I've been very busy recently blogging about new authors and ARC's. Now, I want to review four authors who I am very committed to and who (whom? I never know when to use whom) I always read.
Dean Koontz - 77 Shadow Street - as you know (assuming you are a regular follower of The Booksage - and you know who you are), one of his early books, Lightning, made my Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader, Volume II. The most recent one, like all of the past 40 or so, is not in that category. Nonetheless, I liked it. It's a very creative story about an old victorian house that is now multi-tenanted. There is a very eclectic mix of tenants that have to deal with history that keeps repeating itself every 30 years. The evil they face is "unearthly," as one reviewer put it, and is pretty scary. I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top of your bedside queue, but I would definitely have it, at least, in the queue. Sometimes you need something other than a typical murder mystery or terrorist plot.
W.E.B. Griffin came out with book 7 in the Presidential Agent series. Not every Griffin fan is convinced that this series is his best work. I would have to say that both The Corps and The Brotherhood of War series are better. Nonetheless, it's still very entertaining. He may be selling his readers a bit short because these last few have been much thinner than the earlier ones. But as I said last January when I finished #6, I still think it's a good series. I would recommend it if you like military operations, even if it's not in a wartime setting.
Tami Hoag's latest is very good. It's called Down the Darkest Road and is the 3rd in a series. The protagonists are a teacher-turned-child advocate, an ex-FBI profiler, and a local detective, all who live in the same idyllic California town. Tami's books typically center on serial killers, and this one is certainly no exception. She's a very good writer, and her stories are almost always page-turners. This one was among the best. Like many series, you can read #3 without reading #1 or #2, but they're all good. In this case, I would recommend reading #1 and #2 first. It's only 3 books for crying out loud. They are, in order:
Secrets to the Grave
Deeper than the Dead
Down the Darkest Road
Finally, the piece de resistance (my keyboard doesn't have the accent ague to put over the "e" in "piece" - I imagine French computers have it) is Tom Rob Smith's newest book, Agent 6. This is his 3rd book in the Leo Demidov series and, in fact, only his 3rd book overall. Of course we all know that Child 44, book #1, is on the Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader list. However, his 2nd could just as easily be on that list, and the 3rd on Volume II's list. This guy can really write. Not only are his stories completely gripping, but they are also extremely well-written. I would compare him to Pat Conroy. Both of these authors make every word count. I think it's very difficult to write books that are so engrossing but still can be classified as (almost) literature. I've always equated literature with hard-to-read. Not so with Smith. I may have mentioned in another post that of all the people that I personally know who have read Child 44, all but one have loved it. That's a pretty good percentage.
NEXT BLOG: A list of books that started out small and turned out big