Book Review: The Wrong Man

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The Wrong Man by David Ellis

Originally written for Spruce Grove Public Library and published in Spruce Grove Examiner on November 30, 2012.

Today, I am reviewing The Wrong Man by David Ellis, published by the Penguin Group under G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-399-15828-5.

OK, it’s corny to say this, but The Wrong Man was definitely written by the RIGHT man:  I loved this book.  David Ellis has written eight thrillers, several with James Patterson, and his first novel, Line of Vision, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.  The third in his ‘Jason Kolarich’ series, The Wrong Man is a fast-paced, twisty-turny novel full of action and suspense.

Criminal defense attorney Jason Kolarich accepts the case of an Iraq War veteran, now homeless and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who is charged with the murder of a young paralegal.  While preparing an insanity defense, however, Kolarich discovers that the paralegal was killed as part of a cover up—and his client is actually innocent.

As Jason Kolarich works to exonerate his client, he runs afoul of a Mob assassin aliased “Gin Rummy”; the Mob itself; and a conglomerate of corporate conspirators who have put an explosive plan into motion.  They are not about to let one lawyer and his team get in their way. Of course, Jason Kolarich is not your average lawyer.

If you enjoy a good thriller, I recommend that you read this book. Ellis’ work is similar to John Grisham, but different enough to command respect in its own right. I will be reading his other books A. S. A. P.

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Book Review: Call Me Princess

‘Call Me Princess’ by Sara Blædel, published by Pegasus Crime in 2011, ISBN: 978-1-60598-251-9.

Review originally published in The Spruce Grove Examiner on November 16, 2012.

Sara Blædel’s first effort, ‘Grønt Støv’ (‘Green Dust’) won the Danish Crime Academy’s debut prize.  Voted the most popular novelist in Denmark in 2007, 2010 and 2011, Blædel has been dubbed that Country’s “Queen of Crime.”

‘Call Me Princess’ is the second book in the Louise Rick series and the first to be released in North America.  It follows Detective Inspector Louise Rick as she puts the pieces together to solve a brutal rape.  The victim and rapist met online and corresponded using false names long enough to decide to take things to the next level.  The couple enjoys a nice dinner out and then “Mr. Noble” takes “Snow Wite without the h” back to her place…where the formerly perfect evening takes a terrible and terrifying turn.

Rick discovers that this horrific incident is not Mr. Noble’s first rape—and it won’t be his last.  One of his victims dies from the attack and still he continues.  He web crawls through dating sites with impunity, using and then shedding a string of online profiles faster than Rick can decode them.  Finally, Detective Inspector Rick explodes into impulsive action, endangering her own safety as she desperately tries to catch the serial rapist.

Sara Blædel joins the recent ranks of Nordic mystery writers landing upon the figurative shores of our minds, taking our imaginations captive.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys writers such as Roslund & Hellström and Jo Nesbo.

Book Review: 13

13, Alexis Kienlen, Frontenac House Ltd., 2011, ISBN: 978-1-897181-53-9

Reviewed by:  R.D. Girvan

Originally Published in The Spruce Grove Examiner, October 2012

I was introduced to Alexis Kienlen, poet, fiction writer, editor and journalist, when she appeared as one of the panel members at the 2012 LitFest Event, “Author Promotion in a Digital Age”.  I was impressed with the way she expressed herself verbally, in terms of both speed and clarity.  I bought her latest book, 13, a follow up to She Dreams in Red.

I am very glad I did.  13 addresses issues such as childhood depression and the loss of love openly, truthfully and without self-pity.  Even given the often dark subject matter, Kienlen managed to produce a book that is also playful; there is a whimsical yet compelling section on the inner musings of a queen bee.  My favorite poem is called “clue”, one of the pieces that use children’s board games to speak to adult issues, laying the teen/grown-up transition bare upon the page.

I recommend this book because of Kienlen’s searing honesty.  Her work is deceptively simple; it is a quick read, and drops like a pebble into the waters of one’s mind.  Yet, much later, its ripples continue to spread.