on't fall over because I'm posting a review today. I don't mean to cause any cardiac problems for anyone. 😉 Today's review for Michael Koryta's Rise the Dark
first appeared as a starred review in Shelf Awareness for Readers
. Of course it also appeared there in a more timely fashion, but for those who missed it, I'm posting it here today with their permission.
First line: The snow had been falling for three days above six thousand feet, but it had been gentle and the lines stayed up.
Markus Novak, no longer investigating for the Florida-based Death Row defense firm Innocence Incorporated, is taking on the intimately personal case that has plagued him since his introduction in Michael Koryta's Last Words--the murder of his wife, Lauren. Garland Webb, the man accused of killing Lauren, is out of prison, and Novak is determined to exact justice for both Lauren and himself. He just has to find the monster first.
Webb's trail leads Novak back to the scene of Lauren's death. Then it takes a sharp turn, introducing him to an honest-to-goodness Pinkerton PI and sending them both to a place Novak swore he would never return, Red Lodge, Montana. Here Novak's past collides with his present, and he uncovers the truth behind Webb--who is just the tip of a terrifying iceberg--as well as the meaning of words left on Lauren's notebook before she was murdered, "Rise the dark." As Koryta raises the dark on his determined protagonist with a brilliantly sadistic villain, Novak races time to prevent a global crisis.
Koryta's second installment in the Mark Novak series is easily appreciated on its own, but readers of Last Words and Koryta's standalone Those Who Wish Me Dead will delight in small references to his earlier works. While some of the explanations for electrical processes deter from the thrilling action, Koryta constructs an enveloping atmosphere that artfully merges the landscape's beauty with the plot's terror and the darkness of his characters. This dichotomy ramps up the suspense, making Rise the Dark heart-poundingly swift and chock full of explosive excitement.
appy Friday everyone! I hope you've enjoyed a good week. It's been a little rainy in my neck of the woods, but alas, summer has vacated the area. I saw our first signs of leaves changing colors. I love fall's palate, but I always mourn the loss of summer. To alleviate a little of my melancholy, I'm hoping to take Rufus to the Woollybear Festival
I also had an, um, interesting run-in with a possum this week. It wasn't pretty--for me, the possum is just fine. 😉 And I registered for Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee
this week. Anyone planning to be there, too? Should be a grand time.
Anyway, we've got some fun photos for New Photo Friday, so let's get on with it, shall we?
I mentioned earlier that for my current photography class we have a special project. I've been working on that project and wanted to share one of my current iterations today. In the past three weeks this has already morphed quite a bit and I see more significant changes in the future, but thought I'd get your thoughts on it at this point. The theme of my project is "Love of Story," and I'm trying to evoke a comforting, reassuring emotion in reading.
I'm using a couple of light sources and have been playing with their placement and power. The ring in the gutter of the book is a new addition and I am still working on getting the lighting on it correct so it creates the heart shape evenly in the shadow.
I shot this time around with a 2.8 aperture, an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/160. When I go to work on it next, I'll be removing some of the clutter -- the post-its, the bookmark. My eventual plan is to have tea in the cup, but I want to get the composition right before I move on to that step. And obviously the lighting needs work so my entire background is not black and the highlights on the book aren't blown out. Other thoughts about things you like or don't like? All constructive criticism welcome!
Maddee really loves taking flower shots. And she is sharing one with us this week for her new photo. This is what she told me when she sent the picture: "Taken with my iPhone, no filter. I just love the balance of rich colors and textures with the background faded out. I decided to start naming my photos for fun… this is Flower Candy." I love that name, especially since the flowers look good enough to eat!
And there you have it from us this week. Do you have a new photo to share for this week? Let us know in the comments so we can stop by and see your work! All photos, all levels of ability welcome.
Have a super weekend, friends.
y reviews are sadly backed up, and it's overdue to get another one posted on the new site. My review of Peter Spiegelman's Dr. Knox
first appeared as a starred review in Shelf Awareness for Readers
. I'm posting it today with their permission. Hope you enjoy.
"Mia should've been it for the day."
Dr. Adam Knox means well, but as the saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The good doctor is laying down his stepping-stones at a rapid rate. Knox runs a medical clinic in Los Angeles near Skid Row and lives in an apartment above the clinic. Since his typical clientele isn't exactly leaving him flush, he moonlights--with the help of his friend former Special Forces agent Ben Sutter--taking hush-hush house calls from people who can't or won't publically seek medical help. But these jobs are cake compared to the young boy who shows up at his clinic.
When Alex arrives at Knox's office, he's suffering from a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Knox and his capable staff stabilize the young patient only to discover the boy doesn't speak English and his mother has vanished. Knowing all too well how Children's Services works, the doctor wants to attempt to find the boy's mother before calling them. His good intention, however, goes beyond paving a road; it is the key to unlocking the gates of Hell. And not just for himself, but also for everyone he cares about.
is feverishly suspenseful. Peter Spiegelman ramps up the stakes for Knox with catch-22s and tests of his integrity. He spreads a layer of grime over Los Angeles with manipulation, corruption and filth, successfully blocking out the rays of hope and leaving his well-meaning doctor no options if he won't play dirty himself. Dark, evocative and riveting, perdition's never been so inviting.
ince I'm a little behind on sharing my reviews from Shelf Awareness, let's try to catch up, shall we? The Innocents
by Ace Atkins first appeared as a starred review in Shelf for Readers
. I am posting it today with their permission.
"Lillie Virgil stood high on a north Mississippi hill at daybreak listening to old Ruthie Holder talk about the man who'd run off with her grandson's Kawasaki four-wheeler and her brand-new twelve-gauge Browning."
Quinn Colson returns to Jericho, Mississippi after training an Afghani police force in the Middle East. Lillie Virgil is acting sheriff; Quinn's father, Jason, has grand plans to turn Quinn's farm into a dude ranch, while his girlfriend Anna Lee is moving to Memphis, and a teenager consumed by raging fire walks down the middle of the road in a desperate final effort for help. The sixth book in Ace Atkins' series may be his darkest one yet.
Quinn thought he was finished policing in his hometown when the community voted him out as sheriff. But the gruesome homicide of former high school cheerleader Milly Jones has all of Mississippi watching the investigation, and Lillie needs as much help as she can recruit. The suspect list is long—Milly's strip club boss she short-changed on tips, the drug dealer she refused to sleep with, her drunkard father who feels disgraced by her employment—and the flames devoured any significant forensic evidence that could identify the killer. As Quinn and Lilly dig through the ashes for answers, they find far more than they bargained for.
The marriage of Quinn's law enforcement and complex interpersonal relationships make this series an addictive read. The Innocents
shines a glaring spotlight down the darkest alleys of small-town Mississippi, but does so with the compassion of one who loves the region and wants to reveal the diamonds along with the dregs. Seasoned readers will likely predict the outcome early, but the journey there is the true joy in this gem of a crime novel.