This weekend I attended the biggest book fair of my life in MINES Mall,Malaysia. Discounts were at an all time high i mean books were going for as low as $1.00. It was my ultimate dream, with over 3 million books to choose from, I felt like a child in a candy store. There were fiction books, cook books, kids books, photography, you name it it was probably there.
I went in there ready for battle, battle for some books that is. With so many people there, it was hard moving around and finding books which i wanted to get, not to mention the strain of having to carry around a big box that I can put all my selections into.
My feet hurt from moving around so much in that huge area, searching and grabbing whatever book called my attention. I was hot, sweating and more than very hungry. And then when I finally had all the books i wanted( more like all the books I could afford tot take) I finally went to pay and the ques were insanely long. I was exhausted, but kept going, the end was near and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. All that said, it was well worth it and the most unpleasantly fulfilling experience of my life. 😀
Enough of my complaining, these are all the books I bought! I have already finished reading one in one night. 😀
Author: Amanda Kyle Williams
Book: The Stranger You Seek
Meet Keye Street, the new kid on the crime block. A Chinese-American private investigator with two university degrees, she used to work as a criminal profiler for the FBI before she got fired for her alcoholism. Now she’s in recovery, trying to get her private investigation firm off the ground and working as a part-time bounty hunter to make ends meet. And, just to compound matters, she’s in love with her best friend – a lieutenant in the Atlanta Police Department.
If it sounds like there’s quite a lot going on in Keye’s life then that would be putting it mildly [I might have managed to fit in a very small percentage of her voluminous backstory!]. Weirdly, this was actually one of my only – and biggest – gripes with the novel. There’s almost too much going on in Keye’s life!
But, as a character-driven piece of crime fiction, it really is an amazingly assured debut. Reading the cover copy and press release I was struck by the setting [Atlanta, Georgia] and the theme [serial killer thriller], and immediately assumed that it was going to be in the vein of Karin Slaughter [not a bad thing. There’s even a quotation from Slaughter on the jacket].
But I wasn’t quite right. For, despite the similarities to Slaughter’s oeuvre, I actually found that reading The Stranger You Seek reminded me of Brett Easton Ellis and Jeff Lindsey’s Dexter series [indeed, there’s even a blood-spatter analyst working for the Atlanta PD in Kyle Williams’s novel!]. There’s something incredibly forceful and individual about Keye’s first-person narrative – something that, for me, was very reminiscent of Dexter’s unique voice.
At certain points, the pure amount of things going on in Keye’s life was a bit overwhelming, but there is also something fresh and different about the book and Kyle Williams’s prose that made me fly through the book at a furious rate [which was very possibly aided by the number of deaths in the book – I’m a sucker for a good serial killer novel!]. And the novel evokes the swelteringly oppressive heat of summertime Atlanta brilliantly, and there is a real feeling of suspense and danger throughout the book.
I do have to admit that I did work out the book’s major twist quite quickly, but I would like to believe that this was due to my incredibly good deductive skills [and having read far too much crime fiction!]. But, even then, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the novella and in the end I didn’t get the killer quite right [I missed by a fraction, but it was still a miss!].
What will be interesting going forward is to see how Kyle Williams’s next book will shape up. At the moment, Keye Street blazes off the page. But she is surrounded by a constellation of equally intriguing characters, and I am looking forward to seeing how they are developed and fleshed out in future books in the series.
AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter
When the body of a young woman is discovered deep beneath the icy waters of Lake Grant, a note left under a rock by the shore points to suicide. But within minutes, it becomes clear that this is no suicide. It’s a brutal, cold-blooded murder. All too soon former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton — home for Thanksgiving after a long absence — finds herself unwittingly drawn into the case. The chief suspect is desperate to see her, but when she arrives at the local police station she is met with a horrifying sight — he lies dead in his cell, the words ‘Not me’ scrawled across the walls. Something about his confession doesn’t add up and deeply suspicious of the detective in charge, Lena Adams, Sara immediately calls the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Shortly afterwards, Special Agent Will Trent is brought in from his vacation to investigate. But he is immediately confronted with a wall of silence. Grant County is a close-knit community with loyalties and ties that run deep. And the only person who can tell the truth about what really happened is dead.
In Karin Slaughter’s tenth novel, she combines the characters from her two ongoing detective series, who come together to help solve a series of murders in the small town of Heartsdale, in Grant County, Georgia.( You do not need to have read the previous 2 novels to enjoy and understand this one though)
The mystery of the killings is solved at the end, but that never really seems to be the point of a Slaughter book. Rather, the process of criminal investigation provides a framework for Slaughter to explore the flawed, complex characters who work on the cases.
Slaughter never portrays the human condition in black or white – her ability to create realistic, three-dimensional characters is what makes her work stand out from so many other authors in this genre.
At the end of the book, the characters remain broken, but they’ve moved on to a new day and a new resolve to cope in a world full of bashed dreams.
If you are a reader of suspense novels, pick up Karin Slaughter.