Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
8. Pit Stop [Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber] by Raymond Khoury vs. Linwood Barclay This one was a bit forgettable and I suppose that sums it up fairly well. With Barclay apparently not using series characters these days, and the one he last wrote being of a sort to completely avoid involvement in the scenario presented, we end up with one half of the duo who mainly brings to it the terror of potentially losing one’s rather young daughter, while Sean Reilly of the FBI handles the active parts of the...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
7. Infernal Night [Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack] by Heather Graham vs. F. Paul Wilson Like “The Laughing Buddha” this story had explicitly supernatural elements, which makes the lack of them in “Gaslighted” more puzzling. And yet I find it weird this continues to bug me, as the story works well for what it is, and it’s hardly as if I am familiar with the source material and thereby bothered by an unfaithfulness. Anyway, this one was interesting with lone wolf for hire ‘Jack’,

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
6. Rhymes With Prey [Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport] by Jeffrey Deaver vs. John Sandford This one I also liked from the start, especially being back to detectives working together to solve crimes. Had some fun of ‘thinks like me’ with the way they were considering even unlikely possibilities before deciding which approaches to focus on. That was enjoyable - it seems like actual detective stories are surprisingly rare among crime fiction, or maybe this is more a matter of how it goes in the...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
5. Surfing The Panther [Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper] by Steve Martini vs. Linda Fairstein This one mostly interested me after a confrontational start - I’ve become rather averse to arguments, so the initial back and forth put me off a little. But once the story itself got underway I was interested the ‘lawyers attempting to uncover the truth of a case’. The resolution bothered me because near the beginning there were some possibilities I saw, and dismissed on the basis of that...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
4. The Laughing Buddha [Malachai Samuels vs. D.D. Warren] by M.J. Rose vs. Lisa Gardner I think this story was inherently going to be disappointing for what I wanted out of these. Like the previous story this one was hero vs. villain, not hero teaming up with hero as the first two were. Worse - from my perspective - Samuels is a protagonist villain, ever-slippery evading the grasp of the law, so this is effectively forbidden from being a story in which D.D. Warren gets one over him. Since I’m...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
3. Gaslighted [Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast] by R. L. Stine vs. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child I dreaded reading this because I am not a fan of horror. It is a genre I am perhaps oversensitive to, one that lingers with me for days if I am lucky. A couple of years ago, for example, I read a short story by George R. R. Martin, “The Monkey Treatment” in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection. That one gave me difficulty sleeping for a few weeks after...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
2. In The Nick Of Time [John Rebus vs. Roy Grace] by Ian Rankin vs. Peter James I want to call this a nice little morality play but I’m not sure that’s quite right. Guy’s on his deathbed, insists on making a confession of the time he got away with killing someone back in the sixties during the Mods and Rockers riots. Well of course you don’t just take someone’s word for that so Rebus has to head down to Brighton and follow up on this with Grace. As it turns out, our confessor got it...

Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

 
1. Red Eye [Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch] by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly So far I’ve yet to read anything by Michael Connelly I did not enjoy. Admittedly that is not much - a novel, The Poet, and a short story “Father’s Day” in the collection The Blue Religion. The latter is all I have otherwise read of his main series character Harry Bosch. I’m not previously familiar with Dennis Lehane or his work but this piece worked so well I’m inclined to give him a look. This was a...

Book Dragon is Reading - Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton

 
Had a lunch break and then three hours on a train earlier in the week so I managed to read the remaining half of Aunt Dimity and the Duke. Meanwhile I’ve been a lot tired and of correspondingly low mood, and persistently failed to find the time to write anything about it. Trying to fix that now before it fades any further into the past and becomes any more overwritten by the stories I have read since then. It ended up being a pleasant enough read, which is about what I expected. Precocious, strange...

Book Dragon is Reading - Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton

 
Chapters 10-13 About half-way through. Still no sign of the promised ghost aunt. Beginning to think she won’t show. Meanwhile our protagonist finds the children growing on her with their quirky damage. Continues to feel like she is being fitted into a narrative she did not ask or want to be moulded to (new dresses appearing in her wardrobe, persuasion that gardening is her true passion, that sort of thing). Sometimes when I am reading this feels almost like a horror narrative. Also meanwhile,