<i>Murder Is for Keeps</i>: New Excerpt Murder Is for Keeps: New Excerpt Elizabeth J. Duncan The 8th book in the Penny Brannigan Mystery series. <i>Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall</i>: New Excerpt Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall: New Excerpt Hannah Dennison The 4th book in the Honeychurch Hall series. <i>Proving Ground</i>: New Excerpt Proving Ground: New Excerpt Peter Blauner A sweeping crime novel, an intricate story about the quest for redemption, and a vibrant portrait of contemporary NYC. Review: <i>Fogged Inn</i> by Barbara Ross Review: Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross Doreen Sheridan Doreen Sheridan cooks the books with this Agatha review!
From The Blog
April 21, 2017
People, Choices, and Moments
Lisa Preston
April 16, 2017
Why I Write Women
Douglas Schofield
April 15, 2017
Man Steals Sausage, Burgler Leaves Name Behind, and more: The Bullet List
Crime HQ
April 14, 2017
My Top 5 Historical Mysteries of Great Influence
Cindy Anstey
April 13, 2017
History's Characters: Alexis Soyer
M.J. Carter
Showing posts by: David Cranmer click to see David Cranmer's profile
Tue
Apr 18 2017 1:00pm

Review: Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman is a gritty, atmospheric novel about the other side of Long Island, far from the wealth of the Hamptons, where real people live—and die. It is nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

There’s a lot to be said for not just a bold opening paragraph but one that sums up the main protagonist to such crystal-clear perfection. Listen to the voice of retired Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy:

Some people swallow their grief. Some let it swallow them. I guess there’re about a thousand degrees in between those extremes. Maybe a million. Maybe a million million. Who the fuck knows? Not me. I don’t. I’m just about able to put one foot before the other, to breathe again. But not always, not even most of the time.

Here’s a near-defeated character that wants to rise again, but it’s a long shot at best … it’s like Cornell Woolrich, hardboiled mixed with detective edge. Gus is grieving over the death of his son John Jr., his marriage to Annie is over, and his daughter Kristen is heading torpedo fast to rock bottom—a casualty of not only her brother’s death but her parents’ uncoupling. Gus lives at the Paragon hotel where he works as a house detective (that’s still a thing?) and drives the taxi van three times a week to shuttle people to and from the local airport.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Where It Hurts...]

Tue
Apr 18 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla Part III

Last week, Roland & Co. went todash back to 1970's NYC. This week, Father Callahan takes center stage as we learn about what happened after the seminal events of Salem's Lot.

Our previous read, The Wind Through The Keyhole, waylaid us in a town hall as a starkblast trapped our ka-tet with freezing conditions. Roland of Gilead spent the time palavering with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy about long ago when him and fellow gunslinger Jamie tracked down and killed the shapeshifter Skin-Man. Intertwined in the narrative, we discover that Roland’s mother Gabrielle had learned from Randall Flagg that her son would murder her, and so in a letter she’d written in advance, she absolved Roland of the deed. After the icy weather passes, the ka-tet emerges and heads along the Path of the Beam toward Thunderclap.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, Father Callahan takes center stage as we learn about what happened after the seminal events of Salem's Lot! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part III of Wolves of the Calla: Part Two Telling Tales, I: “Pavilion” – Part Two Telling Tales, III: “The Priest's Tale (New York)”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Introducing Father Callahan, The Vampire Slayer...]

Sat
Apr 15 2017 3:00pm

Review: A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel

A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel is a riveting new detective novel that evokes a spellbinding concoction of crime, history, and horror.

January 1, 1889, in Edinburgh, “Nine-Nails” McGray and Ian Frey are called to the lunatic asylum just in time to witness a horrific otherworldly occurrence, which first person narrator Frey recounts:

I could not contain a shudder when I saw that poor woman, partially concealed by the drapery.

I cannot say that she lay on her back. She was face upwards, but her spine was contorted brutally, forming a ghastly arch—her chest in the air, her weight resting on her hips and shoulders. Nobody’s back could bend like that without breaking a few vertebrae.

Her arms were twisted in odd directions, her hands stiff and her fingers set like claws. To complete the disturbing picture, her eyes were bloodshot and her mouth was wide open, unleashing a succession of horrendous cries.

[Read David Cranmer's review of A Fever of the Blood...]

