Jump to content


treeduck's MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE THREAD


  • Please log in to reply
128 replies to this topic

#1 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 04 January 2007 - 08:39 PM

Ok this is an all-new thread and it's what I'm going to be doing during my hiatus from the King fest...

I'm reading some stuff I read ages ago plus some new books, hopefully I might give some people some ideas for reading material, maybe introduce a few authors to other people and so on...

The books range from thrillers to mainstream, from westerns to mystery novels, from horror to sci-fi-suspense. And in length from 150 pages to 1000...

After those Stephen King 500 page (on average) slabs I'm going to start with something short and sweet, only 150 pages of Elmore Leonard one of my favourites...

user posted image

I remember they made this one into a film starring Charles Bronson and Linda (High Chaparral) Crystal and it was pretty good but as is usual it's not as good as the book...

In this story a local crime kingpin messes with the wrong melon grower...

Sponsored Post

#2 Jack Aubrey

Jack Aubrey

    The Gun Crank

  • Moderator
  • 22062 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The firing line.
  • Interests:Studying Scripture, movies, reading, military history, target shooting, drums and percussion, temperate, jungle, desert, arctic, and urban survival, saltwater fishing, playing with and training my dogs Sam and River, prepping and tactical training.

Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:43 PM

Oh yeah, sure. I mean, why waste your time posting in the 'What are you reading' thread when you can spam up the forum by starting a whole new useless thread dedicated to the books you and you alone are reading!







Post whore.












moon.gif  

#3 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:57 PM

QUOTE (Jack Aubrey @ Jan 4 2007, 09:43 PM)
Oh yeah, sure. I mean, why waste your time posting in the 'What are you reading' thread when you can spam up the forum by starting a whole new useless thread dedicated to the books you and you alone are reading!







Post whore.












moon.gif

Get it right at least Jackie boy, THREAD WHORE, not post whore, posting this in another part of this subforum would amount to the same post count and wouldn't change the nature of the post content. I could just spam random letters one after the other endlessly in GD if I just wanted a ton of posts, you know that. Unfortunately you've developed the dreaded "spam spotters disease",it appears anything and everything looks like spam to you, no matter what it is, it looks like a terminal case as well I'm afraid...

tongue.gif


Ps you've just made an extra treeduck post...

wink.gif

#4 Jack Aubrey

Jack Aubrey

    The Gun Crank

  • Moderator
  • 22062 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The firing line.
  • Interests:Studying Scripture, movies, reading, military history, target shooting, drums and percussion, temperate, jungle, desert, arctic, and urban survival, saltwater fishing, playing with and training my dogs Sam and River, prepping and tactical training.

Posted 04 January 2007 - 10:12 PM

QUOTE (treeduck @ Jan 4 2007, 10:57 PM)
QUOTE (Jack Aubrey @ Jan 4 2007, 09:43 PM)
Oh yeah, sure. I mean, why waste your time posting in the 'What are you reading' thread when you can spam up the forum by starting a whole new useless thread dedicated to the books you and you alone are reading!







Post whore.












moon.gif

Get it right at least Jackie boy, THREAD WHORE, not post whore, posting this in another part of this subforum would amount to the same post count and wouldn't change the nature of the post content. I could just spam random letters one after the other endlessly in GD if I just wanted a ton of posts, you know that. Unfortunately you've developed the dreaded "spam spotters disease",it appears anything and everything looks like spam to you, no matter what it is, it looks like a terminal case as well I'm afraid...

tongue.gif


Ps you've just made an extra treeduck post...

wink.gif

  icon_really_happy_guy.gif  icon_really_happy_guy.gif  icon_really_happy_guy.gif  

#5 Necromancer

Necromancer

    Will caption for food

  • Members *
  • 17939 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 January 2007 - 04:15 PM

I just read the shampoo bottle while taking a dump.  Can I start a thread about it???  

tongue.gif  

#6 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 05 January 2007 - 04:17 PM

QUOTE (Necromancer @ Jan 5 2007, 04:15 PM)
I just read the shampoo bottle while taking a dump.  Can I start a thread about it??? 

tongue.gif

People start threads about allsorts on this forum one thread's as good as any other I reckon...

