John’s Favorite Books – Part 2
John’s Favorite Books (continued from Part 1).
The yellow covered book under that is Lullaby Town by Robert Crais. While it is not the first Elvis Cole novel, it is by far the most scarce. Crais has been another of my favorites since I first began collecting. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are two of the best characters in modern suspense fiction.
Next is Black Echo by Michael Connelly (with the ever important “blue band”). This is Connelly’s debut book that introduced us to his most enduring character, Harry Bosch (an Edgar Award winner for best first novel). I consider my Connelly books invaluable, and as long as I continue to collect they will hold a special place on my shelves.
Following that is Stephen Hunter’s The Master Sniper. Before he started writing about Bob Lee Swagger – “Bob the Nailer” – he penned this title. Considered the most scarce of his books, it has become quite hard to find. Hunter, a former movie critic for the Washington Post is a Pulitzer Prize winner, whose new releases always interrupt my reading priorities.
Read Part 3
Invention or Alter Ego?
Written by John Hutchinson, VJ Books, Tualatin, OR
I grew up in a home that didn’t read much. Oh my mom read trashy dime store romances and my dad did his best to get through the daily paper, but for the most part you couldn’t call us a literate household. So it comes as no surprise that I didn’t read. I got through school without much difficulty, not reading the required material, and had no concept of reading for pleasure.
That ended when I found myself in the USAF, stationed in Monterey, California. It was there that I found what was to be my first novel, the book that would launch me into a lifetime of reading. Lying in an activity room was an oft read, dog-eared copy of The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I picked it up and I read – yeah, I did know how to read.
I was immediately engaged, enthralled, and fascinated at the story that unfolded, as I followed the Corleone family through their trials and tribulations. As I read I was transported to their New York City home, and sat at the table as Don Vito, Sonny and Michael plotted their war against the five families. Across the table from me, with his back to the wall, sat Mario Puzo, and I knew from that moment that the best authors are more than scribes. It is their heart and soul that evolves in to the characters that jump from the page.
I never had the chance to meet Puzo, but am sure that somewhere in his persona was the very essence of Don Vito Corleone.
One of the profound privileges of our business is that I get to meet and know the authors than pen my favorite stories. It provides a whole new dimension to the work and a broad insight in the characters that grace the pages of their novels. One has to wonder how many authors find the idea for their most notable protagonists in their own alter ego. (more…)
VJ Books is now shipping signed 1st editions of The Sentry by Robert Crais.
In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: “A beautifully crafted piece of story-telling” (The Seattle Times); “A high-octane thriller… Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel); “Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please” (Chicago Sun-Times).
But when Joe Pike does return, it is to a case that will rock him to his core.
Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru’s uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it — and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way.
None of that deters Pike — there’s something about Dru that touches him and he won’t back away, whether she wants his help or not — but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans — it’s all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them… and it’s perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.
See all titles by Robert Crais.
VJ Books has just received: Stuart M. Kaminsky – A Whisper To The Living (signed copies!) and Robert Crais – The First Rule (Limited Edition).