Crime & Beyond Wiki

Last week’s meeting was so spectacular it took me this long to process it and finally get the notes out to you. Yeah right, I can tell none of you buy that excuse.


Garden Variety Psychopath cake

We met on the 20th to discuss Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais. Dave led AND brought the snack. It was an excellent cake by master baker Peg (that’s baker people, get your minds out of the gutter). Describing it doesn’t do it justice but I’ll try. It was chocolate cake (for dirt), and half of the icing was coconut (grass) and colored flower candies (flowers) with gummy bears (bodies) buried within. It represented the lawyer’s burial of his family, and if you don’t get that you didn’t read the book. The cake didn’t just look good, it tasted wonderful!

Dave led us in a discussion of the author and the book. We talked a lot about the first book in the Elvis Cole series, The Monkey’s Raincoat. It comes highly recommended by everyone who has read it. Crais’s newest book is called Suspect, and it’s a standalone and supposed to also be very good. It will go on next year’s list of book choices. Speaking of book choices, we’ve also got a few more to add (and I’m listing them here more as a reminder for me): Nikki French, Val McDermid, Brad Thor, David Baldacci and Mo Hayder. As always, if you have any you’d like to recommend, email them to me.


Tom Adair

We’re also going to add Tom Adair to the list. He’s written two books: Scent of Fear and Bloodlines. He is a local author and was recently at the library talking about forensics and his books. Judy and Roxane attended and said he was very good. And I think I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention that Judy says he’s easy on the eyes. I actually think she said it 3 times, so ladies check him out, guys check out his books… or everyone do both.

Now to the book. It was a bit of an odd ranking for this one. Sharon, Janice and I all thought it was rather boring and gave it either a 4 or 5. However, the general consensus was more in the 8-9 range, with a couple of 7s. Roxane gave the book a 10, but since she was the only one who ranked it that high, I still think that the average would be around a 7.

Some of the comments and criticisms about the book came from those of us who were bored and those of us who really liked it. Many of us were very disappointed that the murders happened in the past rather than in the present. We, as a very disturbed group of people, like to see the murders happen. Just hearing about them, and getting a photo described to us, just wasn’t the same. I think the lack of gore was what caused Judy’s score of a 7 to be followed by “I didn’t dislike it.”

Some of us didn’t like that the lawyer did it. The motive wasn’t interesting enough and we wanted more of a deep dark secret to come out. And the fact that he’d murdered his family and buried them in the yard kind of left us hanging. We never found out why he did it, other than that he was a garden variety psychopath (get it, garden – buried his family). Thanks guys, I’ll be here all week.

Others didn’t like that the dead guy with half a foot and his prints all over the album couldn’t have done it. We found out early that he wasn’t our killer and it might have been more interesting if he had still been in the running for lead psychopath, aka the” who” in who-dunnit (yep, here all week. Hurry, tickets are going fast).

We liked the analysis of the photos and how the police figured out that they had been taken after (or during) death, but before the crime scene techs took their shots. The blood bubble one was particularly gruesome. That was a good addition to the plot, and gorey enough for those of us who like that kind of thing.

We agreed that Robert Crais is still a keeper and that we will put his books on our list again. There were mixed opinions on whether Elvis is our favorite, or if Joe Pike is our man. I think we were a smidge weighted on the Elvis side, but I could be wrong. I think if I were getting attacked in a dark alley I’d prefer to have Joe behind me, but if I were having coffee and looking for conversation, I’d rather have Elvis at my table. Maybe together they’re the perfect man. Either way, I bet neither of them is as cute Tom Adair. I’m just sayin.’

I sincerely apologize that we didn’t honor our tradition and vote for the character most deserving of a slap. How we missed that I don’t know, but I would venture a guess that Ivy would be at the top. At least I think that was one of her names.

Next month we will meet on Monday, June 24th and we are reading Defending Jacob by William Landay. Lorraine will lead, and she’s already promised she will remember the slap vote. I’ve got Sookie down for snacks. If either of you can’t, or just plain don’t feel like performing these duties, please let me know so I can cover.

There were very few copies of Defending Jacob, so as always, when you’re done please return it to the library for our shelf and email the list that there is a book available. Thanks.