Current Reading: Krueger, Pronzini, Cleeves

As I said last week, I finished William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor novel Tamarack County, and went straight on to the next in the series, Windigo Island. This is, in my opinion, the darkest O’Conner novel so far. It’s more wordy, and preachy, than any of the previous ones, and the subject of badly mistreated teen girls and society’s failures on their behalf are reiterated in every chapter. In many ways this book is Jenny’s (O’Connor’s daughter), as she takes a lead character role, involving herself, often wrongly or dangerously, throwing common sense out the window and unnecessarily putting herself in the path of danger. I rate this as a weaker effort by one of my very favorite authors. I have one more book in the series to read and I will be caught up, but I’ll take a break before I go to that one.

I read a couple more short stories in the Raoul Whitfield Jo Gar collection, and have now started Bill Pronzini’s latest, a stand alone novel, The Violated. I like Pronzini a lot, but the change of character POV with each short chapter is challenging me. I’m never sure why authors choose this approach, but it’s certainly not a personal favorite. I’ll continue to plug away as long as I can.

Barbara finished Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Good-Bye and was planning on reading Night School by Lee Child next, but it was due back at the library, so she’s now reading Harbour Street by Anne Cleeves.

So how about you?
What have you been reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Current Reading: Krueger, Pronzini, Cleeves

  1. tracybham says:

    I do want to read the new Pronzini standalone book. Don’t know when I will get a copy though. My husband buys every one of the Nameless books but he is not interested in the other ones.

    I am reading The Rainbird Pattern by Victor Canning right now. Just finished Dancers in Mourning by Allingham. One short story this week from USA Noir, the first one by Dennis Lehane, titled “Animal Rescue.”

    • Steve Oerkfitz says:

      Animal Rescue was the basis for a very good movie called The Drop starring James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy. Read the Rainbird Pattern years ago-it was the basis for Hitchcock’s last movie The Family Plot.

      This week I read a Italian thriller called Kill The Father. Pretty good but could have lost about 100 pages. Also read the new Sam Duffy novel by Adrian McKinty called Police at the Station and they Don’t Look Friendly. Have liked all of McKinty’s books so far. Read a novella by Lawrence Block called Keller’s Fedora. Just started Saratoga Payback, the new Charlie Bradshaw mystery by Stephen Dobyns. He wrote one of my favorite novels-Church of the Dead Girls.

    • Tracy, I got the Pronzini from the library, there was only a short wait. I have a couple of books by Canning, I think Bill Crider recommended one of them, but have yet to read either. If I can correctly recall, I liked that Allingham.

  2. Bob Napier says:

    A Spillane/Collins Western.

  3. Deb says:

    Read HARBOUR STREET a few months ago and enjoyed it very much. I really enjoy the Vera Stanhope books (and the tv show–although characterizations are different). Great comfort reading if you like British police procedurals (which I do).

    Speaking of which, I finished Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s most recent DCI Bill Slider mystery, OLD BONES, this week. It’s about trying to investigate a crime from 25 years ago when a skeleton of a girl who went missing in 1990 are discovered. After I finished that, I immediately started Jane Harper’s THE DRY–coincidently about how a murder of a teenage girl 20 years ago is related to a murder-suicide in contemporary outback Australia, all against the backdrop of a terrible drought. Well-written with a propulsive plot.

    • Your comments here may have been why she reserved HARBOUR STREET from the library, Deb. I’m very far behind on the Slider books, I keep forgetting about them. That isn’t the first good comment on THE DRY I’ve heard.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    THE LIST, a novella and third in Mick Herron’s Slough House/Slow Horses series about MI5. The longer novels are more rewarding.

    LITTLE GIRL LOST (HURT in Britain), second of Brian McGilloway’s DS Lucy Black books in Northern Ireland, kind of a downer. This isn’t surprising considering it is about “grooming” teenage girls. I downloaded this since the library doesn’t have a copy.

    I’m reading the Saki and Fitzgerald collections, plus have read half of CRIMSON SNOW, the latest collection edited by Martin Edwards, with a Christmas theme. I don’t read many older stories these days outside the Edwards anthologies. This includes (so far) Edgar Wallace, Margery Allingham, and Victor Gunn, so far.

    On the road this week so it will probably be short stories only. Thank goodness for the Kindle.

    • The McGilloway does sound “down” probably somewhat like the Krueger. I read the Edwards a couple weeks or so ago (last weeks’ post) and liked it, but then I’ve enjoyed all of the anthologies he’s edited for British Library Crime Classics. The new Scalzi SF novel comes out tomorrow, so I may stop reading the Pronzini (something I’d not do if it was a Nameless novel) and read that. I’m also going to continue with the Whitfield stories about Jo Gar. For travel, that Kindle is a very handy thing.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I’m thinking of ordering that complete collection of Jo Gar stories. I won’t mind rereading the ones I’ve already read.

        I have to check the library to see if the Scalzi is on my hold list. I will definitely read that first.

  5. Bill Crider says:

    Unlike you, I like books written from a multiple first-person POV and zipped right through THE VIOLATED. I just finished THE SOAK, a hard-boiled tale by Patrick McLean. Gotta decide what to read next.

  6. i lost some reading time watching the NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. Buffalo hosted the first and second rounds. The WISCONSIN upset of last year’s Champion, Villanova, was terrific! I’m back to reading faux-Lovecraft novels and short stories.

    • I watched a ton of games this last four days, much to the detriment of my reading. Between now and Thursday, I’ll read the Pronzini, or the new Scalzi which comes tomorrow, or more short stories by Raoul Whitfield.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The regional finals for the East will be in Madison Square Garden this weekend, George, Maybe there will be more upsets.

    • There will be less upsets as the teams become more evenly match, but if Oregon and Arizona don’t play better they will soon be out. This is the only time of year I watch basketball (not the pros at all) so the NCAA-M tournament is a real pleasure for me.

  8. Patti Abbott says:

    Reading ANGEL by Elizabeth Taylor and short stories by Alice Munro. Been waiting for THE DRY forever. Phil is reading ILL WILL still.

  9. So Deb read THE DRY, and Bill read THE SOAK. Hmmm…

  10. Don’t have the Pronzini yet – very good to hear about that, thanks Richard 🙂 Currently reading RAVELSTEIN by Saul Bellow and TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT by Ernest Hemingway.

  11. The North Water by Ian McGuire. Borrowed this from the bookstore and forgot I had it. It’s like … DEADWOOD on a whaling ship.

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