Tim Hallinan snuck up on me.
And now, after all of his sneakiness, he's been nominated for an Edgar! For those of you who don't know, being nominated for an Edgar is, to writers of mystery and suspense, the equivalent of being nominated for an Oscar. The biggest difference is that there is no best and worst dressed competition. That's probably because it's not televised.
He's written a few little stories. This last bunch, surrounding a fellow named Poke Rafferty (yeah, totally believable name—*smirk*) takes place in Bangkok. So far, no connection. Am I right?
I'd read a story by another author set in someplace hot and Asian, and well . . . it didn't exactly ignite my jets. So even though I heard a lot of nice chatter on Dorothy L and For Mystery Addicts (both Yahoo groups), I just shook my head. We all have different tastes in our reading. And this Tim Hallinan person was apparently an author who catered to those who had different tastes than mine.
There was a temporary flurry, when for some reason Tim's first novel in the Poke Rafferty series was being offered as a free download on Kindle. So, based on the chatter I'd heard—and the word FREE—I went ahead and downloaded A Nail Through the Heart. When Tim learned I'd done this (probably through one of the Yahoo loops), he told me not to be put off from the rest of the series because Nail was kind of dark, and the rest not so much.
So I stalled. And stalled some more. I don't know what I'd been reading, or what was happening in my personal life, but 'dark' sounded dreadful.
One day, without another compelling read, I thought I might as well give A Nail Through the Heart a shot. Within pages (or locations, if you read on Kindle), I'd fallen in love. I hadn't seen a mystery yet, but the setting and characters had drawn me in. Tight. Close. Personal. Connected.
Tim's nomination is for the fourth book in the Poke Rafferty series. It's called The Queen of Patpong. Beyond a doubt, one of the finest books I've read in years.
But start at the beginning. Give Poke and the people who accompany him through this life your attention. They deserve it. Start your journey with A Nail Through the Heart.
And, oh yeah. Celebrate what might be the boot of up the economic ladder of one of those fabulous authors of the last couple of decades.
And by the way, I'm CR: The Four Last Things by Timothy Hallinan on my Kindle. This is from an earlier series of his. Coincidence? Yes. But then, I have a lot of catching up to do.
It's all better with friends.