BOOK & BLOG
November 5, 2010
Book of the Week
I started this book a little after Halloween, so it was definitely on target as far as atmosphere. The Dead Path is creepy and crawly and spooky, and there are some genuinely distressing scenes. Irwin’s book opens in London and ends in Australia. The protagonist, Nicholas Close, seems at first to be phenomenally lucky; but by time the book’s pages have turned over a little, the depths of his problems are just beginning to be perceived.
Nick is what we call a ‘picker.’ He goes from town to town finding suitably rustic decorations for pubs, and he seems to have an amazing ability to stop at homes no one’s yet approached and find goods that haven’t been priced high. When his wife dies, Nick returns to Australia because he can’t stand London any more, and his reunion with his mother and his sister lets you know that all is not well in the Close family. Their name carries significance. What’s worse is that Nick’s mom still lives near to the woods where Nick’s childhood friend vanished. Children are still vanishing into the woods.
I won’t reveal all the surprises in The Dead Path, and there are plenty. If you’re a horror fan, or you love ghost stories, this is one wowser of a book for you.
I started two other books I didn’t finish during the past week, so I’m not going to discuss those. They were simply too similar to a score of other books I’ve read.
On the road again! After a few months of being home, I’m not as bored with the idea as I was. I’ve had my pre-trip pedicure. I even look forward to New York. I have some media interviews to do connected with the release of the computer game based on my character Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, who’s been featured in several short stories. I love Dahlia; she’s over the top and ruthless, so she’s fun to write. I’ve seen some of the artwork for the game, and I am very enthusiastic. When it’s ready for public consumption, I’ll be sure to let you all know. It’s not like “Grand Theft Auto.” It’s more like “search and progress to the next level.” In my case, slowly.
After the media stuff, I’m going to get my author photo redone. Since it’s been some years since I posed for the last one, I’m ready. And I’m eighty pounds lighter than I was then. Alas, I’m also about six years older! I could lose a lot more weight and still no one would call me “Skinny,” but I can’t get any younger.( I think gracious acceptance is the key to contentment.) I’m not fond of photo sessions, the same way I’m not fond of going to the dentist: you need to do it and it benefits you, but you never really enjoy it.
And just maybe I’ll go shopping. Ordinarily, I’m not much of a shopper, but I don’t get to big city stores very often. It can be a lot fun to browse in Saks when you only go once every five years!
After New York, I’m off to the Boston area, where I’m going to be the Guest of Honor at the mystery convention CrimeBake. I get to hang with my best buds, Dana Cameron and Toni L.P. Kelner! This is a guaranteed gold-star good time. And seeing the other writers at the convention will be lots of fun, too. It’s been a while.
After that, home again to start the next Sookie. I hope I’m refreshed by my trip, by hanging with others who do what I do, by enjoying the change of scenery. I’ll probably see a few of you along the way.
© 2010 Charlaine Harris