Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Daniel Kalla

Dan Kalla spends his days (and sometimes nights) working as an Emergency Room physician at an urban teaching hospital. His first two novels, Pandemic and Resistance, were medical thrillers. They were followed by two suspense thrillers: Rage Therapy and Blood Lies. His global medical thriller Cold Plague will be released in early 2008.

Late last month I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
My reading pattern tends to be erratic. Sometimes, I am all over the map reading five or six books concurrently, and usually ineffectively, while other times I’m faithful to one book at a time. Like now, when coincidentally I am reading Ken Follett’s The Pillars Of The Earth. I say “coincidentally” because my wife informs that it’s Oprah’s upcoming Book Club selection. Also, the sequel to this eighteen-year-old novel was just released in October. I claim ignorance on both fronts. I picked up the book on the zealous recommendation of a friend. (And prior to the age of Oprah’s endorsement, I understand that such word of mouth recommendations were the best way for a book to move off the shelves.)

So far, The Pillars of the Earth has not disappointed. Set in twelfth century Europe, it’s the story of the building of a grand cathedral. While chalk full of period detail and architectural snippets, it’s not one of those painfully heavy novelized tomes where you feel as if you are being spoon fed history like back in grade school. Follett seamlessly weaves in sympathetic lead characters like Tom the Builder (the name says it all) and an ambitious monk named, Philip. He’s also tossed in plenty of romance, intrigue, and high stakes political gamesmanship. My only one criticism is that at times I find the characters show a bit more twentieth than twelfth century sensibility. But that’s a flimsy complaint, because I don't have a clue how people thought or acted in the 1100s.

I have no idea how it ends, but I’m eager to find out. And I suspect that Follett won’t let me down.
Visit Dan Kalla's website and read an excerpt from Blood Lies.

Learn more about the forthcoming Cold Plague.

The Page 99 Test: Blood Lies.

--Marshal Zeringue