“Cliff Walk” by Bruce DeSilva, “Force of Nature,” by C J Box, and “Vulture Peak” by John Burdett

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ThrillerFest 2012 is accepting registrations for their annual get together, July 11-14, in New York City. This event is a wonderful experience for readers, would be writers and established professionals. It’s a great chance to meet your favorite authors, learn writing tips and meet stars like Lee Child, Jack Higgins, R. L. Stine, John Sandford, Catherine Coulter, Ann Rule, Karin Slaughter and Richard North Patterson.

The convention is broken into three segments. CraftFest, where bestselling authors share their secrets.  AgentFest, where top agents and editors hear pitches from new authors, and the main event, ThrillerFest where writers network with readers and fans in a wide range of panels and social events. www.thrillerfest.com

A few years ago at ThrillerFest I met Bruce DeSilva, then an aspiring thriller author and now the award winning writer of an excellent series of gritty mysteries. DeSilva won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award, for his first book, “Rogue Island.” And grit-lit is sure he will receive more awards for his newest book, “Cliff Walk,” (Forge, $24.99, 352 pages, hard cover.) www.brucedesilva.com.

Cliff Walk

“Cliff Walk” is a hard-boiled mystery that explores sex and religion in the age of pornography. Set in the 1990’s (before Rhode Island changed its laws and made indoor prostitution illegal) investigative reporter Liam Mulligan believes the governor is taking payoffs to keep prostitution legal.  Promised a beating if he doesn’t mind his own business – and free sex with comely working girls if he does — Liam winds up wondering who his true friends are.

DeSilva spent 41 as a journalist and he knows crooks, snobs and working joes. His intimate knowledge of Rhode Island power, crime and money makes for an excellent read. Grit-Lit highly recommends both books in the series.

Force of Nature

“Force of Nature,” by C J Box. (G. P. Putnam’s Sons $25.95, 385 pages, hard back.) http://www.cjbox.net. “Force” is what grit-lit should be. Tough guys taking on horrible bad guys no one else seems to be able to destroy. The latest installment in Box’s popular Joe Pickett series, “Force” is violent, bloody and I loved it.

Like DeSilva, Box is an Edgar Award winner and a New York Times bestselling author.

In “Force” Nate Romanowski, troubled ex-Special Forces veteran, is off the grid, living a lonely cash only existence, with just his falcon for company. Nate maintains his low profile hoping to avoid the violent intentions of a former colleague with an incentive to kill him. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work out.

The way Box develops even minor characters with crisp, concise prose amazes me.

The opening paragraph. “His name was Dave Farkus, and he’d recently taken up fly-fishing as a way to meet girls. So far, it hadn’t worked out very well.” Just 25 words gives you a pretty solid idea what Dave Farkus is all about.

And his initial description of Nate. “Nate Romanowski approached the stand of willows from the north with a grim set to his face and a falcon on his fist. Something was going to die

Vulture Peak

“Vulture Peak” by John Burdett. (Knopf $25.95, 285 pages, hard cover.) www.john-burdett.com.

Sometimes you have to leave the country to tell a story right.

The sale, harvesting and installation of human organs is an international issue that can’t be told without viewing it from poor donor countries and the rich areas where organ recipients live: Hong Kong, Dubai, Monte Carlo…

Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a police officer with a more or less intact Buddhist soul, is ordered to put an end to Thailand’s burgeoning organ trafficking industry.  His massive sting operation requires contact with the organ recipients and explores the often tragic choices faced by organ donors.

If you’ve read and like the first four books in the Sonchai Jitpleecheep series, you’ll find “Vulture” a captivating story that raises questions about the ethics of poverty and provides insights into organized crimes participation in the donor organ industry.

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