Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

About Writing Plus

Michael Connelly And Lee Child Treat Their Aging Series Differently

The pick for our reading group’s book of the month was Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye.

I’m new to Michael Connelly’s Bosch series. I’ve read two, The Crossings and this selection. Other members of the group have read several of his novels with the main character, Harry Bosch, solving crimes while he dealt with personal issues. They hoped Bosch’s retirement didn’t mean that Connelly would end that series.

Thankfully, Bosch is back and we discussed his character arc over the many novels about him.

For comparison, I brought up the author, Lee Child, whose crime series has Jack Reacher as a main character. The first 5 or 6 thrillers of Reacher tales entertained me. I liked the humor, I like the fact that Reacher doesn’t use suitcases, he only carries a toothbrush in his treks across miles and miles. He’s a strong, unique character.

However, I began to see a pattern to his books, which distracted my rapt attention and the critic in me complained that the extreme graphic violence wasn’t necessary to include in the plots. I didn’t give up, I read several more of Child’s series until the one I’m reading now.

This one is the last one. Not only is the violence too much, but I don’t think Lee Child wrote it. The style is similar but the content and the details can’t be Lee Child, the author I enjoyed before. The ending was medically unbelievable and the solution to the intrigue was summed up by one of the characters who was bleeding out from his wounds. Several paragraphs of backstory told by the guy whose blood pools everywhere? Come on, Child, you know better than that.

I looked at the reviews on Amazon and agree with PZF85Jon who said,

“Obviously Mr Child doesn’t have a plan how to deal with Reacher when he gets older (hint: have a chat with Mr. Connelly – his hero, Harry Bosch is ageing nicely – like a very good red wine.)”

Character Arc makes a difference.

I’d love any comments about either author.


Julaina Kleist-Corwin

Editor of Written Across the Genres

Author of Hada’s Fog

Cara Black’s Paperback of Murder on the Champ De Mars Is Available In March

Cara Black Murder Champ De MarsAt the San Francisco Writers Conference this year, Cara Black sat at a table near the book seller in the Room of the Dons. I talked with her about the locations in Paris where her books take place. Her latest one is on the Champ De Mars and it will be available in paperback on March 8th this year. For the description on Amazon, read the following. To order  click here.

“Paris, April 1999: Aimée Leduc has her work cut out for her—running her detective agency and fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new bébé. The last thing she has time for now is to take on a personal investigation for a poor manouche (Gypsy) boy. But he insists his dying mother has an important secret she needs to tell Aimée, something to do with Aimée’s father’s unsolved murder a decade ago. How can she say no?

The dying woman’s secret is even more dangerous than her son realized. When Aimée arrives at the hospital, the boy’s mother has disappeared. She was far too sick to leave on her own—she must have been abducted. What does she know that’s so important it’s worth killing for? And will Aimée be able to find her before it’s too late and the medication keeping her alive runs out?”

Lee Child wrote a testimonial for Murder on the Champ de Mars: “Wry, complex, sophisticated, intensely Parisian….One of the very best heroines in crime fiction today.” Child’s books feature Jack Reacher as the main character and Black’s Aimee Leduc is the main character in all her books.

The bookmark Black gave me listed twelve books she’s written. I’ve read four.

I told her about our last trip to Paris where we stayed in an apartment above the Champs-Elysees, about four blocks from the Arc de Triomphe. On the plane flight to Paris, I read her book titled Murder in The Marais.  She plans to return to Paris in spring to explore the area where her next book will be set.

Have you read Cara Black’s books or Lee Child’s?

Cara Black photo

Author Cara Black


What Are You Reading?

cropped-books-crop-no-empty-shelves1.jpg  What are you reading now?  I switched genres and read Personal by Lee Child. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Lee has a subtle humor, the characters are well-drawn, and most of it took place in Paris. He’s my dad’s favorite author. At ninety, my dad reads a book a day.

Lee Child’s birth name is Jim Grant. He is 60 years old, born in October, 1954 in Coventry, England. His writing style has been described as hardboiled and commercial.

For the Reading Group I’m in, one member chose The Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill. She uses the Stream of Consciousness technique, which I like.  It would be fun to try it one day. http://www.amazon.com/Dept-Speculation-Jenny-Offill/dp/0385350813


I’d love to hear what you are reading.