In Sunlight or in Shadow – Lawrence Block – Editor
A compilation of short stories all centered around the work of artist Edward Hopper. It’s an intriguing premise and for the most part the authors pull it off with style. Hopper’s work is filled with images of isolation, loneliness and voyeurism, each lending itself to much interpretation. That’s just what all of these authors do and most do well. There are a couple of mind numbingly dull entries, but overall this is a worthy collection. Special raves to Stephen King, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Connelly and Nicholas Christopher.
Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay – Reed Farrel Coleman
Robert B. Parker was one of my favorite authors. His passing back in 2010, needless to say, left a void in my reading. The Parker estate, and Parker’s publishers, chose to continue three of his series characters: Spenser, Jesse Stone, Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch with other authors. Debt to Pay is Coleman’s third book in the Jesse Stone series. Michael Brandman wrote the first three, Coleman has been an improvement and this latest entry is his best so far. He has managed to keep Parker’s essence yet make the characters his own.
Shadows on a Maine Christmas – Lea Wait
Around Christmas time I always like to find a mystery or two with a holiday theme. While surfing the internet, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I came across author Lea Wait and this entry in her Antique Print series. The story is set along the coast of Maine, and frankly, that was part of what attracted me to read it. I have visited Maine many times over the years and honestly, its one of my favorite states. Wait’s characters are well developed and I have come to like the author’s main character, Maggie Summer, very much (I am currently reading another book in this series). Additionally, her well defined description of life in Maine adds to the pleasure. If you looking for a page turner, this book won’t satisfy you. It’s leisurely paced giving you time to soak in the atmosphere. Yes there is a murder, but it is just as much about the characters and the space they inhabit.
Home – Harlan Coben
The drought is over! After at least five years, Harlan Coben has finally brought back Myron and Win in this fast paced thriller about two young boys who have been missing for ten years. Both wisecracks and thrills fly at a fast speed. Coben’s book are always filled with plenty of unexpected twists and this one is no exception.