My September and October reading will be mainly driven by the Halloween Bingo game that I’m playing. I have twenty-five squares to fill with books that match twenty-five different themes. Here are the three I’m reading this week:
‘Since We Fell’ by Dennis Lehane (2017)
In my ignorance, I only stumbled across Dennis Lehane last year when I read his 1994 debut novel ‘A Drink Before The War’, set in his native Boston. I was impressed, checked his back catalog and only then discovered that he wrote ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Shutter Island’.
I’ve picked his latest novel ‘Since We Fell’, for the Genre Mystery square of my Halloween Bingo. It’s the story of Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in but has a good life with her husband until… well until everything goes wrong and she meets a stranger and gets pulled into a conspiracy that could destroy her life and her sanity. It sounds like a perfect fit for this square.
‘The West Pier‘ by Patrick Hamilton (1951)
Patrick Hamilton was a British playwright and novelist who specialised in writing psychological crime dramas about Britain in the years between the two world wars. His play ‘Rope’ was made into a film by Hitchcock in 1948 and his play ‘Gaslight’ gave us the term ‘Gaslighting’. He writes in a strong, bleak authorial voice.
I’ve selected ‘The West Pier’, the first book of his ‘Gorse Trilogy’ for the Psych square. Set in Brighton between the wars, it tells, in a clinical, almost documentary style, the story of Ernest Ralph Gorse, a quietly predatory young sociopath who harms others for his own amusement.
‘Survivor Song’ by Paul Tremblay (2020)
Paul Tremblay is an American horror writer who has published six novels since 2012 and has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards.
I’ve picked his latest novel ‘Survivor Song’ for the Dead Lands square as it has a kinda-sorta zombie theme to it. The story is set in Massachusetts which has been overrun by a rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva, has an incubation period of less than an hour, strips the minds of the infected and leaves them with a compulsion to bite others. The Government’s attempts to establish and police a quarantine are failing and society is breaking down,
I’ve been meaning to read a Paul Tremblay book for a while. ‘Survivor Song’ is so timely, I couldn’t resist it.