I was at the American Library Association conference in Orlando last weekend and had a chance to exchange a few (very few) words with some of my author and illustrator idols:

They were all charming, of course. So, now for their latest books:

I’ll tell you that I love the books by these authors (except that I haven’t yet read anything by Laura Ruby but Bone Gap is on my reading list). The Margaret A. Edwards award (contributions to young adult literature) winner Anderson writes about current issues in Impossible Knife of Memory, Wintergirls and Speak. Readers can’t put her books down. Ashes is the third book in her Seeds of America trilogy about the Revolutionary War. She is truly impassioned about her subjects.

Jerry Pinkney is a marvelous award winning illustrator who has done wondrous things with his fairy tales The Lion and the Mouse, The Tortoise and the Hare and Grasshopper and the Ants. Children and adults alike will smile as they read these books. He promised to continue as there are so many more fairy tales to tell.

Jordan Sonnenblick uses humor to discuss serious topics such as strokes, old age and cancer in Falling Over Sideways, Notes from a Midnight Driver, and After Ever After. The topics he writes about are ones you don’t see in young adult literature all that often.

Morgan Matson and Emery Lord are the masters of the summer romance (watch out Sarah Dessen!). Matson’s Unexpected Everything (review to come), Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance Summer are the perfect beach reads. (For some reason I’ve bought Matson’s last two books at Northshire Books in Saratoga Springs, NY…I’m not from there! Is this a trend?) Lord’s spin on romance and characters is unique in When We Collided (Vivi is such a great character) (review to come) and Open Road Summer. So get your reading chair, beach umbrella and SPF 50 ready.

You’ll have to wait until I read Bone Gap to know what that one’s all about. But if it is a Michael Printz Award winner, it can’t be all bad.

These six authors provide any kind of reading you want (serious, humorous, romantic, illustrious, mythical) to take you through the summer, into the fall and beyond. Happy Reading!


Jack Swyteck Mysteries

Today I’m doing a two for the price of one review: the two latest Jack Swyteck novels by James Grippando, Twenty, to be published in January 2021 and The Big Lie, published in February 2020.

I read my first Jack Swyteck novel, The Big Lie, at the beginning of 2020 as a reviewer for a literary journal. They sent me the second one, Twenty, a few weeks ago.

Here’s a little about the author. Grippando graduated from the University of Florida both for his bachelor’s degree and his law degree. He spent 12 years in practice but now he writes full time. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law teaching The Law and Lawyers in Modern Literature. His book Gone Again won the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction. He has written 17 Jack Swyteck novels and a myriad of other fiction and non-fiction books which have been translated into 28 different languages.

So, let’s get into the books.


Eighteen-year-old Xavier Khoury is accused of killing fourteen people in a shooting spree at his school and the District Attorney is confident of a death penalty verdict based on Xavier’s Muslim upbringing and the misconception that all Muslims are terrorists. Xavier’s mother asks Jack Swyteck, whose daughter is a kindergartener at the school, to represent Xavier in proceedings to reduce the proposed sentence to fourteen consecutive lives in prison, which is a speedier process and also less onerous to the victims’ families since death penalty trials can be lengthy with many appeals. When Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for the mass shooting, the crime intersects with federal terrorism departments and jurisdictional arguments ensue. Swyteck’s investigation is hampered by governmental interference as well as his uncommunicative client. Yet, circumstances point to either Xavier being groomed for the shooting by extremist factions or that he is being set up and is actually innocent.

This 17th book in the Jack Swyteck series is a low-key legal thriller for the first two thirds of the book, after which the action heats up to inferno proportions. Hold on to your seats after that. Grippando and legal thriller fans will not be disappointed.

Big Lies

When Democratic presidential candidate Evan Stahl wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College by five votes, he refuses to concede. Since the Electoral College votes six weeks after the popular election, he hopes to persuade five electors to change their vote, their ability to do so open to varying legal interpretations. Florida elector Charlotte Holmes is the first to publicly declare herself a ‘faithless elector’ and switch from Republican incumbent Malcolm MacLeod to Stahl, unleashing a smear campaign from MacLeod as well as a hearing to determine Holmes’ fitness as an elector. She hires Jack Swyteck to defend her at the hearing, which is rife with innuendo, supposition, and fake news.  When she fatally shoots a belligerent man threatening a friend, the stakes become that much higher…since she is also a gun lobbyist. Throughout, MacLeod pressures the prosecuting attorney to get Holmes declared unfit by any means necessary and tweets up a storm.

