Monday, May 2, 2016

Tom Fox

Tom Fox's storytelling emerges out of many years spent in academia, working on the history of the Christian Church. A respected authority on that subject, he has recently turned his attentions towards exploring the new stories that can be drawn out of its mysterious dimensions. Dominus is Fox's first novel.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Fox's reply:
I generally like to read several things at a time. It’s one of the ways I compensate for a few long periods during the year when I’m so consumed in my own writing that I read far less (though I’m not one to totally cut myself off from others’ work when I’m writing my own). Currently I’ve got my fingers in a few literary pies that I’m thoroughly enjoying.

Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls has entirely taken me by surprise. What a story! It was a reader recommendation (I routinely ask readers what I should pick up next, often via Goodreads, and have really enjoyed where they’ve pointed me), and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into — though I knew, being a fan of Slaughter’s writing, it would be something fun. ‘Fun’, it turns out, is a rather odd word for how this book has captured me: it’s a shattering, gruesome, terrifying, haunting story that moves at such a pace I haven’t been sure where my wits are most of the time — only certain that I’ve been absolutely loving each page of it. Slaughter has a way of telling a truly horrifying tale while still giving her characters wit, charm, humour and grace. This is a book like I haven’t read in a long time, and I’m genuinely thrilled to be sucked into it.

Another reader recommendation I’ve taken to heart is Katerina Diamond’s The Teacher, which I’ve also leapt into with aplomb. I’m an immense fan of thrillers that incorporate a psychological element, and this one certainly does — with themes of abuse, the dark sides of schools, and even the haunts of museums all coming to light as the chapters progress. Books that ask the question of just how far wrongs done to a person in their youth affect who they become, and what they do, in adulthood are of a genre I particularly crave, and so far this appears a good example of it.

I like the books I read to capture me. They can be of almost any genre, from thriller to mystery to historical fiction to science fiction (and I’ve just cracked the cover of SF great Richard K. Morgan’s Broken Angels, propelling me into his stellar worlds once again) — so long as the story tugs at my imagination, holds me in suspense, and rips me along at a pace. These books seem up to the challenge, and I can certainly say I’m enjoying all of my current reads.
Learn more about Tom Fox's Dominus at the publisher's website, and visit Tom Fox's Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue