Monday, March 12, 2007

Blood Marks – Bill Crider

I know, I know, you’re saying, “Doesn’t he read anything besides Crider?” As a matter of fact, I was once accused by a used bookstore owner of being a “purist” in my reading. At the time I was working on completing my collection of Crider first editions that were published before I discovered that this former professor and now friend of mine was a writer of renown.

I’ve introduced you to his westerns, now I want to give you a taste of his mysteries. When looking for the “best of” an author, I tend to steer away from their series. I like Dan Rhodes (the most prolific of Crider’s characters), I’ve read all the Truman Smith private eye novels, all the Carl Burns novels (my favorite of Crider’s protagonists), and the Sally Good novels as well. I like reading Crider because his style is easy and readable, but to find his best I turn to his stand-alones.

Blood Marks follows a serial killer, at sometimes being narrated from the killer’s point of view, and at other times filling in the story. The beauty of the story is that until the “reveal” you’re kept guessing as to the identity of whose mind you see from time to time. The humor for which Crider is famous is not missing, but it takes on a darker tone in this masterpiece of a crime novel. This book is a nail-biter, terror-building, psychological thriller that will keep you up at night—at first because you just can’t put it down, and then because you can’t get it out of your mind. When you get this one from your friendly neighborhood used book seller or borrow it from the library, be sure to lock the doors and windows as you curl up for a thrilling ride.

—Benjamin Potter, March 2007

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

Thanks, Benjie. If there were enough perceptive readers like you, I'd be a millionaire.

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