Tag Archives: The Strangler

More catch-up reviews

I’ve been reading, but not reviewing.  Here’s some quickie reviews to clear the way for more in-depth posts to come.

1.  Two books by William LandayMission Flats and The Strangler – get a “worth reading” thumbs up from me.  I reviewed his Defending Jacob here.  (Loved it.)  Both previous books are crime fiction.  Mission Flats features a long-ago crime, a dead DA, and complex protagonist Ben Truman.  The Strangler focuses on the three Daley brothers – one a prosecutor, one a crooked cop, and one a burglar.  Add a serial killer, and this family drama turns especially dark.

2.  Reed Farrel Coleman’s Hurt Machine.  I loved Reed at Bouchercon – he was on a couple of panels and I found him to be rollicking and funny.  His new PI Moe Prager mystery was available at the OPPL so I snagged it.  Gotta say – not my fave.  Moe’s facing cancer and gets roped into trying to solve a mystery on behalf of his ex-wife.  It’s getting good reviews elsewhere, though, so take my lack of enthusiasm with a grain of salt.   Perhaps I need to start at book #1, not #7?

3.  Michael Harvey‘s We All Fall Down.  I love Michael Harvey’s main character, Michael Kelly, and especially liked the personal side of his stories in The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor.   The new book features Kelly, too, but casts him in a story of bioterrorism.  A bit of a jolt… kind of like when Linwood Barclay moved from funny mysteries (such as Bad Move) to thrillers.  Again, not a fave, but well-written as always.

4.  So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman.  OMG.  If you prefer mysteries that march through the plot in a linear fashion, revealing a couple of clues per chapter until the protagonist is triumphant in the final scene, this book will drive you nuts.   Hoffman takes a small-town story with a not-so-unusual mystery – the disappearance of a pretty waitress – and weaves it into a mesmerizing tale of horror and revenge as a form of civil disobedience.   At one point, you’re pretty sure that something bad is going to happen to somebody you like… and the suspense is killing you.  The characters are compelling.  Clear your weekend, because you won’t want to put it down.

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Defending Jacob – advance review

Once again, my Murder and Mayhem in Muskego overnighter has yielded big returns.  I got an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of Willam Landay’s Defending Jacob.  And it was such a compelling read it was all I could do to stop reading for those necessary activities of daily living, such as showering, working, and sleeping.

Assistant DA Andy Barber’s living a nice life in a Boston suburb with the support of the love of his life and Laurie and his 14-year-old son, Jacob.  Their quiet community is rocked by the murder of one of Jacob’s classmates, Ben Rifkin – a popular boy, but a bossy and perhaps even bullying one.  Given the title of the book, it should come as no surprise that Jacob Barber is charged with the crime and the plot centers on the Jacob’s trial.

The shock – and what keeps you reading late into the night – is the backstory and the rippling repercussions.  No spoilers from me, but let’s just say that Andy’s been working hard to overcome a family secret.  Plus, there’s something more going on… Landry’s interweaving another trial with the same prosecutor, but Andy’s a witness, and it’s not Jacob in the docks.  How is this all going to come together?

It does.  Masterfully.  Defending Jacob will be available on January 31, but feel free to pre-order!

Author William Landay has credibility – he’s Boston College Law School grad and former assistant district attorney.  He has two previous books both award-winers:  Mission Flats and The Strangler.  They’re on my bedside table.