on 22 January 2012
and this Englishwoman is truly in love with the Panhandle. This is a wonderful read and would make THE most SPLENDID film or TV series. Layers of intriguing characters and plotlines, it really holds the interest. I started reading at 5pm and finished at just past midnight. Allowing for supper and Masterchef on the TV, that's about 5 and a half hours straight reading. 'They' say, do 'they' not, that for writing to resonate with a reader, the writer should write about what they know best? Bill Durham obviously knows and adores Texas, its landscape, quirks and people. This is a book that readers of many genres of novels would like. There is a slow-burning, burgeoning romance, a taut, pacy courtroom drama and a psychological thriller almost Gothic in its intensity stitched seamlessly together, peopled by a labyrinth of players both major and minor that weave in and out of the unfolding story.
It helps, of course, that the all characters (even the bad guys and the 'bit part' players) have a certain humanity within that makes the reader care about them and want to follow their thread through the book. Amarillo is a well-written, thoughtful book, whose characters fit beautifully into the landscape portrayed. I thoroughly recommend it.
on 24 September 2013
This is one of the top 5 books I've read this year and I will certainly look out for more by the author Bill Durham.
The Amazon synopsis of the story doesn't do justice to the depth of the characters who come to life in this novel. I believed in every one of them including Bailey the dog - the strong silent type.
The story comes out of the characters. Everything makes sense once you get to know the people involved. It's not a fast-paced crime story. It slow and casual, perhaps like Texans (being English, I don't know), and we meet Max Friedman first, a New York lawyer who ends up in Amarillo by a piece of bad luck and stays. Then there is Angel and her wolf dog Bailey. They run the pool hall, Bailey's the bouncer.
There are the others, the ones who commit a crime that leads to murder. We find out they are mostly not bad people, just weak and in trouble. Just one of them seems bad but maybe there are reasons...
If you like books by Michael Malone, this is a book for you.
on 3 January 2014
This was an enjoyable read. Great literature it is not, but has an engaging story, an interesting Texas setting, and characters, who in the main, are believable, so suspension of disbelief is no effort. I quite liked the non-macho non-Texan, Max.
There have been some comments on the quality of editing but in the last couple of years I have read some REALLY poor Indie books that ought to have been edited out of existence. This is nowhere near as bad. (Or maybe the writer had made a few corrections since earlier reviews because the writing was okay and the format on my Kindle was mostly decent). The ending is a shade contrived but I didn't mind too much as I'd enjoyed the easy flow of the tale.