RARA-AVIS: Recent Reads (Benioff, Cook, Coleman, Spiegelman)

From: cptpipes2000 (cptpipes@hotmail.com)
Date: 23 Jul 2008

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    I've had some good ones turn up lately and thought I'd share.

    David Benioff's CITY OF THIEVES: I picked up THE 25th HOUR in 2001 based on the Pelecanos blurb, and it ended up as one of my favorites for the year. CITY OF THIEVES an an affecting story set in an around Stalingrad during WW2, and it is somewhat similar to Going After Cacciato for its sheer absurdity. It differs greatly from THE 25th HOUR, but is highly recommended nevertheless.

    Thomas H. Cook's MASTER OF THE DELTA: In addition to being a wonderful writer, Cook excels at setting an atmosphere of dread where the reader knows to expect some morbid end yet is compelled to reach that end. My favorite of his remains BREAKHEART HILL, but MASTER OF THE DELTA is a fine addition.

    Reed Farrel Coleman's EMPTY EVER AFTER: I read the previous installments in the Moe Prager series out of order, and that worked fine. It may have even increased my enjoyment for a while as I did not know the fate of his brother-in-law, a mystery that haunts each of the books but that readers of the debut in the series already know due to an ending "flash forward" coda.

    That said, EMPTY EVER AFTER may not work as a gateway book to those new to the series, but it is a terrific addition. For those new to Coleman, read the previous installments as quickly as you can and then come back to this one.

    Finally, I have had a difficult time the last 12 months or so finding new writers that I like in between new ones from my usual favorites
    (Sean Chercover is one exception; I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others). I recently read BLACK MAPS by Peter Spiegelman and I'm looking forward to reading more from the John March P.I. series.


    On Deck: Pelecanos' THE TURNAROUND Don Winslow's THE DAWN PATROL Dominic Stansberry's THE ANCIENT RAIN More by Spiegelman

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