Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Crime & Beyond Book Club Reads Lisa Unger

Kerry Hammond reports to Mystery Playground today from the most recent meeting of the Denver-based Crime & Beyond Book Club.

Crime & Beyond met this month to discuss Lisa Unger’s Crazy Love You, which is the author’s latest novel, published in August of 2015. Last year we read Unger’s In the Blood and loved it, so we were excited to put another of her books on our reading list.

Crazy Love You centers around Ian, who is a successful graphic novelist and author of Fatboy & Priss. He is Fatboy, albeit slimmed down as an adult, and Priss is his red-headed and troubled childhood friend. When Ian met Priss, she helped him through some very dark childhood events, and he not only feels obligated to protect her, but drawn to her at the same time. Their lives have been intertwined for years.....until Ian meets Megan. Priss doesn’t seem to like that Ian has someone else in his life, and things begin to happen to both Ian and Megan that spin their lives out of control. Ian has always known that nothing good can come when Priss is angry but was never sure to what lengths she would go to get her way.

We had a lot of great things to say about the book. We love Unger’s writing style and we enjoyed that the author created a book within a book—pages of FatBoy and Priss were woven into the story as Ian was writing them. There was a lot that kept us guessing throughout the story, but most of it can’t be mentioned here because it would contain spoilers. Let’s just say that there may be otherworldly things going on in this book.

The story partially takes place in Ian’s hometown The Hollows, a small northern New York town that is somewhere outside of New York City. The Hollows is not like any other town, as the author states on her website, it “had a personality, an agenda.” The Hollows is where everything happened that shaped Ian’s life, and it is a dark and mysterious character in the book. Unger’s next novel, which comes out in June of this year, is also set in The Hollows. It’s a place that gets ahold of its residents and won’t let go, and it must do the same to its author. No doubt the new book, Ink and Bone, will be just as mysterious as Crazy Love You. Luckily we don’t have long to wait.

Up next month: A Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood.

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