Fri
Apr 14 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Lost Girls by Heather Young

The Lost Girls by Heather Young is a stunning debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love. It has been nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

Heather Young lulls her unsuspecting readers along, then slips the noose about our necks, and all that’s left to do is succumb to her haunting little tale. We are not to blame for forgetting—if it’s possible—the title, The Lost Girls, and the image of the young child on the cover running into the darkening woods, vanishing into the fog. Keep that in mind, while taking in Lucy Evans’s recollection, and decide which genre it sounds most like:

I imagine we don’t seem unusual to you as I’ve described us on that first summer day. We were an oldest sister growing up, and a middle sister being left behind. A youngest sister wanting to belong. A father watching a boy who flirted with his daughter. Nothing you wouldn’t see in countless other families. But if I am to tell you the story of what happened to us, I must start at the beginning. And in these few things, ordinary as they may seem, lay the beginnings of everything that came after.

Wouldn’t suspect thriller or mystery, right? Perhaps more literature in nature, given an image of family life that could be the makings of a Norman Rockwell painting for The Saturday Evening Post. How about a lead-in to a Reader’s Digest article on sibling rivalry? More accurately, what unfolds is similar in tonal approach to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks just before the perfectly beautiful veneer is pulled away—only The Lost Girls is not so quirky. 

[Read David Cranmer's review of The Lost Girls...]

Tue
Apr 11 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla Part II

Last week, we met an old King friend as we began Wolves of the Calla. This week, we meet more of the people of Calla Bryn Sturgis and Roland & Co. todash back to 1970's NYC.

Our previous read, The Wind Through The Keyhole, waylaid us in a town hall as a starkblast trapped our ka-tet with freezing conditions. Roland of Gilead spent the time palavering with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy about long ago when him and fellow gunslinger Jamie tracked down and killed the shapeshifter Skin-Man. Intertwined in the narrative, we discover that Roland’s mother Gabrielle had learned from Randall Flagg that her son would murder her, and so in a letter she’d written in advance, she absolved Roland of the deed. After the icy weather passes, the ka-tet emerges and heads along the Path of the Beam toward Thunderclap.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we meet more of the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis and the gunslingers todash back to New York! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part II of Wolves of the Calla: Part One Todash, V: “Overholser” – Part One Todash, VII: “Todash”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Todash or not todash. That is the question...]

Sun
Apr 9 2017 12:00pm

Review: A Welcome Murder by Robin Yocum

A Welcome Murder by Robin Yocum is set in the gritty Rust Belt town of Steubenville, Ohio, told through the perspectives of five different, deeply memorable characters.

Steubenville’s (Ohio) population has been declining since it peaked in 1940. According to Wikipedia, a 2010 census shows the number of residents has decreased faster than any other urban area in the United States. Despite the hardships over the last century, Steubenville has produced an eclectic group of celebrities, from the famous crooner Dean Martin to the infamous underage porn star Traci Lords, not to mention a large batch of athletes.

Robin Yocum’s Johnny Earl is one that almost made the escape on his prowess as a baseball player … until his career ended with a knee injury. He doesn’t have much to fall back on. He talks with the vapid personality of a former jock who found out too late that the kids who paid attention in science and math have a plan A, B, and C.

[Read David Cranmer's review of A Welcome Murder...]

Sat
Apr 8 2017 1:00pm

Review: The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni is a riveting legal thriller, nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.

The 7th Canon illuminates Peter Donley’s judicial chops as he asks the judge of his current case to call a bird to the stand, or, more specifically, an African gray parrot named Albert to determine if Donley’s client is the rightful owner. The elderly man in danger of losing the mimic asks his pet if he wants to watch The Andy Griffith Show, and—sure enough—Albert begins whistling the classic TV opener. Of course, it also brings to mind that other classic Griffith show, Matlock, where a case of a whistling parrot would fit in comfortably with the legal drama.

Donley works at his uncle’s law firm—The Law Offices of Lou Giantelli—in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, a rough and tumble area that has seen better times. He has ambition beyond Lou’s small-time operation, but with a wife, Kim, and a two-year-old son, Benny, he’s just happy to be employed.

[Read David Cranmer's review of The 7th Canon...]

Tue
Apr 4 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla Part I

Last week, we finished up The Wind Through the Keyhole with a terrifying Skin-Man reveal. This week, we meet an old King friend as we begin Wolves of the Calla

Our previous read, The Wind Through The Keyhole, waylaid us in a town hall as a starkblast trapped our ka-tet with freezing conditions. Roland of Gilead spent the time palavering with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy about long ago when him and fellow gunslinger Jamie tracked down and killed the shapeshifter Skin-Man. Intertwined in the narrative, we discover that Roland’s mother Gabrielle had learned from Randall Flagg that her son would murder her, and so in a letter she’d written in advance, she absolved Roland of the deed. After the icy weather passes, the ka-tet emerges and heads along the Path of the Beam toward Thunderclap.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we begin Wolves of the Calla and meet an old Stephen King friend from Salem's Lot! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part I of Wolves of the Calla: Prologue: “Roont” – Part One Todash, IV: “Palaver”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Father Callahan, so nice to see you again...]

