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twickster
01-02-2006, 04:09 PM
Just read Ruth Rendell's 13 Steps Down -- and have absolutely no idea why I finished it. It was grim grim grim, as her last couple of books have been, and not that interesting. I kept going because Entertainment Weekly called it one of the ten best novels of 2005 -- yikes, a grim year for fiction it seems to have been.

So, yeah, Ruth Rendell joins the list of authors who I used to read regularly who I now don't bother with -- along with Elizabeth George (who was much better when her books were edited -- at least the freakin' Rendell was only 250 pages) -- and, well, geez, who still gets an automatic look from me? PD James may be the only one -- Sara Paretsky is still okay, mostly since she goes a few years between books -- I haven't read any of the Kinsey Milhones since L or M. I used to like Marcia Muller, but haven't read any of hers lately either.

Who have you given up on? Who do you still read?

AuntiePam
01-02-2006, 04:19 PM
I've given up on individual books, but my favorites have remained pretty stable and satisfying since the 80's.

I don't think I've read any Rendell. I tried one under her other name, Barbara Vine (?), but didn't care for it.

I was surprised by EW's list. I'm also surprised, maybe even shocked, that the execrable The Historian has made some year's best lists (Amazon's Top 50, the Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, a couple of others). I expected Harriett Klausner to like it, but not anyone else. :)

Hentor the Barbarian
01-02-2006, 04:24 PM
I have given up on, and developed a loathing for, Patricia Cornwell (Patricia [i]Cornhole[i] around here) and Jonathan Kellerman - seems like there was another one, but the name isn't coming to me.

Michael Connelly has consistently been good. Robert B. Parker is always good.

AuntiePam
01-02-2006, 04:24 PM
Who do you still read?

Long time favorites: Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, Dan Simmons, Joe Lansdale, Pat Barker, Ron Hansen, Larry Brown (until he died, of course), Larry McMurtry, John Varley, Peter Straub

New favorites who are writing series books, with no sign of a decline in quality: Steven Erikson, Owen Parry, Boris Akunin, Robin Hobb.

twickster
01-02-2006, 04:29 PM
Rendell's early stuff is really good -- she wrote a series of procedurals about Inspector Wexford that I like. I also like some Barbara Vine -- check out The House of Stairs or Anna's Book. They're not really genre mysteries, but they're interesting.

Is The Historian really bad? One of the folks I vacation with every year was reading it and liked it, but I don't take her advice that seriously. I saw it in the library the other day but am planning to get back to my usual nonfiction habits pretty soon.

twickster
01-02-2006, 04:36 PM
I have given up on, and developed a loathing for, Patricia Cornwell (Patricia Cornhole around here) and Jonathan Kellerman - seems like there was another one, but the name isn't coming to me. .
Heh. I mentioned Patricia Cornwell in the first draft of the OP, but took her out -- she went onto the boycott list years ago. (There was one book about five or six into the Kay Scarpetta series that ended rather oddly in mid-story -- with the "next book" coming out soon after. I don't know whose asshole decision it was to split that book in two, but it earned her my undying emnity.

I'm still reading Jonathan Kellerman, but gave up on Faye about five years ago.

Auntie Pam -- I really don't do horror, though I'll pick up every third or fourth Dean Koontz, so I've never read a single Stephen King -- and have no intention of ever doing so.

AuntiePam
01-02-2006, 07:13 PM
Is The Historian really bad? One of the folks I vacation with every year was reading it and liked it, but I don't take her advice that seriously. I saw it in the library the other day but am planning to get back to my usual nonfiction habits pretty soon.

I thought so. The structure is particularly confusing, the journals and letters and jumps in time. This can seem dazzling and innovative until you sit back and look at it and realize that the structure is just a gimmick. It serves no purpose. All the letters and journals have the same voice, so that any one of the characters could have written any of them. Same for the characters' dialogue -- none of them have a distinct personality, unless wishy-washy is a personality.

