Current Reading, July 16: Ryan, Horowitz, McBride, Cole

Confession: I’m still catching up, so some of these were read slightly more than a month ago.

The Other Woman by Hank Phillips Ryan – thriller/mystery – One of the many blogs I visit is Jungle Red Writerscontributed to by seven or more writers of various genres, mostly soft or cozy, but also historical and thriller. One of those authors is Ryan, and I wanted to try one of her books and choose this one from 2012. At 433 pages I think it was too long and needed editing down. The main character, a reporter kicked off her lead TV job after refusing to reveal a source, is interesting and likable, though her tendency to get flustered is bothersome. Her love interest and the second main character is a cop.

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz – thriller, James Bond. It’s been a long time since I read any James Bond; many years, I think. But Horowitz is hot right now and a strong review of this got me to try it. Not bad, but I’ll always prefer the originals by Ian Fleming.

Forsaken by Michael McBride – Horror, Unit 51 Book 2. I came across and read the first Unit 51 book, Subhuman in May, and followed it up with this just a couple of weeks ago. Not as good as the first one, which is a very Alien-like story of the monsters deep in the Antarctic ice. In chambers that are thawed. If you like that sort of thing, try the first one (I read them in ebook format).

Ragged Lake by Ron Corbett – mystery. This was shortlisted for the Nero Award. The setting in Canada is very well realized, the characters strong, the mystery well laid out. The author puts in a twist near the end. My only complaint is a character I liked didn’t survive. But I guess everyone can’t stay alive in a mystery novel with dope gangs and a hired killer stalking in the woods. This is Corbett’s first novel, and I’ll read his next one when it comes out this Fall.

The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh – science fiction. Though the author’s – perhaps – best known work, Downbelow Station, left me cold, I wanted to try one of her Chanur books and this is the first in the series. Very enjoyable.


So how about you?
What have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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14 Responses to Current Reading, July 16: Ryan, Horowitz, McBride, Cole

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    Just rereading DARE ME by Megan Abbott. I have had a slow reading week, month, year, years. Reading use to always give me solace but now I see it also requires concentration I just don’t have right now.

    • Oh, Patti, it’s terrible when reading isn’t enjoyable. Maybe if you tried something lighter, but I know you’ve tried that. Rereading favorites is a good idea. I really, really hope things get better with Phil’s health and your outlook.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I like your list. According to Amazon, the McBride books are also available in mass market paperbacks. I like reading Antarctic books in the heat of the summer.

    I finished the second in Neal Shusterman’s Arc of the Scythe dystopian YA series, THUNDERHEAD. Pretty fast read for 500 pages. He really left a cliffhanger for the next one. Also read FOREIGN BODIES, the British Library collection edited by Martin Edwards, featuring all foreign, translated authors and stories, few of which I’d ever heard of before. Yet, I enjoyed it as much as his previous collections. I’m close to finishing the Chekhov story collection A NIGHT IN THE CEMETERY and Other Stories. And I’ve started Lorrie Moore’s SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary, another 400 page book.

    I’ve got several other things waiting: Jim Butcher’s BRIEF CASES, the second collection of Harry Dresden stories; the new Amish mystery with Chief Kate Burkholder, A GATHERING OF SECRETS by Linda Castillo; the Jo Gar collection by Ramon Decolta/Raoul Whitfield. And the Megan Abbott book is at the library waiting to be picked up.

    • I’m still catching up on my Current Reading, so the books I mention on Patti’s blog are a little ahead of what I show here. But I’m almost current. So the fantasy books I list on her blog will show up here in a few weeks.

      I have the first of Horowitz’ YA spy series sitting here, but these big fantasy books take time. I read some Chekov years ago (college?) but only the few classic stories, and have never tried more. I decided to skip that Edwards-edited collection, though I have enjoyed most of the others. I almost always skip anything that can be described as “dystopian”.

  3. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Just finished Bearskin by James McLaughlin which I liked a lot. Sort of rural noir. Before that The Woman in the Woods the new Charlie Parker novel by John Connolly. Enjoyed that also. Now reading Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.
    Never been able to get through a C.J. Cherryh . Tried a Michael McBride but thought it poorly written. The Corbett sounds interesting.
    On my too be read pile from the library-Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman.

    • The McBride isn’t great writing, but I don’t expect a lot from a wanna-be Aliens story. Quick ebook reading for the waiting room or other hanging out area. I liked the Corbett pretty well. The Cherryh was typical us-against-them aliens stuff, but if you liked 50s – 60s hard SF in the Astounding/Analog vein, it’s fine. I’ve not read John Connolly, but my wife likes his books.

  4. Jerry House says:

    I continued my Joan Aiken short story collection read with A CREEPY COMPANY, completing all of her collection that I own. Next I’ll have to borrow additional collections from the library or start in on the dozen or so novels I have by her. No matter what mode or genre, Aiken has always delivered for me.

    Aliette de Bodard’s THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE was a complex novella set in a far future heavily influenced by feminism and Chinese culture. I made for an interesting read, but not something I’m likely to follow up on in the near future. John Creasey’s Dr. Palfrey super-science thriller A PLAGUE OF SILENCE was my FFB this week. I’ll go months without reading a Creasey, then binge on five or more of his novels one after the other. An acquired taste perhaps, by Creasey is one of my literary comfort foods. I also finished two horror anthologies this week: Kurt Singer’s HORROR OMNIBUS and Peter Haining’s BEYOND THE CURTAIN OF DARK. Both contained an admirable mix of familiar and unfamiliar stories.

    This coming week may be focused on works by Poul Anderson, Lester del Rey, and John Connolly. Or not. I get easily distracted.

    I hope are weathering the heat safely. It’s hot here, too, but we have also been having daily showers and/or thunderstorms.

    • With the weather, The only thing that bothers me more than intense heat is intense heat with humidity, which I believe you are having. You poor fellow! You are much more of a grim dark and horror reader than I, so those books that you enjoy aren’t for me. But I’ve told you that before, I think. A PLAGUE OF SILENCE might be of interest. I’ve not read any Creasey. (don’t tell anyone I said this, but as far as the first book you mention, I’m getting pretty tired of the seeming dominance of all things feminist/metoo/men are scum, women are not – it seems everywhere I look these days that’s the dominant theme) I look forward to your erudite comments on Poul Anderson, an author who has written some of my favorite books and stories.

  5. tracybham says:

    I finished the non-fiction book, Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous With American History by Yunte Huang. I also read The Diggers Rest Hotel by Geoffrey McGeachin. Set in Australia, a historical mystery set around 1950. Both of those books were good reads.

    I have Trigger Mortis, I want to read it and it will be my first ever James Bond book not by Ian Fleming. The book set in Canada sounds interesting.

    • As I mentioned before, that Chan book sounds pretty interesting. I’d hope it would concentrate on the books, but guess it focuses more on the films. I enjoyed Trigger Mortis, but it was just light entertainment, nothing memorable. You might like Ragged Lake.

  6. I bought about a dozen John Creasey paperbacks at a thrift store over the weekend. They were paperbacks from the late Sixties and early Seventies. You just don’t see paperbacks of that vintage in such nice shape. Also, all BOOKS were 50% off. I’m also reading library books and books that have been in my Read Real Soon stack for years. As you can probably guess, I’m trying to get caught up.

  7. Kent Morgan says:

    I didn’t enjoy Ron Corbett’s Ragged Lake as much as you did. While I did like the first half, I felt it got “off the rails” in the second half. Can’t even remember which character you must have liked that was killed. Right after reading it, I read Michael Koryta’s latest set in Maine titled How It Happened and think it will make my top ten list for this year. I also enjoyed Owen Laukkanen,’s West Coast maritime thriller, Gale Force, which was a switch from his Minnesota-based crime fighters. And you can’t go wrong reading C.J. Box’s latest, The Disappeared. In non-fiction, I just finished The Traveling Feast by Rick Bass, who travelled around visiting his favourite writers and making them a meal.

    • Kent, great comment. Maybe it was just the mood I was in, but Ragged Lake hit a good spot for me. Thinking back, I may guess where you thought it went off the rails, and I can see that. I also gave it first novel credit, maybe. On your recommendation, I’ll give the Koryta a try. I’ve not read any of his books, is that one a good place to start?

      I’ll also look into Gale Force. I’ve tried Box and didn’t enjoy his books.

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