Monday, July 30, 2007

Over Tumbled Graves by Jess Walter

Don't you just love when you discover a writer that really grabs you and makes you want to read every book he or she has written? That is how I feel about Jess Walter, having discovered the book Citizen Vince and then going on to read another of his books, Over Tumbled Graves.

Over Tumbled Graves is a suspense or crime novel but I really hate sticking it in any genre, because Walters could probably tackle a number of different topics and still come up with a solid book. So if you aren't particularly drawn to fiction, especially crime novels, please give this one a shot. Below the supposedly solid surface (serial killer, two detectives trying to track him down) is a book full of insights about the human condition and the flaws in every heart, large and small. Some of them won't get us convicted but none of us is entirely innocent of certain crimes - even if they are simply crimes of the heart.

For those who want to know more about this book, it focuses on two detectives, Caroline Mabry and Alan Dupree (Dupree pops up in Citizen Vance as well). They happen to be partners and they also happen to be fighting off sexual and romantic tension, a plot twist that adds extra depth to the story. What makes the book a standout, however, is the writing style of the author. The pages are filled with sentences that make readers pause and think and ask questions like: When is the line between being faithful and betraying one's spouse (hint: it doesn't start with physical intimacy)....how are serial killers profiled?.... what are the markers that set a particular killer out from the pack and help the detectives hone in on him?


If you are looking for a book that goes beyond the usual formulas and contain the imprint of an individual author's style, I urge you to read this book. Then go on to read more by this very talented author!

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