Michael Brown

The Paradise Wars and Clark Ransom Thrillers

Two Novels: By Leslie Hall Pinder and Kerry Dunn

Both are very different, both wonderful, and I thought I’d take a look at why I thought they were both so good.

The first is Bring Me One of Everything by Leslie Hall Pinder, and yes it is a mystery and an intiguing one at that, but what made it special for me was the insight into a very difficult relationship between the protagonist and her mother. The mother comes off as a bitch, but whom by the end we understand and empathize with.  The interchanges between mother and daughter are subtly uncomfortable in the way many of us can relate to: the chemistry is slightly off and their is always the potential to escalate into relationship Land of No Return.  Leslie’s mystery is set in British Columbia and she weaves the mystical fabric of the BC Native Americans into this story of a sucide-prone woman who is trying to write the libretto for opera based on the life of an anthropologist studying the native BC culture who kills himself. Heavy.  But the precise and lyrical quality of Leslie’s writing elevates the book to an almost trippy status.  There is one scene in which the heroine has a psychedelic-like experience in one of the native ceremonies, and it is one of the best renderings of experiencing an altered state that I’ve read.

You can find Leslie’s book here:  Bring Me One of Everything

The second book, Joe Peace, is by  Kerry Dunn. The titled character, Joe, is a cop gone bad in Austin whose bad decision some ten plus years ago has tainted is riding-high lifestyle in the present.  This is a good mystery, with engaging characters, spot-on detail, but most of all it is the voice of wisecracking Joe Peace that makes us want to read on: to see how close he can get one more time to getting whacked for opening his big mouth.  Joe Peace is an Everyman commenting on his down-and-dirty times with just the right take.  Joe Peace is a great read, great mystery.

Noir for new times:  Joe Peace


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