This tense Swyteck legal and political thriller parallels the current political climate with a tweet-happy President and a system where a majority popular vote no longer means a win. There is an uncanny resemblance between MacLeod and Trump, both immoral, self- centered, mysogynistic and tweet happy. Engrossing and scary.

In an interview, Grippando said “I like to spark people’s interest and make them think about important issues when they read…” which he has certainly done in these two books. I found both books to be easy reads with good characters and good, timely plots.

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Today I’d like to talk about Dear Child by the German author Romy Hausmann. I’m typically not a big ‘psychological thriller’ person, but there’s always an exception to the rule and Dear Child is one. Hausmann is a former TV screen writer turned author and lives in a small cabin in a remote forest in Germany. She has written two books, only one of which, Dear Child, has been translated into English and which won the 2019 Crime Cologne Award honoring a detective novel that has been published in the original German language, is convincing in terms of language, subject matter and psychology and offers exciting entertainment at an outstanding level. Her second novel is Marta is Sleeping and has only been published in Germany.

One reviewer said that Dear Child is “…the kind of book you are best not knowing too much about before reading” so I’m not going to say too much about the plot.

4,993 days ago Lena Beck, age 23, disappeared in the early hours of the morning after making a phone call to a friend and was never heard from again. Now, a woman also named Lena, escaped her abductor, only to be hit by a car and taken to the hospital. Alongside her was her daughter Hannah. As the story unfolds, Lena smashed in the head of her unknown abductor to the point he is unrecognizable. She had been imprisoned in an isolated windowless cabin in the woods along with two children, 13-year-old Hannah and her 11-year-old brother Jonathan. The cabin had a system to recycle air. The abductor had total control over their lives, determining times they could use the bathroom, eat meals, study, etc.

When Lena’s parents, Matthias and Karin are notified by the police of Lena’s accident, they rush to the hospital only to find that the accident victim isn’t their Lena. However, Hannah is the spitting image of their missing daughter at age 13. Eventually, DNA confirms that Hannah is Matthias’ and Karin’s granddaughter. How could Hannah be related to them if Hannah’s mother isn’t their daughter?

The story is told in three voices: Lena as she comes to terms with her freedom but who has not escaped from her ordeal, Hannah who might be on the autism spectrum and whose ‘normal’ is everyone else’s abnormal and who must learn to exist in an entirely new environment and Matthias who has never lost hope that Lena will be found and who must now take care of his granddaughter. All three narrators are hiding something, however, that could help identify the dead man and bring closure to this harrowing nightmare.

The tension, sometimes nail biting, in Dear Child builds throughout. Dear Child is not only a mystery/thriller in the sense we need to identify the unknown abductor, but it is also a psychological study of how people of all ages, teenage Hannah, new adult Lena and middle-aged Matthias react to and recover from deep trauma. Each has their own mechanism to face the truth as they know it. It is also a book about inner strength.

It is interesting to note that, as I said before, the author herself, lives in a remote cabin in the forest.

Dear Child has often been compared to Emma Donoghue’s book Room (which I haven’t read).

If you are looking for something different, something psychological, something intriguing, I’d highly suggest Dear Child by Romy Hausmann. I am anxiously awaiting the publication of Marta is Sleeping in English. And while I wait, I’ve picked up Marked for Revenge, the second book by Emilie Schepp after Marked for Life, which I’ve written about earlier.

Still Life by Val McDermid

Today I’d like to talk about Still Life by Val McDermid. McDermid is considered Scotland’s (or the world’s) “Queen of Crime.” She writes several mystery series, has written a children’s book, a play and is working on a graphic novel. She is one of my favorite authors.

Still Life is the sixth book in the Karen Pirie series. DCI Karen Pirie is head of Police Scotland’s Historic Crime Unit, in other words she deals with cold cases. She’s currently working on the case of an unidentified long-dead skeleton found in the back of a camper van housed in the garage of Susan Leitch, a hit and run victim. One theory is that Susan’s former girlfriend, Amanda, might be involved, but the trouble is finding her. She and her current girlfriend, Dani, have disappeared.

