A couple of books stood out in July.
The Burning Soul, John Connolly. Connolly has long been the only writer who could entice me into books with supernatural aspects. The Lovers and The Whisperers left me a little flat, and I almost gave up on him, thinking to re-read some old favorites. Good thing I gave him another chance. The Burning Soul has all the things I like about Connolly, and hardly any of the things that had created the doubts. The poetry of his writing rivals James Lee Burke, and Charlie Parker has grown into a man many first-person authors should take notice of: haunted by his demons, not controlled by them. There’s a coincidence in the denouement that’s a little convenient, but by then it didn’t matter. He’d kept me up well into the morning of a work day. Top shelf stuff.
Late Rain, Lyn Kostoff. Kostoff expertly handles a multi-POV story with well-developed characters and a sense of place, all while propelling the story and its sub-plots with perfect pacing. There’s a coincidence here, too, that I may have missed the explanation for, but, it’s a piddly bit that does not weaken the resolution. Late Rain is professional crime fiction suitable to be broken down by authors who want to know how to keep multiple balls in the air, and make the reader think it’s easy.