As part of its summer reading issue, the National Post asked me to contribute my picks for worthwhile mysteries and thrillers to take with on vacation, at the beach, and the like. Some I've written about previously, while others are due to arrive later in the season. Some are patently obvious; others, I hope, less so. My choices are:
- BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY by Hannah Berry
- THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Stieg Larsson
- BLACK WATER RISING by Attica Locke
- FEAR THE WORST by Linwood Barclay
- THE DEAD OF WINTER by Rennie Airth
- THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
- DARLING JIM by Christian Moerk
In other summer reading-related news, the Washington Post asks a number of authors which characters they'd like to accompany them for a day at the beach, while the Guardian has a more traditional series of author/book matchups, including Ian Rankin singing the virtues of Colin Bateman.
UPDATE, 6/15: Call it an extra entry, but my review of Gillian Flynn's new novel DARK PLACES runs in the National Post online today. Here's how it opens:
Either serious literary wizardry or brazen bravado is required to introduce your protagonist in the following manner: “I have a meanness inside of me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.” But as she demonstrated with her debut thriller, Sharp Objects, in 2006, which was nominated or won awards on both sides of the Atlantic for its unnerving portrait of young women at their murderous worst, Gillian Flynn belongs in the wizardry camp, gifted with the chops to create empathy for a character who freely admits she “was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
Read on for the rest.