Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Early Praise for R.J. Ellory's A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS

We're now only one week away from the long-awaited American debut of R.J. Ellory's A Quiet Belief in Angels. Here's a quick look at some of the early notices:

“Ellory's writing is passionate, elegant. His descriptions of people are haunting. Reilly Hawkins, a neighboring farmer, has eyes "going this way and that as if forever searching out something that held a purpose to evade him . . . eyes washed clear and clean by tears for fallen friends." Elena Kruger, a schoolmate, "was like bitter-tasting medicine for an illness long gone." He is a master of tension and dread. The mystery is compelling; just as insistent is the pull of Ellory's prose, with a deceptively leisurely pace that heightens the suspense. R. J. Ellory has crafted a dazzling journey.” – Shelf Awareness

“This book has already garnered high praise and accolades in the UK. Expect similar success in the States. This novel has it all. – The Mystery Bookshelf

“Already a best-seller in England with editions in many foreign languages, this is an unlikely and, in many ways, admirable book. Author Ellory is English, but his evocation of life in the deep South is richly drawn and deeply detailed. His characters are well developed, and portions of the book ably mimic great southern writers, allowing readers to savor both the words and the images they offer. The novel presents an appealing mix of murder, madness, conscience, lost love, and redemption.” – Booklist

“Given the basic premise of the novel, it’s not hard to see why A Quiet Belief in Angels is billed as a literary thriller. Growing up in small-town Georgia, Joseph Vaughan knows only a hard life that is mired in tragedy and horror. The days of his youth are forever tainted by a series of brutal murders targeting young girls, shaking the bedrock of his sleepy town and forcing Joseph to grow up faster than seems fair. As all that he holds dear is slowly stripped away, Joseph decides to leave his hometown and head north to pursue his dream of becoming an author—only to find that the atrocities from his past will not be so easily left behind. While the mystery behind the mounting body count might motivate many readers to stick with this novel, the story has a rather leisurely pace, which might make “thriller” seem like a misnomer here. The murders never feel as though they are the central conceit of the novel, with the real focus instead being Joseph’s transition from boy to man; A Quiet Belief in Angels reads more as a dark coming-of-age tale rather than a traditional crime novel. But don’t consider this a weakness—Ellory’s writing is so lyrical, powerful and heartrending that those who normally steer clear of the genre are likely to feel at home. A Quiet Belief in Angels has already gained Ellory international acclaim, and while Americans may be a bit late to the party, another saying once more proves true: better late than never.” - BookPage

“A fabulous character study of a seemingly OCD youth; A Quiet Belief in Angels is a terrific tale of a Georgian fixated for decades with brutal killings especially by serial killers. Fans will appreciate how deep author RJ Ellory takes the reader inside the mind of Joseph without slowing down the narrative. He is the key holding the tale together as the focus of the story line. As a as a senior citizen he connects the deadly dots between New York and Georgia but even then Mr. Ellory continues digging through the layers of the soul of his beleaguered frustrated hero. This is a super look at a caring person struggling with his inability to prevent violence.” -Harriet Klausner

“In his American debut, British author Ellory presents an intriguing saga of a man haunted by a serial killer. In 1939, in rural Augusta Falls, Ga., someone brutally rapes and murders a classmate of 12-year-old Joseph Vaughn, the first in what will become more than 30 similar crimes over decades . . . The quiet power of Ellory’s prose is particularly evident in scenes of Vaughn’s childhood. “– Publishers Weekly

"This noir novel is told from perspective of 12-year-old Joseph Vaughan, after his father’s death in 1939. “Rumor had it that a white feather indicated the visitation of an angel. Death came to take my father.” Joseph has an unhealthy obsession about dead things becoming angels. Fictitious Augusta Falls, Georgia was still in the throes of the Great Depression, an era of one-room schoolhouses and schoolmarms. Written with an interesting twist of brief flash-forwards to when adult Joseph kills a man in New York and calmly tells of looking at life ooze away. More than suspense, “Quiet Belief” is literary fiction. When mining gems, loads of worthless rock are sifted through. With “Quiet Belief,” hold dear the gems and know that solid foundations are built on rock. Ellory provides a rock-solid foundation and many gems. Like Steinbeck’s, readers must locate, polish and appreciate. – BookReporter.com

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