Blood is a Rover by James Ellroy
Tarot Card Book Mark: Gold
MARK It NOW: Ellroy's Back. If you are a fan, you've already started to dig this one, if not-- start with the LA Quartet and work your way to this one. Anything he's written after 1985 is well worth checking out.
Jack Wakes Up by Seth Harwood
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Purse or Bag
Originally a podcast novel, Jack Wakes Up is Harwoods first published novel. This is a solid first novel, with some interesting ideas. Jack Palms is a recovering adict who started in one action flick but nothing more. He's the guy who had all the lines, and now finds himself in a situation where he is called on to do for real what he did in the movie. A strip club, eastern European gangsters, a local drug dealer and a cop who seems to owe Jack one fill out the story, as Jack tries to figure out who killed an old buddy of his. All of this leads to a lot of expected places, and a few unexpected. I liked the growing friendship between Jack and the guys that he is working with that was a fun touch that and their real identies were played out nicly, a little bit at a time. Harwood shows promise here but this is obviously a first novel. I found it confusing in a few places, and feel like the story could have been told in somewhere around 50 less pages. I do how ever encourage people to check the book out and will give Harwood's next book a read.
Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott
Tarot Card Book Mark: Falling
The Trunk Murders come alive. This book put me in mind of the books I have read by Pulp master David Goodis. The story is simple on it's face, but underneath it's a twisting mass of desires, lusts, desperation and loss of faith. The story is a riff on the infamous Trunk Murders of the 1930s, with a twist. It's the story of a woman who finds herself abandoned in a world that she is not ready to negotiate and how she gets sucked down into a life of compromise and a downward spiral of civility. It's a character driven book, the plot is there -- but it's not what drives the story. Overall a solid read that I suspect will be well worth revisiting.
Tarot Card Book Mark:Drowning
Hard Case Crime book for the month
I haven't been the biggest fan of Collins in the past, but I really enjoyed this quick and fun novel. Quarry is a Nam' vet who with nothing else to do becomes a hitman. This is the story of his first assignment. Sent to Iowa to wack a college professor, he quickly finds himself in the middle of a nasty domestic situation or two. Both complicate his job and send him off on side adventures. Fast and fun, the book never gets bogged down with extraneous plot or subplots. The writing is crisp and drives the story along at a solid tempo. all in all a great little dervision, and I look forward to reading more of the Quarry books.
Parker: The Hunter (Graphic Novel)
Adaption by Darwyn Cooke
Donald Westlake book for the month-- ok sort of.
A pretty straightforward adaptation of The Hunter, this beautiful graphic novel evokes the best parts of the first of Stark's Parker novels. I have to admit that The Hunter is the least favorite of the Parker books I have read, as it's more a revenge story than a heist story. I really liked revisiting the first of the Parker story in this format, I liked the art and I like the project of adapting all of the Stark books as graphic novels.
I also read Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala this month, a nice compact little graphic novel that ended with the promise of more to come.
thought's, comments, spare gold medal paperbacks?
Tarot Card Book Marks? I have a really lame deck of Tarot cards that I pulled off a free cart at the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library sale a couple of months back, and I started using them as book marks for giggles mostly. I just pull a card at random from the deck, make note of it, and when I am done it goes in the discard pile. Sometimes the card ends up to have a relation to the book in questions, sometimes not.