Monthly Archives: November 2011

Double Indemnity, by James Cain

1936.  A spare suspenseful story that grabs you from the opening scene.

Insurance agent Walter Huff calls on oil executive client Mr Nirdlinger to renew his policies.  Mrs Nirdlinger answers the door in her bathing suit. Huff is hooked.  The dame knows it.

What follows is a taut tale of murder, guilt, and betrayal.  Why Huff, a reasonably successful agent, falls into the clutches of the femme fatale is never really explained.  He just falls.  Hard.  And does her bidding.  He’s as successful at murder as he is at selling insurance: a knowledgeable planner who gets all the details straight.

But he can’t plan for what he doesn’t know.  And he doesn’t really know Mrs Nidlinger.

At only 115 pages, James Cain created “An American Masterpiece,” according to Ross Macdonald, another master.  Every scene, every word, is carefully crafted to lead you to the inevitable and surprising conclusion.

Advertisements

Black Money, by Ross MacDonald

1965.  Archer is called in to investigate the background of a newcomer to the exclusive beachside community of Montevista.  A tough guy Frenchie has stolen the fiance of a rich local boy who wants his beauty back.

Archer’s investigation takes a detour from the start when he bumps shoulders with another snoop whom he witnesses getting muscled by their mutual target, getting his expensive camera trampled to bits, then getting threatened by a handgun through the Bentley window.  Frenchie obviously values his privacy and he’s willing to kill for it.

A seven-year old suicide, a secretive but gossipy community of established types, and the inevitable host of parvenus drawn to the smell of money lead Archer along a winding path of discovery.  Lives unravel, murders pile up, until all is revealed in the final paragraph.

Archer’s observations and commentary make this a smart tale of ugly choices.


What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver

1974. Raymond Carver’s simple powerful tales magically come alive in your hands.

Carver slips inside his characters with such skill and grace that you don’t read so much as eavesdrop.

These stories are of intense moments for troubled people.  Or they are the stories troubled people tell others to pretend their lives are in balance when they aren’t.

The spare yet elegant writing illustrates lives at the near-boil, poised or paralysed for choice.

More reviews to follow…


Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop, November 17th to 27th

Use this code JE96M on the site below for a free copy of Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa

What is a giveaway hop?

Simple – Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.

For followers this means lots of chances to win free books.

For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors.

It’s a win-win!

Each participating blog will host their own giveaway. There is no requirement on the minimum or maximum value of the giveaway, which can be books, swags, Amazon gift cards, or anything else that an author, reader or blogger would enjoy.

All participating blogs will be linked up through a Giveaway linky.

Click here for free offer.

Return to Hop Here.


November Giveaway Hop

What is a giveaway hop?

Simple – Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers & blog readers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.

For blog readers this means lots of chances to win.

For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors.

It’s a win-win!

Each participating blog will host their own giveaway.

All participating blogs will be linked up through a Giveaway linky.

Coupon Code: KK44Q
Expires: November 12, 2011

Click here and use the above code for free e-copy of Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa.