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Nathan Larson

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Nathan Larson is an award-winning film composer, musician, producer, the author of the novels The Dewey Decimal System, The Nervous System, and The Immune System. He has made music for many films, including Boys Don't Cry, Margin Call, and the Swedish movies Stockholm Stories and Lilya 4-Ever. He and his wife, singer Nina Persson, divide their time between New York City and Sweden.



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May 21, 2016


We are celebrating a long weekend here in Canada - Victoria Day, or if you are in the Province of Québec, la Journée nationale des patriotes - which we all like to think of as the unofficial beginning of summer. This year, we hope Summer agrees.

Whether or not you've got Monday off, you might want some suggestions about what to read, now that the days are long and the weather warm. We've been reading a mixed bag this week, so there should be something here that whets your appetite.

Appropriately for the year that is celebrating the centennial of the US National Parks, Nevada Barr sends Anna Pigeon off to Acadia National Park in Maine in BOAR ISLAND. Sharon Mensing says that you come away feeling as though you've just been on a wilderness trip (with a little ocean thrown in). This year is, as I needn't remind anyone, an election year and John Sanford sends his veteran sleuth Lucas Davenport off to rural Iowa in EXTREME PREY, where at least one voter is mad as hell and is going to do something about it. Barbara Fister remarks that it's a sneaky way of looking at the current electoral scene without actually naming names.

Another way of getting a perspective on the present is by taking a trip to the past and I thought Andrew Taylor's ASHES OF LONDON provides as thoroughgoing a bit of time travel as you could want. The historical period in Stewart O'Nan's CITY OF SECRETS is much closer in time to our own and set in a place (Jerusalem, 1948) where the tensions are still unresolved. Anne Corey reports that while the book provides a "direct exposure to a time and place of great historical significance... it is difficult to feel emotionally connected to the characters or the story."

PJ Coldren says that if the next book in Steve Hamilton's new series set in Chicago is as good as THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, then he will have a winner on his hands.

From Britain this time we get Alison Bruce's THE PROMISE, a police procedural that Jim Napier found both engrossing and satisfying. Susan Hoover had her reservations about THE EXCLUSIVES, a debut by Rebecca Thornton, but thought it might appeal to younger readers who had experienced the horrors of a girls' boarding school.

Christine Zibas reviews two books involving real artists. DEATH ON A STARRY NIGHT, by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, takes up the recently-debated question of Van Gogh's reputed suicide and how it relates to a fictional murder. Christine remarks that it's the art and the south of France that are the real reasons to read this one. Laura Lebow's SENT TO THE DEVIL employs Lorenzo Da Ponte, the librettist for Don Giovanni as an amateur detective. Here again, says Christine, it's the background, not the murder, that is the main attraction.

Anne Corey, who is anticipating the release of Daniel Silva's 16th Gabriel Allon thriller, provides an overview of what has gone on to date in the series, focussing on THE ENGLISH SPY.

Phyllis Onstad did have a few complaints about DON'T YOU CRY, by Mary Kubica, but still was drawn to the novel despite her reservations. Allison Brennan raises the problem of cyberbullying and its attendant suicide in POISONOUS. Lourdes Venard says that this strong thriller is an addition to the list of books attempting to make sense of this sad phenomenon.

Larry D. Sweazy's book-indexing amateur sleuth Marjorie Trumaine is back in SEE ALSO DECEPTION and Meredith Frazier reports that this trip to small-town North Dakota in 1964 is engaging. Amateur detectives can also flourish in major population centres and that is the case for Theo Bogart in Susan Cox's THE MAN ON THE WASHING MACHINE. Tina's in San Francisco, starting a new life after a family tragedy. Sharon Mensing reports that though this does not appear to be the start of a series, she'd very much like to see more of Theo and her circle. Diana Borse, on the other hand, suspects that after the second in Tina Whittle's Georgia-based series starring gun-shop owner Tai Randolph, RECKONING AND RUIN, the series may be running its course.

Our guest in the Sixty Seconds With...seat this week is the multi-talented Nathan Larson. Don't miss what he has to say for himself in the box over to your left.

We only read two Brits this week. If you want more, try a visit to CRIMEREVIEW, where you can find out about crime fiction in the UK.

So there we have it for now. We'll be back in June with more. Please come back and see.

Best,

Yvonne

ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com




P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.


Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.


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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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