Wednesday, March 3, 2010

February's Best Reads

Olympic hockey cut into my February reading time, but what I read was first rate.

Let It Ride, by John McFetridge – The third installment of McFetridge’s saga of bikers who don’t ride much since they’re too busy taking over the Canadian drug trade has some characters from the previous two books (Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.), but there’s no need to have read the first two before starting here. (Except that you haven’t read the first two, which is your loss.) McFetridge combines the best elements of Elmore Leonard and George V. Higgins into a unique style, writing what is truly a novel about crime. Lots of plotlines, lots of characters, this book is about shifting relationships and alliances with hard-edged dialog and well-drawn characters. Not for casual readers; Let It Ride demands your attention, then rewards it. (Released in Canada as Swap.)

Bury Me Deep, by Megan Abbott – Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on. I’ve been tripping over Megan Abbott’s name for over two years now, finally got around to reading her when my wife bought me a copy for my birthday. Fantastic writing. The neo-Thirties style took me a few pages to get used to, but once I caught the rhythm Abbott pulled me in a little deeper with each page. This is the book that proves you don’t have to start with a body on Page One and a shoot-out on Page Four. Abbott understands tension and suspense, making you wait until you can’t stand it anymore, and is still able to pull off the climax in an unexpected way. The rare book that lives up to all that’s been said about it.

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