I'm pleased to see your reading is coming along nicely Necro, the shampoo bottle is a big step for you...

wink.gif

Edited by treeduck, 05 January 2007 - 04:20 PM.


#7 steelcaressed

steelcaressed

    The Professor

  • Members *
  • 4014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA

Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:06 PM

QUOTE (treeduck @ Jan 5 2007, 04:17 PM)
QUOTE (Necromancer @ Jan 5 2007, 04:15 PM)
I just read the shampoo bottle while taking a dump.  Can I start a thread about it??? 

tongue.gif

People start threads about allsorts on this forum one thread's as good as any other I reckon...

I'm pleased to see your reading is coming along nicely Necro, the shampoo bottle is a big step for you...

wink.gif

Hey...tri-sodium di-sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate isn't exactly what I would call beach reading.  

Keep up the good work necro.   wink.gif



#8 deadwing2112

deadwing2112

    The Sphere

  • Members *
  • 8200 posts

Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:54 PM

QUOTE (Necromancer @ Jan 5 2007, 04:15 PM)
I just read the shampoo bottle while taking a dump.  Can I start a thread about it???  

tongue.gif

Go post it in the What You Are Reading thread.

ps. What intrigued to read the shampoo bottle while your unleashing the beast?

laugh.gif

#9 steelcaressed

steelcaressed

    The Professor

  • Members *
  • 4014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA

Posted 05 January 2007 - 11:00 PM

Now...to actually address this thread.  

My favorite mystery series is written by a gent named Michael Jecks.  It's a series set in the west country of England, about ten years after the demise of the Knights Templar.  The opening book gives us Jacques DeMolay's execution from the perspective of a knight who successfully fled from the Order when the French King, with the blessing of Pope Clement, destroyed the Order.  The knight, who knew DeMolay, watches as DeMolay (in his 70's at the time) refuted the allegations against his Order and curses the Pope and King while he burns.  (Both of them died w/i a year, the King childless.)  

After that, the knight returns to Devon and takes up his inheritance, due to the death of his elder brother a couple of years previous.  

The knight befriends a stannary bailiff, and together they solve quite a few murders. Generally, it is w/o the so-called gallantry oft attributed to the times, rather focusing on the knights ingenious deductions and the bailiff's stubborness.

The books are well crafted and not presumptuous.  A great read for anyone interested in the time period (1310-1320.)  

Enjoy! trink39.gif  

#10 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 05 January 2007 - 11:06 PM

QUOTE (steelcaressed @ Jan 5 2007, 11:00 PM)
Now...to actually address this thread.  

My favorite mystery series is written by a gent named Michael Jecks.  It's a series set in the west country of England, about ten years after the demise of the Knights Templar.  The opening book gives us Jacques DeMolay's execution from the perspective of a knight who successfully fled from the Order when the French King, with the blessing of Pope Clement, destroyed the Order.  The knight, who knew DeMolay, watches as DeMolay (in his 70's at the time) refuted the allegations against his Order and curses the Pope and King while he burns.  (Both of them died w/i a year, the King childless.)  

After that, the knight returns to Devon and takes up his inheritance, due to the death of his elder brother a couple of years previous.  

The knight befriends a stannary bailiff, and together they solve quite a few murders. Generally, it is w/o the so-called gallantry oft attributed to the times, rather focusing on the knights ingenious deductions and the bailiff's stubborness.

The books are well crafted and not presumptuous.  A great read for anyone interested in the time period (1310-1320.)  

