Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brett Battles

Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of the acclaimed Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel, The Deceived, which won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, and Shadow of Betrayal.

His new Jonathan Quinn novel is The Silenced.

Late last month I asked Battles what he was reading. His reply:
I’m currently reading Blake Crouch’s Run.




Is this good, or what? The only reason I’m not reading it at this very moment is I have to work sometime.

Here’s the set up…what if one day you discover a high percentage of the population has gone crazy, but in an organized, working together kind of way to kill those who aren’t like them? And what if as you’re huddled at home with your family trying to figure out what to do, one of these maniacs is reading off names and addresses over the radio of people who need to be killed, and he reads off your name?

That’s basically the set up for Run. It starts with a bang and just doesn’t let up. Jack Colclough, his wife and their two kids have no other choice than to get the hell out of Dodge (well, Albuquerque) and try to find someplace safe. Only so far (I’m only halfway done) there is nowhere safe. The family has to fight to stay alive, not only against some of those who have been affected by whatever has happened (and Crouch does a great job of making the reason this happened sound believable), but they also have to fight to find food, and water, and shelter.

Don’t mistake me. This isn’t a Zombie book. The “others” are rational in their own way. What it is is a breathtaking rollercoaster survival story that I absolutely find hard to put down. If you’re looking for a superb thriller, this is it.

Prior to Run, I read Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami. I’m a huge Murakami fan, and Dance didn’t disappoint. But like with all Murakami books, I’m not sure I understood everything that was going on. Which, oddly, I’m okay with. His prose have a way of drawing me in and putting me in a metal state I don’t want to leave. I find it hard even describing what it was about, other than to say it was a man’s journey to find his own happiness. Along the way there’s a murder mystery, a beautiful yet awkward teenage girl who comes to trust him as a friend, a movie star who is not all he appears, and the looming memory of a girl who may or may not be of this world. Oh yeah, and a man dresses as a sheep and lives in an alternate reality the hero occasionally finds himself in. See, how do you make sense of any of that? Yet I loved it.
Learn more about the book and author at Brett Battles' website and blog.

Read: Tim Hallinan interviews Brett Battles.

The Page 69 Test: The Cleaner.

The Page 69 Test: The Deceived.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow of Betrayal.

The Page 69 Test: The Silenced.

The Page 69 Test: Little Girl Gone.

--Marshal Zeringue