I reckon I’ll be busy with The Dark Tower series until the end of September. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about what I’m going to read next. For my birthday last week I got a present from my girlfriend of a book voucher for Chapters Bookstore on Dublin’s Parnell Street. So armed, I headed in last weekend and this is what I came out with.
I’m a big fan of action and adventure. At the very start of my “mature” reading I picked up Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity. It was the start of a literary love affair that was to continue until his death. I think I’ve read all of Ludlum’s novels. Nowadays, his successors have tried to duplicate his formula, with Christopher Reich being the best of the lot, in my opinion. I like them short and to the point, though, and I’ve heard good things about Sean Black’s debut, Lock Down. It’s the first in a series featuring ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock. If this scenario rings familiar bells, it’s because it sounds similar to:
Jack Reacher is the original and the best. Lee Child’s creation is the man I most want to be. A laconic ex-Military Police, former Major Reacher is a man without a home. With nothing in his pocket but a toothbrush and an ATM card, he travels the US, putting wrongs to right, sending the bad guy(s) on a one-way trip to Hell, and nabbing the girl whenever he has a chance. The action scenes in Child’s novels are a masterclass in succinct, tension-filled writing. When I grow up, I want to be an amalgamation of both Reacher and Child. Sigh.
Mark Billingham is perhaps better known as the creator of Detective Inspector Tom Thorne of London’s Metropolitan Murder Squad. This book, In The Dark, is his first stand-alone thriller. I’m expecting it to equal Thorne’s best cases, such as Scaredy Cat and Lazy Bones. Billingham also has a career as a stand-up comedian, so his dialogue is lightly spiced with one-liners, as well as wry political observation. I enjoy his writing and I look forward to seeing how Sky TV get on with adapting his characters later this year.
Karin Slaughter is a crime writer I can’t praise enough. From Blindsighted right through to her most recent novel, Broken, Ms. Slaughter (that’s her real name, by the way) tells of events in Grant County, GA. Her recurring characters, Sara Linton, her husband, Jeffrey and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Will Trent are well written individuals: damaged, flawed, but instilled with a sense of honour and justice, despite the horrors that face them in each novel. With the purchase of Genesis and Broken, I am now up to date with the lady’s work.
And for my own lady, because of her generosity and love, I return the favour. She is a supporter of Chelsea Football Club, the reigning Premier League champions. This one I bought for her:
The less said about Chelsea, the better…I’m a Manchester United fan. Enjoy your moment, my friends, we’ll be taking it back off you this coming season.