Enjoy! trink39.gif

Sounds interesting SC, much better than Necro's shampoo bottle, which I was thinking about adding to my list until I really thought about it and realised that if Necro's hair is such a mess then the shampoo bottle couldn't be much of a read so here's one I read earlier...

user posted image

#11 Earthshine

Earthshine

    The Professor

  • Members *
  • 4302 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 January 2007 - 12:48 AM

I am glad to know that some TRE people actually read something other than TRF. new_thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Neil would be proud of the readers!  rofl3.gif  NeilFinal.gif  

#12 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:29 PM

user posted image



Wow this has been a fast read so far, I'll finish it off later on.

Leonard is a master of dialogue I'll type a bit out:

'I just told you, I hire who I want.'
'Yeah, well the thing is you want me,' Kopas said, 'only it hasn't sunk in your head yet. Because everything is easier and less trouble when you hire my crew. if you understand what I'm saying to you...'
There it was a little muscle-flexing. Hotshot dude trying to pressure him, sure of himself, with two strong-arm guys to back him up. Majestyk stared at him and thought about it and finally he said, 'Well you're making sounds like you're a real mean little ass-kicker. Only you haven't convinced me yet it's true. Then again if you say anything else and I don't like it I'm liable to take your head off, so maybe you ought to consider that."

I think they used this part in the film version with Bronson and an actor called  Paul Kolso who won't sound familar but you'd know his face he always used to be play nasty pieces of work...

Here's this scene in the film and here's a pic of Kolso too...

user posted image
user posted image

#13 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 06 January 2007 - 10:54 PM

Mr Majestyk, yes a good simple little mano e mano tale; the melon farmer with the silver star vs the crazy, burnt-out hitman. Spare prose, nicely done with nothing wasted, each paragraph moving the story forward relentlessly. It's kind of like a western in a modern setting with a great blue-collar character in Vincent Majestyk not his best novel perhaps but certainly a good one...



#14 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 06 January 2007 - 11:04 PM

And now a man who's done horror, short stories and children's stories, Joe R Lansdale. I know him mostly for his excellent and very funny Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series, most of which I'll be re-reading. Next though is one of his stand-alone novels, another short, no-nonsense journey into the hard-boiled, suspense genre...

user posted image

#15 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE (treeduck @ Jan 6 2007, 11:04 PM)
And now a man who's done horror, short stories and children's stories, Joe R Lansdale. I know him mostly for his excellent and very funny Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series, most of which I'll be re-reading. Next though is one of his stand-alone novels, another short, no-nonsense journey into the hard-boiled, suspense genre...

user posted image

I like this Lansdale guy, he has a certain cold clarity, a dry deadpan sense of humour. Witness this paragraph of background about a bar the main character visits...

"I couldn't go into Kelly's without thinking about Stud Franklin who went in there one Saturday and shot himself through the head with a .22 pistol. I didn't see it, but I heard about it from plenty who did. He just walked in there and, said, "f**k him and his pig too," and put the gun to his head. He was upset because he didn't win the FHA contest. He raised the pig for it, worked all year on that pig and put all his money into it, bought fancy food and medical supplies. He was beat out by some backwoods farmer who raised his pig on stale bread and cakes and fed him chewing tobacco to kill worms. Later they found Stud's pig hung up in the fancy concrete pen Stud had built for him. No one suspected the pig of suicide. Stud had seemed stable up to then."

The main story is about a small town Texas businessman who wakes up one night and finds a burglar in his house in the dark. The burglar pulls a gun and fires but misses, our main character, Richard Dane, raises his own .38 and fires back and hits the guy in the right eye and kills him. The police come and tell him it's a closed case of self-defence but he feels guilty. Later they tell him the convict father of the dead man has just been released from jail. it turns out the old man is after revenge, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a son for a son.

He meets him at the funeral and things go downhill from there, the old man threatens him and his family, especially his young son and this culminates in the old man attacking them in their own home even in spite of police protection.

I'm in the middle of the book now and things have taken an amazing turn: Dane and the old man have teamed up together. But why and against whom?

Edited by treeduck, 08 January 2007 - 02:12 PM.


#16 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:49 PM

Cold in July was really good and better than I remembered it. It's tense and exciting and also very funny. It features a five star character in redneck private eye Jim Bob Luke who steals the show once he appears about 100 pages in...

