Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman began her writing career in children’s fiction. Her YA novel Hiding in Hawk's Creek was shortlisted for the CLA Book of the Year for Children. Her first adult mystery, In Winter's Grip, was published in 2010. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Chapman;s new book is Butterfly Kills, the latest novel in her Stonechild and Rouleau mystery series.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
One of my favourite pastimes is to find a well written mystery series and read every book in order. Two the authors that I follow are, Liza Marklund and Michael Connelly, whose latest in the Harry Bosch series, Burning Room, had me turning pages late into the evening.

Connelly’s writing is straight forward and tight, depicting the life of a cop in Los Angeles Police Department with gritty, realistic detail. Harry Bosch is the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with—an everyman at the end of his career, teaching Lucy Soto, his new young partner, how to navigate the political waters and work an investigation to get results. Connelly is very good at letting the reader in on Bosch’s innermost thoughts and feelings and becoming investing in the investigation, in this case, two cold cases that intersect ten years after the crimes. Bosch has no love for bureaucracy and skates close to the legal wire to further a case, sometimes too close. He’ll bend the rules or keep the higher ups in the dark when necessary. His dogged intelligence and intuition honed from years in the field, combined with a belief that everyone matters or nobody matters, make Bosch a formidable detective. His love for his daughter and thwarted love affairs make him humane and vulnerable. The early chapters of The Burning Room have more telling than action, likely because the cases are cold and Connelly had to find a way to fill in the background. The consequence is a slow-moving opening half with a more suspenseful and interesting finish. Yet, for those readers, like me, who’ve followed Harry Bosch through nineteen books, this novel is like comfort food.

Liza Marklund has created an equally sympathetic and intriguing protagonist Annika Bengtzon, a Swedish crime reporter who becomes embroiled in personal and professional chaos on a regular basis. I highly recommend starting this series from the beginning and working up to Marklund’s ninth offering Borderline, which promises “a violent hostage situation that shakes both Europe and East Africa.” I’ve been waiting for this latest instalment and will soon be tucked away, savouring the Stockholm landscape and living Annika's unpredictable and often dangerous journey vicariously from the safety of my armchair.
Visit Brenda Chapman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Butterfly Kills.

My Book, The Movie: Butterfly Kills.

--Marshal Zeringue