Category: Thriller Review (page 2 of 2)

#amreading Lee Child Night School Interview

This week author Lee Child chatted via Facebook about writing and his newest Jack Reacher novel, Night School, published this month.

Novel Teaser:

Night School travels back in time in the series. It is 1996 and protagonist Jack Reacher is still in the army. An undercover asset overhears a snippet of conversation: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.” Along with an FBI agent and a CIA Analyst, Reacher is assigned to find out what is going on.

Interview with Lee Child:

During the interview, Child revealed some absolute gems about writing and the life of a writer. For example, he said he doesn’t outline, but starts with a general feel. His definition of a feel is  hot, cold, rocky, or soft.  He explains that if the feel is cold, then the novel might be set on the coast of Maine. If it is hot, he might choose the south of Texas. From there he simply writes whatever comes out.

While he was speaking, he made it clear that he continuously thinks of the reader. For example, he writes one book a year because he thinks that is how long it takes for a reader to finish the last one and build up an anticipation for the next. Longer than that and readers might lose interest. More often, and readers might become over saturated.

Even though Lee has little control over the movies that are made from the books in the Jack Reacher series, he graciously answered questions about those as well.

Want to find out more? Check out the archived interview.

Talking about his main character, Child confessed that Jack Reacher wants to settle into a committed relationship with a woman, but he is attracted to smart women. Too smart, in fact, to consider him as a lifelong partner. Awww…

He also admitted he envisioned Jack Reacher to look like rugby player Lawrence Dallagio.

 

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Photograph by zoonabar license Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic downloaded from Wikimedia.

Overall, it was an informative interview and I look forward to reading the book.

Are you a Lee Child fan? Have you picked up Night School yet?

#BestsellerCode100: Number 100 Shutter Island

Are you ready to discuss Shutter Island, the 100th novel listed in The Bestseller Code (review) by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers ?

This post does not contain spoilers.  (Note:  Out of consideration to those who possibly haven’t read the book yet, please indicate right up front if your comment or review contains spoilers.)

Shutter Island: A Novel by Dennis Lehane

 

Summary:

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule travel to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on Shutter Island to find out what has happened to a woman who has mysteriously disappeared. As the investigation deepens, Daniels uncovers more questions than answers.

What do you think of this novel?

Join the discussion:

We’ve provided a number of ways for you to join in the discussion.

  • Add a comment to this post
  • Take our survey
  • Link your review (in the link form below)
  • Join us on social media

Update of recent posts discussing Shutter Island:

  1. Discussion of the narrator
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. First paragraph
  4. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective
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Survey:

Do you agree with the computer that this novel is one of the best of the bestsellers?

bestseller-code-100-first

 

If you have reviewed Shutter Island, please feel free to add a link to your review here.

You can also join us on social media:

As this is the first of the series, please excuse any bugs or glitches. Let us know if you have any problems or questions.

Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this reading challenge? We’d love to hear them.
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What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.

The next book is number 99 on the list, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (2011) – Discussion begins November 21, 2016.

#Thriller: Duet in Beirut

Have you ever used a novel as research for a writing project? This week we have Duet in Beirut: A Thriller by Mishka Ben-David and translated by Evan Fallenberg. It is so informative that at times it reads like nonfiction.

 

Summary:

In Duet in Beirut a Mossad commander, Gadi, is trying to prevent an ex-operative named Ronen from carrying out a rogue mission. In a catch-22 situation worthy of Camus, Ronen had been disgraced because he had been assigned to assassinate a member of Hezbollah in Lebanon and failed. Now Gadi must prevent him from killing the same target.

Review:

Author Mishka Ben-David served in the Mossad (Israel’s intelligence agency) for 12 years, so you know the details of the story are authentic. Not only does he give the reader insight into the politics within the Mossad organization, but he also reveals what it is like to be a Mossad operative. For example, his main character Gadi is nervous when he approaches the border and he takes off his tie when he observes other airplane passengers are not wearing them so he can blend in.

Ben-David also describes the communities of Beirut in such a way that the reader feels like an insider. He says, “In a police state the path from suspicion to arrest is short, and in the extraterritorial Hezbollah area the path from suspicion to being kidnapped or murdered is even shorter.”

In fact, the book has quite a few lines that are memorable. My favorite quote from the book is on page 263:

“He lacked the ability to continue living in that dark, deceptive, treacherous world in which you can never really know what is good and what is evil, in which the permissible is forbidden and the forbidden permitted.”

Doesn’t that eloquently capture the uncertainty of being an operative?

The most interesting flaw in the book? Someone misspelled Israel in the first line of the blurb on the dust jacket as “Isreal.”

Duet in Beirut is an enlightening look at a complex situation. If you are looking for pure entertainment, this book might not be for you. If you are looking for something instructive about the Middle East, however, and how the Mossad works, you may want to give it a try.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: The Overlook Press (May 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1468313002
ISBN-13: 978-1468313000

 

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