People on a supposedly urgent mission to find someone whose life is in danger stop and sightsee and have long dinners. A couple of truly incredible coincidences and contrivances make up for plot holes. At one point, the author uses temporary amnesia, induced by alcohol, to explain a major plot point. And the payoff is just silly.

I've never been so disappointed in a book that had gotten so much hype, and I'm not a particularly critical or analytical reader. If a professional reviewer tells me a book is good, I'll usually find something in it to like. Just don't insult my (limited) intelligence. The Historian did that.

I gave my copy away. First edition, hardcover, paid full price for the damned thing. :(

Miss Mapp
01-03-2006, 05:51 AM
I used to enjoy Anne Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries, but have gotten tired of the whole Inner Circle thing. I just want a nice, old-fashioned murder mystery, not some overarching gov't conspiracy that never ends.

I'm mostly sticking to the same old Sayers, Christie, and Marsh mysteries these days, even though I've already read them all and know whodunnit.

Johnny Angel
01-03-2006, 07:16 AM
Hentor the Barbarian wrote:

Robert B. Parker is always good.

I can see the appeal in general, at least early on. There was something of the old school hardboiled dick in Spenser. But I must say that I'm sick of that goddamned dog, and I don't give a shit about his vanilla sex life with his non-wife. I'll read another Spenser novel when they kill that dog. Or, alternately, Spenser could have sex with it. That would be acceptable. Just no more of him and his non-wife doting over the beast.

Furthermore, I'd like to see Spenser get paid for a job. Oh, I know he's such a fucking saint that he's constantly doing noble charity work when he's not boring the shit out of people with his personal life. That puts him way up on Phillip Marlowe, who was an Scotch-soaked judgemental prick, but put his ass on the line to protect the dirty from the absolutely fucking filthy because a sense of decency kept bubbling up out of the debauched slough of his bitterness. But then he collected his twenty-five bucks per day, plus expenses. What an asshole! Spenser cheerfully fights for the downtrodden and refuses to take any payment at all! Being better than anybody else at everything is reward enough for him. And Hawk apparently never ever wonders what the hell is in it for him. He's also a fucking angel straight from heaven.

Ceejaytee
01-03-2006, 07:36 AM
I only read Rendell's Inspector Wexford mysteries. They're consistently good, perhaps because she takes a couple of years between books. Parker's Spenser is inconsistent--the early books are almost uniformly excellent; his more recent stuff is hit-or-miss. I stopped reading Patricia Cornwell after book 3--I despise her characters. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman have gotten too disturbing/boring (an odd combination, that) to keep reading. I love Martha Grimes, hate Elizabeth George. Stopped reading Paretsky, Sue Grafton, and Marcia Muller. I'm in a cozy stage now--Leslie Meier, Jill Churchill (although I didn't much care for her last Jane Jeffrys story), Susan Whiting Albert--taking a needed break from darker stuff.

I still love the classics--Ngaio Marsh is a favorite and Rex Stout is the man. I never got into Christie.

MsRobyn
01-03-2006, 07:44 AM
Johnny Angel, you need to read School Days, Parker's latest Spenser. It is remarkably Susan-less and *gasp* Spenser has a paying client. I agree with you about Susan. They've hit that comfort level that really takes away from the story.

Sometimes, a story will start out with a paying client. Then Spenser gets fired, but since he (and we) need closure, he'll pursue the until it's over and he has the answers he wants. He's also got bread-and-butter clients in between who pay the bills.

