Month: February 2013

Imprimatur – Rita Monaldi & Francesco Sorti

It is my profound belief that each and every book deserves the attention and time given by a reader. Whatever your opnion of the book, reading it is communicating with the author, and it would be plain rude to cut off the author and not let them finish. There are books that have not fallen in my taste and other books whose publication confound me, but there are only a handful of books in my life that I have begun to read, willingly given up on, and pulled the bookmark out in a slightly aggressive manner. “Imprimatur” is one of them. I have read a little more than half and I am done. “Imprimatur” has resided on my nightstand for the better part of two months now and I simply lack the self-discipline to read another page. “Imprimatur” has that air of mystery that in itself has value. Apparently, the authors contacted a publisher in Italy, but after the publication of the first edition, the authors were stonewalled. The novel was later published again internationally …

Crucifix Killer – Chris Carter

Stephen King writes in his brilliant “On Writing” that description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s. Chris Carter is an expert in that balance between description or revealing too much of the plot and letting the reader finish the movie in his or her mind. The chronological starting point of “Crucifix Killer” is a horrific murder that literally makes your skin crawl and it is written with perfection. Pretty much all thriller/crime novels can be summed up as follows: crime – hero tries to catch the criminal – resolution. In my experience, many novels end up with a crime, a lot of running about, and a resolution that either is no surprise at all or is an absurd surprise resembling “the green martian did it”. “Crucifix Killer” deftly navigates all three parts of the novel and Chris Carter has crafted an intricate story with a strong psychological platform. The main character is Robert Hunter, homicide detective, alcoholic, and criminology scholar. He is well-rounded, but has a tad of that too-good-to-be-true …

Kraken – China Mièville

Imagine London riddles with underground societies, religious sects, and political factions. Not that difficult, you say. Now imagine some of these worshipping giant squids, a figure talking through a tattoo on a man’s back, and the sea’s ambassador living in an ordinary house, communicating with messages in bottles. Yeah, it’s beginning to get weird. China Mièville’s feat in “Kraken” is introducing an absurd world in a believable way, so that the reader accepts knuckleheads, who really have a closed fist instead of a head and a character that inhabits statues and jumps between them. Add an apocalypse – or more, and a couple of mismatched heroes on a quest to stop them, and you have “Kraken”. The starting point of “Kraken” lulled me into the fast-paced story unaware and the plot kaleidoscopes out from there. Several times, I closed the novel thinking “absurd, tsk!”, but ended up just having to read the next chapter. What impressed me about “Kraken” is the thought behind all the different aspects in the novel. Everything is thought through, for …