Meanwhile, the ‘inexperienced at murder investigations’ police force in Fife has just found a drowned body in the Firth of Forth (I love the way that sounds). It turns out to be Jamie Auld, a prime suspect in the disappearance of his brother Ian, a high- ranking government employee, 10 years earlier. Ian’s body has never been recovered and Jamie has been invisible, first joining the French Foreign Legion for seven years and then living in Paris, playing in a jazz band. Since Pirie was the last person to review the Ian Auld case two years earlier, she is put on the current Auld case to see if they are related. She commandeers Daisy Mortimer from the Fife police as a detective. The question is what ever happened to Ian and why would anyone want to kill Jamie, who has kept his head down for this past decade.

With Daisy assisting on Auld and Pirie’s right-hand man, Jason Murray, assisting with the skeleton, the investigations move forward, sometimes slowly and sometimes fast paced. In the midst of all this, Pirie must contend with the current release from prison of the killer of her ex-lover Phil three years earlier. She’s got her hands full and she takes advantage of the relationships she has built up with several people on the force including a tech expert, a forensic expert and a judge.

The old stalwarts are back which is always nice in a series and the introduction of Daisy Mortimer makes one hope she’ll be a continuing character. She is a refreshing addition to the cast.

McDermid finds reason to touch on serious subjects such as Brexit, Covid-19, identity theft and art fraud, while also throwing in a few lowland Scottish terms for fun. The ending is not so surprising. I guessed part of it mid-way through the book as may other readers, but the journey is just as good whether or not you have an inkling of what is going on. As one reviewer (Susan) said, it is “…a timely and cracking good mystery that keep the pages flying.” McDermid is good for fans of Tana French and Denise Mina.

I’ve read all the books in the series except for book #2, A Darker Domain. [Distant Echo (#1 in the series), Skeleton Road (#3 in the series), Out of Bounds (#4 in the series) and Broken Ground (#5 in the series).

While I highly suggest any Val McDermid book, I do like the Karen Pirie books the best. You don’t need to start the series at book number 1. You can jump in anywhere. Still Life is an easy and enjoyable read.

As you probably know by now, I’m a Nordic Noir fan and I’ve been going through the list of books I’ve made from the July New York Times Book Review recap of Nordic Noir.

Today I’d like to talk about Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp. Schepp originally self-published the book when no major publishers wanted it. She sold 40,000 copies and sold the most books of Sweden’s independently published authors. She has won the Specsavers Reader’s Choice award as Sweden’s most popular crime author as voted by readers in 2016 (beating out Camilla Lackberg), 2017 and 2018. She now writes for a major publishing house.

Marked for Life is the first book in the Jana Berzelius series which also has Marked for Revenge and Slowly We Die published in English. There are two more books in the series that have not yet made it to the States.

Henrick Levin and Mia Bolander are called out to a murder scene. Hans Juhlen, head of Sweden’s Migration Board handling asylum issues was found dead in his home by his wife. He was shot to death where he lay. There is virtually no forensic evidence except a finger print and palm print on the window sill, belonging to a young child, and since the Juhlens were childless, it must belong to a stranger.

Several days later a young boy was found shot to death in a nearby deserted shoreline. His finger prints match those on the window sill and the gun found next to him could be the Juhlen murder weapon. The strange thing is that on the back of the boy’s neck was carved the name Thanos. In Greek mythology Thanos is the personification of death. Could a young boy really be capable of murder?

Enter prosecutor Jana Berzelius who will head the investigation. Jana is strong and professional and harbors a few secrets of her own. The first is that she remembers nothing about her life prior to her being adopted as a pre-teen. Second is the carving on the back of her neck, Ker. In Greek mythology, Ker is a female death spirit. Could she and this murdered boy have something in common. Ever since she can remember she has been having disturbing dreams. She has spent years trying to learn of her past. Could this possibly bring those memories to the forefront?

I really liked Marked for Life and plan on continuing to read this series. Jana’s hunt for her identity puts her at odds with the police investigation, both of which are strongly pulling at her. The police procedural involving Levin and Bolansky as well as several other team members including a forensic specialist is realistic as they doggedly pursue clues all the while being hounded by the press. Schepp combines their personal lives and business lives so we get to know our characters.

And if you like suspense and action, you’ve got plenty of it here. The author manages to touch on people smuggling, drugs and child soldiers all in one book but it doesn’t overwhelm you.

