Saturday, June 04, 2011

Light reading catch-up

I thought Lawrence Block's A Drop of the Hard Stuff was sublimely good, as good as the very best in this long-running series; the books grew a bit unfocused in more recent years, but this one is set in the mid-80s near the end of the first year of Matthew Scudder's sobriety, and it works wonderfully well: good stuff. (Gave me a pang, though, in making me think of my friend M., who introduced me to these books and spoke sometimes of seeing Block at AA meetings in the Village but who has since dropped off the face of the earth; I hope he is doing OK somewhere!) Ed Park reviewed it for Time, and here were Levi Stahl's thoughts; I second Ed's observation that When the Sacred Ginmill Closes is not to be missed; in fact, I might have to give the first ones in this series a reread in the near future...

I read three books by Laura Wilson, they are very good but I think I liked the third one less than the first two, possibly because there was not such a clear protagonist to identify with: A Little Death, Dying Voices, My Best Friend.

Then I read Box 21, which I found reasonably decent but incredibly depressing; it might be that I have read enough Scandinavian crime fiction for just now, this one came perhaps too soon on the heels of the Harry Hole books!

1 comment:

  1. I think the ending of Box 21 (the Vault) is the most depressing, sick-making ending of any crime novel I've read (Karin Alvtegen's Betrayal comes close but lacks the cynicism of this one).

    If you ever read a Scandinavian crime novel again, I recommend Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olssen (Denmark).