Book Review: "Shaken" by Joe Konrath

Joe Konrath is a bad, bad man.  And I mean that in a nice way.  :) After I reviewed "Draculas", I got a letter in the email thanking me for doing so.  And an offer: here's a free copy of his new book, "Shaken" to read and enjoy.  Well, I'm not really into cop novels, so I didn't jump right in to this one.  But on Wednesday, I did finally sit down to read.  I even downloaded the Kindle software to my desktop so that I could see how the book looked in the ebook format it was being sold for.  No, I don't have an ereader - yet.  I can see that's something I really need to change.

Anyway, I started reading.  And kept reading.  And reading.

"Shaken" is a fun ride of a novel.  Konrath manages to blend storylines from three times in the main character's history, eras wildly apart in years but all closely related in story.  He does this so well that each break from one time to another shows the carefully crafted links between the stories.  It's a craftful approach to the story, and I think the overall work would have been less powerful in sequential order, so skillfully was it woven.

The novel is the seventh in a series.  Often, I hesitate to pick up a book that has so much other writing ahead of it.  I find that either I'm lost, because the author expects readers to know the background given in the other stories, or I see clunky, rough-hewn attempts to fill in those gaps with information dumps.  Neither happened here. This novel could have been the first in the series, for how comfortable I felt slipping into the story.  The characters were all exposed elegantly, and the background was interwoven with great skill.  I've rarely seen a book so late in a series handled so well.

I really don't care for cop stories.  But I have to say, I think I'll be reading more of Konrath's work.  His story held me reading at my computer for hours, until the book was finished.  It's not my preferred mode for reading (only the second book I've ever read that way), but I was willing - no, eager - to keep reading right through the last page.  Well done, and thanks for the opportunity!