Monday, November 28, 2011

The Damage Done - Hilary Davidson

I first got word of Hilary Davidson through twitter, where she posts frequently.  I knew that she had written a novel, but there are so many authors on twitter, it is hard to read everyone's work.  Then Bouchercon 2011 hit, and she won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel so I had to read it.

It is nice to read new authors every once in a while, which most recently for me include Dana Haynes and Patrick Lee.  The great thing for me about new writers is the new voice they provide to an established genre.  In this novel, the main character is a female, which is less usual in a crime novel.  Even more unusual, is that she is not a private eye, detective, but a travel journalist.  She then becomes a makeshift  detective when she is called from Spain to come back to New York City to identify her sister's body which has been found in the tub of her apartment.

I'm not going to give anything away, but there are a lot of twists in this novel that aren't really expected, which do not seem contrived at all.  Not to mention the ending, which is totally unexpected!

I'm currently reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson.  It's 1000 pages, and I'm about 1/3 done.  I think I'm still one or two books behind, so I'll try to get caught up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Affair - Lee Child

I'm a little behind on the Vintage Crime Blog, so I'm going to write a few short reviews at a rapid pace. I think I've read The Affair by Lee Child, The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson, and The Fiend in Human by John MacLachlan Gray in the last month or so, and neglected to write them up. The baby has been waking up three times every night, and just zapping everyone's energy here at home.

The Affair is the 16th Jack Reacher book. Yes, I've read them all (the first 12 or 13 in a few months... I was obsessed!) This is a classic Reacher novel, in terms of how he acts, and the events that take place. This novel actually involves Reacher's last case before he leaves the military and makes several vague references to the events that take place in Killing Floor. The thing I like about the Reacher flashback novels is how Reacher knows how to play the Army system for everything it is worth. He can use his position as a Military Policeman to give orders to superiors, etc.

The novel revolves around a murder that takes place outside a rural base in the south. Reacher gets sent down there to observe the situation undercover and make sure that his uniformed counterpart doesn't miss anything. He gets made right away, but continues to work the case on the down low. Eventually, everything turns south, and Reacher does what he does best... take care of business.

The novel is interesting in that it is told as a flashback, knowing the events of September 11th, 2001, and all of the security changes that happen afterwards, even though the story takes place before those events. The end of the novel also takes place first, and the whole thing has a circular feel that is really cool.

Overall, this is a Reacher INSTANT CLASSIC, right up there with Killing Floor, Persuader, and The Enemy.

Go read it!