13 March 2009

Chase and peep

We're lucky to have a connection to the bookstores of Chicago. Our connection pushes books she's read on to us when she's in town. We're grateful, but sometimes it's hard to keep up.

She dropped off C. J. Box's latest, Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, a couple weeks ago. I read the first couple chapters and then put it on the DONE pile. It was just too threatening, too intense, and too foreboding for me.

However, Margaret Coel's new book, Blood Memory, was in the same bag as Box's book. It's threatening, intense, and foreboding too. But I liked it.

Many years ago, I had a film teacher who said there were two kinds of films: chases and peeping Tom voyeur experiences. Blood Memory is both. It begins with a botched murder attempt by a professional hit man, and the rest of the book is the chase by the hit man to kill a threatening reporter. And, every few chapters, there is a peeping Tom observation of the hit man. It doesn't humanize him, but it does make his rationalizations apparent.

Coel has written a baker's dozen mysteries set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. I was getting a little tired of reading about the missionary priest and the Native attorney who braved the bad guys on the rez and resolved the too-numerous, convoluted mysteries there. This book is set in Denver and includes fictional glimpses of local and state politics. It's proof that Margaret Coel can write stories about other characters set in other settings.

I recommend it. Anyone else read it? What did you think?

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