Review: I'd Know You Anywhere

I'd Know You Anywhere
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In order to give all opinions about the death penalty a fair shake, Lippman created characters, not people, to fit the opinions. That's moralizing, not story telling, and it's not even good moralizing when an author tries to cover the bases. For a novel that's about a spree killer and his one surviving victem, the story is rather bland and emotionless. Everyone thinks through everything and there's surprisingly little passion for something that should come off as horrific.

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Review: The Magic Cottage

The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage by James Herbert

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Loved the house as a character, but the people in the book brought nothing to the story. The horror is good and creepy in some places and over the top silly (and pointless) in other parts of the book. The story is told by one of the main characters looking back after all the events have occurred and the clunky foreshadowing takes the edge off of the entire plot.

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Review: Creepers

Creepers by David Morrell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Morrell might be a masterful researcher, but the dialog reads like something written for a second rate screenplay. I can lose hours of a day looking at photos of urban decay and abandoned urban spaces, so I found the first two thirds of the book readable for the descriptive passages. But when the last third turns into an action-adventure thriller, I found myself skimming very quickly. The book is scary until everything is forced to fit into a weak and cliched reality closing.

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Review: The Death of Sweet Mister

The Death of Sweet Mister
The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dark and twisted and masterfully written.

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Review: The Night Train: A Novel

The Night Train: A Novel
The Night Train: A Novel by Clyde Edgerton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazing sense of time and place: early 1960's small town North Carolina. Martin Luther King Jr and the SCLC are beginning to make waves in little towns that thought everybody was happy with the status quo. Starke is just such a place, segregated by history, physically divided by railroad tracks. Edgerton uses the metaphor of his protagonist discovering Jazz at the same time as someone he considers a friend discovers R&B. Just as popular music began crossing over and blending genres in the 60s, so do some of the people who live in Starke. Others don't want things to change, and that's where this story finds its narrative.

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