Robin

Hentor the Barbarian
01-03-2006, 11:30 AM
I can see the appeal in general, at least early on. There was something of the old school hardboiled dick in Spenser. But I must say that I'm sick of that goddamned dog, and I don't give a shit about his vanilla sex life with his non-wife. I'll read another Spenser novel when they kill that dog. Or, alternately, Spenser could have sex with it. That would be acceptable. Just no more of him and his non-wife doting over the beast.[...]I don't disagree about the fact that there are very consistent elements across books, and when I try to recall specific ones by title, I find it difficult to distinguish between them. Typically, I would hate this aspect of other authors' work (see Kellerman for example), but I find that I enjoy this from Robert B. Parker. Even in his novels about other characters, the same simplicity is present. Yet, I still enjoy them very well. And I would rather have a boringly consistent relationship between characters than the illogical, poorly written and emotionally discordant attempts at dissention and difficulties between characters that usually comes up when authors try to write it in. They all do it about as well as JK Rowling does discord between her characters - it sounds like bullshit, makes no sense, and takes away completely from the focus of the story.

Conversely, the elitist Alex Delaware can take his koi and shove them up his ass. Or have a group of people shove them up his ass as part of a conspiracy.

tarragon918
01-03-2006, 11:40 AM
I'm still reading Jonathan Kellerman, but gave up on Faye about five years ago.


Twickster, just curious, but why'd you give up on Faye? I still like her, although I haven't read any of her recent works. I did just purchase a novel that has works by both Kellermans in it, but haven't had a change to look at lit yet (heh, just got it yesterday afternoon).

I've also been reading Dean Koontz' Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, which is book 1 of a (I think) 3 book series. It's pretty good so far; I usually like Koontz' style.

twickster
01-04-2006, 04:56 PM
Twickster, just curious, but why'd you give up on Faye? I still like her, although I haven't read any of her recent works. I did just purchase a novel that has works by both Kellermans in it, but haven't had a change to look at lit yet (heh, just got it yesterday afternoon).

I don't even remember. The whole continuing story about Peter Decker -- didn't he turn out to have been born Jewish but given up for adoption? a bit convenient, nu? -- the cardboard characters ... they all just got totally on my nerves. I got about 30 or 40 pages into one, thought "this is really pissing me off," and took FK off my "will read" list.

koeeoaddi
01-04-2006, 06:57 PM
Just read Ruth Rendell's 13 Steps Down -- and have absolutely no idea why I finished it. It was grim grim grim, as her last couple of books have been, and not that interesting. I kept going because Entertainment Weekly called it one of the ten best novels of 2005 -- yikes, a grim year for fiction it seems to have been.

So, yeah, Ruth Rendell joins the list of authors who I used to read regularly who I now don't bother with -- along with Elizabeth George (who was much better when her books were edited -- at least the freakin' Rendell was only 250 pages) -- and, well, geez, who still gets an automatic look from me? PD James may be the only one -- Sara Paretsky is still okay, mostly since she goes a few years between books -- I haven't read any of the Kinsey Milhones since L or M. I used to like Marcia Muller, but haven't read any of hers lately either.

Who have you given up on? Who do you still read?
No shit! I just finished it last night too* and couldn't agree more. Gah! I haven't hated a book so much since The Corrections. It was a dreadful book -- relentlessly detestable. Can she really be the same woman who wrote The Chimney Sweeper's Boy, The House of Stairs and No Night is Too Long?

I got myself a copy of Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen for some sweet reilef.

*Like wow. Synchronicity.

rocking chair
01-04-2006, 07:00 PM
might i introduce you to carol o'connell? start with mallory's oracle, continue to stone angel. ah stone angel..... what a book.

i tend to the quirky types; anne george, donna andrews, sharyn mccrumb (such a cool last name). gillian roberts has an interesting philly thing.

Batsinma Belfry
01-04-2006, 07:18 PM
13 Steps Down is/was on my reading list. I was hoping it would be better than her last one.

James Lee Burke has let me down in his last couple of books, but I keep slogging through them. They're so dark and depressing.

I given up on Peter Straub. He's always been weird, but in an entertaining way. But, In The Night Room was beyond weird and I'm not sure a few hundred pages of gibberish qualifies as an actual book.

twickster
01-04-2006, 09:00 PM
rockingchair -- liked the first Mallory book, but they've been going downhill steadily -- it's a darned shame O'Connell allowed herself to get trapped into continuing to work with the same characters. I don't think they hold up well over the long run. I'm still reading them, but sporadically. And I do like Sharon McCrumb.

Batsina -- sorry to bum you out on the Rendell. When it presents itself, read the first 50 pages or so -- if you're enjoying it, keep going, but if you're not, well, that's pretty much the tone of the whole book.

And James Lee Burke went on my "don't bother" list about five years ago -- he's way too dark for me.

DfrntBreign
01-04-2006, 09:47 PM
My experience with Faye Kellerman is similar to twickster's. I just never could work up any interest in the first book I tried to read. Also tend to agree with your O'Connell analysis. I haven't given up yet, but the clock is ticking.

I'll continue reading Johnathan K (and Stuart Woods and Iris Johansen) as long as my friends keep buying them and loaning them to me. :)

Two writers that are the opposite of the OP (kinda) are GM Ford and Harlan Coben. They each started with series that were entertaining but (I think) light-weight. Ford's Waterman and Coben's Myron (something, sports agent) were interesting enough to buy in paperback, but too simple to pay real money for. Then, it's as though they were possessed by (something. I really need a thesaurus, hunh?). The last few books that each has written have been fantastic. Definitely hard-cover-worthy.

I love George P. Pelecanos. I want to have his babies. And I'm a 48 year old straight man. :eek:

Tim Dorsey cracks me up.

tarragon918
01-04-2006, 10:28 PM
I don't even remember. The whole continuing story about Peter Decker -- didn't he turn out to have been born Jewish but given up for adoption? a bit convenient, nu? -- the cardboard characters ... they all just got totally on my nerves. I got about 30 or 40 pages into one, thought "this is really pissing me off," and took FK off my "will read" list.

Wow - for me it's totally the opposite! I was very interested in Peter and Rina and wanted to know more. LOL Let's just say that I did not know anything about Orthodox Jewish customs so it was all new to me. Have you read "The Quality of Mercy" yet? It's set in 16th century England, Shakespeare's time - I really liked that one.

AuntiePam
01-04-2006, 11:24 PM
I've been enjoying the historical mysteries of Boris Akunin (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AKXCWS/qid=1136437958/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_4/002-6506701-6390434?s=books&v=glance&n=283155) featuring Erast Fandorin. They need to be read in order. I've read the first three and they've all been different, and the character is maturing. They're quite readable, and Murder on the Leviathan (the second one, I think) had some sly humorous touches.

Another good series is by Owen Parry (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0380797399/qid=1136438277/sr=2-3/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_3/002-6506701-6390434?s=books&v=glance&n=283155). His Abel Jones mysteries are set during the Civil War, and I especially like how the action happens on the sidelines. Lots of ordinary people, major historical figures not so much. I've read three of those too.

The cool thing about these is (I think) they could have been written and enjoyed contemporaneously -- 19th century readers would be comfortable with them. The manners are correct but not stodgy, and Parry in particular captures the sensibilities -- he's not PC. When he firstmeets a well-educated African-American, he's surprised and a bit patronizing.

I just love these two authors.

Scissorjack
01-05-2006, 04:19 AM
I can see the appeal in general, at least early on. There was something of the old school hardboiled dick in Spenser. But I must say that I'm sick of that goddamned dog, and I don't give a shit about his vanilla sex life with his non-wife. I'll read another Spenser novel when they kill that dog. Or, alternately, Spenser could have sex with it. That would be acceptable. Just no more of him and his non-wife doting over the beast.

I still read Robert B. Parker, but Spenser books are more comfort reading now than anything else: Spenser lapsed into comfortable somnolence long ago with Susan, Hawk, and that damned dog. I liked them much better when Spenser had a harder edge, he wasn't billing and cooing with Susan about their goddamn perfect relationship the whole goddamn time, and Hawk was a bona fide badarse who didn't work for free. Shit, when was Hawk last bad?

