“Blood Ties,” by Nicholas Guild, or “Why isn’t this book a movie yet?”

This is an outstanding blend of police procedural/thriller and, honestly, a love story. Guild's strengths are his characters and his rock solid prose. He has the knack of creating very believable protagonists and supporting characters ... and then putting them through hell in a way that keeps you turning pages.  He also describes violent things … Continue reading “Blood Ties,” by Nicholas Guild, or “Why isn’t this book a movie yet?”

“The Devil All The Time” by Donald Ray Pollock, or Good Lord, this is a bleak and depressing book …

I am going to buck the trends, and not join those who love this book. There is much to like. Pollock's prose is terrific, at times starkly poetic. The images are concise, and cutting, and won't leave your head anytime soon. The man certainly can write. And yet ... Damn, this is a depressing read. … Continue reading “The Devil All The Time” by Donald Ray Pollock, or Good Lord, this is a bleak and depressing book …

“Jezebel’s Daughter,” by Wilkie Collins: Murder and mystery the old-fashioned way

No one today writes crime novels the way Wilkie Collins did, nor should they. Collins, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, is best known for atmospheric works such as "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White," but he wrote many, many more novels than those two. When I find myself in the mood for a good … Continue reading “Jezebel’s Daughter,” by Wilkie Collins: Murder and mystery the old-fashioned way

“The Ironsmith,” by Nicholas Guild: An outstanding historical novel

This new novel from Nicholas Guild is a damned good read -- at once a deeply intriguing historical novel and a keep-the-pages-turning tale of intrigue and suspense. The novel is set in the area of Galilee, Capernaum and Jerusalem in the days just before the New Testament documents came to be. The protagonist is Noah, … Continue reading “The Ironsmith,” by Nicholas Guild: An outstanding historical novel