Jesse Kellerman's novel, Trouble, was nominated in the same category as The Crime Writer for the ITW Thriller Awards (from which I just returned - another glorious six-hour delay at JFK, this one involving a panic-attack-having passenger in a Detroit Tigers jacket forcing our return to the gate, thereby losing us our spot in the lengthy queue for takeoff. In fairness, if I was a Tigers fan this season, perhaps I'd be having panic attacks too. But we digress.).
I thought, in a show of graciousness, I should read said book so I could have something pleasant to say to Jesse should we cross paths, or -- if said book proved unworthy -- so I could generate a suitable compliment ("The font was really lovely." "That book jacket - wow!" "I really like your shoes.")
About thirty pages in, I had that feeling of excitement. You know the one - where you realize that not only have you hooked into a book that you Love, but that you are reading an author who you know that you will be reading for years to come. It is not an exaggeration to say that his is the most exciting new voice in crime fiction I've read in years.
I gave my copy to a friend I saw in New York. Got another one for my sister. Pitched the lady sitting next to me on the plane. Emailed my agent, and my editor. Mentioned it to a screenwriter buddy at lunch. Yeah, that kind of book. Dark and sophisticated, with a playwright's dialogue and a psychologist's, uh, uh, insight. And good words and stuff, too.
His other novels, Sunstroke and The Genius, are on my list, to be bought on my next bookstore trip. Trouble should certainly be on yours.