Posts Tagged ‘explicit violence’

The Midnight Club

February 22, 2012

Author: James Patterson

Title: The Midnight Club

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 1989

Number of Pages: 349

Geographical Setting: New York City; New York State – various cities; Atlantic City, NJ

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A.

Plot Summary: John Stefanovitch, a New York detective, has been stalking a ruthless murderer and crime lord, nicknamed Grave Dancer, for the past two years. When a sudden violent catastrophe changes Stefanovitch’s life forever, he vows to never give up on the search for the Grave Dancer, no matter the personal consequences. Full of twists and turns and told from multiple points of view, this fast-paced novel portrays Stefanovitch’s (and others) search for a new serial killer, one who has been murdering major crime head’s simultaneously throughout the world. Desperately trying to find out who the mysterious new criminal mastermind is, as well as put his own life back together, John ultimately must also save an innocent journalist and her son from persecution as well.

Subject Headings: New York City, police officers, serial killers, violence – physical and sexual, psychopaths, drug lords, detectives, prostitution

Appeal: fast-paced, intriguing secondary (characters), multiple points of view, action-oriented, complex, explicit violence, plot twists, strong language, bittersweet, darker (tone), hard-edged, menacing, dramatic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, multiple points of view, menacing

Similar Authors and Works (Why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

City Lights: Stories About New York by Dan Barry – Barry takes readers on a poetic and bittersweet journey through the city of New York, but instead of gathering stories from mainstream New Yorkers he instead writes about those whose lives often get overlooked in everyday activities therein.

Drug lords: the rise and fall of the Cali Cartel, the richest, most powerful crime syndicate in history by Ron Chepesiuk – This work of non-fiction chronicles the history and ultimate demise of the Cali Cartel, an international drug “business.” Fast-paced and full of gritty details, this book also demonstrates the power and wit of collaborative law enforcement around the globe.

Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World’s Most Barbaric Criminals by Nigel Cawthorne – Cawthorne takes us into the lives and crimes of many of the world’s most known serial killers. Discussed therein are the murderers’ childhoods and suspected motivations.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Hardcase by Dan Simmons – After a New York detective Joe Kurtz is released from jail for the injury of a villain, he takes on many other criminals – national and international, and also those involved in organized crime. Partially motivated by revenge because of the murder of his girlfriend, Kurtz is a well-trained and skillful killer. The pace is breakneck and will keep readers guessing.

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell – Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta investigates several unusual murders (one of them was someone relatively close to her) and finds a highly-dangerous extremist religious group that may be to blame. With the help of the FBI, Scarpetta, a familiar character for many readers (series character), takes us on a detailed and graphic investigation into this religious cult in order to halt them before they ruthlessly devour more victims.

Love you more: a detective D.D. Warren novel by Lisa Gardner (Release Date: 2/28/12) – When a state trooper’s husband is found dead and daughter goes missing, D.D. Warren and Bobby Dodge have quite a mystery on their hands. Told from multiple points of view, Garner’s book will have readers questioning whom they can truly trust.

Name: Melissa

Midnight Robber

November 17, 2009

Author: Nalo Hopkinson

Title: Midnight Robber

Genre: Multicultural, LGBTQ Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2000

Number of Pages: 330

Geographical Setting: The Caribbean colonized mirror planets of Toussaint and Half-Way Tree

Time Period: Sometime in the far future

Plot Summary: On the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint, the artificial intelligence of the master computer, called Granny Nanny, watches out for the citizens by recording everything that happens and talking to everyone through nanotechnology in earpieces implanted in everyone at birth. When Mayor Antonio kills the rival for his wife Ione, he escapes prosecution by “climbing the Half-Way Tree” through another dimension to the mirror planet of Half-Way Tree and out of the jurisdiction of Granny Nanny. Antonio tricks his daughter Tan-Tan to come with him, but he soon begins forcing himself on Tan-Tan, saying she looks just like Ione. Tan-Tan finally kills Antonio and escapes to the home of the bird-like douen people, who live far out in the bush. Antonio’s second wife Janisette pursues Tan-Tan, who is also pregnant with Antonio’s child. Tan-Tan assuages her own guilt for killing her father by playing the part of the mythic Robber Queen (a character like Robin Hood based in the Caribbean Carnival tradition), and a whole mythology builds up around this character. For more on Carnival characters, visit this link.

Subject Headings: Caribbean Area, Caribbean Novel And Short Story In English, Multicultural, Jamaican, Canadian, LGBTQ, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Appeal: densely written, leisurely paced, vivid and detailed characterizations, intriguing secondary characters, character centered, layered plot, complex episodic storyline, explicit violence, literary references, mythic, open-ended, sexually explicit, incest, thought-provoking, tragic; detailed setting, exotic, gritty, hard edged; homespun conversational style with a lot of unusual jargon.

3 Terms that best describes this book: Exotic, complex and mythic

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Fiction Works

Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez (a scientist raises his daughter in isolation in the Caribbean until love develops between her and a boy of mixed race)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, edited by Sheree R. Thomas (a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories by African-Americans)

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Ejii witnesses her father’s murder, sets off to find her father’s killer and awakens her own mystical powers)

3 Non-fiction Works

Talking Taino: Essays on Caribbean Natural History from a Native Perspective by William F. Keegan (A look at the Taino people, natives of the Caribbean before Columbus, and their perspectives on the natural history of the islands)

Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean by Gerard Aching (A look at masks in the traditions of the Caribbean as a “socially significant practice.”)

Toussaint Louverture: A Biography by Madison Smartt Bell (Biography of a key figure in the Haitian revolution)

Name: Christine E.

Nobody Runs Forever

October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009 by cassie67

Author:  Richard Stark

Title: Nobody Runs Forever

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 304

Geographical Setting:  Eastern United States

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Parker series

Plot Summary: Parker, a hard-as-nails career criminal, is at a poker game when one of the men is discovered to be wearing a wire. After the man’s body is disposed of, Parker is contacted by one of the men at the game about a bank heist he wants to do, robbing armored cars carrying money from one bank to another. The other players in the heist are introduced, and the details of the heist are revealed, although some of the people involved don’t know what they’re doing and keep changing the plan. A bounty hunter shows up looking for the man killed at the poker game, a police detective starts nosing around, and the robbers have to be quick on their feet to get the goods and stay away from the law.

Subject Headings: Adventure/thriller, Crime & mystery, Bank robberies, Criminals, American Mystery & Suspense Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Mystery & Detective,

Parker (Fictitious character), Suspense fiction, Crime & Thriller

Appeal: This edgy, compelling look at the inside workings of a bank heist has a complex plot line with multiple points of view. The writing style is stark and unembellished, and the explicit violence and language add to the sense of these characters as shadowy, menacing figures with their own immoral code. The story starts out action driven and plot driven, but it takes a few detours to flesh out some of the characters’ motivations.

3 Terms that best describes this book: Gritty, menacing, plot-oriented

Similar Authors and Works (criminals, heists and plans gone wrong):

Killing Castro by Lawrence Block (killers brought together to assassinate Castro, showing their motivations and outcomes)

The Asphalt Jungle by W. R. Burnett (a jewelry heist is planned by a group of seedy con-artists, written in gritty style)

Damaged Goods by Roland Jefferson (a convicted bank robber gets a gritty group together to pull off a bank heist)

3 Non-fiction Works (bank robberies and heists gone wrong)

Heist! The $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft by Jeff Diamant presents what happened from the point of view of a bank employee and the FBI investigation.

Robbing Banks, An American History, 1831-1999 by L.R. Kirchner gives the inside scoop on bank heists, including details of criminal incompetence and ingenuity.

Ballad of the whiskey robber: a true story of bank heists, ice hockey, Transylvanian pelt smuggling, moonlighting detectives, and broken hearts by Julian Rubenstein had to be included just for the title, but it also traces the story of a Hungarian bank robber and what he did to stay alive.

Name: Christine E.

Tags: Compelling, deliberate, engrossing, distant, evocative, intriguing secondary (characters), multiple points of view, vivid, action oriented, character centered, complex, explicit violence, multiple plotlines, open-ended, plot centered, plot twists, strong language, tragic, contemporary, darker (tone), details of bank heists, edgy, gritty, hard edged, menacing, stark, unembellished

Posted in Thriller

Black Powder, White Smoke

March 17, 2009

Title: Black Powder, White Smoke

Author: Loren D. Estleman

Publication Date: 2002

Number of Pages: 318

Genre: Western

Geographical Setting: New Orleans, Louisiana; San Francisco, California; Galveston, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas; Denver, Colorado

Time Period: 1885

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: This western tale about two illicit gunmen and those who seek their capture takes readers on a racially charged and fast-paced journey back to the 1880s. Freed slave, Honore “Honey” Broutrille is the owner of the House of Rest, a New Orleans bordello, flees after he kills a white man in defense of one of his girls. On the west coast, Emerson Emerson or “Twice” Emerson, a union army defect, commits a racially motivated crime and murders a Chinese man in San Francisco. In alternating chapters, readers follow Honey and Twice as they travel across the country committing crimes more shocking than the last. As their list of victims grows, the tales of their crimes become larger than life and attract those seeking their capture. Ernest Tobert, a journalist from Chicago, and Casper Box, a theater promoter, independently pursue Honey and Twice until all four men descend on Colorado for a classic western style shoot out that will leave only one man standing.

Subject Headings: African-American men; African Americans; Freed slaves; Outlaws; Murder; The Eighties (19th century); California; Louisiana; Colorado; Rocky Mountains; Western stories; Historical fiction

Appeal: fast paced, vivid, character centered, dramatic, suspenseful, multiple points of view, explicit violence, multiple plotlines, strong language, thought provoking dark, gritty, raw, tough, hard edged, rural, small town, candid, direct, frank, simple, unaffected, unembellished, unpretentious, tragic

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction): Brandvold, Peter – Once Hell Freezes Over (outlaw western, suspenseful, gritty, race against time); McCoy, Max Hellfire Canyon (likable outlaw, raw, violent, fast paced) Grey, Zane – Cabin Gulch: A Western Story (group of outlaws; hostages, dramatic, tragic)

Similar Authors and Works (Nonfiction): Jameson, W.C. – Billy the Kid, Beyond the Grave (evidence supporting the controversial theory that Pat Garrett did not kill the legendary Billy the Kid in 1881, but that he lived on as William Henry Roberts until 1948); Patterson, Richard M – Butch Cassidy: A Biography (primary and secondary accounts of the life and crimes of Robert Leroy Parker, the infamous Butch Cassidy); Taylor, Quintard – In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West (documentation of the history of African Americans in the American West)

Name: Joanna