08 February 2016

You're Reading What?

As I've spent time watching the Super Bowl I've tried to come up with a worthy subject to write about. Nothing has bubbled up from the sub-conscious and my time is getting shorter. The muse finally stirred and asked "What are you reading?" At that moment I realized what I could write about. Then turn around to ask my readers what they are reading?

A couple of months ago I noticed the title of a book by James Lee Burke, called House of the Rising Sun. I loved the song with that title for many years and books by Mr. Burke almost as long. This story has a little known character named, Hackberry Holland. A retired Texas Ranger. Yes, I know this is the fifth book, James Lee has written with Hackberry. It's just that the Texas Ranger isn't a well-known as Dave Robicheaux novels or even the Billy Bob Holland books.

True to all of Mr. Burke's books, Hackberry is a realistically drawn character. Full of Piss and Vinegar as my pappy used to say. The book ranges from Mexico to south Texas as the ranger tries to reconnect with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.

Hackberry comes into possession of a stolen artifact, believed to be the Chalice of Christ. Along the way the Ranger is in trouble from a cruel Austrian arms dealer who grabs the young Army Captain in order to claim the precious Chalice. Three extraordinary women, Ruby Dansen, Ishmael's mother, Beatrice DeMolay, the madam of a house of ill repute and Maggie Bassett, the sometimes lover of the Sundance Kid all trying to help Hackberry.

The next book I've been reading is The Ex by Alafair Burke, who is the daughter of James Lee Burke, in case you are unaware of that fact. Alafair is a former prosecutor and now law professor in Manhattan where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Ms Burke doesn't lean on her dad's name she has written eleven novels on her own and has reached Best Selling status. She recently was asked to join in a collaboration with Mary Higgins Clark and the co-authorship has produced two titles.

In The Ex, Olivia Randall is one of the top criminal defense attorneys in NYC. Her ex finance, Jack Harris, whose wife was killed three years ago, is arrested for a triple homicide. Jack's daughter, sixteen year old, Buckley Harris calls Olivia for help. The problem, one of the people killed is the brother of the young man who killed Jack's wife. The police don't seem to believe Jack's wild story alibi but Olivia agrees to help the man who she had callously hurt twenty years ago. How could the man she cared about ever commit murder?

My third offering is by Halan Coben and titled Fool Me Once. Coben has penned eight consecutive Number 1 New York best-selling thrillers and this one doesn't detract from his legacy. If you like strong female characters you will appreciate former special-ops pilot, Maya Burkett.

Maya's husband Joe was brutally murdered two week earlier and her best friend convinces her to set up a nanny cam in her living room to watch after Maya's two year old daughter and nanny. After watching the replay from the nanny cam one evening Maya is shocked to see her husband Joe, playing with their little daughter, Lily. Maya now has to discover if she can believe her own eyes? One thing she knows for sure is that if Joe is still alive. How can she not hope that somehow her husband really is still alive? How do you deal with thinking you know the truth? And finding out the hard truth is you know nothing.

House of the Rising Sun, by James Lee Burke, came out December 1, 2015 from Simon and Schuster.
The Ex by Alafair Burke was just released January 27, 2016 from Harper Collins.
Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben is due for release from Dutton on March 22nd.

Now why don't you readers write and tell me what you're reading?


  1. I'm (re)reading S.S. Van Dyne novels from the early 1900s. I don't recall reading the first, The Benson Murder Case, but it was hard to wade through and I wanted to strangle Philo Vance for being such a prig. In subsequent novels, the author gave up a lot of his protagonist's supercilious smugness, which makes for a nicer read.

  2. I'm reading HONKY-TONK SAMURAI by Joe Lansdale.

  3. Bill, you have good taste. I just finished Paradise Sky by Joe Lansdale. I'll read ANYthing Lansdale writes.

  4. I'm finally reading the book "Orange is the New Black", and I have Stacy Schiff's "The Witches" coming up next in the pipeline.

  5. I am reading "The White Roots of Peace," a slender volume by Paul A. W. Wallace published in 1946. It is a compilation and translation of the traditional tale of Deganawidah, founder of the great Iroquois Confederacy. The book is very highly respected among Native people. The forward by John Mohawk ends with these words: "The White Roots continue to represent a tradition of thinking about ourselves as a species, and the responsibility to use our minds, that will continue to survive and to create a good world for our children seven generations into the future."

  6. Anon and everybody else is way ahead of me. I'm reading RL Stine. Kids, you know.

  7. dak, kids matter more than anything else! Keep reading to them! :-)

  8. Wow, from SS Van Dyne to Joe Lansdale to RL Stine. What a contrast. And how cool is that?
    And the WHITE ROOTS OF PEACE detailing Iroquois Confederacy sounds most interesting. Keep reading everyone.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. I'm now trying Val Mcdermid and Margaret Millar. (I can't get this to post.)


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