Book Review: Death In The Dark by Emily Kimelman

Death In The Dark (A Sydney Rye novella #2)Death In The Dark by Emily Kimelman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I look forward to a lot of things: my football team winning another premiership, science discovering something cool, sleeping in on the weekend, sleeping in on a weekday, reading a good book. As a reader, I feel I have a responsibility to look forward to the next novel from my favourite authors. Thankfully, my favourite writers have never failed to deliver.

The first Sydney Rye novel was a great mystery from Emily Kimelman. The novel rated as my Awesome Indy book of 2011. Dog walker is not the first occupation you expect from a mystery novel’s protagonist. But since detective or private investigator characters are as stale as last week’s bread that was first frozen, then thawed, then used to mop up spilt beer, it was refreshing for Emily’s protagonist to be a dog walker. Plus, I like dogs.

If you haven’t read the first Sydney Rye novel, you may be confused why Joy Humbolt is calling herself Sydney and living in an RV in this second adventure. I recommend reading the first novel now…. Okay, so now that we are on the same page, I can say that Sydney is evolving. This isn’t just a name change, this is a quest to become something more. Emily manages to even cheekily title one of the chapters “Obligatory Training Montage”.

All this novella has done is left me wanting to read the next edition. Fortunately, Emily has that coming out in January.

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Tyson Adams’ 2011 Book Awards: The Awesomes

I’ve read a few books this year (+140) and have decided that I needed to talk about my favourites of 2011.  I also thought it fair to award my favourite reads of the year an Awesome.

As you will have noticed, my reviews of books are more about my impressions of the book and talking about how much I liked the book, rather than a recap of the plot, etc. My reasoning behind this is simple, I want to say “read this book” to people rather than fall into my bad habit of spoiling the ending.

My list is based upon what I have read this year, so obviously some great books (Snuff) have missed out due to lack of reading hours in the year. Also my read list does include some books that were published prior to 2011. There were some categories that were sadly under-represented and some that had some very intense competition.

Also, the fact that I finished a book shows that it was worth reading. I have my reading rules that stop me wasting valuable reading time on books I’m not enjoying. This means that any books on my read list are entertaining (well, unless I was particularly disgusted with the crappiness of the book in question).

Awesome of 2011

10 hours of non-stop reading fun, 12 if you count meal and toilet breaks. I could not put this book down, it had me enthralled with Reilly’s fast paced thrills and explosions. This books defines The Awesomes.
Also, I would like to extend my condolences to Matthew and his friends and family on the loss of his wife Natalie.

Awesome Literary Fiction
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Mystery & Thriller
This is one of two heavily over-represented categories in this year’s Awesomes. 
Awesome Crime

Blood Work – Michael Connelly
13 Hours – Deon Meyer (technically I started it in 2011, but only finished it this year)

Awesome Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Paranormal Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Science Fiction

Peace Army – Steven L Hawk

Awesome Horror

Dead Man Series – Lee Goldberg, Will Rabkin, et al.

Awesome Romance
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Humor
Right What You No – Tyson Adams’ blog
I’m allowed to be self-congratulatory. Plus I didn’t read any funny books this year.
Awesome Nonfiction
This is an oxymoron, so it is invalidated as a category. Having said that I did read several nonfiction books this year, mostly on climate change. I should make mention of On Writing by Steven King, which really had me agreeing with Steven’s insights.
Awesome Graphic Novels & Comics

The Boys – Garth Ennis

This is the second over-represented category on my list. 

Awesome Indie

Awesome Poetry
Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Book Review: Unleashed – Emily Kimelman

I had some feedback from my sister about how all the books I read have the same covers. I am blessed with siblings, a sister and brother, who are both smart and are not afraid to speak the truth. I think it comes from being raised upon a farm. Farmers and their families tend to be a bullshit free zone because you see life all around you. We all still laugh when we hear someone talk about how they became vegetarian when they realised that animals were made out of food: naive much?

Hopefully my sister will see this book cover and see something different, mainly because while this book sat safely in my favourite categories of reading, it also was something outside the box. I mean, look at the cover: no guns, no macabre hints, no violently stylized text. Read the blurb: how can a dog walker be the hero in a mystery thriller? Which is exactly why you should read Unleashed and enjoy.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that Emily, the author, was a dog walker when she was studying English at university. Dog owners will understand what I mean when they read this book. All of those little things that all dogs do, like proudly displaying the couch they have just chewed to pieces – Iz dones good, huh! – when you come home. For readers who like well written and well constructed novels, Emily’s degree clearly didn’t go to waste, including the ending that caught me off-guard (something that rarely happens).

This was a well paced and involving novel. I literally read it in one sitting today (well if you ignore the break to make lunch), so if it wasn’t an e-book you would call it “a real page turner”. Plus the book has a dog on the cover. A dog!

My dog is cute and helps me read by laying on my feet.