BOOK & BLOG
June 13, 2012
Books of the Week
Scott Sigler’s Nocturnal is a horror novel and police procedural, with Sigler in full control of his talent for sharp characterization and amazing visualization. When we first meet Detective Bryan Clauser, he thinks he’s losing his mind, and his partner, Pookie Chang, is increasingly worried about him. Bryan has a kill rate unrivalled in the police department, and he and Pookie are the best of the best detectives. But Bryan is feeling very, very ill, the chief of the San Francisco police department is harboring a huge secret, and a child named Rex is discovering he can make awful things happen by drawing a picture. I won’t spoil the plot any further; Nocturnal is suspenseful throughout its substantial length.
Joe R. Lansdale’s Lost Echoes has its own fair share of suspense in a much more condensed package. Lansdale, an incredibly diverse writer with a distinctive voice, builds his stories on a more personal level. He can relate the terrible upbringing of unfortunate children without sentiment, a trick most writers won’t ever master. It’s incredibly effective. This story is the tale of Harry Wilkes. After a childhood illness, Harry find he has the horrible ability to awaken terrible events when he hears certain sounds. As a result, he spends his life cushioning himself from random noises that may trigger his awful visions. He finds alcohol anesthetizes him, and he becomes a drunk. Finally, Harry dates the wrong girl, and though he eventually gains a mentor and reconnects with his childhood sweetheart Kayla, a chain of events is set in motion that will lead to a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.
Here’s what’s happening with me lately. Though summer often leads to a slowdown for a lot of people, it’s time to speed up for me. I’m working hard on DEAD EVER AFTER, and finally seeing some interesting progress. AN APPLE FOR THE CREATURE will be out in August, and wonderful Continuity Editor found a mistake at the last minute (just from reading a sales description of the story) that saved me at least two hundred emails, I estimate. Chris Golden and I are seeing the first pages for our graphic novel, and they look gorgeous.
My trip to Australia and New Zealand is finally gelling, and Paula and I are looking forward to seeing somewhere completely new. At the HUB event which kicks off my trip, I’ll be appearing with Sam Trammell, and since I like Sam that’ll be fun. It’s possible some other “True Blood” people will join us, which would compound the fun. After the two-city HUB event, I’ll be doing signings around Australia and two in New Zealand. We’ll be posting the schedule very soon.
A three-person team from my UK publisher is here to film me, since I had to cancel my trip to visit them this summer, due to the impending arrival of our grandchild. I’m enjoying their daily visits and their reactions to the United States.
My agent, Joshua Bilmes, hired a fourth person to work in his new office. JABberwocky seems to be flourishing, which makes my heart glad.
My blogging group, the Femmes Fatales, added the wonderful Marcia Talley to our roster. Marcia is a long-time friend of mine, a wonderful writer and an excellent woman.
My friend Toni L.P. Kelner and I are gearing up for another anthology, and we’re in the honeymoon phase. We haven’t had to do any actual work yet, but we’re patting ourselves on the back about how wonderful it’s going to be. Toni is writing the first book in a new series, so she’s facing a lot of invention; but she’s up to it. My friend Dana Cameron has gotten nominated for another award for her short story “Disarming,” which appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. I am going to put “congratulations” messages on speed dial for Dana.
These are all things I’m happy and excited about, so I’m focusing on them right now. I hope you enjoy some of this news, too.
© 2012 Charlaine Harris