All this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, an idea “started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.”
Each day there is a suggested theme for bloggers to discuss. Yesterday’s was Forgotten Treasures, whether they be classics that have fallen by the wayside or contemporary works that just haven’t gotten the exposure and love you think they deserve. I’m a day late, but still wanted to share the following contemporary works I think are Forgotten Treasures I wish more people knew about so they’d get a chance to experience them.
Killing Red is the first book in the Alex Chapa series by Henry Perez, the second of which, Mourn the Living was just released in August. Both Chapa and his creator are Cuban-Americans, and Chapa works as a newspaper reporter, a job his creator also previously held.
Killing Red finds Chapa trying to recapture some of the glory he garnered fifteen years previously when he broke the story of the capture of a mass murderer, in large part by sneaking an interview with the killer’s only known survivor, ten-year-old Annie Sykes.
Now on death row with less than a week to live, the killer taunts Chapa when he goes to interview him, promising that his work has continued and that Annie Sykes will be his protégé’s final tribute. It’s a race against the clock for Chapa to find Sykes before the killer does… and to stay alive himself.
In addition to Killing Red and Mourn the Living, Perez also co-authored the novella Floaters with J.A. Konrath. To learn more about Henry Perez, visit his website.
Forty Words For Sorrow is the first book in the John Cardinal series by Canadian author Giles Blunt. Cardinal is convinced that a series of missing persons cases involving four teenagers from Algonquin Bay in Northern Ontario has a more sinister explanation than them merely being runaways.
His suspicions appear to be confirmed when the mutilated body of a fifth teen is found in an abandoned mineshaft, but even Cardinal couldn’t have imagined the true depths of depravity he is up against.
Cardinal’s investigation, however, is hampered by the fact he is under investigation himself by the force’s Special Operations division for corruption, a not entirely unfounded case considering the secret Cardinal is hiding about his past.
Forty Words For Sorrow is an amazing piece of work. The main story line splits about halfway through, allowing the reader to follow both the progress of Cardinal’s investigation as well as the ‘progress’ the killer is making with their next victim. And throughout, the sub-plot surrounding the investigation into Cardinal himself adds a true tension to the mix.
Even though Forty Words For Sorrow won the British Crime Writers’ Silver Dagger, neither it nor any of the subsequent books in the series have ever seemed to catch on in the U.S., which is a true crime. To learn more about Giles Blunt, visit his website.