Players by Clay Reynolds is a complex story about Eddy Lovell, a guy who can't seem to stay on the right side of the law no matter how he may try to do it. While in jail, Eddy takes Moria Mendle under his protective wing when Mendle is being threatened by guys of whom he has no chance of surviving the attentions. Moria pays Eddy back by giving him a job as driver/body guard, but since Mendle doesn't often stay on the right side of the law either, the job is hardly a cake walk.
Clay Reynolds writes very involved, highly charged stories about people living on the edge of one disaster or another whether they know it or not. They've either been targeted by or have targeted for themselves another person who unexpectedly gets roped into tense and dangerous situations. It's a good idea when reading Clay Reynolds to pay attention because you never know what stray tidbit of information may become the key to what happens next. In my opinion, Clay Reynolds surpasses "thrillers" and goes straight into nails-bitten-to-the-quick suspense and excitement. I highly recommend Players to anyone who enjoys that kind of involved, hair-raising story.
The Sculptress by Minette Walters is the story of Olive Martin who was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to spend at least 25 years in jail for slaughtering her mother and her sister in the family's kitchen. Rosalind Leigh is the author assigned to write an account of Olive Martin's story which will be published in book form to boost Roz's somewhat sagging career. The idea to write this book was not Roz's; her publisher issued her an ultimatum. Even though the idea of writing this kind of book disgusts Roz, she goes to meet and eventually conducts interviews with Olive Martin in her jail cell.
The more information Roz collects about Olive Martin the less inclined she is to believe that Olive did in fact commit the crimes of which she has been convicted. It is then up to Roz to follow her leads through to the conclusion of who did butcher those two people in the Martin's kitchen.
I think some of the highest praise an author can receive is to have his/her readers say they want to read more about the characters introduced in one of the author's books. That is exactly how I felt after reading The Sculptress. Not only was this book well written and a tightly constructed mystery, but the characters were so intriguing and interesting that I hated to see them go when I'd finished the book.
The Sculptress was the Edgar Award winner in 1994, an honor well deserved. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries where the crime itself remains the focus of the story, but the character involved give it just the right touch of atmosphere and add just the right amount of texture to the story.
I read this book for the Readers In Thongs Weight Loss Book Challenge
Players weighs 1 pound 8 ounces
The Sculptress weighs 4 ounces