Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday's Forgotten Books, December 28, 2018

(From the archives) Patti Abbott

Not exactly a forgotten book since C.J. Box's BLUE HEAVEN won the Edgar in 2009, but I have been meaning to read it and since I did, here is my review. This is a masterful book that manages to tell a fairly complex story in a completely lucid way. There is no fat in the story. It takes place over 48 hours and you can feel those hours ticking by at breakneck speed.
Two kids in northern Idaho watch the murder of a man, see that they've been spotted and are immediately on the run. They are lucky enough to find themselves in the barn of Jess Rawlins, a rancher who is one of the few good men left in his neck of the woods. He is also a hardluck guy who has lost almost everything. But Jess must hide the kids, figure out if their story is true, and determine just who the murderers are and why. Can he trust that what they think they saw really happened. And is it fair to keep the kids away from their worrying mother.
Blue Heaven is a term for the part of northern Idaho that is now a haven for ex-policeman. And some of those ex-policemen have taken over Jess's town for their own purposes. The is an exciting read and a nice introduction to this part of the country. Not a false step in the story and Box creates great villains and great heroes. Not an easy thing to do.

Les Blatt, DEATH OF AN OLD GIRL, Elizabeth Lemarchand
Richard Horton, STORIES OF THE THREE BURGLARS, Frank Stockton
Jerry House, THE YELLOW CLAW, Sax Rohmer
Margot Kinberg, IN COLD BLOOD, Truman Capote
Rob Kitchin, THE DEATH SEASON, Kate Ellis
B.V. Lawson, THE DANCING MAN, P.M. Hubbard
AEvan Lewis, FLYING SAUCERS, Wally Wood
Steve Lewis, POLO SOLO,  Jerry Kennealy
Todd Mason, THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES annual, edited by Richard Davis, Gerald W. Page and Karl Edward Wagner,  1971-1994
Only Detect, TOWARDS ZERO, Agatha Christie
Matthew Paust, GREENMANTLE, John Buchan
James Reasoner,  Blood Priestess of Vig N'Ga - John Peter Drummond
Gerard Saylor, "Saints of the Shadow Bible" Ian Rankin
Kerrie Smith, THE SHADOW SISTER, Lucinda Riley
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, FEAR AND TREMBLING, Robert Bloch
TomCat,  The Kindaichi Case Files: The Antlion Trench Murder Case
TracyK, SALAMANDER, J. Robert Janes


Jerry House said...

Mine's up now, Patti -- Sax Rohmer's THE YELLOW CLAW.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks! I've been meaning to pick up a Box novel (since I can't have box wine) for some time now.

Even given how generic packaging of books has tended to be over the decades, the recent-years favoring of big san-serif all caps seems to me particularly unengaging. Just me?

Currently as I write, the James Reasoner JUNGLE STORIES novella link went bad, and the Les Blatt link went bad in a very odd way, that turns one back to one's own posts, or if not logged in to the Blogspot login.

Yours for a much better year...

Anonymous said...

Very glad to see you back, Patti. I'm glad you liked Blue Heaven as well as you did. Box is a really talented author, and he's done several different sorts of things.

TracyK said...

I still have not read the first book CJ Box wrote (Open Season, first in the Joe Pickett series) and I should do that. Blue Heaven sounds very good.

Thanks for putting these links together.