Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Some gift recomendations - by RM Greenaway

With Thanksgiving coming up in the USA – please take the chance to give us five titles or criminally good books you think would make great gifts…and tell us for whom they’d be suitable.

Here are some old, some new, some big, some small...

In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White. Not finished yet but so impressed by the writing, and am just waiting for a chance to get back to it. The opening of the blurb says it better than I can:
In the Barrens, a vast wilderness in northern Canada bordering the Arctic Circle, night consumes every hour of the winter. Humans are scarce, ferocious predators roam freely. Locals say spirits do too.
This book features a pregnant cop, Tara Larsson, pretty much on her own dealing with what seems to be a supernatural occurrence in and around the remote community of Twin Rivers. In spite of the scarcity of humans, romance is afoot here as well! I recommend this for anyone who likes good northern escapism.


LaBrava  by Elmore Leonard. For starters, I am so jealous of that protagonist's name. This is the first Elmore Leonard book I read.  One reason I like it is it starts with dialogue, and I was told by one rejection letter never to start with dialogue. Second reason is it plunges me right into the Miami Beach of yesterday. Have I ever been to Miami Beach, yesterday or at any time? No. But I feel I have, thanks to Leonard and his cool hero LaBrava. Great crime novel. Recommended for anybody who likes a little seaside grit between their toes and in their pages.
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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I've just finished listening to the audio book, not because I wanted to, but because I've been shanghaied into joining a reading group, and Rebecca is first on the list. When I saw Rebecca listed I thought *sigh* -- bunch of old-fashioned romantic swooning. But having finished it now -- in a few sleepless nights instead of the month I allotted myself -- I am still under the spell of this amazing tale with its masterful suspense and gorgeous writing.  Not everyone will agree, of course, but I loved it. I'd recommend this to anyone who thinks *sigh* -- bunch of old fashioned ... etc., and is willing to change their mind.
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Invisible Dead, by Sam Wiebe. Caustic, smart, dark and action-packed -- welcome to Vancouver noir. This is from the flap:
Enter Dave Wakeland. A young cop-turned-private investigator, he is quick with his fists and quicker with his mouth. He also makes a habit of bad ideas. ...
If you've had your fill of escapism and want some fiction that rubs up against real-world trouble, read this, Wiebe's second novel and the first in what promises to be a fabulous series.  

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The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. Last week I was rummaging about, looking for titles to recommend. This tiny book was out of place on my badly organized bookshelf, and I threw it into the pile as a joke. But the next morning as I was getting dressed for work I stood and read it cover to cover, and thought, nice! It's got great illustrations, is a very fast read -- five minutes should do -- and includes all the elements of a good crime novel: B&E, wanton destruction, peril, crisis of conscience, a cop (of sorts) reparation and redemption. Not recommended for everyone, but the tot in the family would love it. Let's get tots hooked on crime novels as early as possible!

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That's it. Have a fun Halloween and happy Thanksgiving!


Paul D. Marks said...

Always interesting to see what others recommend, RM. And re: writing rules, like don't start with dialogue, I think someone says it and people just jump on the bandwagon. But you have to do what's right for the story.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Glad you liked La Brava, and of course Sam's book, too. Both great recommendations.

Cathy Ace said...

Beatrix Potter as crime writer? Inspired :-)

Susan C Shea said...

Oh, you've sent me scrambling to the crime fiction library here at home to find LaBrava! Thanks, RM!