A Recommendation for Your Summer Reading List

Readability

A Recommendation for Your Summer Reading List

By: Pat Austin

ishmaelSHREVE­PORT – The sum­mer read­ing sea­son is almost upon us and it’s time to assem­ble your vaca­tion read­ing stack. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to make a sug­ges­tion. If you haven’t read Michael Henry’s books you need to add them to your list.

Author Michael Henry has his own won­der­ful style and a gift of the abil­ity to cre­ate mem­o­rable ad quirky char­ac­ters, but if you asked me to com­pare his writ­ing to any­one on the mar­ket today I’d have to say he’s a cross between John Grisham and Michael Con­nelly. Maybe some James Lee Burke, too. His lat­est novel is rem­i­nis­cent of John Lud­lum or Dan Brown. Well, with all that, let’s just say Mr. Henry has his own style which is rem­i­nis­cent of some other really great authors!

Mr. Henry’s lat­est novel, Find­ing Ish­mael, might be his best one yet. I first started read­ing his books in 2010 with Three Bad Years (which remains my per­sonal favorite) and I eagerly antic­i­pated his next novel as soon as I fin­ish read­ing one. So far there have been seven! (If you haven’t been read­ing him this means you have missed seven great nov­els! There’s your sum­mer read­ing right there!)

In Find­ing Ish­mael we meet oil­man Liam Con­nors who receives a mys­te­ri­ous let­ter from long lost fried Ike Palmer. Ike, now in Jerusalem, says he has found an ancient doc­u­ment that will turn the polit­i­cal and reli­gious land­scape of the world upside down. Ike, who says he’s had the doc­u­ment authen­ti­cated, needs Liam’s help to keep the doc­u­ment safe as he is under sur­veil­lance and, well, a lit­tle para­noid. The doc­u­ment con­cerns Islam’s his­toric claim to the Promised Land through Ish­mael, thus the title. Of course Liam and his girl­friend Mimi get on a plane to see Ike although Mimi has some very real con­cerns. Things unfold rapidly from there and that’s as much of the plot I will give you, but suf­fice to say, it’s an incred­i­bly top­i­cal book right now and very intrigu­ing. Don’t start the book if you have some­thing press­ing to do because you won’t be able to put it down.

With Find­ing Ish­mael, Mr. Henry devi­ates a bit from his first nov­els which are legal thrillers. As a for­mer DA in Natchi­toches, Louisiana, Mr. Henry has the back­ground for writ­ing excel­lent court­room drama. He is also highly skilled in con­struct­ing dia­logue and char­ac­ters; many times I have found myself with the feel­ing that I know these char­ac­ters personally.

Find­ing Ish­mael is the first of Mr. Henry’s nov­els not set in the south; most of this novel takes place in Jerusalem and the char­ac­ters are all well drawn and mem­o­rable. Ike Palmer is as bizarre as any char­ac­ter you will find any­where. In Jerusalem, Liam is aided by an aide of Ike’s, Men­achem, and the dia­logue between Men­achem and Liam is always engag­ing and often funny. As the novel approaches its cli­max, the book is just impos­si­ble to put down.

While Mr. Henry has writ­ten six other books before and there are recur­ring char­ac­ters in each, this novel can stand com­pletely alone as it is the first that intro­duces Liam and Mimi. The Willie Mitchell Banks series should prob­a­bly be read in order, but that may just be my own par­tic­u­lar fetish.

The sub­ject mat­ter of Mr. Henry’s lat­est book could not be more rel­e­vant to today’s head­lines as the Mid­dle East is in tur­moil and our Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry con­tin­ues to blun­der and mis­man­age rela­tions there.

I rec­om­mend start­ing with Find­ing Ish­mael (because it’s so top­i­cal right now), and then go back to Three Bad Years and read through the rest. Take it from an avid reader – you will not be sorry. All the books are avail­able either in paper­back through Ama­zon or on Kindle.

Per­fect sum­mer reading!

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

 

By:  Pat Austin

ishmaelSHREVEPORT — The summer reading season is almost upon us and it’s time to assemble your vacation reading stack.  If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to make a suggestion.  If you haven’t read Michael Henry’s books you need to add them to your list.

Author Michael Henry has his own wonderful style and a gift of the ability to create memorable ad quirky characters, but if you asked me to compare his writing to anyone on the market today I’d have to say he’s a cross between John Grisham and Michael Connelly.  Maybe some James Lee Burke, too.  His latest novel is reminiscent of John Ludlum or Dan Brown.  Well, with all that, let’s just say Mr. Henry has his own style which is reminiscent of some other really great authors!

Mr. Henry’s latest novel, Finding Ishmael, might be his best one yet.  I first started reading his books in 2010 with Three Bad Years (which remains my personal favorite) and I eagerly anticipated his next novel as soon as I finish reading one.  So far there have been seven!  (If you haven’t been reading him this means you have missed seven great novels!  There’s your summer reading right there!)

In Finding Ishmael we meet oilman Liam Connors who receives a mysterious letter from long lost fried Ike Palmer.  Ike, now in Jerusalem, says he has found an ancient document that will turn the political and religious landscape of the world upside down.  Ike, who says he’s had the document authenticated, needs Liam’s help to keep the document safe as he is under surveillance and, well, a little paranoid.  The document concerns Islam’s historic claim to the Promised Land through Ishmael, thus the title.  Of course Liam and his girlfriend Mimi get on a plane to see Ike although Mimi has some very real concerns.  Things unfold rapidly from there and that’s as much of the plot I will give you, but suffice to say, it’s an incredibly topical book right now and very intriguing.  Don’t start the book if you have something pressing to do because you won’t be able to put it down.

With Finding Ishmael, Mr. Henry deviates a bit from his first novels which are legal thrillers.  As a former DA in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Mr. Henry has the background for writing excellent courtroom drama.  He is also highly skilled in constructing dialogue and characters; many times I have found myself with the feeling that I know these characters personally.

Finding Ishmael is the first of Mr. Henry’s novels not set in the south; most of this novel takes place in Jerusalem and the characters are all well drawn and memorable.  Ike Palmer is as bizarre as any character you will find anywhere.  In Jerusalem, Liam is aided by an aide of Ike’s, Menachem, and the dialogue between Menachem and Liam is always engaging and often funny.  As the novel approaches its climax, the book is just impossible to put down.

While Mr. Henry has written six other books before and there are recurring characters in each, this novel can stand completely alone as it is the first that introduces Liam and Mimi.  The Willie Mitchell Banks series should probably be read in order, but that may just be my own particular fetish.

The subject matter of Mr. Henry’s latest book could not be more relevant to today’s headlines as the Middle East is in turmoil and our Secretary of State John Kerry continues to blunder and mismanage relations there.

I recommend starting with Finding Ishmael (because it’s so topical right now), and then go back to Three Bad Years and read through the rest.  Take it from an avid reader – you will not be sorry.  All the books are available either in paperback through Amazon or on Kindle.

Perfect summer reading!

 Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.