Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shaken by J.A. Konrath (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels mystery series)

Author J.A. Konrath has become quite well known of late as a vocal proponent of self-publishing in the electronic age, having sold multi-thousands of e-books for the Amazon Kindle (among other formats) with what seems like very little effort. His most famous works are his series of novels starring Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels, of which Shaken is the seventh.

Many opinions have been posed of the reasons for his terrific success, but reading this novel has given me the truth: Konrath writes a damned good mainstream thriller. Shaken covers four periods in the life of Daniels, all landmark events presented concurrently in alternating chapters.

This method makes things a little messy at first as each period gels in the mind. But once that happens, it's quite easy and effective to hop back and forth as the suspense builds in different eras.

The present period finds Jack bound and gagged in a self-storage facility as she realizes she's the latest captive of the infamous Mr. K., a serial killer she's been tracking for over 20 years. Konrath skillfully keeps his time periods connected with some overlapping events and keeps the pages turning — literally this time, as Shaken is being released in a print edition by AmazonEncore — with cliffhanger endings.

He combines mystery, horror, suspense, and humor in an engagingly dark carnival ride that can be enjoyed piece by piece or all at once. The ending of Shaken opens the door for the proposed sequel (Stirred, co-authored with Blake Crouch) while tying up all its own loose ends. Sometimes it seems like people become popular from little merit, but Konrath's success is one bandwagon it's safe to jump on.

1 comment:

David Cranmer said...

He keeps the story moving without a doubt.

Related Posts with Thumbnails