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SK takes aside his horror show and engages with crime fiction

Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King




I have found a crime fiction novel, gripping from the beginning, first half of the book features  great character development, There is Bill Hodges a divorced retired cop having a dull life with an apparently no purpose anymore to fill his days than watch TV shows alone at home, and Brady Hartsfield a young man angry with life carrying a heavy psychological trauma out of a distressing childhood.  SK as the master storyteller he is has attained a great deal flashing back to Brady childhood, SK worlds convey an accurate portrayal of the drama, surrounding his family story

Brady takes revenge with society and commits a mass murder using a Mercedes stolen car smashing an innocent crowd, the case was unsolved by Hodges when he was an active cop and now Hodges receives his taunting unexpected letter challenging to catch him. From then on SK commits the rest of the book to his cat and mouse chase storyline giving life to other elements useful to the purpose like secondary characters and brief references about the Middle West lakeside fiction town where all events take place.

Action suspense is good and as in every crime fiction novel scheme he boils everything up to the end, there are also cunning twist and turns adding spice to an already exciting plot

If I compare this SK product to accomplished crime fiction writers work, I can say that it is good enough to satisfy the lovers of the genre

Compelling but not great

Reblogged from manugw:
The Heist - Daniel Silva



Gripping novel featuring underlying ethical and moral messages, the plot is rife with action and intrigue, there is background research to shore up the tale and add imagery. Silva reveals a possible scam ruthless dictators rely on to conceal money stolen from the poor countries they rule on, he does not got down to the tiny details but leaves eye opening concepts and ideas surrounding ways of fraud. Allon character is improving but yet there is more to do in terms of character development before he can be perceived as having a life of his own. The story is supported by the ongoing conflict raging in the Middle East particularly in the Syrian civil war and the ISIS menace, so very up to date. I can say that the novel is good but not a great Silva work. Just another average Gabriel Allon series coming out the production line where his customary readers have to put up with the same character introductions made in past books of the series. With "The English Lady" I thought there was a breakthrough in terms of action suspense quality, but looks like Silva is turning back to his old repetitive scheme where he seems to feel confortable.

Compelling but not great

The Heist - Daniel Silva



Gripping novel featuring underlying ethical and moral messages, the plot is rife with action and intrigue, there is background research to add color. Silva unveils the world financial network used by ruthless dictators to conceal money stolen from their people, he does not got down to the tiny details but leaves eye opening concepts and ideas. Allon character is improving but yet there is more to do before he can be perceived as having a life of his own. There is a reference to current events happening in Syria, with the death of 150,000 people and more that 1,000,000 displaced. It is good but not the best Silva book.

Depends if you have grown up or not in the US, it will be the magnitude of your understanding

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison



This is a quirky book. The man is an African American speaking in first person from beginning to end, Throughhout the narrative he tells part of his life story and surrounding events from a sociological standpoint, that is what is being an African American and how this relates to every event of your life. He is from the Deep South and end up in New York where his life takes a wide turn after witnessing an eviction of the dispossesed. The book has dramatic intensity to keep the reader glued but at some points the expression of his internal conflicts climb to a point where is difficult to understand what the author had in mind, more a pamphlet than a tale. I think that if you are American born you will have more elements to understand this book, if you are foreign as myself you get sometimes scratching the surface
This monologue was placed among the best 100 books written in the 20th century

Dull, inconsequential

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Tale about leadership, human nature, basic instinct and survival. A group of children found themselves in a far off island, after an unclear plane accident, they begin to assess their situation and set elementary rules. Two antagonists emerge, Frank who thinks that hunting is key to survival and Ralph whose main concern is to keep a fire alight in the hope to get spotted by a ship. The author privileged the action and the island landscape descriptions and did not dig enough in the elements of human existence he seemed to be interested to debate. The brisk ending does not close the book with anything meaningful

Mystery novel with a spiritual glow

Ordinary Grace: A Novel - William Kent Krueger

The storyline can be divided in two, the first half of the book is used to set the scene, telling the customs and mannerisms of New Bremen, a Minnesota valley river town in the 60´s focusing on the family of the town pastor, Nathan, this is closely associated to the author childhood experiences, (the tale is told by a thirteen year old boy, Frank, Nathan´s son ) and the second half supports on the precedent elements to outline the mystery, spreading out the pieces of the puzzle to solve, who and what is behind the dissapearance and murder of Ariel, the eldest daugher of this town church pastor, Frank`s elder sister
This novel got an Edgar Winning Award, it has well drawn characters, the plot has not the cop rough wording usually employed in the crime fiction, since it was beautifully written with a spiritual spin, in line with the characters, every tragedy brings about the application of universal values to judge everything behind a cautious ethic filter that sets the tone of several chapters, the author wishes to convey a message leaving several pieces of wisdom to leave the reader with something worth to ponder on
I guessed right about the ending, unfortunately, since the biggest thrill is to be fooled by the author, but this situation in no way tarnishes the quality of the book as a whole

Gruesome, shrewd thriller

Wolf - Mo Hayder

A home is took over by a couple of men, the family is kidnapped and subjected to a harrowing ordeal,… there might be a reason behind this, and,….


