Monday, August 10, 2009

Reading Frenzy

I've been on a short reading frenzy. The book I picked up after finishing Always Looking Up was Robert B. Parker's Night and Day. It's one of his Jesse Stone novels. As usual, I really enjoyed it. Also, as usual, I zipped right through it. Parker does not write cumbersome novels. They're quick reads but he never leaves anything out. You get a well-told, engrossing story. This one involved a frustrated school administrator, swingers, a peeping tom, an abusive husband and father, and several children. The novel was not a murder mystery, but there was plenty of mystery for Jesse to unravel.

Compared to Night and Day, Damage Control, by J.A. Jance, had bodies dropping like flies. Jance's books are page turners, though denser than Parker's. I started reading Damage Control on Saturday and finished it up early Monday morning. This was one of Jance's Joanna Brady series. Brady is the sheriff of Cochise County in Arizona. Throughout the whole series, we get to know Joanna and her friends and family. A few threads were tied up in this novel, but several others started. I'm hoping subsequent books will tie up some of them and continue with others. Chapter 1 of Damage Control opens with an elderly couple having a picnic and then driving off a cliff to their deaths. They leave a suicide note, but Joanna later hears something that makes her think murder. Unraveling that one takes most of the book and our bad guy turns out to be more of a stinker than your usual run-of-the-mill killer.

In an unusual turn of events, for me anyway, I picked up a book that I quickly decided not to read. It is The First Patient by Michael Palmer. The book was given a glowing review by Bill Clinton and one of Palmer's previous books was on the NY Times bestseller list. I was expecting great things, especially after I read the first page and found it to be a real grabber. But then I turned the page and the writing took a precipitous nose dive into thinly-disguised exposition. I'm surprised his editor didn't make him do a re-write. It was amateurish writing and I quickly lost interest. I'm sure some people might have slogged through that, but there are too many good, well-written books out there for me to waste my time on something that may or may not get better.

Now I can get back to working on my still-growing TBR pile.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

Oh those first two sound pretty interesting - I'll have to look for them.

Thanks for the reviews!