Overlooked Books: C. J. Box Recommends Three

C. J. BoxAs Mystery Month continues, we’re asking more and more mystery, thriller, and espionage authors to tell us which books they think deserve more attention. C. J. Box has certainly been well reviewed at Booklist, from Bill Ott’s gangbusters starred review of the Joe Pickett series starter Open Season (2001) to my review of Nowhere to Run (2010), the tenth and most recent installment. And Box’s picks have done all right by us, too. Here’s what he had to say:

Booklist doesn’t miss much, but there are certainly books and authors who deserve much greater readership and recognition. Iron River, by T. Jefferson Parker (disclaimer: he’s a friend but that shouldn’t count against him) is a sweeping, epic, violent, and magical novel about the drug and money trade between the U.S. and Mexico.  It is out-of-the box and not a standard police procedural, but that’s just one of the reasons why it’s so good.  Tomato Red, by Daniel Woodrell

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell made me wonder why the hell I’d never heard of him or read his magnificent, authentic, pitch-perfect novels about low-rent characters in the Ozarks.  If readers are fans of dead-on sense of place — like I am — they could do no better than Daniel Woodrell. 

And although she’s getting better known, Denise Mina’s Still Midnight is a terrific showcase for her raw and brilliant characters and writing style.  Mina is one of the few novelists who writes sentences so perfect I put the book down for a moment and say, “Damn, that was good.”

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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