Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Eight visually striking mysteries

Sarah J. Harris's new novel is The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder. At CrimeReads she tagged eight mysteries with images that might stay with you forever, including:
Fierce Kingdom, by Gin Phillips

A small, toy spear stabs Joan’s hip as she plays with her four-year-old son, Lincoln, in the Dinosaur Discover pit at the zoo shortly before closing time. The sand around the pair is scattered with plastic heroes and villains such as Thor and Loki—foreshadowing the battle for survival about to play out. When Joan initially hears pops like balloons bursting, she is not immediately alarmed. But when she sees “scarecrows” lying on the ground and glimpses a figure armed with a rifle by the women’s bathrooms, Anna grabs her son and runs. And so it begins—a deadly game of cat and mouse that Joan must play, to save her son from shooters who prowl the grounds in a hunt for human prey. High fences keep animals from escaping, but also trap Joan and Lincoln, while lights are alternatively friends and foe. Phillips doesn’t need to use gore to shock the reader—it’s the simple images which are most effective, such as a child’s abandoned sippy cup “spilling a wet liquid.” This is enough to make us imagine the unspeakable horrors unfolding, while reinforcing the fact that Fierce Kingdom is essentially a book about motherhood, and how far a mother will go to save her child. The novel has been optioned for film by Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment.
Read about another entry on the list.

Fierce Kingdom is among Mary Kate Carr's eleven recent novels that powerfully tackle gun violence.

The Page 69 Test: Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips.

--Marshal Zeringue