If you think you know everything about crime novels, take a challenge and read this one. This multilayered suspenseful storyline will be a tough contender, and I bet that the author will outsmart you no matter how you experienced you are reading mysteries and thrillers


The sharp-witted author know how to play with the characters and focus the attention of the reader at ease in the direction she wants, using an insightful descriptive language, great storytelling skills, and deceitful turn of events , 


Many surprises, cunning twists, and red herrings galore, there are not pits of boredom, the plot keeps the same intensity all the way to the end


This novel was indicated by the New York Times books section as a noteworthy option for those seeking a great read and I fully agree

Tepid half- hearted red

Field of Prey - John Sandford

Gripping fast paced storyline centered around the action with no character development and predictable ending. It was written employing short quick dialogues and a flat everyday language devoid of any literary quality
There are better choices out there, even from the same author

Tantalizing, mind boggling

The Son - Jo Nesbo

For those readers not familiar with author Jo Nesbo “The Son” does not line up with the typical sleuth cat and mouse crime novel found in several writers of the genre, Nesbo likes to elaborate on the ethical, social and psychological angles as well, bordering on the criticism of everyday reality, this provides the plot with lots of ingredients to make it eye-opening, intellectually exciting, and entertaining, in addition, it has some touches of the espionage and whodunit tales, dappled with lively characters, thrown over a background of dark topics like corruption in the Oslo police and the street junkies underworld, (surprising and self-contradictory as Norway ranks among the richest and less corrupt countries in the world). 
Usually, in his books, Nesbo uses to go to the extreme with twisted plots, this time he has done it again, but the reader will not get lost trying to tie loose ends, nothing looks blurred, everything was crafted to fit in place, and concluded with a jaw-dropping twist reserved for the ending, For Nesbo fans who learned to love his serial detective blockbuster novels, “The Son”, a stand alone yarn, will not dissapoint, it is the product of a more mature, experienced writer, so I would say.. “Who needs Harry Hole…?” 

Thought provoking

Primal Fear - William Diehl

…A Bishop with an eminent standing in the local community  is sadistically murdered by a teenager who was under his care, to the point that beyond the large amount of  mortal wounds inflicted all over his body, his genital organs end up stuffed in his mouth .The potential perpetrator is a teenager suffering from a multiple personality disorder. Was he or his alter ego ?, is he accountable if his alter ego has done it ?, is multiple personality disorder a recognized mental disease ?, is the physical evidence found in the room where the crime took place good enough beyond reasonable doubt to nail the accused and punish him with the electric chair ?..., Is this situation real or is the accused actually faking  the disorder? Was the murder premeditated ? Who is the Bishop indeed ?

Legal psycho thriller, with two great caracter developments, Vail,the flamboyant fiery defense attorney who is defending the teenager pro bono, and  Aaron the defendant,  who acts as an individual with two turning personalities, Aaron the gifted innocent hilbilly boy, and Roy the mean sadistic beast who cannot tell good from evil.  

Then second half of the book where the ardent criminal trial unfolds, featuring lost of interesting questioning, is far more interesting and better writtten that the first half of the book which encompasses the heinous criminal act and ensuing investigation,  the ending holds a great surprise, making the whole book worth reading. 

Fascinating terrific thriller

Mystic River - Dennis Lehane

…Three friends from childhood and a haunting dark secret that will change their lives forever in their adulthood…

Best crime fiction plot I have read in a very  long time, an intense story carefully crafted  with a sharp writting style. It offers  never ending suspense at a proper pace, relies on psychological resources  in the development of the characters that enrich the  book every step of the way , this in conjunction with many twist and revelations to keep the reader  riveted and enyoying every page up to the end. In other words, it has all to provide quality entertainment to demanding experienced crime fiction fans.

I will keep it among my unforgettable books.

For literary education not for entertainment

To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf

It explains the complex relationships between man and wife of the Ramsay family, more than a story in itself is a deep psychological study of both characters. It has to be read very slowly and carefully and think at the same time as the author messages seem to be deeply embedded in the text.
It has very beautiful passages, in the middle of the book the way Woolf depicts how the maid describes the interior of the Ramsay’s abandoned house is something colossal
It is listed among the best 100 novels ever written