Myself, I'd like to see Spenser run off with Hawk, since they're clearly queer for each other with all those goddamn homo-erotic gym workouts together, and have Susan brutally kill Pearl out of spite and then use her psychiatrist mojo to plot and enact a diabolical and twisted revenge that takes out most of Spenser's quirky cop and mobster buddies along the way, possibly while sending them bits of the dog as mementoes.

And yet still I keep reading them...

Scissorjack
01-05-2006, 04:34 AM
Johnny Angel, you need to read School Days, Parker's latest Spenser. It is remarkably Susan-less and *gasp* Spenser has a paying client. I agree with you about Susan. They've hit that comfort level that really takes away from the story.

I really shouldn't read threads from the bottom up. Yeah, School Days was a big improvement, actually: no Susan or Hawk, a witness whom he fails to protect and dies horribly, a couple of excellently drawn and repulsive villains who come out of left-field and aren't quirky hitmen, a nice cameo from Major Johnson, who does not appear to have gone secretly good, and best of all, in a surprising twist...

{special Spoiler alert: do not read this if you are actually planning to read the book. It will spoil the ending. Seriously. I mean it. No peeking, now. Unless you're sure. Ready?}

...the messed-up kid he was hired to clear actually did it...kinda.

rocking chair
01-05-2006, 06:01 AM
that's why i suggested stoping at stone angel. winter house was an improvement. they've gotten better with the 2 year gap.

have you tried nevada barr? eliz. peters miss peabody?

twickster
01-05-2006, 07:10 AM
Wow - for me it's totally the opposite! I was very interested in Peter and Rina and wanted to know more. LOL Let's just say that I did not know anything about Orthodox Jewish customs so it was all new to me. Have you read "The Quality of Mercy" yet? It's set in 16th century England, Shakespeare's time - I really liked that one.

I have a good friend who's orthodox, and had an orthodox roommate for two years (yeah, that was interesting), so I've had plenty of personal exposure to that world. I guess that's why the novelty wore off more quickly for me.

Someone else recommended The Quality of Mercy -- I'll have to check it out.

rockingchair -- I'm not sure if I've read one Nevada Barr or none -- I do like the Amelia Peabody books, though she's also getting a bit too perfect. (It's a problem when the author falls in love with the lead character, isn't it?)

BTW -- overall, I'm reading fewer mysteries these days, which is fine, since I'm reading more of other sorts of stuff -- it's just sad when a reliable pleasure gets jettisoned.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-05-2006, 09:09 AM
I like historical fiction, but I never used to read mysteries at all until I ran across the Brother Cadfael series. Since then I've picked up a few other historical mystery series.

Margaret Frazer's Dame Frevisse books are set in 15th century England. Those were good for a long time (there's 14 of them) but I thought the newest one, A Widow's Tale, was pretty dull.

Sharan Newman's Catherine LeVendeur series is set in 12th century France. I have enjoyed all of those. Heloise and Abelard are minor characters in that series, and it led me to look up their sad story. One of the strong plotlines in this series is a Jewish family trying to survive in France.

I like all of Sharon Kay Penman's books, and her mystery series is only getting better. The fourth one, Prince of Darkness, was very good. They're set in England during Richard I's reign, and the "detective" works for Eleanor of Aquitaine, in her old age.

AuntiePam, I'm going to try the authors that you suggested.

I keep hearing that The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is good. I'm going to try to get the first of those from the library today.

I tried Patricia Cornwell on a friend's recommendation. I like a good old-fashioned murder as much as anyone, but I can't stomach her gruesome serial killers, so I don't read her.

I need to try Dan Simmons' mysteries. I like his science fiction.

eleanorigby
01-05-2006, 11:18 AM
I loved Ruth Rendell, but is 13 Steps Down the one about the housing developement and the riot?

I kept reading that one and kept thinking, most riots don't take this long to start up..... :rolleyes:

How about Josephine Tey? Her Alan Grant is wonderful. And Caroline Graham? I like her, too. Georgette Heyer has some good mysteries--try the library for Tey and Heyer.

