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specfiction Posted - 09/19/2006 : 09:14:01
The thing I like most about thrillers of all kinds is that many times people who have direct experience write them. For example, many crime mysteries are written by ex-law enforcement people or people involved with crime, like psychologists. Many military novels are written by ex-military, or someone on the periphery, like a military contractor, journalist, or analyst.

Many times a good who-done-it is a way of telling the truth about something in a way that is more effective than an essay. Fiction is a way of getting the reader emotionally involved in a story that may have its roots in something real and significant.

What do you think? And what are some of your favorite kinds of mysteries?
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specfiction Posted - 06/07/2007 : 09:17:04
Two new books, "East of the Mountains" by David Guterson is a classic work of literary fiction that reminded me of Steinbeck or Saroyan. The story is about a seventy-five year old heart surgeon who has inoperable cancer. He decides to commit suicide by going on a hunting trip with his two dogs and his dad's shotgun in a valley beyond the eastern mountains where he was born. But as luck would have it, he gets into an accident and through a series of mishaps, his suicide turns into a journey of self-realization. Great book, written so well it was a pleasure to read.

The second book is "Reversible Error," by Scott Torrow. Torrow writes (mostly) about criminal law. But this is only context for a masterful exploration of human nature. Torrow has got to be one of the best authors writing fiction today.

You can find these and other books on the Literary Tab at:../BookStoreFrame.htm

specfiction Posted - 03/21/2007 : 08:40:17
For those of you who like detective "who-done-it's, check out "The Cold Moon" by Jeff Deaver. I've read a lot of J. Patterson, J. Kellerman, through the not so well known to the great Rex Stout and Robert Parker, and this one is nothing short of the modern day Sherlock Holms. A quadriplegic master criminalist, his talented but reluctant assistant, bad cops, and a Moriarty style master criminal come together under the clever prose of J Deaver to make this one a must read for those who like this kind of thing.

specfiction Posted - 10/01/2006 : 11:29:14
I've been reading Man of the Hour by Peter Blauner. I've got to say this is a great book. Blauner's writing is so effortless and unpretentious that you get well into the book before you realize what a substantial work this is. The story involves several threads running at once, all headed for a train-wreck. The lives of the main characters: David Fitzgerald, a side-lined school teacher in a dead-end Bronx school and his bipolar wife and his alienated little son, Arthur; Nasser a hate-filled Palestinian young man and his Americanized family that suspect he is a terrorist and murder; and a host of alienated students, policemen, media people, and politicians cluelessly dealing with the common welfare as much as their own sinking lives.

At great well-written thriller that has gotten less notice than it deserves.
specfiction Posted - 09/29/2006 : 17:55:43
Some of the best thrillers I've read lately are tech political novels. The first two have political historical themes that are informative page-turning thrillers. The first is Code to Zero by Ken Follett. This is a great cold-war spy book whose central character is a scientist who spends most of the book in a state of amnesia--trying to figure out who he is and why people are chasing him. Not only was the writing great, and the description of the early rocket program in the US incredibly well researched, but the book was a classic who-done-it.

The second book was U.S.S Seawolf by Patrick Robinson. This has to be one of the best submarine thrillers since Hunt for Red October. The story is about a cat and mouse chess game at sea between the modern red Chinese navy and the most advanced nuclear attack sub in the US navy. This book got some very bad reviews, perhaps because it had in it some of the ugliness that is world politics, as well as very good reviews. The fact that readers' response to this book was so extreme is in itself revealing. Another page-tuner.

Both these books were well researched and offered an interesting prospective into the tech side of world politics and the more subtle motives involved in the competition between governments.

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