Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thomas H. Cook

Thomas H. Cook is the author of more than 30 critically-acclaimed fiction and non-fiction books. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop.

He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986).

Cook's latest novel is A Dancer in the Dust.

Last month I asked the author about what he was reading. Cook's reply:
My reading has a tendency to be very varied. I routinely go from fiction to nonfiction and from a classic I had neglected to something quite recent. Over the last month, for example, I have read and am pleased to recommend It's Raining Frogs and Fishes by Jerry Dennis, a fascinating compendium of scientific information, everything from why the sky is blue to the quite unbelievable feat of migration accomplished by hummingbirds; Submergence, a thoughtful and beautifully written novel by J. M. Ledgard; Jerusalem, The Biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore, a history that details in gut-crunching detail the horrible violence and sectarian cruelty that has for century after bloody century afflicted this most sacred site on earth; Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, an equally terrifying account of the war after the war, when Europe was thrown into a paroxysm of violence and vengeance against ethnic Germans and various Nazi collaborators; and finally, In Morocco, Edith Wharton’s enthralling, timeless, and shamelessly pro-French account of her journey through Morocco short after World War I.
Learn about Thomas H. Cook's top ten mystery books and his five top books on the writing life.

Visit Thomas H. Cook's website.

--Marshal Zeringue