I don’t know if you’ve read Greg Iles. He’s been writing thrillers for a dozen years now beginning with SPANDAU PHOENIX, a novel about Rudolf Hess. Hess was a high ranking Nazi who was captured during World War Two after parachuting into Scotland. Iles makes some interesting comments about at Bookseller.com about the state of thriller fiction. Iles claims that thrillers have been become “one dimensional and formulaic” due to the pressure on esttablished authors to crank out a book every year. I found the link over at Sarah Weinman’s.
Greg Iles uses the deep south as a backdrop for his latest novel, BLOOD MEMORY; I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t know when the release date is. His novel 24 Hours has been retitled TRAPPED for film; that book has a feel of Karin Slaughter to it, partially because of the small town southern setting, and the rapid pacing. He avoids series characters, preferring to recast every new novel completely; I haven’t enjoyed his later work as much as the thrillers with international settings where he began his career. Small town Gothic isn’t my bag, but he’s a writer worth checking out.
Jim Fusilli’s TRIBECA BLUES was on my list of notable books for the year. His latest, HARD HARD CITY picks up where TRIBECA BLUES left off. Fusilli is one of the current masters of the first person point of view; his books are character studies, steeped in setting and extended family. His style is unusual and takes a little getting used to; transitions can seem abrupt, he writes the way his character thinks, reacting to memory triggers, and the fairly constant input New York can create. Through both novels the main character is grieving over the death of his wife and their infant son. Fusilli uses the plot as a device to put the character’s process into motion; it’s extremely well done.
DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER by Jeff Lindsey made a splash with this suspense debut. Set in Miami the lead character, Dexter, is a blood splatter analyst for Miami Dade Police; he’s also a serial killer. That’s the hook. It feels like a gimmick; the story isn’t much and the ending is a muddle. The tone is light and ironic, but, overall, this is like a MIAMI VICE episode without the music and the Ferrari.
THE SLEEPER by Christopher Dickey was reviewed here a few months ago. It’s an interesting thriller and I mention it again in the context of Greg Iles’ remarks quoted above. If you’re weary of techno-nonsense try this one.