2.22.2008

David Fulmer's The Blue Door

There are few more satisfying things than a great mystery, and Fulmer's new The Blue Door fulfills all the promises of a first rate detective story. Fulmer's prose beats along like jazz, and his characters, deftly drawn and multi-layered, interact to create tension and drama. The ending is wholly unexpected. Beyond the great mystery plot, though, is the work of a master craftsman. Fulmer knows how to build a plot and create full-blooded characters. Each sentence is crisp, and the pacing is perfect. There is never a dull moment.

Reading Fulmer merely undergirds my thinking about genres. The publishing industry divides literature up by topic, and certain topics do not, according to reputation, exhibit great writing. One could argue that the mystery/suspense/thrillers fall into this category. The known authors of different genres are recognized because they execute good stories, not because they are competent at the craft of writing. The 'great/good writers' live in the 'literary fiction' genre, a term both silly and increasingly un-prescriptive. I bring this point up only because I wonder how many other great executors of the craft of fiction are out there in fantasy or romance that I am not reading because I consider myself a literary fiction person?

All this to say, that even if you don't like mysteries, read Fulmer. He's a master of the story, regardless of which genre you might prefer.

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