Tag Archive for preston & child

Blizzards & Brimstone

After the rugrats woke me by pounding on my kidneys, I looked outside and saw snow. A few inches of snow, in fact, covering the ground and streets. No wonder they were so excited. I took them outside while I shoveled, then we had a snowball fight. I continued an unofficial Oliveri tradition by blasting the Squirt in the forehead with a snowball.

I didn’t think much about the weather after that. We see snow like this in Illinois all the time, and generally if there’s no wind we have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately the wind kicked in around nightfall. I was supposed to go see a kamiza (black belt promotion ceremony) at my karate school, but the roads outside of town were too dangerous and I had to turn around.

The way I see it, the weather owes me one. It can repay me by snowing all night (weatherman seems to think it will) so we have a snow day at work tomorrow. I’ve never seen a kamiza before, and it seems like every time they have one I’m either out of town or have something else going on. My own is still a few years off, but I’d really like to see one.

In other news, I finally got around to finishing Brimstone by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child this week. At the beginning of the book I said I wasn’t fond of their Pendergast character, but he grew on me by the end.

So, of course, they killed him.

Sort of. It looks that way, but he’s in the next book in the series, Dance of Death, so he must live somehow (thus the lack of a spoiler warning). I picked it up the other day, so I’ll find out how Agent Pendergast got out of his predicament after I finish reading The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski.

I’ll wait until after Dance of Death to decide whether or not it’s worth chasing down the rest of the Pendergast books. There’s a lot of hints to back story in Brimstone, and I don’t imagine Dance of Death will be any different. I do hope, however, there won’t be another monologuing villain. I know such monologues — by both heroes & villains — tend to be a staple of mysteries, but man, I kept waiting for D’Agosta to start shooting or for the villain’s cape to get sucked into a jet engine (yes, folks, it’s a The Incredibles reference). Nothing breaks up tension like a couple pages of monologue.

Note to sit and worry about whether or not I’ve done the same thing in my own work…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Shaking Up the Reading

My reading habits have been as poor as my writing habits lately.

I think part of the problem is I’ve been reading a few books where nothing happens. Sure, they’re good books, and they’re horror books, but there are several pages at a time where nothing happens. Solid writing, great atmosphere, a dash of “look at this creepy stuff!”, but no real action. It’s really starting to bother me.

As such I’ve strayed once again into the suspense/mystery section of my local Borders. Doing so was a good diversion a year or so ago, and so far it’s headed that same direction as I’ve read a lot more in the past two weeks than I have the previous two months.

I started with Severance Package by Duane Swierczynski. Brian mentioned the guy, I browsed the synopsis for Severance Package, and I decided it was right up my alley. Sure enough, I burned through it in no time. The plot is fairly simple, and it the action rolls right along from the first page to the last. The occasional humor is a nice bonus. I’ve now got his books The Blonde and The Wheelman sitting on the nightstand, waiting to be read.

Right now I’m halfway through Brimstone by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Everything I’ve heard about Preston & Child suggests they’re mystery/thriller writers with a horror/supernatural bend, and Brimstone definitely fits the mold. I can do without all the references to previous books in the series, and I think the main character, Aloysius Pendergast, is a stuck-up douche, but I like where the story is going and I can relate to the other main character (or is it sidekick?), Vincent D’Agosta, much better. The prose is very straightforward and leads the reader through at a good clip.

It’s good to be hooked on reading again.

Even better, they’ve both given my fingers the itch to be at the keyboard, working my own prose.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.