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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

C. Hope Clark's Tidewater Murder


I have talked about this kind of happy coincidence before. When a friend has a project - a book, a story, music - you kinda have to say it's good or that you like it, it's just professional courtesy, and so you can get a good review back when it's your turn. This is actually one of the reasons I rarely do book reviews - to avoid doing just that.

But it is such a delight when it's true, and with Hope Clark it is so true. She's not only the founder of FundsforWriters, one of the best writing newsletters out there (if you're not subscribed and you want to be a writer, get subscribed, it's that important), but also someone I have interviewed for years in The Writer's Chatroom, a mentor, and a friend. And she has written two fantastic thrillers, the second even better than the first.

Hope Clark is smart, clever, savvy, and sassy - a fireball of a writer, and her protagonist, Carolina Slade is just like her. "Biologically I could be her mother, in a Loretta Lynn kind of way." That is one of my favorite lines from the book. This is the kind of snark and sass that Slade is all about. She's a southern belle spitfire with a dash of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and I love it.

The Carolina Slade Mysteries are what might be termed 'rural thrillers,' but that would be unfair, it's about character, and about tension, and the thrill of the mystery. Clark's people are real, and the sense of place is real. You feel you know them, you feel you are there. I read TIDEWATER WATER in one sitting, just as I did with its predecessor, LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE, something I rarely do, but I could not put it down. They are both such smooth and pleasurable reads, while being tense rides as well. Clark has the same sort of style as Stephen King, a prose that compels you to keep reading.

This is not praise I hand out easily, I am not a mystery guy. And as much as I liked LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE, I dug the second book even more. I would not have believed it was possible, but it is. I am waiting with baited breath for the next in the series.



And if you'd like to know the true story behind LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE, and how Hope met Mr. Clark, you need to check out "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game." You can get it on Amazon here.

I will be interviewing Hope at The Writer's Chatroom on Sunday evening, December 29th, so please come on by then and join in on the discussion. Details can be found here.

1 comment:

Hope Clark said...

So happy you enjoyed it, Glenn. I think Tidewater is better than Lowcountry, too, and I'm awful fond of Slade's origin in Lowcountry. Thanks so much for making room on your blog for such a glowing review. I'm touched and honored.