As I said it was really funny and had me laughing out loud numerous times. Lansdale has a real storytelling country boy style that is sort of a cross between James Crumley, Cormac McCarthy and Daniel Woodrell. If you haven't read this guy yet do yourself a favour and pick one of his books as soon as you can.

I'm really looking forward to re-reading the best of the Hap and Leonard series...

#17 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:00 PM

I'm not a fan of Carl Hiaasen these days but he used to be really excellent in the early 90s with his eco-comedy thrillers set in Florida, so I thought i'd remind myself by reading one of his early good ones...

This is how my copy of Skintight looks (thank God I found the cover on the net my webcam pics suck!!):

user posted image



#18 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:44 PM

user posted image

Skin Tight is an enjoyable read that's heavy on the bizarre; bizarre bad guys, bizarre murders and bizarre happenings in general and it's all quite funny. Of course being funny is Carl Hiassen's forte but I think he sacrifices depth to get that humour, keeping it surreal rather than suspenseful, lightweight to my mind. Whereas Joe Lansdale (for ease of comparison since I just read him) can make you laugh and scare you at the same time, Hiassen seemingly cannot. He lacks a little of the gravitas needed to pull it off. His other forte the ecology element, that usually gives his stories an interesting edge isn't so much in evidence here. Still the seven-foot wacko bad guys with rice krispie complexions, crooked county commisioners, unscrupulous courtroom-shy lawyers, body-disposing tree surgeons, ultra-vain Robert Plant wig-wearing TV reporters and incompetent money-grubbing plastic surgeons make for an entertainingly chuckle-fueled diversion.

I read this originally back in 1992ish along with the other three Hiassen novels that were available at the time (Tourist Season, Double Whammy and Native Tongue) and I always thought that this one was the weakest of the bunch even though it was still quite good. It's not even quite as good as I remember somehow. Carl's finest work was his debut solo novel Tourist Season with Double Whammy coming in a close second, but it was downhill from there with his fifth novel Strip Tease being the last one that was any good at all. I'll read that one in a few books time and I hope it helps purge my memory of that abysmal film they made out of it starring Burt Reynolds and Demi Moore...

Useless trivia: Oh yeah one more trivial thing, back in the 80s the weapon of choice for villains in suspense novels was the infamous Uzi, which always seemed to pop up in a Dean Koontz novel for instance (back when he was Dean R Koontz anyway), but here Hiassen breaks the pattern by featuring an Ingram sub-machine gun instead...

  

#19 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:50 PM

user posted image

Robert Crais writes detective novels in the tradition of Raymond Chandler, John D Macdonald and Robert B Parker. Of the three though I most closely associate him with Parker because his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters more closely resemble Parker's Spenser and Hawk, only I'd say they're better. Elvis is more charming, funnier and tougher than Spenser and Joe Pike is even more dangerous and enigmatic than Hawk. The stories have more depth too and are on the whole stronger plus as the series goes along Elvis becomes more and more troubled and therefore more complex.

The one I'm gonna go back to and read here is the fourth one in the series which was the best up to that point (1993) a tale Robert entitled Free Fall.

My version is the 1994 American paperback edition, there was no British editions in the early-mid 90s...

A cool bonus as far as I'm concerned is there's some cool sitting DUCKS on the cover, what more could I ask from a detective novel?

#20 treeduck

treeduck

    Tenacious T

  • Members *
  • 83440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted 16 January 2007 - 12:41 PM

I've started Free Fall and it's pretty good so far but I remembered something interesting about Robert Crais. Unlike Robert Parker and all the the other detective authors he refuses to sell the TV/film rights for these characters (Cole and Pike) which is interesting so don't expect to see an Elvis Cole TV series any time soon or a movie. Ironically Crais used to write for television in the 70s and 80s having penned several episodes of Quincy ME and Miami Vice plus a few other things...

Edited by treeduck, 16 January 2007 - 12:41 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users