The Blindfold Game, Dana Stabenow
Cold Fire, Dean Koontz
Dragon’s Tears, Dean Koontz
Fatal, Michael Palmer
The Husband, Dean Koontz
In the Company of Liars, David Ellis
Wild Fire, Nelson de Mille
The Broker, John Grisham
Black Cross, Greg Iles
Brandenburg Gate, Henry Porter
So I went to Israel and came back and totally forgot to blog a) my reading or b) anything about the trip. It was one of those “I’m living it, so I’m too involved to write about it” things. But now I’ve had some time to process the trip, which hopefully means I’ll write about it at some point. For those who can’t wait that long, there’s an online album somewhere … drop me a line and I’ll get you a link, or post it here if anyone cares.
Anyhow, mostly I read silly thrillers while on vacation; I could have read more intellectually engaging stuff, I imagine, but after fourteen-hour days of intense emotional engagement and high adventure, all I really wanted to do was read junk. Also it was much easier to leave all the books behind this way.
Yes, you heard me right. I read books and then did not keep them. This is the precursor to my purging-the-library project. If anyone wants to give a good (and possibly temporary home) to a whole bunch of my books, this would be a good time to volunteer. I can’t promise that I won’t freak out and need them back, but I’m hoping to pare my collection by at least 10%.
Anyhow: only a few of the books I read over vacation stood out, and not all of them in good ways. De Mille’s Wild Fire in particular was embarrassing. Usually you can rely on him for a good solid action-packed thriller, but this attempt was clunky, slow, and ridiculous. Plus the main character was unusually unlikeable; while John what’s-his-name made an appearance in a couple of other De Mille thrillers, he was at least marginally sympathetic. Here he comes off as a stupid, paranoid, cretinous boor. Ick.
On the other hand, the Porter was a really nice espionage novel - I wouldn’t even quite call it a thriller, despite an exciting and only-marginally-plausible prison-break scene. While he occasionally veers into melodrama, Porter creates a believable main character in a truly impossible situation, and he keeps your sympathies with him even as he digs himself deeper and deeper into trouble. Plus, a future Russian leader cameos - see if you can spot him before the reveal!
I’m also planning to pick up some more Stabenow books (from the library; no, I have not been taken over by the pod people). I loved her tale of high-seas adventure in the Bering Strait. She clearly knows Alaska, and the culture of the Coast Guard, and she put the two together to create a really refreshing take on the oh-so-boring EVULLL TERRORISTZ bit.
Next post: my reading for the last two weeks. Oops. :)