I finally read Hostage by Robert Crais because one of my “How to write a doggone good breakout novel in 30 hours” type books said it rocked. It did. Most dimwits like me would have been happy to come up with a plot about two kids being held hostage by three punks. Does Crais settle? No way. The house where the kids are held is the house of an accountant who fixes the books for a mafia family, so they decide to “own” the hero, kidnapping his wife and daughter. And we all know they’ll still kill wifey and kid, even if they get what they want. And, oh, that’s not enough. One of the punks in the house turns out to be a serial killer, unbeknownst to the other two punks. They find out the hard way. I thought the hero (played by a bald Bruce Willis in the movie version) got a little too lucky at the very end, but it didn’t matter. I was glued after about page 40. I’m never glued from page 1, so that’s pretty good.
Okay, I promised funny stuff. After our little Story Board experiment (which I must post on next), I’ve decided that my odd sense of humor needs a home. So, my next novel will be a cozy mystery with a bit of humor thrown in. I figure it hasn’t been overdone, and certainly not in the CBA. Keep that in the back of your fuzzy little mind.
We’re at Borders yesterday and I spy a new release with Pat McManus’s name on the cover. All writers have their little secrets. Mine is an avid devotion to Pat McManus. He was the funny guy in Outdoor Life. He referred to his wife as “Bun,” his dog “Strange,” and his sister, “The Troll.” His stories covered his current wanderings or were flashbacks of his childhood growing up in the Idaho woods (Blight, Idaho, to be specific). You get the point, he’s funny. If you doubt, grab a copy of “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?”, a collection of his short stories.
So, I spy his name on the cover of a new release. You know what it is? Huh? It’s a mystery! Set in Blight, Idaho! I’ve found (or re-found) my mentor. I’m sure he’s not as goofy through the length of a novel as he is in a 1,000 word monthy piece, but it should still be fun. I was too cheap to lay down the $25, so I’ll wait for paperback or the library. He hunts, fishes, and writes lies for a living, so I don’t feel obligated to support him. It would make a fine Father’s Day present, though.
I did, however, buy his “How to Write a Doggone Good Novel with Nothing but a Toothbrush and a can of Spam” type of book. That’s on my shelf, still. And I paid full Border’s price. So there.