Monday, January 28, 2008

"Heartsick," by Chelsea Cain

Oh, mama. I couldn't put this book down! It was dark and disturbing (very disturbing), but oh so tender in parts.

Archie Sheridan led a task force for 10 years, trying to find and stop a serial killer who was always three steps ahead of the feds. Then he walked right into her trap, and he was tortured for 10 days before she inexplicably let him go and turned herself in. Two years later, Archie's been called to head up a new task force to stop a serial killer who's preying on young girls. In addition to proving to himself that he can still help, he has to deal with his addiction to pain pills (10 days of torture, people!), the distance he's put between himself and his family, and face the woman who has left Archie with more than just physical scars.

5 stars

"20th Century Ghosts," by Joe Hill

This motley crew of short stories in Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts will have you hooked from the very first page, almost without a break. Despite its name, not all of the stories have to do with ghosts or the supernatural, though each is unique. By far the best story, "Pop Art" is more beautiful and strange than any writer has the right to come up with. Not that I'm bitter. "Best New Horror" takes a formulaic plot and leaves the reader anxious and ready for more.

Just as much humor as horror, 20th Century Ghosts is well worth the read, with only one story I felt was out of place: a father-son story that features baseball. It was a B story in a sea of A's.

4.5 stars