FRiction FRiday: Top Ten Characters | Baldacci rocks!

Wow, I’m a little behind this week so I’m going to have to keep this short until next time ….

[All names in Bold Italic … BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGE … except URL references in RED. No affiliate links.]

Baldacci Rocks!

Tonight, I will finish Baldacci’s 5th Camel Club series book, Hell’s Corner … but it’s clear that Baldacci has become even more proficient at intricate plots that are not easy to unravel, even for his inimitable character, Oliver Stone, a/k/a John Carr. This latest work … and one of his longest … has been a cut above the previous books in this series, mostly because just as you think you’ve figured out what’s happening, phrases like … sharp turn left, start over, huh?, what just happened?, where are we going now? … pop into your skull.

If you haven’t met the Camel Club, get started with the first book, The Camel Club to get the gist … then in order, read The Collectors, Stone Cold & Divine Justice. You can thank me later.

Top Ten Favorite Characters

Okay, so the list isn’t done … at least not for public consumption although I have narrowed it to the Top Ten from the mystery-thriller-suspense genre. I PROMISE (more…)

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FRiction FRiday: Top Ten Favorite Characters

Wow, is it FRiction FRiday already? They sure seem to come up fast … even though some weeks are pretty long … so let’s kick up a few more rocks and talk about our favorite mystery-thriller-suspense novels. [All names in Bold Italic … BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGE … except URL references in RED. No affiliate links.]

It’s been great to to hear from so many of you. I’m thrilled we’ve found each other … but don’t hesitate to add your comments and questions in the FRiction FRiday blog posts so everyone can see and share. Remember, we don’t have to agree … I fully respect your right to be dead wrong! Just kidding … kind of. ;>)

Top Ten Favorite Characters

I guess this is the time of year for lists … Christmas Lists, Top Ten everything lists from 2010, New Years’ resolutions … so I’m joining in by TRYING to create a list of my Top Ten Favorite Characters from the mystery-thriller-suspense genre. Not all at once, mind you … but over the remaining few weeks of the year.

I wasn’t really sure how hard I’d have to scrounge to find TEN that I really love … until I started writing them down. Now, I’ve already had to create an Honorable Mention category for those that didn’t make it … with explanations for each about why they didn’t make it … and each is for a different reason.

For now, I’ve also decided against any 1-10 ordering since they are all so great … and for different reasons. (more…)

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FRiction FRiday: Reacher, you Magnificent Bastard!

I’ve heard from a few of you that you’re a little confused about FRiction FRiday. Pretty simple, really … just a joyride down a back alley hidden behind our office building. No, I’m not changing the web site or becoming a book critic. Just having some fun, kicking a few rocks loose and sharing my observations with those of you who love mystery-thriller-suspense novels. Only on Fridays … to suggest a few morsels for the weekend and beyond. [All names in Bold Italic … BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGEexcept URL references in RED. No affiliate links.]

Stay tuned for my own Top Ten list

Geez, aren’t there enough of those? Yeah, probably … but in this genre, it isn’t the Top Ten favorite books. Most observers agree that with series books, like many/most of those in this genre, few people can remember one book from the other within a favorite series … certainly if their memory is like mine, they can’t. What they do vividly remember are the characters … and of course, the authors … and it’s the character development that’s more memorable than a specific book.

We’ll start down that path next week but you can be sure the guy who follows is definitely on it!

Worth Dying For … Jack Reacher a Cornhusker?

Yes, one of our favorite heroes returns in Worth Dying For, book #15 in the Reacher series from Lee Child. If you haven’t met Jack Reacher, then you don’t pay much attention to this genre. Reacher is a retired MP officer from the U.S. Army, disconnected from just about everything. He’s always on the road but somehow becomes embroiled in all manner of justice serving and general mayhem along the way. Big guy, plays for keeps, doesn’t lose much, doesn’t get pushed around much either.

Last week, Reacher’s latest story was on my “Still Savoring” list but I couldn’t hold off any longer. I finished it last night and it’s great to have the old Reacher back. He seemed to be mellowing a bit in the last few books, letting a few bad guys off the hook. No longer because he makes up for it in spades here. Readers love Reacher because he extracts justice on the spot … no hand-wringing, no regrets … he just acts in ways that satisfy our own primal urges … the kind that are riled when one more predator goes free or another child has gone missing.

If you haven’t found Reacher, get started. You can also check out the Reacher Report, too, to keep up with Jack’s exploits.

More juice ….

No time to comment but here’s a pic of one stack of books I’ve read to jostle your reading fires. (more…)

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FRiction FRiday: More head banging needed!

Welcome to our continuing Fiction series. We have a little time off I see … no wonder this post is getting longer  … but we’re still spilling our guts here every week to help you find great reads in the mystery-suspense-thriller genre. I previewed this new series earlier, so I don’t need to repeat it … other than to remind you that I intend to stimulate your discovery of the good, the bad and the only genre where a ranch breakfast is a steel metal jacket dipped in cordite.

Mostly, we’re just taking a break to have a little fun. [All names in Bold Italic … BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGEexcept URL references in RED.]

Nelson DeMille rocks!


A couple of things worth noting this week. If you haven’t read Nelson DeMille, perhaps most famous for The Charm School, you’re missing a rock solid writer with a great sense of humor. If you haven’t already, you need to meet John Corey, his wise-cracking protagonist and one of the few laugh aloud characters in the genre. If you subscribe to DeMille’s newsletter, you’ll see where the rousing good humor comes from.

Amazon’s 2010 Top Ten Mystery & Thriller books … really?

Amazon also just published their 2010 Top Ten in the mystery-thriller-suspense genre. Not sure what it says about my reading choices … or theirs …. but I’ve only read 1 of these books … Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher thriller is on the “Still Savoring” list so that will become #2… and I have read books by only 2 more of these authors … and have only heard the names of some of the rest. (more…)

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FRiction FRiday: Imagine having a 007 license!

Welcome to our first Fiction Friday. I’m excited to start spilling my guts about the great reads in the mystery-suspense-thriller genre. I previewed this new series earlier this week, so I don’t need to repeat it … other than to remind you that I intend to roust your senses, pillage your serenity and stimulate your discovery of the good, the bad and the only genre where a ranch breakfast is a steel metal jacket dipped in cordite. We’ll end up with a rogue’s gallery of unaccountable tough guys, a few cerebral types and some shameless sidekicks. Mostly, we’ll just take a break and have some fun.

For now, we’ll set aside any analysis of what is mystery … vs. suspense … vs. thriller. There are many who have tried to tease these apart … but for us … for now … it’s a distinction without a difference. Let’s just find some great stuff to read.

First, take a look at the bookshelf widget in the right banner, compliments of Shelfari. I’ll update it each week with books I’ve read, am reading or am savoring … I’ll tell you which each time … and you can mouse over each one to get a little more information about it. Cool, huh? This week it includes books I’ve recently read and you can’t go wrong with any of them. I’ve covered a few here but can only begin to make a dent in the list. (No affiliate links included.)

Blue Heaven, C.J. Box: 2009 Edgar Award for Best Novel

I finally got around to reading C.J. Box, Blue Heaven, the 2009 Edgar Award winner for Best Novel of the Year, awarded annually by the Mystery Writers of America. It’s a prestigious award in this genre, with a Hall of Fame cast. (more…)

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