Robert Crais has been a favorite author of mine for some time now. In 2020 during my record-setting year of reading I read nine of his books. As of this writing I’ve now read all but the most recent two books he’s published. He’s proven to be in a class of his own among his many contemporaries. Who would you say is the best mystery author writing today?
Early this morning I finished my 37th book of the year. I expect to reach 40 by the end of this week. But this year’s reading has taught me one thing that’s undeniable. Robert Crais is the best crime novelist writing today.
It was the seventh time this year I’ve read one of his books. That’s an absurd amount for me to read by any single author in a given year. Going back to my college days when I was consistently in the 20-40 range several calendar years in a row, I’d never read that many by a single author. This year has been different. Mostly because I’ve actually gotten some good numbers done. So there’s more opportunity.
I’m really stingy with my ratings for books. For example, after I finished my 30th book of the year the average rating was 2.93 out of 5. That was a slight uptick from the first 25. The average rating for the seven Robert Crais novels I’ve read this year? 4.42 out of 5. I’ve rated more than half of them as 5 star reads. I talk and write a lot about Harry Bosch. Michael Connelly is right there with Crais, but in my eyes he’s just slightly behind. Harry will likely be coming to an end at some point as he’s aged in real-time. Nothing I’ve read indicates Elvis or Joe are going anywhere anytime soon. No complaints from me.
I could say more. Lots more. And I will. But it’s time for bed.
I wasn’t lying the other day when I said I’d finally made a new video! Over the weekend I did some editing and it’s ready for your eyes! And only 4 minutes long.
If you find it mildly interesting, don’t forget to subscribe! Go, go, go!
Earlier this year I made it clear how disappointed I was in my reading last year. 5 books. Just saying that makes me want to hit my head on my desk. But 2019 is off to a better start! So I decided to do a little roundup of my January reading.
Two Kinds of Truth
Harry Bosch ages in real time. In this book he’s into his 60s, but I DON’T CARE. Never stop writing him, Michael Connelly. Or we’re fighting.
I hate to say it, but this was rather unremarkable. I love Spenser. And this won’t discourage me from continuing the series, but I finished the book wanting more.
I wrote about this earlier in the week here. This book was the best crime novel I’ve read! There’s no exaggeration. I gave my reasoning in my previous post. I’m still considering it, but it’s likely a top five all-time read for me. And I have the next four in the series awaiting my curious eyes.
I said I’d stay with crime novels for a bit, and I mostly did. But this was the lone exception last month. It didn’t have hardly any laugh out loud moments, whereas the first in the series was full of them.
The Second Life of Nick Mason
This was the first in a new series written by Steve Hamilton. He’s also one of my favorite authors and it was my first time reading one of his books in several years. It’s well below 300 pages and I felt it. It went way too fast and lacked much depth throughout. But still had a number of exciting moments, which kept it at the above rating.
I count 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 books for the month! It was really in the last two weeks, but shh. I matched my entire 2018 in the first month of 2019 and I’m still going! I know there will be some down months ahead, but I’m happy with and encouraged by my start to the year.
How was your month of reading!?
I’m about to finish my 5th book of the year (matching my 2018) and I want your help to pick my next read!
They’re both by one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly. The first is The Late Show, which introduces Detective Renee Ballard to the world. The second is The Lincoln Lawyer, which is the first in the Mickey Haller series. I’ve gotten some exposure to him because he’s related to Harry Bosch, but I haven’t read anything with Renee Ballard yet. She was featured in another book last year.
Tell me, tell me!
AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA! 😂
I really can’t resist any opportunity to type that out. I don’t think y’all find it nearly as entertaining as I do. But meh.
The real person Patterson is co writing a book with is President Clinton. No, this isn’t an alternate universe in which Hillary actually won. It’s Bill. Bill Clinton and James Patterson are writing a book together. Welp.
The quality of Patterson’s work is what it is. I simply don’t see how this would do anything to change that. Bill Clinton has never written a novel. But Patterson does whatever he possibly can to sell as many books as he can. This appears to fall in line with the things he’s done before.
Do you have any interest in a book written by President Clinton and James Patterson? I know I don’t.
I KNOW some of y’all will love every minute of this. Now watch! What else do I need to say?
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m in the midst of a mad dash to complete my 2016 reading challenge. I finished two more books over the weekend to see if I can ultimately complete it.
But today I’m talking about MY BOOK. I wonder if I’m making history right now by reviewing my own work. Hm. Anyway, let’s go.
Divided Within is set in and around Houston and follows Andrew Banks as he works his first case as a private investigator. His first client happens to be a teenage girl who suspects there’s something really wrong between her parents that they aren’t telling her about, only it’s much worse than she could have imagined.
A little history before I get into the good stuff. I wrote the book over the course of the first months immediately after I graduated from college in 2013.
Although it’s my own work, I still had problems with it. The first thing I noticed is I obviously forgot how to use commas. Seriously. I’m not sure what was going on. There were commas where there should have been periods and then there was nothing where there should have been commas. Ugh.
The other thing I didn’t really like after my reread was the language. It was unoriginal. It’s a crime novel, but I felt I used cussing at weird points in the story. I don’t feel like it worked.
The other thing that I definitely recognize, though I still don’t have a problem with is the story. I won’t get into the specifics because some of you all might actually want to give it a read now, but one of the complaints I received when I first published the book was that the story was unbelievable. And it is. But I’ll keep saying it over and over again that I don’t read any fiction to read something that’s entirely realistic. If that’s what I want then I’ll watch the news.
After more than three years my favorite aspect of the book is still Andrew and Sydney. I found a few points in which I didn’t like their dialogue, but their relationship is great. So many detectives have a new love interest every other book, but not Banks. You know that just from reading this first book.
I still find it crazy that I wrote this thing, but I did and it’s mine. It satisfied the requirement to read a self-published book for my 2016 reading challenge.
Have YOU read it!? Have you ever tried to review your own work?
Sue Grafton is one of the most respected authors today. She’s written the Kinsey Millhone series of books set in California. I’ve read five or six books in the series, which I found underwhelming. And now she’s making THESE statements? No.
“…I’d like to remind you that a book is a perfect gift.”
“One size fits all and no calories…”
BOOKS ARE NOT THE PERFECT GIFT. NO MATTER WHO SAYS SO. And signed books are meaningless in today’s world. The only positive from this post is that the books are free, but even then I wouldn’t force any book onto any other person.
Ugh. I’ll keep saying it until I no longer can. Books are terrible gifts. THE END. Especially books that have been on bookstore shelves for more than a year.
This won’t contain any spoilers.
If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time it’s highly likely you’ve read something about Harry Bosch. I’ve written about him more than just about any character, even KATNISS!
He is the epitome of who and what I think a fictional detective should be. This was the 17th book in the series I’ve read, and to me it was the best one yet. No matter the character being written, an author who can keep the reader interested in a single character over two decades is one of those rare jewels in literature. Michael Connelly is right there with the likes of Sue Grafton and Robert B. Parker.
Harry Bosch has never become stagnant or boring. His stories have never escaped the realm of reality. And he’s never forgotten his mantra that “Everybody counts or nobody counts”.
This book satisfied the requirement of my 2016 reading challenge to read a crime novel.
Now TOMORROW I will post an update on my progress! Stay tuned!
Also, the first book in the Harry Bosch series is The Black Echo. Just saying. 😊