At times, relief is looking at my bedside table and finding a nice thin book on the stack. And so much the better when it turns out to be an exceptional read!
One such a rare find was This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash. In a little over 200 pages, Cash makes you care deeply about a range of characters, but especially about sisters Easter and Ruby. Their already unfortunate life in foster care is interrupted by the appearance of Wade, a wayward father whose trail of misdeeds result in a long line of folks trying to find, hurt, and make him pay. Now he’s convincing his daughters to start a new life together. Next you’re caring about the girls’ guardian ad litem, Brady Walsh, whose dark past threatens to overwhelm him in his search for the girls. You even care about Wade, who started it all but has his own vulnerability and decisions to account for. The ending is masterful and fully satisfying for a reader wanting the best for all—except the really bad guys looking for the $1.4 million dollars, of course. Continue reading “So many books, so little time! “
In last week’s post featuring ninety diverse suspense writers, I made the point that there are many different kinds of thrillers out there. Here are eighty more of today’s best and most thrilling writers grouped for various tastes, and still we’ve only scratched the surface:
- Sophie Hannah writes contemporary British crime stories suffused with taut psychological suspense and a haunting mood. Also try: Ruth Rendell, Minette Walters, Frances Fyfield, Elizabeth George, and Martha Grimes.
- Erin Kelly writes moody, slightly gothic suspense in which the present is haunted by the sins of the past. Also try: Tana French, Ann Cleeves, Thomas H. Cook, S. J. Bolton, Rosamund Lupton, Sarah Rayne, Kate Morton, and John Harwood. Continue reading “Thrillers for every taste, part 2.”
I’m a big fan of the Hardcase Crime imprint, which has been publishing a succession of luridly jacketed vintage pulp fiction alternated with contemporary noir ever since their premiere title – Grifter’s Game by Lawrence Block – in the sultry summer of 2004. I also love Stark House, a small press publishing a steady stream of vintage crime fiction by such forgotten pulpsters as Day Keene, Harry Whittington, Stephen Marlowe, Wade Miller, and the prolific Peter Rabe. Continue reading “SPL Discoveries: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding”
It is the season of good cheer, so why am I posting a list of 31 of the creepiest, most unsettling movies ever made? Well as we tucked into our turkey this Thanksgiving, my mom mentions that she’s been reading my posts here at Shelf Talk. Aw, thanks Mom. “Do you really like all those dark, disturbing books? Don’t you read anything light?”
To be honest I hadn’t been aware of the trend, but looking back over my recent posts I guess there is kind of a dark undercurrent. So Mom, if you’re reading this, no: I don’t just like creepy books about zombies, hillbillies, hitmen and archvillains. I like those kinds of movies too. Continue reading “A Month of Uncomfortable Cinema: 31 Disturbing Films”