Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe's Sean O'Brien mystery/thriller series includes A False Dawn, The 24th Letter, and The Butterfly Forest.

Recently I asked Lowe what he was reading. His reply:
I'm currently reading Feast Day of Fools, by James Lee Burke. Burke is a lyrical storyteller, with a good sense of the human psychological condition and how close evil can live under the skin of some people.

The book I finally got around to reading is the first in the Stieg Larsson "Millennium Trilogy," The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I picked up because I'd seen the film trailer starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Yep, the cross-promotion can work. I think Larsson did a solid job with this novel. It's well paced, believable plot, and it features a book-end of two characters that draw sustenance from one another in a unique, symbiotic way.

Crusading journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, is hired by a rich, elderly man to find his niece, a woman who disappeared forty years earlier. Blomkvist brings in a tattooed, spiked hair, punk prodigy with more spunk than a dirty bomb. Lisbeth Salander is a woman with a calculated, brilliant mind that can walk through computer firewalls and into the dark heart of her past abusers, giving her the fuel to take no prisoners in the present.

Blomkvist and Salander begin to look for the needle in the corrupt haystack. And corruption only begins to set the tone of a story that leads to massive corporate greed infused with skeletons hidden not in closets, but rather in a torture room.

There are many subplots woven in a story that reaches deep inside the dark crevices of sexual and physical abuse. The nightmare history gives Salander a smoldering reticence of revenge that hits you in the face like the door opening to a blast furnace. You understand her motivation and find yourself wondering if the next pierced, tattooed young woman you see on the street broke away from the same deviant traps of abuse. And that makes a novel like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo even darker because its real world counterparts, its victims, are not fiction.
Learn more about the book and author at Tom Lowe's website.

The Page 69 Test: The 24th Letter.

My Book, The Movie: The Butterfly Forest.

The Page 69 Test: The Butterfly Forest.

--Marshal Zeringue