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Carol Goodman, THE WIDOW’S HOUSE

Old ideas can be made new again with fine writing. This is demonstrated when Goodman takes the trope of a young couple moving into an old haunted house and gives it a spin that keeps us guessing until the end.  With a delicate combination of the mysterious and the possibly paranormal, we are left wondering, along with the protagonist, as to what is real and what is imaginary.

A blend of the gothic and the modern, this story is a treat for those of us who enjoy an occasional shiver down the spine.

Peter Lovesey, ANOTHER ONE GOES TONIGHT

Here is another well-plotted mystery from noted British mystery writer Peter Lovesey. When a police car goes off the road killing one of the officers and injuring another, Superintendent Peter Diamond is assigned to look into the case.  At the scene a civilian on a motorized tricycle, who may have been the cause of the accident, is saved when Diamond administers CPR.  However, Diamond soon begins to suspect that he may have saved the life of a serial killer.

Diamond is always a pleasure to spend time with, by turns irascible and cerebral, he is a good guide through the ins and outs of this surprising and complex plot.  If you haven’t read Lovesey yet, you are in for a treat, and this is a fine place to start.

Stephen King, END OF WATCH

This is the third book in a trilogy that began with MR MERCEDES AND FINDERS KEEPERS.  All three feature retired police detective Bill Hodges and his antagonist Brady Hartsfield.  The first two books were something of a departure for King, being mysteries or suspense fiction rather than his usual horror novels.  I particularly enjoyed MR MERCEDES as a fine example of mystery fiction.

Although King tries to make END OF WATCH stay within the naturalistic boundaries of mystery fiction, it comes very close to the supernatural due to Hartsfield’s unusual abilities, and many may feel it is closer to a horror story than a crime novel. For most this will not make the story any less enjoyable, and there is a certain satisfaction at seeing the story arc come to a conclusion.  Others, however, may find the plot a bit strained and slow to develop at times.  I wouldn’t recommend reading END OF WATCH if you haven’t read the first two, but if you have, it is well worth the effort.

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