Happy 2007!

January 2, 2007 | Karin's Blog | 14 comments

What did I do today? Recovered from partying last night. Actually, there wasn’t much to recover from. I had two Cosmos and made sure not to overindulge. We started late and were home by 12:30. You see, I had a book waiting for me, and I wanted to read.

THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. It, like too many other good books, has been tilting my tbr pile for a long time. It kept calling and I answered. I’m glad I did. Loved it. And I must say as the wife of a retired cop, I’ve always reserved a curled lip for criminal defense attorneys, I still do because at the end of the day I don’t believe they are nearly as noble as Michael Haller the protagonist in TLL. I just really enjoyed this book on so many levels, and found myself shaking my head more than once thinking, “If a chick wrote this we’d get torn apart.” It was total guy writing all the way. I accepted it and enjoyed it. Why is that? Why do guys get to do whatever the hell they want but chicks can’t? I know of a few awesome chick writers who use initials in their names. Otherwise guys tend to steer clear of women authors who write thrillers, procedurals, or horror. There are always exceptions. Brown, Cornwell,Gerritsen (who I have not read and simply must).

Is it the ‘ol double standard? I don’t think so. I think it’s just calling a spade a spade. Guys write different than women because, news flash, they are wired differently. When a chick tries to be a guy, well, it comes across lame. Forced, unnatural. I like female writers who stay true to who they are and how they are wired. My friend Jake Black wrote a police procedural DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN. She did her homework and while she wrote a fabulous police procedural, the main protag a female, Jake didn’t try to be a guy about it. And because of it the story was seamlessly believable.

Of course as a writer I am forever ruined to reading, but there have been a few times recently where I have been completely immersed in a book. When that happens I know I’m in the presence of a great storyteller. I have two books in my immediate tbr pile. Cindy Gerard’s UNDER THE WIRE, and Alexis Morgan’s DARK DEFENDER. I’m going to order DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER, and then move on to PRESUMED INNOCENT by Scott Turow. Of course I need to squeeze in writing somewhere in there, but I really need to broaden my author horizons. I meant it when I asked you all to recommend reads a month or so ago.

So with that I’ll let you go with this question: What is the first book of the new year your are either reading or plan to read?




  1. Lee

    I’ve dealt with many criminal defense attorneys in my career and really don’t like them, at all. I’ve had my share of going toe to toe with a one or two, who wore bad suits. Really, not much money in it..Because their clients are usually really bad guys who don’t have anything, unless you like getting paid with drug money. SO I do have a hard time reading a book with one as the central hero..I’m too jaded on the subject. I really, really don’t like them.

    I’m reading Eragon…I saw the movie and thought it was okay, but decided to read the book because I heard it was so much better, and in my opinion it is. I have a stack of tbr, and at the top is The Thirteenth Tale. In this new year I’m going to set aside a few hours a day just for reading. I haven’t done that in the past, and as a result I didn’t read much in 2006.

  2. Amanda

    I’ve started digging into a pile of Nora Roberts I get to borrow to read. If I was still lacking in self-esteem I would slit my wrists. God, the woman can write, plus she is so good I am immersed in the story and I can’t figure out what she does to drown you in her stories. I can’t believe it took me so long to finally read the Queen of Romance.

  3. J. Carson Black

    Karin – there’s something in the water. Yesterday, Glenn and I had a conversation about my expectations as a crime writer. I’ve been longing to break into the Crais-Connelly-Child-Cornwell cabal, but I couldn’t even get reviewed by the mystery mags. The only people who seemed to like me were the romance/(some)mystery online mags. And the only award I was up for was the Daphne (which I targeted as one of the three I wanted to be nominated for.) So I said to Glenn, maybe I’m coming at this from the wrong side. Maybe I’m seeing myself differently from how other people see my writing. So what happens? Tess Gerritsen has a blog about EXACTLY that. And then you come along and describe DARKNESS, and it really opened my eyes.

    This makes a big difference to me. Stubbornly trying to beat down that door and getting ignored has been hard for me. But realizing my full potential – that most of the readers of Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben etc. are WOMEN, not men – that makes a big difference. Most readers, period, are women.

    I don’t think I’ll change the way I’m writing, but I’ll see things a little differently from now on. One concrete way would be to solicit female heavy-hitters for quotes, people like Tess (who, by the way is fabulous —read VANISH!), Tami Hoag, Alex Kava, etc.

    I agree: Nora Roberts is a phenomenon. One thing she does is write a LOT. So maybe part of it is practice, practice, practice.

    Happy New Year, and thanks, Karin,for the boost!


    I can’t believe how you, Tess, and I all thought about this at the same time. Thank you, Karin.

  4. Karin

    Hey Jake, great minds, baby.

    Lee, I hear you on the crimminal attorney end. I told Gary he had to read Lincoln Lawyer, I told him who the protag was, he didn’t seem interested. I told him it takes a great writer to do what Connely did with this character, and that he owed it to himself to read it.

    Amanda, read on!

  5. Hubby

    So let me get this right, the protagonist is a defensive coordinator for a football team known as the Lincoln Lawyers?

  6. Amie

    I have VANISH sitting in my TBR Pile but it’ll have to wait another week or so. 🙂 BTW Karin I read ECHO PARK too (my first Connelly) and it was really good. Soon as I finish this book and turn it in, I’m going to finish HAPPINESS SOLD SEPERATELY and dig into Jami’s book 🙂

  7. Amie

    oooooooooooo and Lisa Gardner has a new book coming out this month


  8. Karin

    Yes, dear, that is correct. There is some fantasic play calling. YOU MUST READ!!

    Amie, ECHO PARK is in my to be bought pile. 🙂

  9. J. Carson Black

    Karin – have you read Robert Crais? He’s wonderful, too. LA REQUIEM, I believe, won the Edgar a few years ago.

    ECHO PARK, by the way, is fabulous!

  10. cathy

    I just started The Dream Thief by Shana Abe.

  11. Edie Ramer

    I just finished Welcome to the Real World by Carole Matthews. Kind of chick lit/women’s fiction/ST. Whatever it is, I enjoyed it. Excellent characterization.

  12. Karin

    Jake, I haven’t read Crais, but I think I have one of hs books aroudn here. Will search it out.

    Cathy, let me know how it reads.

    Edie, I need to add more women’s fic to my pile. Be prepared when I ask you in a month to recommend.

  13. Michelle Diener

    Karin, Presumed Innocent by Turow is excellent (I think I reviewed it on MM some time back). I have started the year off with Kate Atkinson’s latest, ONE GOOD TURN. I loved CASE HISTORIES by her, and her latest has the same protagonist so it was a must read. I’m really enjoying it.

  14. Karin

    I just bumped PRESUMED INNOCENT up on the tbr pile. thnx, Michelle.

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