Fri
Mar 31 2017 12:00pm

Review: Fatal Music by Peter Morfoot

Fatal Music by Peter Morfoot is the 2nd book in the Captain Darac Mystery series (available April 4, 2017).

Paul Darac is a member of the Didier Musso Quintet. Thursday evenings he plays guitar with his jazz ensemble at the Blue Devil, and, besides it being a passion he loves, it helps take his mind off Angeline, who left him a few months before. He’s not far into his set this particular Thursday when he sees a subordinate, Lieutenant Roland Grantot, appear at the back of the club. For, you see, Paul Darac’s other job is Captain of the Brigade Criminelle, and there’s been a murder—an older woman, Jeanne Mensel, “put on ice” in her hot tub.

Fifteen years of shootings, stabbings, beatings and stranglings had all but immunised Darac against the grotesque but a wave of nausea broke in his stomach when he looked into the hot tub. Hideously bloated, the corpse appeared to be made of patched green rubber. The left arm had been chewed off at the shoulder, the right at the elbow. But strangely, the tongue, protruding from the maw like the end of a good boudin noir, had remained untouched. The dogs or foxes or rats of Chemin Leuze had missed a trick. Darac shook his head. Drowning and mutilation. What a coda to the evening.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Fatal Music...]

Tue
Mar 28 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole Part III

Last week, we got a story within a story within a story. This week, we reveal the Skin-Man in a terrifying scene as we close out The Wind Through the Keyhole

In Wizard and Glass, we discovered that Roland had accidentally killed his mother and returned a crystal ball from Maerlyn’s Rainbow to his father. His newest ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy—are following The Path of the Beam when they encounter Marten, now calling himself Randall Flagg, in a twisted version of Emerald City. Roland just misses killing Flagg but managed to gun down Andrew Quick, aka Tick-Tock Man, who was working for Flagg.

The Wind Through The Keyhole was written to chronologically follow Wizard and Glass even though it was released in 2012, long after the 7th novel, The Dark Tower (2004). For that reason, we have decided to continue Roland’s adventures in sequential order since Stephen King calls it The Dark Tower 4.5.

Come join us … before the world moves on.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

This is a shorter book with only five sections, so the plan is to split the book into three parts (about 100 pages each) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we reveal the Skin-Man in a terrifying scene as we close out The Wind Through the Keyhole! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part III of The Wind Through the Keyhole: The Skin-Man (Part 2) – Storm's Over!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[And so it happened, once upon a bye...]

Tue
Mar 21 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole Part II

Last week, we began The Wind Through the Keyhole with a major storm and another of Roland's stories. This week, we get a story within a story within a story! 

In Wizard and Glass, we discovered that Roland had accidentally killed his mother and returned a crystal ball from Maerlyn’s Rainbow to his father. His newest ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy—are following The Path of the Beam when they encounter Marten, now calling himself Randall Flagg, in a twisted version of Emerald City. Roland just misses killing Flagg but managed to gun down Andrew Quick, aka Tick-Tock Man, who was working for Flagg.

The Wind Through The Keyhole was written to chronologically follow Wizard and Glass even though it was released in 2012, long after the 7th novel, The Dark Tower (2004). For that reason, we have decided to continue Roland’s adventures in sequential order since Stephen King calls it The Dark Tower 4.5.

Come join us … before the world moves on.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

This is a shorter book with only five sections, so the plan is to split the book into three parts (about 100 pages each) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we get a story within a story within a story! Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part II of The Wind Through the Keyhole: The Wind Through the Keyhole!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[Storyception...]

Wed
Mar 15 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Will to Kill by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane

The Will to Kill is the latest Mike Hammer novel, originally started by the now-deceased Mickey Spillane and finished by the deft hand of Max Allan Collins. 

Mike Hammer predates James Bond and was a contemporary of Phillip Marlowe. Let that history sink in, and then celebrate that we have a brand-new Hammer novel.

