By Dixon Hill
I've been pretty busy these last several weeks, but that hasn't kept me from snagging the odd moment to read. I've chosen among old friends and new ones, and the list looks something like this:
Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker
My wife and I enjoy watching the Jesse Stone mysteries, so I jumped at this book when I saw it on the shelf. Never having read one of them before, I found it even better than I'd expected. Perhaps it's a burden, having to picture Tom Selleck as Stone (since that's how I'd first encountered Stone on-screen), but I didn't find it any trouble, and I really enjoyed the book.
As a side note, there was a TV series with this title, and I might just blog on that in the near future.
By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz
This one was a re-visit to an old friend. Yes, it has mystery, suspense, and yet is strangely filled with love, but it also has a science fiction element that might not appeal to every mystery reader. Those who loved super hero comic books during childhood, however, will probably love this adult-styled . . . well . . . I'm not sure exactly how to define it. But I love it.
River of Death by Alistair MacLean
I fell in love with MacLean's writing the first time I met it, with Ice Station Zebra, a book with a protagonist who seems to create his very own definition of "unreliable narrator."
Reading MacLean since my days in the army, I'm not as captured as I was in childhood. Still, it's nice to get a fun little romp (only 253 pages in paperback) with this story of those wreaking vengence on Nazi SS officers who thought they'd managed to escape punishment in the depths of the Amazon.
The Blue Hammer by Ross MacDonald
WOW! I suppose it's wrong to describe writing as "lush, spare prose," but I find it difficult not to when it comes to this one. Spare to the point of nearly shifting the feel into one of poetry, the writing in The Blue Hammer really knocked me out. Not just a pun, either.
I have to admit, I figured out the final little "twist" long before the ending. But, with writing like this, I didn't mind sitting back and enjoying the ride to a location I knew was calling our name. Additionally, the title had me pondering its meaning for awhile after reading. Finally, however, I came up with a meaning that satisfied me.
Saint Odd by Dean Koontz
This is at once a new entry and an old friend. Saint Odd is the latest, and final, of Koontz's Odd Thomas series, which chronicles the off-beat adventures of a young fry cook who happens to see dead folks (including Elvis and Sinatra) and tries to save the world, or at least parts of it, with each installment.
The storyline began several years ago, and in this final installment it (almost) ends with Oddie's death. And what a death adventure this is!
Never before have I read a series in which the main character died, then wondered if the series might continue to follow that character anyway -- without bringing him back to life on earth. But, this one has me wondering just that.
See you in two weeks,