Thursday, September 09, 2010

Penalty Play

Today in January Magazine, Rap Sheet contributor Brendan M. Leonard reviews journalist and author Bryan Gruley’s second Starvation Lake mystery, The Hanging Tree (Touchstone). Although Leonard finds some faults with this new book’s plotting, he has plenty of other good things to say about the author’s prose. Leonard opines that
Gruley has become a better fiction-writer since he completed Starvation Lake [2009]. His prose is still simple, his attention to detail still excellent. Lines such as “She was standing behind the front counter wearing a red cardigan with the shapes of reindeer knitted into it,” or “The air tasted of mustard and pickled eggs,” or “Three tall plastic buckets embossed with Miller Lite logos sat along the back wall” all instantly conjure up images in your mind. They’re the kind of descriptions that are specific and universal at the same time; they remind you of places from your youth, even if you’ve grown up in a city and never been to a place like Starvation Lake. ...

[But] Gruley has become much better at evoking his characters’ inner lives than he was in his first novel.
You will find the complete Hanging Tree critique here.

No comments: