Recommended Book: “The Devil Prayed and Darkness Fell” by David Corbett

Crime thrillers and military thrillers are two of the largest sub-genres of the thriller family, and I’m not a big fan of either.  There, I said it. You can revoke my thriller card now.

In The Devil Prayed and Darkness Fell, David Corbett packs both a crime thriller and a military thriller into one small novella. By all rights I should hate it, but the truth is that it’s great. The story begins when a decorated veteran of the Iraq war kills a well-loved police officer, and from that beginning we’re treated to a thoughtful, realistic exploration of the many ways in which war reshapes people.

If you’re a fan of either crime or military thrillers, check this out. If (like me) you aren’t, I think you should check it out anyway. It’s only 79 pages so you won’t be making a huge commitment for a great payoff. It might even make you decide you like these genres after all.

Recommended Book: “Monday’s Lie,” by Jamie Mason

Jamie Mason is one of many authors that I saw at ThrillerFest last week — she was speaking on a panel about “protagonists that rock.” It’s pretty typical at these panels for the moderator to introduce all the guests and say a little about their most recent book. In this case, when the moderator (Sandra Brannan) introduced Ms. Mason, she talked about Monday’s Lie and said some things that caught my attention. In particular, she talked about the amazing way Ms. Mason develops a particular character that barely appears in the book at all.

I admit that I’m not the most trusting person in the world: It sounded intriguing, but I still downloaded the free sample to my Kindle app.

When I got to the end of the free sample, I was totally hacked off because I had to stop for a whole 10 seconds to buy the book and find my place to keep reading. Maybe it was 20 seconds… I don’t know. I just know I didn’t want to stop reading.

Ms. Brannan wasn’t exaggerating when she talked about this book. I thought the character development was excellent. The main characters have exceptional skills but they’re still very easy to identify with and care about. She-who-barely-appears is a pervasive and fascinating presence throughout the entire story.

I’m not going to say much more, because this is more of an “enthusiastic endorsement” than it is a review. You should read this book!

P.S.: If Ms. Mason brings any of these characters back in another book, I’ll definitely jump on it. Just sayin’.