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Swiss Re retiree enjoys solving all of an author’s mysteries

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, March 15, 2014 09:15 am
Editor's note: This week's Page Turner interview is with Tom Skillman, who now is retired from Swiss Re.“I read mostly mysteries – whodunits. When I come across a new author I try to read all his books. Currently, it's Lee Child. I like his style; it's very good. His plots ask us to suspend belief. Tom Cruise was very much miscast when he played Jack Reacher, Lee Child's protagonist.

“I enjoyed 'Lincoln Lawyer.' No, it has nothing to do with President Lincoln. This is an attorney whose office is a Lincoln Continental. All his equipment is in his car with the files in the trunk. He's a fairly recent character. Then there's the main character in Michael Connelly's 'Blood Work.' Clint Eastwood starred in (the movie). I'll often see the movie first, then read the book.

“My brother told me about John Lescroart. I found his plots not so good but his characters are great: sarcastic, smart-alecky. They're good! About his style – he has too many characters using double negatives. Only a small amount use them knowingly, intentionally.

“At the Aboite branch of our library, there's a little paper they give you that tells you if you like a certain book, then you'll like certain other titles and it suggests some you might like. I think that's good. Because I like Michael Connolly, it suggested Jo Nesbo, and I got hooked. 'Headhunters' was a pretty good movie (wife) Barb and I saw at Stratford, in Canada. There's a good bookstore there we always visit, and we saw something by the same author, so I got started reading his books. Most have a police inspector, Harry Hole — pronounced Hole-lay. He's a recruiter.

“Then I picked up a book by Stuart Woods. If it had cost just 2 cents, it would have been a waste of money.

“One other — Steve Berry. His writing is kind of Dan Brownish. It has a historical setting and asks 'what if — ?' 'The Columbus Affair' is about the Columbus voyages. In one a Jewish person brought over to the Caribbean some sacred relics, and this secret was passed down. How much is true — how much is false, I don't know, but it was good reading.

“And I also like Elmore Leonard's writing. It's funny with zany characters that are well-drawn. You know how John Irving writes sometimes bizarre, off-the-wall things. So did Leonard.


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