Recommended Reads from October, in the order I read them:
The Friends of Eddie Coyle, George V. Higgins – A seminal book. Few crime fiction writers since have been unaffected by Higgins’s work, and this is the book that got him noticed. Should be on a shelf with Chandler, Hammett, et al for crime fiction writers, and anyone else interested in how the gerne has evolved.
Chasing Darkness, Robert Crais – Possibly the best Elvis and Joe novel. The story sizzles, and Crais has a keen sense of how a PI can never really put things right, but has to be satisfied with explanations. Pike has been humanized by his solo turn in The Watchman, and all the other bit players in Crais’s repertory company are used to best advantage. This book kept me away from the bar the night before Bouchercon so I could finish it.
Blood’s a Rover, James Ellroy – The final volume in his American Trilogy, after American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand, and definitely not for everyone. Ellroy writes with a disdain for convention and good taste to pull the reader into his alternate universe of the Sixties and Seventies. Not as nihilistic as TC6K, and a slightly easier read. Oscar Levant once said there is a line between genius and insanity, and he had crossed it. Ellroy straddles it. You’ll love this book or hate it, or you won’t be sure which. You won’t be indifferent, and you’ll never forget it.