Shellie, over at her book blog Layers of Thought, regularly does previews of un-released books she thinks will interest her readers. It’s a nice feature that I’ve decided to adapt for this, MY blog.
Instead of previewing books that you might like, I’m going to preview the ones I like. This blog, after all, is all about me, me, and ME. If you don’t like my approach then go see Shellie.
Atria Books, 352 pages
Release date: July 13, 2010 (already released in the UK)
I've met John at a couple book signings and he's a very funny Irishman who loves to talk to us, the readers. Don't be fooled, however, into thinking his Charlie Parker books are Irish cozies. This is the ninth in the series, and each book is more dark and violent than the previous one.
Charlie is a tortured man, an ex-cop turned private detective. Tortured because his wife and little girl were murdered by someone not quite earthly. Literally not earthly as the supernatural plays a larger part in each suceeding book. In this installment, Charlie may have to face his super nemesis, the so-called Collector . . .
The series doesn't have to be read in order, but reading it as a standalone leaves out a whole lot of backstory. The locale, by the way, is the state of Maine—Stephen King territory, but thankfully John isn't nearly as creepy as Steve.
Simon & Schuster, 384 pages
Release date: July 13, 2010
Dave is finally back in New Iberia, LA! We haven't had a good Louisiana potboiler from Dave since Pegasus Descending in 2007; 2008's Tin Roof Blowdown was a heartbreaker about Katrina, more fact than fiction.
In this, his eighteenth outing, Dave is on the trail of a sadistic killer of two young women. But, as always, he has other bayou fish to fry at the same time. His adopted daughter Alafair is attracted to Kermit Abelard, "a member of the degenerate Abelard clan" according to Publishers Weekly. PW makes a more-than-intriguing comparison of the Abelards to Faulkner's Snopes clan—an evil family indeed.
Of the writers listed in this post, Burke is the best of the bunch. He doesn't describe, but rather immerses the reader in Southern Louisiana. Like Connolly, this book can be read as a standalone, but a lot of backstory will be missing. Boy, I can hardly wait for this one.
Scholastic Press, 400 pages
Release date: August 24, 2010
Reading level: Young Adult
From James Lee Burke to the long-awaited finale of The Hunger Games trilogy. The setting is post- apocalyptic North America, divided into twelve (or is it thirteen?) Districts and controlled by the Capitol — replete with a very evil President Snow.
What makes this series stand out for both teens and adults is Collins. She knows how to grab the reader, and she refuses to let go of her choke hold. Her brilliance shines, however, in choosing a strong female lead named Katniss. Katniss thwarts Snow's every attempt to stop or destroy her as she relentlessly fights for the freedom and reunification of the Districts. For once, there is a fictional role model for teenaged girls.
There will be an ultimate showdown in this final installment, and a lot of questions to be answered. Obviously, the series must be read in order; the first two books are The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and the trilogy will be available as a boxed set (gifts, anyone?).
Boy, I can hardly wait for this one, or did I say that already?
William Morrow, 320 pages
Release date: November 2, 2010
Lehane began his commercial writing career with five Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro private eye novels. The locale was Lehane's native Boston, and the books were both gritty and funny as hell. They sold well when they were published and they still do, but after finishing the fifth Lehane swore he would never write about the pair again.
Well never say never because this is a new Kenzie and Gennaro novel. Lehane says he has aged the pair to the current times, but no information is available yet on the plot.
In the meantime, you may enjoy one of the earlier novels: A Drink Before the War; Darkness Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Prayers for Rain. They can be read in any order.
Scribner, 352 pages
Release date: November 9, 2010
What can I say? This is Stephen King, the man who people love to hate. Since his retirement from writing, his writing has been uneven. Under the Dome, his last book, hit the mark. But what about this one? The only information available so far is that it's a new collection of four never-before-published stories. At 352 pages, they sound more like novellas—unless they suffer from James-Patterson-white-space-syndrome.
I guess I'll just have to wait and see. You know, Steve is a creepy guy when you watch and listen to him in interviews . . .
So these are MY choices for the coming months, patrician to be sure, but great escapist storytelling. I am tired of the problems of the real world, none of which I can fix and all of which make me angry. Only Connolly's book will be available for the Kindle (so much for e-readers), so hopefully Dr. Eyeball can do something about my failing eyesight very soon.
Here, for your convenience and if you care, are two of my Amazon Listmania! lists:
The Dave Robicheaux novels in order (read 8,696 times)
The Charlie Parker novels in order (Read 2,167 times)