Title: The Blade Itself
Author: Marcus Sakey
Length: 307 pages
Genre: literary/crime thriller
Plot Basics: Danny Carter used to be a thief. Used to before a pawnshop robbery went bad. He cleans up his life, gets a real job and a steady girlfriend. But now, seven years later, his friend and former partner Evan McGann is out of prison and comes looking for Danny. Evan wants pay back and to even an old score, one that could cost Danny everything.
Banter Points: Sakey writes beautiful sentences. Even when the scene is violent, the prose is lyrical and tight. The story moves right along in nice, sparse chapters that make it hard to put the book down (you know, the I'll-just-read-one-more-chapter-then-stop phenomenon). This book is definitely a thriller, but it's more of an emotional thriller than the what's-going-to-happen-next kind. Sakey captures the feeling that Danny's life is slipping out of his control.
Bummer Points: Det. Sean Nolan was an interesting character that readers don't get to see enough of. Since he comes from the same kind of background as Danny and Evan, it would have been nice to understand what made his life go differently. Also, Sakey has a habit of ending chapters with sentence fragments that begin with "And then.." or "Suddenly" or some variation. It works for building tension, but in chapter after chapter, sort of seemed like Sakey got stuck on how to end chapters.
Word Nerd recommendation: If you like thrillers or crime novels or just well-written books, read this one.