Say hello to more of my novel friends: an Aussie, a bunch of Brits, one Irish, Welsh, German, and a Scot. With an American hanging on their every word.

It all started some years ago with a book featuring the adventures of a character I fondly refer to as “Tom Builder.”  He sprang from the mind of Ken Follett in an epic tale of a family’s struggle to survive and thrive  in a world mirroring ( I think) 12th century England. The sequel was “jolly good!”  As were his many efforts before and after.

Next it was Lee Child – Mr. Jack Reacher himself.  I sent him a note about working faster.  I know it was a bit cheeky, but look at it from my point of view – I was on a roll and enjoying every word, sentence, and paragraph he was nailing down, and I didn’t want to miss a beat.  Reacher whips butt; catches the bad guys then walks into the sunset.  No, really – he “walks” away to another heart-pounding, how-in-the-hell-is-he-gonna-get-out-of-this-mess, adventure.

Then I went nuts over John Connolly and his cast of ne’er-do-well folk.  It was, book, cha-ching; book, cha-ching – and so it went until it became a waiting game; my money versus his flying fingers of fiction.  I was rather proud of myself: I didn’t go all “ugly American” on him like I did with the other dude.

In the meantime, in between time, while I was twiddling my thumbs reading some of my friends and neighbors (more on them in another post), I discovered PD James and Ian Rankin – thanks goodness.  By then, I knew I needed a monthly ration of mystery and suspense delivered to me by  some of the United Kingdom’s high-profile purveyors of “the butler did it” murder stories.  Never mind that the butler usually didn’t do it.  Prop your feet up with these two for some excellent mayhem for the mind.

It took just one book to “get” Greg Iles. He goes to the heart and mind of relationships; of things misread – sometimes faltering courage that leads to family discord.  There certainly is mystery in his powerful human dramas.  Go deep with this guy.  You’ll come away thinking about things on a different level.

Boris Starling was a nice surprise.  But it was like pulling hen’s teeth to find where this guy hung his hat.  After three years, I’m still looking for one of his books – the last on my list.  Something to do with the national drink of Russia.

Lord Jack Higgins took some time to grow on me.  Ferguson and his band of sanctioned “good guys – bad guys” foil the really, really bad guys with flair, ingenuity and finesse in the face of all sorts of dangerous situations.  Get ready for some no holds barred, slam-bang “wet work” featuring to-the-bone tough men and women that inhabit Jack Higgins world.

I brought Peter Robinson home with me due to a case of mistaken identity.  I was looking for Peter James.  A nice error, as it turned out.  Mr. Robinson and I enjoy each other’s company immensely – when I can locate him.  Perhaps you will do better than I; especially if you live in the UK or across the pond in Canada.  He has some excellent murders he would like to share with you. Oh, and Peter James: ditto for him.

I saved my Aussie friend for last.  Matthew Reilly is my most recent book buddy.  This guy’s brain has to be operating at “Warp Speed;” full out – afterburners firing on high-octane adrenaline fueled with imagination off the charts. His books are noted as adventure thrillers, and I strongly suggest you buckle up and down and hang on tight.  I recommend that you get to know “Scarecrow” and “Mother” first.  After that, you’ll know what to expect.  But you won’t be ready for it.

I’m pumped just telling you about him.

Here comes my least enjoyable but necessary disclaimer: not one person (authors included) plied me with lunch and drink at the Four Seasons or Mickey D’s (McDonald’s for you folk who don’t know their “‘hood” name), to launch into this this commentary about them or their novels.  No such luck with their editors, lawyers, managers, kinsfolk – or the friend who knew them when, either.  I received no solicitations from any entity associated with their publishers and employees or same, promising me an autographed copy of their newest book in an attempt to get me to part with my hard earned accolades about them that you have been so kind as to read in this post.

I guess that about covers it.  Well, it not, sue me.   Heh, heh, heh – just kidding.

Copyright (c) Frank Doughton and Roads, Paths, & Trails 2015.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Frank Doughton with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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