about the same. A bit overwrought. And I should have realized from the title that it was going to be about domestic abuse (oh yeah, that pearl jam song) so meh. Or méh, as they say in Quebec.
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random axe

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Re: What are you reading lately?
« Reply #1562 on: January 09, 2020, 01:18:48 PM »
I read Pelican Brief and Time to Kill by Grisham.  Pelican Brief was surprisingly good, although the film was surprisingly bad.  Time to Kill was . . . either just terribly naive or a great example of a First Novel.  But from what I hear, his later novels were of the If You Want More Of That variety.  Eh.

I haven't read Robert Harris.  All we have at the moment is Archangel, which looks like more of an investment than I have time for right now, but I'm gonna watch for The Ghost.

While I was looking, I found a 1972 Harry Harrison spy-thriller called Montezuma's Revenge, apparently one of two about an art expert who works for the CIA.  I had no idea Harrison wrote non-SF.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: What are you reading lately?
« Reply #1563 on: January 10, 2020, 03:56:48 PM »
Right, I loved the Pelican Brief, but I can credit myself for having read them all that I've read that one.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

stormneedle

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Re: What are you reading lately?
« Reply #1564 on: January 15, 2020, 09:52:34 PM »
I get that people, me included, don't like the narrator changing in the middle of a series of [audio]books. But I don't need to see two pages of reviews where that's the only thing mentioned! If that's the worst thing that happens to you, count yourself lucky.

But at the moment I'm about halfway through Charlie N. Holmberg's "Smoke and Summons". Subtle storytelling, and the world building accretes as necessary rather than getting all laid out in a long exposition or two. There seem to be similarities in how she writes her characters to her "Paper Magician" series, but I'd have to read them more to make the connections.
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