Everyone has a different set of criteria for what is Nordic Noir. For me it’s the atmosphere, bleak, dark, dreary, depressing both in location and in characters. While the subjects in Marked for Life are depressing, the atmosphere did not meet my “Noir’ criteria. Neither the locale nor the characters exhibit those qualities. So, Marked for Life is a good intro into Scandinavian Noir if you want to start slow.

I must show one quote to you from the New York Journal of Books. “Marked for Life gives you such a chill that ice forms along your extremities and sends you burrowing under the bed covers seeking not so much warmth, as a hiding place from evil.” Indeed, evil does lurk between the covers of this book.

Marked for Life is recommended for fans of Camilla Lackberg, Sara Blaedel and Steig Larsson.

This book is prime fodder for movies, so I hope someone picks up the movie option. I highly recommend Marked for Life.

Joan Osborne

So, if you’re like me, you love live music and Covid-19 has put the kabbosh on that…that is until last night. The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT put up a big tent in their parking lot, socially distanced the patrons and put on a show with Stephen Kellogg and Joan Osborne. Despite the fact that the temperature got below 40 degrees, both performers put on quite a show.

It seems that as much as we miss seeing and hearing live music, musicians miss playing before a live audience. I don’t blame them since standing ovations occurred for both performers.

Stephen Kellogg is a folksy artist, plays a good guitar and has a good voice. The highlight of the show was when he brought on ‘the best back up singers’, they being two of his four daughters, aged around 13-ish (that estimate is from my unpracticed eye). Their two songs were great, especially one about him almost waking his daughters up at night to tell them how much he loves them.

Joan Osborne, of course, was excellent. She played songs from her new album, which I just ordered because the songs she sang I really liked and because I want to support artists who put themselves out there during these tough times, songs from her Bob Dylan album, which I can’t seem to find (I won’t buy from Amazon!), songs from her residency at the Cafe Carlisle and a few others. As the temperature dropped she kept blowing on her hands to keep them warm. She is a trooper. Her band (keyboard and guitar) was tight and seemed well rehearsed, even though she said they couldn’t rehearse due to Covid-19,

I ordered a ‘snack package’ which contained 2 cans, yes cans, of Pinot Gris, which happened to be really good, wheat thins and cheese, popcorn, water and an apple. Despite the cold night air, the wine was appreciated.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a little gem and only 1 and 1/2 hours from home, it’s worth the drive, so follow them on social media and patronize their offerings.

A wonderful but chilly night was had by all…including the service dog sitting next to us, all bundled up in a blanket, keeping his owner’s lap quite warm.

Marked for Life

In July 2020, the New York Times Book Review had a section on Nordic Noir, which I love. I made a list of the books I wanted to read and have been plugging away at it ever since. Marked for Life by Emilie Schepp was on the list. It is the first book in the Jana Berzelius series.

An interesting thing about the author and the book. Ms. Schepp shopped it to the big name publishers with no takers. So she published it independently, sold 40,000 copies and won the Specsavers Reader’s Choice Award for most popular crime author as voted by readers in 2016, 2017 and 2018 (beating out Camilla Lackberg in 2016). Not bad, huh.

There are five books in the series, three of which have been published in the U.S. Marked for Revenge is the second book in the series.

Detectives Henrik Levin and Mia Bolander are called to a crime scene. Hans Juhlen, head of asylum issues for the Migration Board has been shot to death. He has been found by his wife, who immediately becomes a suspect. The only forensic evidence at the scene is a finger print and palm print belonging to a child on a windowsill and since the Juhlens are childless, it can’t be theirs.

A short time later the body of a young boy is found in a deserted area along with a gun. The boy’s fingerprints match those on the windowsill and the gun could certainly be the murder weapon. Carved on the back of the boy’s neck is the name Thanos which in Greek mythology is the personification of death.

Jana Berzelius is the prosecutor assigned to the case. She is strong, stylish, wealthy and a winner. She also has a hidden past. She can remember nothing prior to her being adopted as a pre-teen. She has been having vivid, disturbing dreams which she has written down in the dozens of journals kept under her bed and…she also has a name carved on the back of her neck, Ker, a female death spirit. Could she somehow be connected to this boy, this murderous child?

