Thanksgiving- a time of family, friends, food, migraines (maybe just for me), and hopefully for you, a little reading. I have this habit when it comes to reading- if I enjoy a book by an author new to me, and the author has written other books, I try to read those books before moving on to something else. This month I may have taken that to an extreme.
Book of the Month: Slammer by Allan Guthrie, a crime novelist from Scotland. I’ve seen the name Allan Guthrie for a few years, but for whatever reason, I never got around to reading any of his books until this month. I started with Two Way Split, which I enjoyed. I worked my way through his backlist- Bye Bye Baby, Killing Mum, Kill Clock, and Kiss Her Goodbye, and eventually, Slammer. Slammer is the sort of book you have to pay close attention to while reading. The narrator is delusional, psychotic, drug-addicted, and paranoid whose life is falling apart. His downfall begins when he takes a job as a prison guard and is coerced into bringing drugs into the prison for an inmate. It all goes downhill from there.
Evil and The Mask by Fuminori Nakamura. A psychological thriller. I’ve read Nakamura’s previous book, The Thief, and I had marked this one to read as well, but for whatever reason it took me some time to get it. The story moves back and forth between the childhood of the main character and his present day, where he has undergone a complete facial plastic surgery to conceal his identity. Does a new face change who he is or who his father wanted him to be? As a young child, his father told him he planned to raise him to be a cancer on the world. Does his father succeed?
Other books I read this month: The Black House and The Lewis Man (books 1 and 2 of The Lewis Trilogy) by Peter May, Billy Joel by Fred Schruers, and 400 Things Cops Know by Adam Plantinga (knowing a few cops, this book seemed spot on).
TV & FILM
I managed to get some watching in this month:
- Happy Valley, a six episode crime show show from the BBC and available on Netflix. This one reminded me of the FX show Fargo. If you liked it, you’ll enjoy Happy Valley.
- The Worricker Trilogy, (Page Eight, Turks and Caicos, and Salting the Battlefield) a three episode spy thriller from Masterpiece Theater. Each episode runs about an hour and a half and follows the English spy Johnny Worricker, as he tries to unveil the dark secrets of the prime minister and those who support him.
- The Prestige, a movie by Christopher Nolan, which takes place at the turn of the century as two magicians become caught in a fierce rivalry with deadly consequences.
- With the exception of one or two, I’ve seen and enjoyed the recent slate of 30 for 30 documentaries from ESPN.
Draft four of They Took Me For Granted, my next crime novel is finished, and I’m working through another draft, which is going much faster. After I finish this draft, I plan on having a couple people take a look at it and give me some feedback.