I have been a fan of Timothy Hallinan’s since his Simeon Grist (see list below) – I really enjoyed that series…But, I must admit I was blown away when I read the first novel in this new series, "A Nail Through the Heart” – the only word that comes to mind was “WOW!” It’s an excellent novel, which I have read a total of three times now. Hallinan’s writing is so different from the other selections on the shelf that you simply have to read it to understand what I mean…His ability to convey a wealth of information that in the hands of a less skilled writer would bog the story down in a lot of factualized yadda-yadda- stuff, comes through interesting and informative. The city of Bangkok is more than the backdrop for these novels, it is one of the central characters – playing a distinct and very important role in the story. And Hallinan is able to take the city apart and transport it to the reader in bite sized chapters that feel more like visiting miniature movie sets, because the narrative is so descriptive. I feel in love Poke Rafferty and this is one of a very, very few series that I actually make a note of the next release date and count it down… So when I found out that the book tour for the third novel, Breathing Water had a stop in Nashville, TN – I was determined to find a way to get there!
Although Nashville is 300 miles from home…some things are just worth the extra effort – and this was one of them! And to make the trip even more exciting, my hubby actually took a vacation day so he could make the trek with me. So here’s how it went down –
Of course, I “Googled” the location of the book signing – and printed out the wonderful “turn by turn” directions. (Which I will tell you these were right on the money – down to the mileage noted for each section of the journey. I was amazed at the accuracy! It’s great!) Okay, so I now I had the directions and a pretty good idea of where we were going, what was around where we were going, how long it would take to get there and the exact route we would be taking to get there. The morning of – I couldn’t sleep – I’m like a little kid on Christmas – the excitement kept me up! So, at 5am I just gave up on sleep! But, since the book signing wasn’t until 7pm there was no need to get on the road 14 hours early! 🙂
So, we piddled around and finally at 11am we made our way to Starbucks – for one of their absolutely yummy Pumpkin Spice Lattes (which I love!) –
Now, we are “on the road again!” We listened to the news for a few minutes and decided that was entirely too depressing – so we put Vanished (the new novel by Joseph Finder) into the CD player and listened to that for awhile. (This is a really good book & the beginning of a new series with a new main character for Finder as well – which I will be posting a review for soon.) Anyway, we stopped a few times to stretch our legs and to get a bite to eat…then we found ourselves on a very crowded interstate with the average speed being about 85 (although the posted limit was 70) – so, off goes the CD so we can pay attention. Finally we made our way into this beautiful community in Nashville, called Lenox Village, where the Mysteries and More bookstore is located. Of course we are very early – it’s like 3pm …OOOPs … No it wasn’t 3pm, it was actually 2pm, because Nashville is an hour behind Kingsport…So we were even earlier than we thought! (haha!) Okay. So, I made my way into the bookstore, where I met the owners, Greg and Mary. Oh My Goodness, these folks are just wonderful – southern hospitality at its finest! The store is quaint, adorable and very inviting – a fantastic environment. We talked briefly and they were kind enough to give us directions to a restaurant. I took a few photos and off we went to find the steak house!
We found it and had lunch (or dinner I guess) – unfortunately, I have to say the food was terrible…a big disappointment as we had never dined at Longhorn’s. But, we weren’t going to let this ruin our trip. So we made our way back out onto the main road and to the nearest Starbucks! (That’s a cure all for all that ills you!) We spent an hour just hanging out and taking pictures of sites we recognized – i.e. Hard Rock, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, etc.)
The book signing was awesome! Absolutely great! Mr. Hallinan arrived almost an hour early (to set his display up and so forth) and I had an opportunity to introduce myself (and my hubby) and talk with him. Which was INCREDIBLE! I have communicated with Mr. Hallinan via email, however, meeting someone you admire face to face is both unnerving and exciting – – – The presentation was highly information and very entertaining, after which he took questions, signed books and talked with readers. This was the best signing I have attended yet and I fully intend to be present next year when Mr. Hallinan tours with book four of the Bangkok Thriller series!
Of course, all good things must end – and it did – and it was time for the L-O-N-G drive home. (which did seem to be much longer going home – I guess because we were tired and all the jitters and excitement are gone….now we just want to get home and stretch out, after hours and hours cramped up in the car.) Thankfully we made our way home, in the rain, safely…even though it was after 2am when we pulled into the driveway. I dragged myself into the house, was greeted (excitedly) by my lil’ Yorkie – after giving him lots of kisses and hugs, I convinced him to let me take my shoes off…he snuggled up with me and I fell asleep within 2 minutes. It was a long way to go for a book signing – yes – but it was worth it. I enjoyed it and I can’t wait to do it again. (Although I am keeping my fingers crossed the tour will add Knoxville to calendar so I can trim hours off the drive.) 🙂
Simeon Grist series
The Last Four Things (1989)
Everything But the Squeal (1990)
Skin Deep (1991)
The Man With No Time (1993)
The Bone Polisher (1995)
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