Tuesday, May 29, 2018
I can't remember who mentioned this book to me -- I think it was Bill Loehfelm, a writer I buy in hardcover on his pub day--and I wish I could remember cause The Lonely Witness by William Boyle is just hands down terrific.
So, what makes this book terrific? The writing for starters. There are some drop dead gorgeous sentences here, all of which I forgot to write down. But the sentences are also placed perfectly in paragraphs, so the rhythm of not just of the sentences but also the paragraphs builds tension. (This is very very hard to do.)
The pacing is so taut that I had to stop every couple pages just to breathe. That means there's not a single extra word, or phrase to slow the reader down. This book is a perfect example of making every word count, and NOT in a way that draws attention to itself (like James Ellroy's books do.)
I could see how the author had used certain sentences, lines of dialogue, and images to give the story depth, but that never distracted from the story.
It didn't hurt that it's set in Brooklyn, a place I love to read about cause I call it home.
And the author is a gent, writing a woman as the main character, with several other very strong female characters, and he gets it right. Not a single misstep. For that alone, he's got my respect.
But the very best thing about this book is just when I thought I knew where we were heading, the writer said "nope, turn left, we're going another direction." In other words, he surprised me in a very good, and very emotionally satisfying way.
I didn't want the book to end.
This is a book all crime writers should read, not just for enjoyment (but you will enjoy it) but to study, analyze and hone your own writing.
Added it to my sox knocker list of 2018.
at 7:00 AM