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We're Ken Hebenstreit and Sharlan Douglas, blogging here about the books we love: Mysteries, suspense, crime fiction. If you want to comment on one of our postings, click on its headline.

Archive for July, 2010

Recent reads

Gabriel Cohen – Red Hook

From 2001, this is the author’s first book and was an Edgar Award nominee.  One review called this “a police procedural with heart” and I completely agree.  I liked the protagonist, Detective Jack Leightner of NYPD’s Brooklyn South Homicide Task Force, with all of his family problems, past and present.  The plot plods along (did I mention that it’s a police procedural?) as Jack and his partner try to piece things together, but the personal touches, the history of the setting and the prose keep the reading interesting.  Here is a sample from chapter 26:

“Silence was at the heart of the job.  On TV detectives ran around waving guns, cars screeched and flipped over, bad guys shouted and jumped fences.  In real life there was violence and noise during the crime, and there would be crying and confusion after, but in these first moments of discovery, the scene was still as a painting.”

Cohen has written four more books, including two more featuring Jack Leightner, which I will be adding to my reading list.

C.J. Box – Savage Run

This is the author’s, and his protagonist’s, second outing.  I mostly enjoyed his first book, Open Season, although I thought there were too many red herrings and it was just tried too hard.  Savage Run, however, is much more assured and satisfying.  A solid plot, interesting characters and terrific Wyoming settings make this one a winner and it’s easy to see why Box is such a popular author now.  I’ll be working my way through his subsequent novels!

David Hosp – Dark Harbor

Author’s debut novel, featuring rising star attorney Scott Finn, a friend from the past, two memorable Boston cops and a serial killer.  A pretty good read, without much to complain about.  It’s not giving anything away to say that Finn reappears in subsequent titles and I want to find out what happens next.