Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Book Report

Quick catch-up on some of the books I've been reading lately.

JDM's second novel, and it shows, especially in the dialogue, which has a hackneyed, pulled-from-the-movies feel to it. There are set pieces in it, however, that are pretty tense, including an unforgettable showdown at a shack on the outskirts of New Orleans that involves a vicious dog, a hired killer, and an unconscious victim. Other than that, not so good, and as far as I know, the only JDM thriller in which the bad guys are international spies. Didn't work.

Not her best gothic family drama, but a very good read about a mother who will go to any lengths to make sure her daughter has no contact with the outside world. A little slow-going at times, but the ending, especially the last two chapters, are surprising and excellent.

Now this is JDM in his wheelhouse, describing the political and sexual shenanigans that take place during a weekend business conference in an unnamed city. Incredibly grim, this is like the saddest Mad Men episode you'll ever see.

Robert Bloch's Psycho was a big hit before the movie eclipsed it. Hitchcock did not change a lot. The book practically reads as a scene for scene treatment of the movie, except for details here and there. A very creepy book, obviously, and even knowing exactly how it would turn out, I enjoyed it a lot.

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