There is also a Canadian author who writes about the west coast of Canada--she's ok.

I suck at author's names, sorry. Some day, I mean to write them all down for reference.


I can no longer read Cornwell--I don't even like Scarpetta any more. How much violence, stress and terror can BE in one woman's life? Meh.


I am reading an E. George right now. Or should I say, plodding through it. It's A Place of Hiding or A Hiding Place or some damn thing. After A Traitor to Memory (which I call A Traitor to Your Characters and Mysteries in General), I am giving her one last try.

Her character, Deborah--the one married to Simon St. James? I want to drown her--what an immature, selfish, spoiled moron!

I like Parker, but don't read him much. I tend to prefer female authors (I don't like gum shoes and hard boiled/mean streets stuff--I liked Scarpetta for the forensics).

twickster
01-05-2006, 11:30 AM
I loved Ruth Rendell, but is 13 Steps Down the one about the housing developement and the riot?


No, it's about this guy who's stalking a model and who's really into the British serial murderer Christie, plus his rather batty landlady. Sigh.

Papermache Prince
01-05-2006, 11:40 AM
The Wexford novel about a "Housing development and riot" is Harm Done.

Rodd Hill
01-05-2006, 11:57 AM
Have you tried any Ian Rankin (http://www.ianrankin.net/pages/books/index.asp?PageID=22)? Try "Black and Blue," fairly gritty, and a neat weaving of actual murder case with fiction.

AuntiePam
01-05-2006, 01:23 PM
AuntiePam, I'm going to try the authors that you suggested.

Cool! I hope you like them.

I need to try Dan Simmons' mysteries. I like his science fiction.

I've read a couple, and they're good, fast reads -- cinematic, if that's a word that can be applied to books. It's like there's a movie in your head.

Missy2U
01-05-2006, 01:36 PM
Have y'all tried JA Jance?? I've just finished five of them - two Joanna Bradys and three Beaumonts - it's back to the library I go... :)

eleanorigby
01-05-2006, 02:18 PM
The Wexford novel about a "Housing development and riot" is Harm Done.


Lord, that had Wexford in it? wow. And I like Wexford!

Twickster --I might try 13 Steps, but I have come to a resolution in light reading (and in any reading, unless I get into grad school and then it will have to change!)--I give the book 50 pages. If I am not interested in 50 pages, I stop.

I used to feel incredibly guilty about this. But I am in my 40's now and really have no time to waste on fiction that does not interest me.....

Deborah is now yelling at Simon for his condemnation of her wandering off with something from the crime scene.....gah--she's not even intelligent.

Stupid git. (can one say that about a female? Lovely insult, IMO.)

twickster
01-05-2006, 02:45 PM
Twickster --I might try 13 Steps, but I have come to a resolution in light reading (and in any reading, unless I get into grad school and then it will have to change!)--I give the book 50 pages. If I am not interested in 50 pages, I stop.


That's my usual policy -- for some reason, I kept going, then around page 150 spent about half an hour both reading and thinking "why am I reading this?" -- after which point I was invested, dammit.

You'll note I mentioned Elizabeth George in the OP -- the first few were excellent, but the last one I tried started with this long, digressive, and actually extremely quite boring shit about Havers and her neighbors -- I stopped (before 50 pages) and put her on the "don't bother" list.

priapus
01-05-2006, 03:14 PM
Has anyone here tried Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlings books? One was made into a watered down movie,Devil in a Blue Dress with Denzel Washington.The series begins in the forties and each book travels the decades,reflecting Easy as he ages,but also race relations.Easy is a little perfect but the series hums with tension.

koeeoaddi
01-05-2006, 03:19 PM
Having had a couple days to digest the book, I think I want to take back some of the hyperbole of my previous post. On reflection, "relentlessly detestable" was a bit strong. twickster's simple "grim" is a much better was to describe the book.

