Have you heard of HORROR writer Karin Slaughter?

Karin Slaughter is an American crime writer. The author of eighteen novels, Slaughter has sold more than 35 million copies of her books, which have been published in 37 languages …

I can’t recommend her 2015 book Pretty Girls unless you can tolerate horrific torture, rape, mutilation and murder.

I can’t.

After two books I’m giving up on Slaughter though she’s an excellent writer admired by Lee Childs, Kathy Reichs, Gillian Flynn and others in the crime genre.

Agent Running in the Field – John le Carré

At age-87, he’s still a master of the genre. One of our best living authors.

The audio version of Agent Running in the Field is read by le Carré. That makes it even more meaningful, for me.

The book is set in 2018. Le Carré obviously hates Brexit, Boris Johnson (whom he calls pig-ignorant) and Trump.

The plot is simpler than usual for le Carré. I can actually follow the story easily, … for once.

 

 

David Morrell’s Cavanaugh/Protector series

The Protector (2003)
The Naked Edge (2010)
The Attitude Adjuster (2014)

I’ve been on a David Morrell kick of late, one of my brother’s favourite authors.

But I was less impressed with the Cavanaugh series. The protagonist and his wife are high end body guards called protectors.

Too much action. Not enough plot.

Blood Work by Michael Connelley

Blood Work is a novel written by Michael Connelly which marks the first appearance of Terry McCaleb.

The book was used as the basis for the 2002 movie of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood. …

McCaleb was a top man at the FBI until a heart ailment forced his early retirement.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is a fantastic writer. One of the best working today.

This book is one crazy coming-of-age story.

It’s 1940 and good-time gal Vivian Morris has just been expelled from Vassar, but she doesn’t much mind.

Her parents, on the other hand, are less than thrilled, so they dispatch their dawdling daughter to New York to live with her aunt Peg—the charismatic proprietor of a past-its-prime theater that is home to a quirky, cobbled-together family of thespians and showgirls (whom you will genuinely miss when the last page is turned).

Here, Vivian sets out to become someone interesting, and in short order commits a colossal youthful indiscretion that makes her interesting for all the wrong reasons.

… she slyly imparts some hard-won wisdom into this bawdy but bighearted novel, written as an antidote to the grief Gilbert was experiencing after the loss of her partner, Rayya Elias:

“Life is dangerous and fleeting. And thus there is no point in denying yourself pleasure or adventure while you are here.”

To that end, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading City of Girls.

—Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

Amazon

I want to read all her books:

Novels

Biographies

  • The Last American Man (2002)

Memoirs

Children of Men by P. D. James

P. D. James is one of the greatest crime writer all time. She died in 2014 (aged 94).

I’d read a number of her books over the years — but nothing like The Children of Men (1992).

Set in England in 2021, it centres on the results of mass infertility. James describes a United Kingdom that is steadily depopulating and focuses on a small group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses. …

In 1994, the sperm count of human males plummeted to zero …

In 2006, a film adaptation was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen. …

The movie plot is much changed. Far more dramatic.

The book is subtle. Slow paced and philosophical.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The shocker of the book is when one of the protesters gets pregnant. And delivers the first baby in decades.

I can’t say I enjoyed this book as much as James’ usual whodunnits. But it is well executed if you are interested in this kind of dystopian novel.

While reading this tale on Kindle, I was simultaneously listening to The Testaments (2019) by Margaret Atwood. The sequel to another dystopian novel of infertility.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments is a 2019 novel by Margaret Atwood.

It is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).

The novel is set 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale.

It is narrated by Aunt Lydia, a character from the previous novel; Agnes, a young woman living in Gilead; and Daisy, a young woman living in Canada.

Spoiler – Agnes and Daisy are the daughters of June Osborne / Offred / Ofjoseph (Elisabeth Moss in the TV series).

The highlight of the sequel is Aunt Lydia, for sure. Her backstory. Her rise to power as an Aunt overseeing the women of Gilead. Atwood said that Dowd’s performance as Aunt Lydia on the series helped inspire the new novel

Ann Dowd plays the Aunt Lydia role in the TV series. And she reads the part in the audio book.

My only quibble with the otherwise very good book is the plot. It’s absurd to think this was the only way to get Aunt Lydia’s Testaments to Canada. Absurd.