Read for CBR10Bingo: Book was better. The movie is one of my all-time favorites. This is my first time reading the novel. I’ve read five James Ellroy books in the last few months so if you want my thoughts on my personal evolution towards his works, check past reviews. Having read the tail end of his work and the beginning of what made him popular, I can say with confidence this is the best book he’s written. It’s the perfect merger of his style and capability. I knew the book would be substantially different than the movie, as the latter […]
If you’ve followed me on GoodReads, you are well aware of my affinity for Tana French. A former parishioner of mine turned me onto her books three years ago. I liked In The Woods well enough but at the time, I felt there was something lacking. I didn’t know that…a. I was unfamiliar with French’s style (subsequent readings would help me appreciate it more) and b. it was a first novel and I’ve since learned to be more graceful with first novels. I then read The Likeness and it absolutely blew my mind. From then on, I became a full fan. And as a […]
The What If of this book can be summed up as: What if Mystery, Inc., had actually tangled with chthonic beasts and didn’t realize it until their mid-twenties? What I thought of Meddling Kids? Well, that’s a bit of a mystery, too.
While I enjoy her recent work, which is usually set in the present day, I wish Megan Abbott had written more books with settings in 40s and 50s LA and Vegas. She was really onto something. I suppose comparisons to James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia are inevitable with this one. Like Ellroy’s work, it’s a murder mystery based on a true murder of a woman working the fringes of Hollywood. But unlike Ellroy, who likes to muse about social affairs and masculinity, this is a straight-up whodunnit. And Hallelujah, for the reader is better off for it. Most of the book centers […]
This was not a conventional mystery read but it was a fun book and unique compared to much of what I consume. I’m always down for books where folks get dragged unwittingly into being private eyes. But this one is different. Rather than focus solely on the perspective of the protagonist, each chapter has a different perspective from a different character. Some are more relevant to the plot than others, which can be frustrating but over time, I got used to it and even came to appreciate it. The mystery is well done here but I’m not sure anyone […]
Read for CBR 10 Bingo: Underrepresented. Steph Cha is a Korean-American mystery writer in a field dominated by white people (mostly men). I’m usually graceful when I review first time novelists, so while there was a lot that annoyed me about Steph Cha’s debut, I generally enjoyed it and am going to lean mostly on the positives. I love hard boiled/noir fiction. Apparently, so does Steph Cha and her main character (and author ancillary) Junipero Song. The book is littered with references to Chandler, Macdonald and Hammett, three of the greats (Macdondald is my personal favorite). I’m not sure it […]
I’ve read most of Walter Mosley’s underrated Easy Rawlins series and, while this is far from the best, this is probably his rawest work. It’s also perhaps an apology for how he has written for female characters in the past. Taking place in the shadow of the 1965 uprising in Watts led by black citizens after yet another act of police brutality, it lends a setting that is never far from the events of the story. Whereas, Mosley contextualizes in Easy’s dialogue about the circumstances black people faced in LA in the 40s and 50s, here he keeps the events […]
I didn’t expect this book to blow my mind, so I had a good time reading it. It was pretty fucked up, in that what-the-hell-is-going-on sort of way. That made me read it super fast, and I was completely absorbed the whole time. But when the reveal finally happened, it just felt really clichéd the way it played out. This book is about Anna Fox, a former child psychologist, now agoraphobic shut-in, who hasn’t left her house in ten months (almost eleven), and who spends her time watching her neighbors and cataloguing their every move through her Nikon camera and […]