There is everything you would want in Marked for Life: action, police procedural, plots with twists, secrets. The police and forensic team members are an interesting group as we learn about their home life and work life. Jana’s character is unique in the many mysteries I’ve read, balancing between upholding the law yet finding out about her past and holding those responsible accountable.

There are different criteria as to what constitutes “Nordic Noir” depending on the reader. To me it is the bleak, dreary, depressing locale and characters (Arnaldur Indridaon’s Detective Erlendur comes to mind). In my mind, Marked for Life does not have these qualities. Although Schepp touches on depressing subjects such as child soldiers, human trafficking and drugs, I didn’t find the locale and characters to be depressing and bleak. Rather the opposite, especially when it comes to the self-confident Jana. As such, it is a perfect intro to Nordic Noir because it doesn’t get that bleak. yet it packs a wallop.

The New York Journal of Books reviewer said, “Marked for Life gives you such a chill that ice forms along your extremities and sends you burrowing under the bed covers seeking not so much warmth, as a hiding place from evil.” I think that’s a good description.

Emelie Schepp and Jana Berzelius are two people I want to keep a watch out for. Marked for Revenge and Slowly We Die (books 2 and 3) are on my must read list. Schepp is not a household name in the states, but I’m betting she will be, so get in on the ground floor and read her books and then recommend them to friends.

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

If you are a Nina LaCour fan, as I am, you will be surprised by Watch Over Me. It is not ‘typical’ Nina LaCour fare.

Mila has just graduated high school and is aging out of foster care. She has been accepted as an intern teacher at a farm in a remote part of Northern California, across the street from the Pacific Ocean. She is totally surprised at her acceptance. The owners of the farm, Terry and Julia, take in children who have experienced trauma and are having a difficult time dealing with it.

Mila originally came from a loving family including her mother and grandparents. But as lonely people do, her mother attached herself to a controlling man who is gradually reducing her self esteem all the while making Mila’s life miserable. Mila yearns for the good old days that will never return.

Mila’s pupil at the farm is nine-year-old Lee and over the course of the weeks, she develops an attachment so deep with him that she is surprised at the emotions she feels for him…something she hasn’t felt since her grandparents. The question remains, can she help him overcome the ghosts that haunt him, all the while overcoming the ghosts that haunt her?

While an easy read, it is an emotional one as well. Those of us who have never suffered deep trauma can never understand what someone is going through who has suffered it. But we can hope that with family, friends, love and support, we can ease their burden. That’s what Watch Over Me tries to tell us.

So, I do suggest you read Watch Over Me, but I also suggest you read my favorite Nina LaCour book, Everything Leads to You or is it We Are Okay which I gave 5 stars to or Hold Still which is the first book of hers that I read and gave 4 1/2 stars to (now I’m just confusing myself). You should just read them all because you can’t go bad with any Nina LaCour book.

Perry Mason

It’s been quite a while (years?) since I’ve written on this blog, but I think I’d like to resurrect it. So here is what I hope is the first of many future blog posts.

The new interest in Perry Mason has me in a quandary. Watch the new program or not? You see, I’m a big Perry Mason fan from the 1960s when it first aired (1957) on TV. Raymond Burr is my vision of Perry Mason. I can’t help it. I got to stay up late on Saturday nights and watch it. It was a treat. Della Street was his secretary with a huge crush on him, Paul Drake was his private investigator, Hamilton Burger was the District Attorney that never won a case against Mason, and Lieutenant Tragg was the copper that couldn’t beat Mason. That program was solidly based in 1960s California and I devoured it.

It is my understanding that the current TV version is set in 1930s California and Mason is a private detective, not an attorney. And instead of Mason’s secretary, Della Street, having a huge crush on him, she instead is a lesbian. Paul Drake does appear as well. Gone are Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg. So, this version is turning my world upside down.

I thought I’d solve the problem by going back to the first Perry Mason book, The Case of the Velvet Claws, published in 1933. I found that this book is a combination of both televised versions. It includes Perry as an attorney, Della as his secretary and Paul Drake as his private investigator. Unfortunately, Burger and Tragg do not make an appearance. It solidly takes place in the 1930s and has the language of the pulp fiction era. It is not as dark as Hammett or Chandler or some of the other great Black Mask pulp fiction mystery writers (it’s almost like a cozy mystery compared with them) but the action and the language put it in the same genre.

