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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.

Posts Tagged ‘suspense’

We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey

This story about a biological weapon release in Chicago is suspenseful but a bit too economical. The protagonist, Michael Kelly, a former Chicago cop turned PI, too-neatly pulls together the solution to a gang drug deal, a municipal purchasing corruption scandal and the pathogen release. We never see him think or debate multiple options. There are no mistakes or red herrings and little color.

Harvey’s prose is terse to a fault. I frequently had to loop back a half a page to follow the back-and-forth to know who was speaking.

Perhaps the book will work better as the screenplay for which Harvey seems to be seeking options.

Shar and Ken have fallen for John Rain

In 2002, Barry Eisler published the first in a series of books about a John Rain, Japanese assassin-for-hire who specializes in making his victims’ death look accidental.  Rain uses a lot of our favorite spook craft as he glides through the shadowy alleys and neon-lit shopping strips of Tokyo and beyond, tricks Eisler picked up in a three-year stint with the CIA.  Eisler draws on his own martial arts training for Rain’s hand-to-hand encounters.

Eisler gives Rain a poet’s melancholy, in a solo existence underscored by classic jazz and flavored with single malt scotches.

Ken was tearing through the six-book series so fast he had to force himself to take a break.

We have the first book, Rain Fall, in inventory and The Last Assassin and Requiem for an Assassin ready to go up to the web, so call if you’re interested in those.

Here’s Eisler’s home page.

Dennis Lehane's 5 most important books

Newsweek’s 12/17/07 issue asks Dennis Lehane to choose his five most important books:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude
2. The Wanderers
3. The Great Gatsby
4. The End of the Affair
5. The Last Good Kiss “The Great American Crime Novel,” Lehane says

Martin Scorcese is to direct a movie of Lehane’s Shutter Island, and you can read an except from it on the Newsweek website.

Ken has seven Dennis Lehane books available online