Yesterday, I did something I only do once a year or so - I spent hours reading! The book was Michael Marshall's The Intruders.
As a reviewer, I always wonder why publishers bother to send me boxes of paperbacks. I'm not going to review a book that came out in hardcover two years ago. I can sort of see the sense of sending me the previous book if its a series, although that assumes I have the time and energy to read two (or more) books to produce one review.
But The Intruders caught my eye. And I'm so glad I read it. It's mystery with a sci-fi or horror aspect, kind of Stephen King-like. So you can read the book as a reader and enjoy the page-turning plot.
But you can also read it as a writer. It's a mix of third person and first person, which worked well, and you don't see done that often. It allows us to feel the immediacy of someone's wife going missing, as well as jumping from character to character, place to place, as all these various clues gather up.
And another way you can read it as a writer is that this book is all about the voice. Marshall has a distinctive style that is just plain fun to read. Here are three examples:
"He was comfortably overweight, with soft-looking skin and pale wispy hair that looked as if it was rapidly deserting his head to leave him looking to leave him looking even more like a large, confident baby." [Full disclosure: okay, too many uses of the word "look," but I love "comfortably overweight," and "large, confident baby."]
"Finally, she went to ask the neighbors if they had noticed a little girl. On one side was an ancient couple who had been there since the Jurassic period, but whom the O'Donnells barely knew. Neither looked as if they be guaranteed to notice a tactical missile strike on their house."
And how about this as the perfect, understated, and infinitely more creepy way to handle violence:
"Five miles up the road, he opened the window and threw out the first of Karen Reid's teeth."
All I can say is, I hope William Morrow send me an ARC for his new book, Bad Things.