Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Karin Slaughter's Broken will be her next award winner. The complex story of depression, revenge, greed, disabilities, and hatred is told with the stunning brilliance of a master writer.
There is never any let-up in this fast-paced police procedural. A young woman is murdered and the young man who is arrested for her killing commits suicide in his cell.
Their deaths reunited some of Slaughter's most intriguing characters as Dr. Sara Linton calls the state crime division to report Detective Lena Adams for negligence and lying about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Dr. Linton believes this previous behavior of evading responsibility caused the death of her husband and she wants Lena punished.
Special Agent Will Trent is sent to the scene to investigate and is thwarted at every turn by the members of the force to prevent him from doing his job. He must turn both to Sara and Lena for help after the boy friend of the murdered girl is also killed by the same methods. The conflict between the two woman is detrimental to his efforts to complete his investigation, but for both women an internal devotion to their respective jobs finally supersedes their hatred of each other.
Slaughter exhibits a fantastic talent for descriptive prose that will have you putting the book in your lap to savor her images. Her strength shows in the small ordinary experiences of life and vividness of the surroundings. She handles the raw scenes of death with the crisp flat style of a police report, never broaching sensationalism.
I had the privilege of sharing a head table at a writing workshop with Karin. One of the things we discussed was, "Why are women never taught to protect and respect themselves as children?" It is a question I've not forgotten and for which I still seek an answer.
Broken will be available in bookstores everywhere in late June, until then you can visit with Karin, who loves to get letters at
Nash Black, author of Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Devil's Island

Carl Brookins continues the story of Mary Whitney and her husband, Michael Tanner in Devils Island.
Brookins gives the reader an inside view of a strong relationship between two unique individuals through his complex suspense/thriller. There is never any question in the story line as to who is the bad guy. He is Mary's ex-husband. Edwin Tobias can not endure to let Mary live after escaping from his domination.
Michael Tanner and Edmund Hochstein (director of Whitney Enterprises) do their best to protect Mary from the danger they foresee on the horizon, but how far does one go without becoming the same oppressive menace Mary escaped from when she left Tobias?
A planned vacation to Lake Superior divides Michael and Mary. He has obligations on the West Coast, which can not be ignored or postponed. Mary travels to Minnesota alone for a few days of sailing and research to trace her family's early logging interest on the islands of the lake.
Mary enjoys her time on the lake with the aid of a young woman who is a novice sailor. Then this fast paced story churns the turbulent waters even faster as Tobias plays cat-and-mouse games before moving in for the kill.
The conclusion is one of the most exciting and illuminating I have read in a long time. You must read the story for yourself to understand the gallant respect Michael has for Mary despite his own fears for her safety.
It is a gripping tale from start to finish. Put it on your must read list.
Devils Island is available on-line and from
Carl is a professional reviewer, a member of the Minnesota Crime Wave, and you can visit with him at
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.