Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chris Marie Green

Chris Marie Green is the author of Only the Good Die Young, the first book in the Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series from Penguin/Roc, which features a fun-loving spirit from the ’80s. She also wrote the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books as well as The She Code, a “geek lit”/chick lit/new adult hybrid with comic book art work by Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics.

Last month I asked the author about what she was reading. Green's reply:
It seems I went through a bit of a dark time lately.

I went on a Gillian Flynn jag. I had read Gone Girl last year and loved Flynn’s wordsmithing abilities. She knows how to use details to paint a picture, and she often turns everyday things into something else entirely. She also has the guts to give us characters we won’t necessarily like as people—even the main characters! Since I do write a series that involves darkness and murder (Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire), I’m always looking for an author who can nail the atmosphere of a crime novel, and Flynn never disappoints.

Having said that, I bought the audio version of Dark Places, which is about a woman whose family was slaughtered when she was a girl. She identified her brother as the culprit, but when she gets involved with a hobbyist “murder club” that likes to review details of crimes, she realizes that maybe big brother wasn’t so guilty. If I’d been holding an actual book, I would call this a page-turner, but as I was listening to the audio version, I kept finding excuses to go out and take a walk, just so I could finish. This book is not for the faint of heart, though…

Neither is Sharp Objects, which I just had to read soon afterward. (Flynn has written three books, and this is the first. They are not a series.) Talk about dark—oh, boy. This book is the lovechild of V.C. Andrews and Harper Lee, complete with gothic family dynamics and a small town with many secrets. And let’s not forget the beyond messed-up heroine. In a word: LovedIt.

A girl certainly needs to wash away all that Flynn-induced darkness at some point, though, so I bought the audio for a really excellent analysis of television shows. The Revolution Was Televised, by Alan Sepinwall, was a fantastic palette cleanser. It’s also a nerd’s fantasy, lovingly breaking down some shows that most critics consider to be part of TV’s modern golden age. Everything from The Sopranos to Friday Night Lights to Breaking Bad is talked about in an accessible, enjoyable manner; this is a keeper for sure!
Visit Chris Marie Green's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue