Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

I know Nancy Werlin's  The Killer's Cousin was published in 1998, but it could have been written today. It is a superb psychological suspense with a tiny bit of the paranormal included. As a reader, I was immersed in caring about what happened to all of the characters, but especially David. This was one great read!
As a writer, still learning the craft of writing, I saw what is meant by weaving the back story into the plot. The book begins after the main character is aquitted of murdering his girlfriend. What? I read that and was dying to know what happened. But, Werlin kept me so engrossed in what was happening to David as he forged ahead with his life, that I didn't feel anxious from wondering or impatient to know. She presented the back story slowly and only when it was appropriate to do so. I never felt like she was creating places to "dump" the information.
 I'm now getting ready to read are you alone on purpose? originally published in 1994. I've got a nice little stack of her books that I intend to read and savor. When I have finished them all, as I writer, I will have some goals to work on, but as a reader I will be tapping my toe impatiently for her newest one to be released.
Sending a special thank you to whoever posted on Verla Kay recommending Nancy Werlin!

11 comments:

  1. Sorry to comment here, but I wanted to thank you for your pm at VK! (I don't have pm reply privileges yet.)

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  2. Oh, dear, I should have thought of that myself. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you got it. Love your blog!

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  3. The Killer's Cousin sounds great. I liked Impossible so much, I can't wait to read some of her others!

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  4. I haven't read either of those, but I do like books that push me into writing again, or push me into being a better writer. I've bought some of them, kept them around and have found it very useful to go back and look at the phrases that I found so enjoyable.

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  5. I do that, too. It's my own way of getting "How to" information. I have some of the late Willo Davis Roberts books, along with others, that I reread looking at techniques, dialogue, and in mysteries, how the author presented clues and red herrings. Writers learn so much from other writers.

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  6. Wow, sounds like a great book. Thanks for the insightful post—and the comments. Yes, we writers learn much from other writers, and the quality of most new books keeps improving, too. All good.

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  7. Now I want to read this too and that is not necessarily a good thing, as my YA/MG reading list is a couple of feet long. But it really does sound good!

    I'm still weaving a long back story through my WiP. A few years back, it was all sitting in one big fat Information Dump.

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  8. Alison, I, too, have noticed that the quality in new books has risen and I like what's happening as a reader. It's just so hard for those of us who are pre-published writers to grasp the new techniques, understand them, and apply them to our own work. Reading those who have successfully accomplished them brings such an "Ah-ha!So that's what they mean!" moment.

    Mary, I think it's great you have gone back to a WIP and are making those changes. I looked at a couple of mine that are "resting" and just sigh at the amount of work it would take. I'm ready to throw in the towel on those and start a brand new project and do the back story "right" from the start!

    Thank you both for stopping by and commenting!

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  9. Valuable "writing room". Congratulations.
    Daniel D. Peaceman, writer and editor of CHMagazine

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  10. Thank you, Daniel! I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment and become a follower!

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