Typically, I’d say it’s not a cause to rejoice, because Spillane died in 2006, and, hell, what would Mike Hammer be up to these days at an age of about one hundred years old? If he was lucky enough, probably solving the case of the missing dentures from the retirement home. But, in the event you are not aware, here’s the drill: when Spillane died, he had a bunch of Hammer manuscripts in varying degrees of completion and instructed his wife to pass them to his padawan learner, Max Allan Collins to complete. So, in a nutshell, this new non-Spillane novel isn’t an estate trying to cash in—as so many do—instead, it’s Collins finishing off the Hammer legacy that Spillane started with I, the Jury in 1947.

In M.A.C.’s opening co-author’s note, he estimates that this latest adventure (of which Spillane wrote roughly thirty pages) takes place in 1965, so our hero is a little older but still battle ready.

[Read David Cranmer's review of The Will to Kill...]

Tue
Mar 14 2017 4:00pm

Mathematical Mysteries, Sci-Fi, and Thrillers

Math and science enthusiasts come together with the mystery/thriller genres to make arithmetic artistry. Following up on a previous post, Movies + Math = A Beautiful Formula, here are five more scintillating titles to add to your viewing list.

[See what you should add to your watch list...]

Tue
Mar 14 2017 12:00pm

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole Part I

Last week, we ended Wizard and Glass in a makeshift Emerald City before Maerlyn's Rainbow trainsported them back onto The Path of the Beam. This week, we begin The Wind Through the Keyhole with a major storm and the beginning of another of Roland's stories! 

In Wizard and Glass, we discovered that Roland had accidentally killed his mother and returned a crystal ball from Maerlyn’s Rainbow to his father. His newest ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy—are following The Path of the Beam when they encounter Marten, now calling himself Randall Flagg, in a twisted version of Emerald City. Roland just misses killing Flagg but managed to gun down Andrew Quick, aka Tick-Tock Man, who was working for Flagg.

The Wind Through The Keyhole was written to chronologically follow Wizard and Glass even though it was released in 2012, long after the 7th novel, The Dark Tower (2004). For that reason, we have decided to continue Roland’s adventures in sequential order since Stephen King calls it The Dark Tower 4.5.

Come join us … before the world moves on.

*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

This is a shorter book with only five sections, so the plan is to split the book into three parts (about 100 pages each) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we begin The Wind Through the Keyhole with a major storm and the beginning of another of Roland's stories. Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part I of The Wind Through the Keyhole: Starkblast – The Skin-Man (Part 1)!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[There's a starkblast coming...]

Mon
Mar 13 2017 12:00pm

Review: Heretics by Leonardo Padura

Heretics by Leonardo Padura is a sweeping novel of art theft, anti-Semitism, contemporary Cuba, and crime from a renowned Cuban author (available March 14, 2017).

Within the pages of Leonardo Padura’s latest Mario Conde adventure, the reader can’t help noticing that atmosphere dominates—that squalor kind of atmosphere found in Raymond Chandler’s dirty Los Angeles streets or, more recently, the “Appalachian noir” of David Joy. Here is the demoralized vibe of 2007’s Havana:

Thus, while some subsisted on the dollars sent by their children who had gone off to anywhere in the world but there, others tried to do what they could to avoid falling into absolute poverty or jail: work as private tutors, drivers who rented out their battered cars, self-employed veterinarians or masseuses, whatever came up. But the option to make a living clawing at the walls wasn’t easy and caused that stellar exhaustion, the feeling of constant uncertainty and irreversible defeat that frequently gripped the former policeman and drove him, with one rough push, against his will and desires to hit the streets looking for old books that would earn him, at least, a few pesos to survive.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Heretics...]

Tue
Mar 7 2017 1:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass, Part IX

Last week, victory was bittersweet as Roland learned of his true destiny. This week, we return to our current when and ka-tet ... and Emerald City? 

Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass (1997), the 4th book in The Dark Tower series. When we left Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy the billy-bumbler, they were trapped on the psychotic locomotive, Blaine the Mono, crossing through the feared waste lands. Our ka-tet had narrowly escaped the destruction of Lud that Blaine had decimated with gas—but for what? To become prisoners aboard a train bulleting into a desolate hell populated by fierce beasts, with a guide that’s clearly mad. Yeah, it looks like we are bound to have a helluva lot of fun as we continue our journey to the Dark Tower.

 *Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we return to our current when and ka-tet, who are off to meet the wizard. Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part IX of Wizard and Glass: All God's Chillun Got Shoes!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[We're off to see the wizard...]

Mon
Mar 6 2017 5:30pm

Review: The Devil’s Bible by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

The Devil's Bible by Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the 2nd book in the Bohemian Gospel series (available March 7, 2017).

Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s story begins in Avignon in the year 1236. A dying woman has given birth to a baby girl, which is not what the father was hoping for, and he uses “his claws” to rip the attending doctor’s throat from his body. As the sawbones realizes—a little too late—that this is his last house call, a nurse manages to whisk the infant to safety.

This girl—this disappointment—would live. For now. He needed to turn his thoughts toward his next conquest—the one that would profit him a son. He took the edge of his cloak and pulled it over his shoulder, folding himself into the blackness of the night.

Cowering in the deeper dark of a bend in the alley not far past the still gaping door, the nurse laid her face gently against the baby’s head, silently pleading: Don’t make a sound. Be quiet. Quiet as a little mouse.

I’ve always wondered about fictional characters with the coveted “gift” of immortality: when do the centuries take their toll? How much personal loss can an immortal endure before they crumble? It’s been answered recently in an episode of Doctor Who with a peasant girl given perpetual life. At first, she’s joyously happy, then, as the centuries spin around her in a clever rolodex of historical happenings, a deep sadness overtakes her features.

See also: Doctor Who: The Greatest Mystery and Horror Tales (2005-2015)

[Read David Cranmer's review of The Devil's Bible...]

Thu
Mar 2 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Weight of This World by David Joy

In The Weight of This World, David Joy returns to the mountains of North Carolina with a powerful story about the inescapable weight of the past (available March 7, 2017).

There’s a strong thread of uncompromising, dark fiction that's weaved its way back through the literary epochs. I’m not referencing trailblazing titans from Hemingway and Hammett to Cormac McCarthy and Daniel Woodrell, who certainly deserve their veneration, but, well try this: ask a devotee their preference of what we call gritty fiction, and I’m betting they will direct you to the side streets and alleyways alive with the works of Jim Thompson, Flannery O’Connor, Charles Willeford, and Dorothy B. Hughes, to name a few. Currently, writers like David Joy continue that stark, no bullshit tradition, and the author’s latest, The Weight of This World, builds richly on his debut effort, Where All Light Tends to Go, which was named an Edgar finalist for Best First Novel.

For many admirers of this blunt, unapologetic approach, it’s not just the tight plot with an economical use of words that constitute this style, but characters with a sobering realization that the fix is in—that life deals the majority a crap hand, and the chance of rising above the cesspool is highly doubtful. Weight’s prime example is Aiden McCall, who at twelve watched his dad gun down his mother and then take his own life. Despite the coarseness of the material, listen to the poetry in Mr. Joy’s prose (Reed Farrel Coleman calls it “a beautiful nightmare”) as this hardened Appalachian teen realizes the dice have been cast:

[Read David Cranmer's review of The Weight of This World...]

Tue
Feb 28 2017 1:00pm

The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass, Part VIII

Last week, we began the final showdown with Roland's gang and the Big Coffin Hunters. This week, victory is bittersweet as Roland is faced with his true destiny. 

Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass (1997), the 4th book in The Dark Tower series. When we left Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy the billy-bumbler, they were trapped on the psychotic locomotive, Blaine the Mono, crossing through the feared waste lands. Our ka-tet had narrowly escaped the destruction of Lud that Blaine had decimated with gas—but for what? To become prisoners aboard a train bulleting into a desolate hell populated by fierce beasts, with a guide that’s clearly mad. Yeah, it looks like we are bound to have a helluva lot of fun as we continue our journey to the Dark Tower.

 *Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!

We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, Roland may have won the battle, but he lost his love. Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part VIII of Wizard and Glass: Come, Reap: Chapter 10 “Beneath the Demon Moon (II)”!


CrimeHQ's The Dark Tower Reread


[ROLAND, I LOVE THEE!]

Wed
Feb 22 2017 4:00pm

Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout is a gripping thriller that follows a young woman who comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it (available February 28, 2017).

Reaching for the pantheon of serial killer novels comes Jennifer Armentrout’s Till Death, with a narrative that begins by staking claim on a terrain already littered with flags.

Dim artificial light was her home now. The musky, earthy scent would be with her right down to the very last breath she took, and that scent would clog her pores and cling to her hair.

This would be her final place.

The woman tipped her head back against the damp brick wall. The terror in her gaze gave way to pleading. Always did. So fucking predictable. So pointless. There was no hope here. There was no chance of a miracle. Once they came here, there was no knight riding to the rescue.

She’s under the sadistic control of the “Groom,” a sicko who’d had a flawless record of torture and death until ten years ago when Sasha Keeton managed to get away—and he has not forgotten.

[Read David Cranmer's review of Till Death...]