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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Strip - Thomas Perry A solid pleasurable three, up until a few last-minute plot-twist shivs made me marvel at Perry's attention to plot and character.

At his best, Perry does two things exceedingly well. One, he has an eye and ear for all kinds of telling details--flour on a typepad to reveal a password, the way shattered glass splinters speckle a shooter and lead the long day thereafter to all sorts of small discomforts, the careful attention to sightlines and the observer's tedium that an experienced sniper would use when plotting an assassination. Two, he cares about character--there are no cheap grotesques or blankly malign baddies: everyone's motives are subtly examined, prodded, revealed.

But here Perry runs a cast like a Leonard novel, hinting at more of a caper than the grittier psychological edge more his typical modus operandi. For a short stretch, 2/3 of the way through, the book--resolutely avoiding the appreciation of the absurdity (of character and plot) which Leonard embraces--can seem a bit more of a drudge. (Crime buffs like myself might simply trick themselves into thinking they're reading some other kind of book.)

But then--in the last ten, fifteen pages--Perry manages to bring this richly-imagined range of characters to believable conclusion while also taking a couple of nasty, lovely last-minute turns.

Good stuff.