Monday, September 21, 2015

Chris Holm

Chris Holm is an award-winning short-story writer whose work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and The Best American Mystery Stories 2011. His Collector trilogy, which blends fantasy with old-fashioned crime pulp, wound up on over forty Year’s Best lists. David Baldacci called Holm's latest, the hitman thriller The Killing Kind, "a story of rare, compelling brilliance." He lives in Portland, Maine.

Recently I asked Holm about what he was reading. His reply:
At present, I’m reading Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Through the Evil Days. It’s the latest in her Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alstyne series. Thus far, it’s been a joy. Spencer-Fleming is at once a powerful and graceful writer, capable of thrilling action and gorgeous character moments. From sentence one, you know you’re in good hands.

Before that, I read Michael Koryta’s Last Words. It’s the first in a new series centered on damaged PI Mark Novak—and I think it’s my favorite Koryta novel yet. Though it’s solidly a crime novel, with nothing overtly otherworldly to be seen, Koryta’s writing style evokes the creeping dread of his supernatural thrillers, and the sequences that take place underground—in the pitch black Trapdoor Cavern—are so chillingly evocative, I wouldn’t dare read them in the dark.

It’s rare a book affects me so much I’m forced to set it aside, but so it was with Don Winslow’s The Power of the Dog. It is, without a doubt, one of the most harrowing books I’ve ever read—and the picture it paints of the War on Drugs will change the way you look at the past forty years of American history. I’ve yet to finish it, because five hundred sixty pages of relentless brutality is almost too much to take—but I’m sure I’ll circle back soon, because it’s simply too good not to.
Visit Chris Holm's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Killing Kind.

--Marshal Zeringue