BOOK & BLOG
July 22, 2008
Books of the Week:
Patricia Briggs is a great favorite of mine, and her latest book adds to the pleasure. It’s the kickoff book for a new series. I don’t know if these books will feature the world or the specific characters, but “Wolf” is about Anna, the abused member of a Chicago pack, who’s finally broken free of her alpha and mated with Charles Cornick, son of the leader of the North American werewolves.
Anna and Charles are both struggling against their past, and both trying to arrive at some understanding of what being mated means. Anna has a whole new identity as an Omega wolf. They have a lot of learning to do, and under the most stressful of circumstances. Charles, though recovering from grave injuries, is sent to find the rogue wolf who’s been killing people in a state park. Anna goes with him, and what they discover is more complicated and dangerous than they could have anticipated. I can’t give more away; you’ll enjoy the journey, with these new characters.
Carolyn’s book won’t be released until November, but I hope you’ll all put it on your list. I’ve known Carolyn Hart for many years, and she can’t write a bad book. In addition to being well-written and intelligent (she’s won multiple awards), Carolyn’s books are so clean you can give them to the most straight-laced person you know with complete confidence. “Ghost at Work” is something of a departure for this very well known Oklahoma writer; it’s about an angel, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, who’s sent back to earth to help out a minister’s wife. To Bailey’s surprise, she’s back in her home town, and she can see her adult children. She’s a delightful character, and the mystery she helps to solve is quite satisfying. You won’t be disappointed in this very enjoyable book.
“Who is Conrad Hirst?” is a very lean novel by Kevin Wignall, who wrote the much-praised “Everybody Dies.” Conrad Hirst is an emotionally numb hit man who’s decided to get out of the occupation. First, he has to kill the four people who know his identity. This is not as simple and straightforward as it seems. The first man to die tells Conrad that he has not been working for a German crime boss, as Conrad had assumed. Instead, Conrad finds, his identity is anything but secret, and his employer is an intelligence agency. There are a couple of points that stretch the reader’s credulity, but this is a fascinating read nonetheless.
I spent the past weekend at NECon, a horror writers’ conference in Rhode Island. It was my first time to visit Rhode Island and my first time to attend a conference aimed at horror readers and writers, and I wasn’t disappointed in either.
Let me say this: I had long assumed that mystery writers were the most relaxed people around, because they get to “kill” anyone who crosses them. (In fact, I know one writer who’s killed her ex-husband three times.) But horror writers are positively jolly. I guess if you’ve spent your working day writing about a monster who eats eyeballs for dinner, you’re ready to par-tay when your workday is over.
Everyone at the small conference, which is billed as a “camp” and is very relaxed and casual, was welcoming and genial. I had the pleasure of meeting writers I’d never met before. You have to like a conference where your biggest task is judging the Hawaiian shirt contest.
I went over to Newport with my Ace editor and my co-editor, Ginjer Buchanan and Toni L.P. Kelner. We drove around the wonderful old “summer cottages” of fifty rooms and counting, and daydreamed about pre-income tax days. We toured The Breakers, built by the Vanderbilts. Unforgettable!
I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about next time, but don’t expect a timely blog. I return here on Friday and we leave Saturday for our daughter’s playoffs at nationals.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris