One of things I dislike most (besides lame Hollywood film remakes) is reaching the tail end of a book series that I really enjoy. While there are always other books to read (or in my case, listen to), a great novel series brings the kind of stories that blend the new right along with the familiar - all the while leaving the reader yearning for more. That's great when you start such a series, or are in the midst of one. It's not so good when you hit the wall, so do speak, and there's no next chapter in the string just sitting there... patiently waiting on you to get to it. This only goes to show the reader (me) that he's now hooked - relegated to waiting for that next novel fix. You end up trying to squelch that hunger by doing things like scanning the inter-tubes for any word of a publishing date for that next novel. Then, when you get the news you've waited on so desperately, you're counting the days down till the publishing date arrives. Not that I'm complaining... much. Although, this Crais-head really welcomes the autumn slide into January next because it'll deliver The First Rule come the 12th (there, I said it). Only now, however, I have to contribute another series-jones to my list of addictions (I'm excluding all things golf, for the sake of argument). I found myself taking stock of that fact yesterday morning when I finished Sean Chercover's Trigger City.
I've already noted how much I admired the author's debut novel, Big City Bad Blood, in an earlier post. The next in the series did not disappoint, at all. As well, the audiobook by Audible was just as solid as the first. This time, I had the benefit of some history with the P.I. character of Ray Dudgeon. Besides having the first book under my belt, Corey clued me in to the author's short story contribution in Killer Year (edited by Lee Child), One Serving of Bad Luck (which I consumed rather quickly after BCBI). The exemplary voice work done by audiobook narrator Joe Barrett (and the Audible studio directors) had his tones and inflections in my head as I read it (not a bad thing at all). The second novel added welcomed new layers to Ray, while he continued his painful recovery from what was meted out in the first book. Add to this, Trigger City included a timely and relevant plot to boot. The secondary characters (and I very much include the Second City here) Mr. Chercover used in the novels were a force multiplier with their impact on the series. Moreover, whatever the work experiences he gathered before he became a writer, seem to bring a certain reality to his story-lines. Like author Robert Crais, Sean can deftly build out and construct a character universe through his books (this one squarely centered on Chicago). He really made it easy to get immersed in the day-to-day lives of the characters, and grow comfortable with them (it has to be some sort of gift to be so habit-forming). I don't know what it is about the mystery/crime fiction genre that seems to draw this causing dependency reaction in its readership. The Horror and Sci-Fi lit I've read over the years rarely did that for me (Frank Herbert's Dune series being an exception). Even my Tom Clancy years never had this affect, either. Nevertheless, here I am... once again.
Hello. My name is Michael... and I'm a crime-fic series addict.I never did smoke cigarettes (even in high school), chocolate no longer loves me, and I can't drink alcohol anymore (dammit). Great... All I have left is this series condition. All thanks to my dealers, the C-brothers (Crais & Chercover). I guess I can take the edge off by reading the Gravedigger Peace short, A Sleep Not Unlike Death, from the Hardcore Hardboiled collection, or the Ray Dudgeon piece in Chicago Blues (The Non Compos Mentis Blues) while I wait word on the next book. That, and cross off another day on The First Rule calendar I keep.
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