Life has been a lot lately — nothing too bad, just new developments — and it’s affected my reading. Usually, I knock out around 10-12 books a month. This month, I’ll get to maybe 7 if I’m lucky. Hopefully, I’m back on the horse by next month when my library’s summer reading bingos begin.
At any rate, part of why I read so fast is not just retention but also so I can keep up with the momentum of a story. When I don’t have the time or desire to read — for whatever reason — it can make books (fiction in particular) feel stale.
So it should say something about Box Nine that it took me almost a week to finish despite not being very long. I still don’t know how I feel about it overall but I’m not sure if that was because I couldn’t keep pace with the story’s momentum or if I didn’t like it as much as I thought I did. It’s sort of a weird in between. But I didn’t regret reading it, so there’s that.
Rarely do I come across a highly recommended series that I’m not at least somewhat familiar with but this one was plugged by David Peace and James Ellroy…and I hadn’t even heard of it. A character-driven crime novel set in a depressed Massachusetts mill town hit by drugs, this book is light on thrills and perhaps too long on characterization. And yet, it worked because the characters are interesting and textured, the setting appropriately bleak. It reminded me in a way of a more intense, more urbane version of KC Constantine’s Mario Balzic series. It knows its people and it knows its place.
Also, for a book that meandered to its conclusion, it certainly had a great one.
The series isn’t in wide circulation; my local library had the first copy but not the second. So I don’t know when I’ll get to book two but I will some day. It’s an interesting presentation for a mystery tale.