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Got two books worth reading, if you’re in the mood for crime thrillers that transcend the genre…

“The Closers,” by Michael Connelly is the 11th book in a series of novels about Los Angeles police detective Harry Bosch…and once again, Connelly has hit a home run – an evocative story about a two-decade old case that never was solved. Bosch, now in the police department’s “cold case” bureau, has to deal with the ripple effect of a long ago crime; this is Ross Macdonald territory, in which crime has generational implications, and the sins of the past can create a living hell for people in the present.

Read it. It is wonderful.

“The Hot Kid,” is Elmore Leonard’s latest book, taking place in the 1930’s and, as usual, following a fascinating and eclectic cast of characters on both sides of the law.

My favorite character was Tony Antonelli, an awful writer who nevertheless makes a living for True Detective magazine; he’s sort of the anti-Elmore Leonard because he violates all of the master’s rules of great writing, and gives Leonard a chance to indulge all his worst instincts.

Great stuff.

By the way, if you’ve never seen Elmore Leonard’s rules for writing, they’re worth reviewing:

1. Don't write what the reader will skip over anyhow.
2. Never open your book with weather.
3. Never begin with a prologue.
4. Never describe the physical look of a character in such great detail it takes away from the reader's imagination.
5. Use exclamation points sparingly.
6. Never use another verb in place of said.
7. Never let your writing sound like writing.
8. Never use an adverb to modify said.
9. Never us a colon or semi colon in dialogue. The same is true of ellipsis, dash and italics.
10. Tell your editor to tell the copy editor not to mess with your punctuation.
11. Don't show your manuscript to anyone outside the business until you are satisfied with it.

(My favorite is the first one – leave out the stuff that people are going to skip.)

Finally, a personal note…

Samuel Johnson once wrote that “remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”

Well, that’s not always true. On Sunday, my 78-year-old father – who had a wonderful marriage to my mother for more than four decades, one that ended prematurely when she died in her early 60s of brain and lung cancer – will get remarried. His bride will be a cheerful (and, I expect, extremely patient) woman named Kathleen Sullivan, and it has been a kick seeing a side of my father that I’ve never seen before – romantic, boyish and little bit giddy.

It should be one hell of a party.

We’ll see you Monday.

Have a great weekend.

KC's View: