Showing posts from May, 2012

Death, Dishonesty, & Disillusionment in Dorset

An ordinary man leaves his wife after several years of marriage, convinced that his happiness may only be found elsewhere. It’s the classic “greener pastures” syndrome--nothing terribly earth-shattering there. But, when the man stabs his wife in their home, then proceeds to throw her off a nearby cliff--before disrobing and sauntering to the water’s edge, calmly following her into the same body of water--that’s the sort of thing that tends to make people sit up and take notice. And, when only one body--hers--is recovered, well, that’s when things become downright interesting. This is David Whellams’ Walking into the Ocean... ✠ ~ ✠ ~ ✠ ~ ✠ ~ ✠ When semi-retired Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Peter Cammon receives word he’s being sent to Dorset to look into what appears to be a murder-suicide on the Jurassic Coast, he’s unsure what role they’re expecting him to play. Surely the local constabulary are better-equipped to look into the murder of one of their own than he is? Nevertheless, duty c…

When First we Practice to Deceive... Bad Things Happen, Man

Decisions... large or small, we make them all day, every day, from what to wear, what to eat, which bills to pay, who to talk to and who to avoid, whether to hit the weight room or the neighborhood pub after work, what show to watch, to whether it’s more beneficial to tell the unvarnished truth about something... or to tell a lie.   It may not come as much of a surprise that life involves so many decisions, but it definitely might give us pause, thinking about how often we choose to gloss over the truth, embellish the facts, or outright fabricate something out of whole cloth.   
It’s the latter variety--all beginning with a spur-of-the-moment fib--which fills the pages of author Jeremy Bates’ new thriller, White Lies...

* / * / * / * Katrina Burton needs nothing so much as to make a fresh start. After having lost both parents in a tragic accident years earlier and more recently losing her fiance, the memories in her Seattle home have become too hard to bear. So, she secures another teachi…

Fate's a Bitch (and Then Someone Dies)

Being able to read another person's mind... it sounds like the sort of thing that could come in handy, doesn't it? “What would my friend like more than anything else on her birthday? Is that cute guy into me? Is the boss about to fire me, or give me a raise?” Knowing the answers to such things would be useful. The sticking point with an ability like this, however, is the matter of control: being able to read someone’s mind on command... but no more. The opposite situation--having zero control over what or when you picked up another’s thoughts--would hardly provide the same usefulness.  Now, imagine if instead of channeling someone's thoughts (fears, hopes, dreams, whatever), what you could read was his or her future... more precisely, the exact day, minute, hour--even method--of that person's death. Such is the life of one very unlucky soul, in author Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds. Miriam Black is just a regular twenty-three-year-old girl. There’s nothing particularly strikin…

The Pet Psychic, the Persian Pussycat, & the Pistol

Although I’ve always been an animal lover, my heart (surprise, surprise) belongs to cats. That does not, it should be noted, make me a “crazy cat lady” (perceived sanity and gender nothwithstanding). My house isn’t overflowing with feline tchotchkes, nor does my wardrobe contain even one t-shirt covered with kitties frolicking in a field of daisies. (Stray cat fur wafting about is a whole 'nother matter, but we won't go into that.)
So, when yet another feline-centric mystery landed on my desk, I eyeballed it warily. Would it be that rare beast, a genuinely-good book that happened to feature cats... or would it be just another tired schmaltz fest? (I swear, if one more mystery is solved by an adorable cat who walks over and puts his paw on the exact place in a conveniently-unburied letter to name the killer, I’m gonna lob that book at the nearest wall.) (Unless it’s on my Kindle, in which case I shall resort to mentally lobbing it.) Been there, done that.

Hesitations aside, thoug…