About the book (yes, I was going to get to it). Expensively dressed Eva Griffith walks into Perry Mason’s office and Della Street, his secretary and not so secret admirer, warns him she’s trouble. It seems that married Eva Griffith was out on the town with up for election politician Harrison Burke and a murder occurred at the nightclub they were at. It would be political suicide for Burke if this liaison was made public and Eva is afraid that the scandal rag Spicy Bits is going to find out and publish the information. Eva wants Mason to convince them it is not in their best interest to do so.

Always up for a challenge and a big fee, Mason takes the case, against the advice of Della. But as you suspect, Eva is not who she says she is and furthermore it turns out that her husband is the hidden owner of Spicy Bits. When he turns up dead, Eva and Burke are prime suspects, but Eva will not go down without a fight. When she names Mason as the murderer, Perry has to clear himself as well as Eva.

We all know that Perry will come up with the truth, using whatever devious means he can. The Case of the Velvet Claws is classic Perry Mason and classic 1930s noir. It was a treat to see Perry, Della and Paul in action. I haven’t read a Perry Mason in a while.

I highly recommend it, just be aware it is not easily available.

Thought you might like this.


Here are Erle Stanley Gardner’s books stacked up to dramatize the immensity of his output.

Odd Numbers by Anne Holt

This ninth book in the Norwegian Hanne Wilhemsen series, which takes place in 2011, certainly kept my interest, but it was tough going at times. Having previously read book 5, Dead Joker, a lot has happened in four installments. The problem also is that the books aren’t being translated in order, so readers can get totally confused.

Hanne Wilhelmsen is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of something occurring in a previous book. She had pretty much isolated herself after said occurrence but has finally emerged enough to return to the police force and take on cold cases, many of which she hopes can be solved from the isolation of her apartment. She’s assigned a young policeman, Henrik Holme who has a few ‘idiosyncracies’, to work with her.

The first case this new team tackles is the disappearance of a seventeen year old girl many years ago. In the meantime, the police force is dealing with the deadly bombing of a local Muslim community center and Hanne’s former best friend, Billy T., is afraid that his son might be mixed up in the bombing.

It should come as no surprise that Hanne solves both cases.

As I said in the beginning, the book was tough going at times. Holt skips around among Hanne’s search, the bombings and Billy T.’s efforts to find the truth about his son. The skipping around becomes disconcerting at times and makes it difficult to following which path we are reading about at any point in time.

Hanne and Henrik Holme make an interesting team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they return, however, I’ll have to think twice or reserve a lot of time if I’m going to read another Hanne Wilhelmsen novel because it was definitely a slow read.



Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot gets a case in which a man is found hanging from a tree. There are no signs of a struggle and by all appearances, it is suicide. When she learns that his name is Mark Hardcastle and he directs plays at a local theatre, she pays a visit and learns that Hardcastle has a boyfriend, Laurence Silbert. Silbert is the next stop on her quest for information and when no one answers the doorbell, Annie becomes skeptical. She breaks in and calls Silbert’s name. When still no answer, she and Winsome Jackman begin a search and find Silbert’s beaten body. At this point, Annie’s boss, Detective Superintendent Gervaise, suggests they call Detective Chief Inspector Banks home from his holiday.

Of course, what for all intents and purposes begins to look like a jealous lover’s murder/suicide, to Banks’ imaginative mind there are sinister doings. I won’t spoil the intrigue by describing these sinister doings, though.

I picked up All the Colours of Darkness, written in 2008, at Warwick’s Albert Wisner Public Library’s Friends bookstore and although it’s signed and normally I’d keep it, I think I’m going to re-donate it and let someone else get some reading pleasure. As always, Robinson’s DCI Banks books are great reading. In this particular book he does not deal with a cold case alongside a current one, which he has in many previous books.

There is intrigue, suspense, espionage, action. Of course, there’s Banks’ extensive and variable taste in music, some of which I want to write down. (Has anyone compiled a list of his music, similar to Michael Connelly’s Bosch CD?…actually there is, so click here.)

Other reviews here include: When the Music’s Over, In the Dark Places, Children of the Revolution, and Before the Poison.

I just received my copy of Robinson’s latest book, Sleeping in the Ground, which I can’t wait to read. It will be great vacation reading.