I think I had such a strong reaction because I really love Ruth Rendell's books. She is a very good writer -- even this book moves along. The characters come to life, the dialogue is sharp and each character has motivations that are unexpected and (sometimes) interesting. So, what's not to like?

There isn't one character in the book that I care about. I didn't learn anything I want to remember and will only look back on the book and shudder. All that fine writing wasted on bringing such a forgetable, soulless story to life.

Grim, indeed.

KSO
01-05-2006, 03:30 PM
Her character, Deborah--the one married to Simon St. James? I want to drown her--what an immature, selfish, spoiled moron!

Oh, God, I hate, hate, hate Deborah. She is a boring, self-centered, immature, stupid pain in the ass. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Simon and Tommy are/were in love with her.

I agree that E. George went through a dreadful stage of writing but I think she redeemed herself with her most recent book, With No One As Witness (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BHA3PY/qid=1136496148/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-1853983-0190404?n=507846&s=books&v=glance) (although the Amazon reviewers disagree).

DON'T READ THE SPOILER IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE BOOK, BECAUSE IT WILL RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOU:

I give her credit for killing off Helen--I'd love to know WHY she killed her off and I'd like to plead with her to please, please, please kill Deborah.

eleanorigby
01-06-2006, 09:18 AM
OK-I was a good scout and didn't read the spoiler.

Just finished the E. George--Deborah started argueing with Simon in the middle of a stake-out when the police were waiting for the killer .....and because the killer was a friend of DebbyDumb's--she had to argue with Simon about their being there at all.



I screamed (ok, yelped) in frustration--get this chick OFF the pages of these novels. China River (yes, that it her name), a character in this book, at one point calls Deb entitled, soft, everything works out for you, no real losses in your life Deb (or words to that effect). I was sticking my fist in the air, calling "yes!".

Deb looked puzzled and hurt by all this venom. But, she whined--my mother died when I was little. I lived in someone else's home....Simon doesn't take me seriously. These are huge tragedies to Deb. China's dad is in prison. China grew up in a transient hotel with a mother who ignored her.

Oy. Thank god she can't reproduce. Simon can sooo much better.



(maybe I should not read the next one for a bit. Maybe I should back away from the books and lay down for awhile..... ;) ).

eleanorigby
01-07-2006, 12:36 PM
Am starting With No One As Witness now.

rexnervous
01-07-2006, 01:02 PM
I'll continue reading Johnathan K (and Stuart Woods...


Wow, the first mystery author (leaving out Dan Brown) that popped to mind was Stuart Woods. Read one book by him and immediately crossed him off my list. Just a terrible, terrible book - and by extension, author.

Maybe I should try him again? Though really, really hesitant to waste any time with it.

PastAllReason
01-07-2006, 04:05 PM
There are a few I've consciously stopped reading. For some others, it's not so much a conscious decision as a growing disinterest and sooner or later I stop "noticing" when they've published a new book.

Those I've deliberately crossed off my list:

Patricia Cornwell. Pretty much for the reasons described above. Plus she kept doing screwy things with time. The niece grows up at soap opera pace; no one else seemed to get any older.

Martha Grimes. I got tired with the fact that her characters never changed. Oddly, at the time that I stopped reading them, it also seemed that, though time went by and decades moved on, Richard Jury never got any older.

It bothers me if a book is supposed to be one where suspension of belief is not required, then playing around with time like that is annoying.

Sharyn McCrumb. I really liked her Elizabeth McPherson books of the early 90's. Missing Susan was a fine black comedy. Damn that Susan for keeping missing being murdered! Then Sharyn McCrumb took a turn into very serious writing. Blah, blah, blech. That was it for me.

Q.N. Jones
01-07-2006, 05:29 PM
Patricia Cornwell hasn't been good since her third book. I have finally crossed her off the list with this new one, Trace. I liked her so much in the beginning that I hung on for a long time, hoping she'd return to old form.

