Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What are you reading?

I'm stealing an idea from Connie at The Miami Herald and asking a question via the InterGoogle that I often ask people in person: What are you reading now? And, more importantly, how is it?

I'm still tearing through Michael Connelly's library. I'm on my ninth book of his (which, I realized last night, I've read in little over a month), eight of which have been installments in the Harry Bosch detective series. The one I'm reading now, though, Chasing the Dime, isn't part of the series. It tells the story of chemist Henry Pierce, who discovers that his new phone number used to belong to someone else. That someone else being a high-priced escort named Lilly who has gone missing. Things get weirder from there, and Henry finds himself immersed in the seedy world of prostitution and Internet adult entertainment.

At first, I was a little annoyed at the book. See, it was the third book in a three-book omnibus I'd bought. Two of the books were Bosch novels, so I was really looking forward to continuing the adventures of Harry. So, I was a little irked to find this standalone story grouped with two from the series. But, after muddling through the first few chapter, I realized that not only was this a decent mystery in its own right (and also featured a number of previously seen characters from the Bosch series), but also had a few hints and tips on how I could better execute my own crime novel, which has some parallels to Dime, most visibly the notion of the non-detective becoming the hero/detective against his better judgement and out of a desire to help a friend/person in need.

In that respect, Chasing the Dime has been a helpful guide toward getting a sense of how I could make my book work, and how I could make it different and potentially avoid some of the story mistakes my radar picked up while reading the novel. I wouldn't say it's as entertaining as the Bosch books, but that's fine. That can be chalked up to familiarity with the character and the comfort zone that creates. Still, I'd consider reading another Henry Pierce novel. Assuming he doesn't end up dead -- I still have a few more chapters to go.

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