I love my job. That's right, I'm one of those irritating folks that truly enjoys what they do. Sure, there a few bumps in the road now and then, but basically, selling books is the best job I've ever had. I've got a great group of people who work in my store, I get a nice discount, I get to travel a little, and I get to discuss books with people who, for the most part, truly love to read.
But the coolest part of my job is occasionally getting to meet authors. J.A. Konrath, Sean Chercover, and Marcus Sakey to name a few. J.A. I've hung out with on several occasions, while I've only met Marcus and Sean once. But all of these guys are great people and have always been kind enough to reply to my emails for requests of book club appearances or in-store signings, or just to say "hey".
That being said, it was an incredible surprise to have Jen call me Monday night while I was at work, to tell me that Marcus had sent me an Advanced Reader's Copy of his new book, "At the City's Edge". I have to admit I was preoccupied with tallying the points of Jen's and my fantasy football team (you're goin down, mrs.) on Monday night, so I didn't get to start reading it until Tuesday afternoon.
Well, I finished it this evening. Man, what a read. Incredibly well written, with suspense that piles on until the final pages, "At the City's Edge" is going to be a must read this winter. It's an explosive thiller that had me, at turns, crying and sitting on the edge of my seat. You know how, when you get really absorbed in a good book, and things are so intense that you find yourself peeking at the bottom of the page, or the next page, to get a sense of what's coming? That's how this book was for me.
Marcus creates characters that seem real and that we can identify with. Jason Palmer, the protagonist, is flawed and entirely human. An Iraq war vet, Jason has returned to Chicago, ready to lose himself to women and booze, only to find that the gang wars in his old neighborhood are worse than ever. His brother is murdered and now someone is hunting his nephew. Unsure of who to trust, Jason finds that he must shoulder responsibilty that he's not ready for, and try to keep his family safe at any cost.
While a work of fiction, "At the City's Edge" is also an interesting socio-economic study that portrays a lot of differences in how rich/poor neighborhoods are viewed; by those within them, and outside of them.
I know it's unfair to tease you with a "review" of a book that's not coming out for another four months, but like I said, my job has perks.
If you'd like a taste of what's to come, you can read the first chapter of "At the City's Edge", here.
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