Sue Grafton is really uneven, I think. A, B, E, G, H, J, L, N, and O were quite enjoyable. The others were really pretty boring/formulaic. I hear good things about the new one, S.

eleanorigby
01-08-2006, 01:15 PM
Oh, God, I hate, hate, hate Deborah. She is a boring, self-centered, immature, stupid pain in the ass. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Simon and Tommy are/were in love with her.



DON'T READ THE SPOILER IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE BOOK, BECAUSE IT WILL RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOU:

I give her credit for killing off Helen--I'd love to know WHY she killed her off and I'd like to plead with her to please, please, please kill Deborah.


I finished it this morning.


I cannot believe she killed Helen off! Then again, what was she to do--have the Ashertons be one happy family? The baby kind of jumped the shark.

but why o why didn't she kill off Deborah? SHE is the one who does nothing--I liked Helen just because she was such a butterfly, but knew it and was actually a solid person underneath.



And EG needs a more brutal editor--this book could have been about 100 pages shorter and much better. :rolleyes:

koeeoaddi
08-22-2007, 05:42 PM
I'm bumping this thread as a public service, just in case the OP is wavering in her resolve. Ruth Rendell has a new novel, The Water is Lovely and it, too, roundly bites.

Freudian Slit
08-22-2007, 05:44 PM
Ruth Rendell's books are still good, but I find her characters just so hideous and unsympathetic, I can't read them. I still like her Inspector Wexford books--he's an awesome character. And her detective mysteries are great. And I still enjoy Rendell's older books.

Is the Water is Lovely the new Wexford one?

koeeoaddi
08-22-2007, 06:00 PM
Ruth Rendell's books are still good, but I find her characters just so hideous and unsympathetic, I can't read them. I still like her Inspector Wexford books--he's an awesome character. And her detective mysteries are great. And I still enjoy Rendell's older books.

Is the Water is Lovely the new Wexford one?
No, it's not a Wexford book, and I completely agree. Her last few books that don't feature Wexford are well written, but her characters are so casually brutal and repellent that they are almost painful to read.

Oddly, the books she writes under the Barbara Vine pseudonym always seem to be much more fun.

Freudian Slit
08-22-2007, 06:10 PM
No, it's not a Wexford book, and I completely agree. Her last few books that don't feature Wexford are well written, but her characters are so casually brutal and repellent that they are almost painful to read.

Oddly, the books she writes under the Barbara Vine pseudonym always seem to be much more fun.
Apparently the new Wexford is called Not in the Flesh and it's coming out sometime soon.

I agree--the Barbara Vine ones are best. Somehow, they're darker and more fun to read than the ones that come out under her own name. No Night is Too Long, Grasshopper, Anna's Book, A Dark Adapted Eye, Fatal Inversion.

twickster
08-22-2007, 07:24 PM
I'm bumping this thread as a public service, just in case the OP is wavering in her resolve. Ruth Rendell has a new novel, The Water is Lovely and it, too, roundly bites.
I'm a Capricorn -- I don't waver. (And I've included the Wexford books in my boycott.)

BTW, speaking of beach reading -- I'll post in that thread eventually -- but this year's tote bag o' books included the new Jonathan Kellerman, which was, as I told you in that email, "thoroughly adequate." Esp. for a beach read.

herownself
08-22-2007, 07:27 PM
I'm so glad someone mentioned GM Ford - he's fantastic and not too grisly for people who get squeamish.

But I haven't seen anyone mention my favorite author : Kathy Reichs

First book is Deja Dead. Both she and the character are a forensic anthropologist, so she knows what she's writing about.

There is a silly TV series on which is based on her books - congrats to her, I hope she's raking in the $$$. But read the books - they are amazing.

Sarahfeena
08-22-2007, 07:50 PM
I used to love Robin Cook's medical thrillers, but the last couple of them have been awful, awful, awful. I have his latest one on hold at the library, and I'm going to give it a shot. If there is no improvement, that's it for him!

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