Sunday, December 15, 2013

'The Serialist'

Oh, how I love David Gordon's new novel!  He dances around the 'twists-and-turns' and isn't afraid to write exactly what's on his mind.  He has a way of keeping the story perking along while maintaining its brilliance without 'talking down' to his audience.

Sometimes, and I'm not embarrassed to say this, the pornographic element lends itself to the funniest, quirkiest scenes that I didn't see...ahem...coming.

That's 'The Serialist', in a nutshell.

It's a somewhat amusing (but not 'light' by any means) mystery, although there are elements of grave, dark disorder.  We are introduced to a serial killer, nicknamed 'The Photo Killer', on Death Row, his chain-smoking lawyer, and her beautiful, young assistant. We also meet Claire, a very young, very rich, very neglected girl who becomes Harry's voice of reason.  

And then there's the narrator, the struggling writer, Harry Bloch, who, by using various pseudonyms, has pumped out pulpy serial novels; vampire books to detective stories.  In the midst of financial desperation, the day arrives when his life is turned upside-down; he is offered the chance to ghostwrite the serial killer's biography...but at a price.

Harry has to visit some of the women who have written to Darian Clay, women who have expressed a certain...desire...for the serial killer.  By interviewing these women, Harry has to write little pornographic stories for the killer in exchange for the man's life story.

But Harry soon finds himself at the center of a new murder investigation and working alongside two FBI men:  One friendly, and the other not-so-friendly. Despite the fact that he is being watched, Harry sets out to find the murderer, and at the same time, trying to avoid becoming the next victim.

This wonderful novel also focuses on Harry's past regrets, has beautifully realized back stories, and characters that will stay with you for a long, long time.  But it's the inclusion of some chapters from Harry's serial novels that really added to the enjoyment.  When he has to make an appearance on behalf of his newest vampire book, I laughed my butt off.

The back blurb says, '...The Serialist is a love letter to books--from poetry to pornography--and proof that truth really can be stranger than fiction'.  Whoever wrote it wasn't kidding.  

It's original, it's fresh, and it's highly intelligent, but not to the point where you put it down in frustration.  It's the wittiness and the author's love of writing that makes this story come alive.

Thank you, David Gordon.  Your future is bright.

'The Serialist', published by Simon & Schuster, is available at your local library and independent bookstore.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Announcing 'Death of the Body'!

I love Young Adult fiction/fantasy, and I can't wait to read this new story from Rick Chiantaretto!  With such an intriguing title, who can resist?  So, this little Book Hog will be ordering 'Death of the Body'...and I hope you will, too!  Once I post my review, I hope that you will let me know how much you liked the first book in this exciting new series, Crossing Death!

Today is the release day of Death of the Body by Rick Chiantaretto!

Title:  Death of the Body (Crossing Death #1)

Author:  Rick Chiantaretto

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

I grew up in a world of magic. By the time I was ten I understood nature, talked to the trees, and listened to the wind. When the kingdom of men conquered my town, I was murdered by one of my own—the betrayer of my kind. But I didn't stay dead.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

'Cage of Bones'

As cold weather pummels the Pacific Northwest (and the rest of the country), it's the best time to settle down and read....if your power isn't out, that is.  Of course, e-readers are great for blackouts, but when the battery dies out, what do you do?

I plop down on the couch, grab my print book, light a candle (or turn on my trusty flashlight), and dig into a good story.  In this case, it's a mystery.  A dark, dank, thrilling British mystery. 

And this one has two-count-'em-two 'Doctor Who' references.

'Cage of Bones', by Tania Carver, is a great thriller.  It's almost a quick read, but I sometimes had to put it down because certain passages were rather...brutal.  Lots of blood, lots of gore, and lots of 'people-who-aren't-who-you-think-they-are'.  But it was the claustrophobia passage that grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

A building in the English countryside is scheduled for demolition, but what is found inside it is horrible beyond words.  A cage made of bones...with a terrified, feral child lurking within.  Detective Phil Brennan and his partner in life, psychologist Marina Esposito, have disturbed a killer who has been operating undetected for over thirty years. And the killer wants the boy any means necessary.  

The beauty of this well-written story isn't merely the fact that a killer is on the loose, but that various people are not who they appear to be, and that includes Detective Brennan, a man who suffers from horrible nightmares.  

Like I mentioned, it's a somewhat quick read, but it will having you turning the pages.  You might even stay up all night, cuddled under warm blankets, but chilled to the bones from the suspense that awaits you.

Carver is an author to watch, and I can't wait to see what she produces next time.  It would be nice to see a somewhat longer story, although she did a great job with the backstories in 'Cage of Bones'.  

So, bring it on, Tania!  Thrill this Book Hog, again.  

And don't forget 'The Doctor'.  I'll love you for it.