Showing posts from April, 2013

Changing the Stakes: When the Hunter Becomes the Hunted

“Ah, now that’s the life!” is, I’m 99.9-percent positive, a sentiment which no one, anywhere, will ever utter about me... which is fine. (Hey, I don’t know anyone about whom I’d say that, either). You have to live a whole different sort of existence to inspire in others such wistful longing, and most of us, well... don’t.
Appearances, however, can be deceiving, and even that which might look at first (or second or even third) glance to be the perfect situation, often turns out to be something quite different. 
In the end, how close we come to achieving our own ideals in life is as much down to the choices we make as it is to stuff like fate and luck... which, in Jo Nesbø’s brilliant stand-alone thriller, Headhunters, turns out to involve some pretty ballsy choices, indeed.

Roger Brown wouldn’t, under other circumstances, inspire much awe, admiration, or jealousy on his own merits. A smaller man (about 5’6” if he stretches) hitting middle-age, with very ordinary looks, he’s the sort of ch…

Dead Men Tell No Tales... and Make No Art

You know those “old friends”... the ones you can just be yourself around, who accept you, flaws and all, and with whom an absence--of weeks, months, or sometimes even years--does nothing to diminish the bond you share? To blatantly hijack the tagline from an iconic ad campaign, those old friends are priceless. 
So, when recently I found myself sans iPad (and thus, Kindle reading app)--which, naturally, left me rooting around for something, anything new to read--it was with immense pleasure (and no small amount of relief) that I lucked upon a very old friend (or two): the unfailingly witty-and-entertaining private detective duo of Lydia Chin and Bill Smith--finally back in action after an absence of a few years, on yet another engrossing case in the Big Apple--in S.J. Rozan’s fabulous mystery, Ghost Hero

There are certain professions in which it’s generally understood that a high percentage of people (clients, patients, whatever) will lie to you. Cops, lawyers, priests, and accountants…

When the Fear that Breaks... is the Fear that Saves

Everyone is afraid--really, truly afraid--of something
Most of us are able to handle the fear, and as long as we don’t dwell on whatever it is that scares the pants off us, we’re okay. For some people, though, the whole “not dwelling on it” thing is impossible, and it’s that terror which defines their lives.
Of course, if the worst actually were to happen, the above would all be moot.. since being forced to face one’s fears is very different from merely thinking (or not thinking) about them. One woman discovers just how different in Elizabeth Haynes‘ brilliant psychological thriller, In the Darkest Corner.

A carefree party girl who lives to go out on the town (and stay there till the wee hours of the morning, whenever possible) with her girlfriends, twenty-something Catherine Bailey wasn’t expecting to meet someone like Lee Brightman. Movie-star handsome, charming, and funny--and rocking some major bad-boy sex appeal--he’s like a fantasy come true. Best of all, he’s obviously really in…