I got a pleasant surprise today when browsing the National Catholic Register–I came across an article called Familiar Names Appear Among Latest Literary Offerings, a review of books written by Register contributors. Couldn’t help noticing the cover of my short story collection in the image accompanying the piece:
Sarah Reinhard, author of the article, wrote:
Mostly, I had fun reading these books. They’re curl-up-on-the-couch good, though they’re definitely for adults (or older teens, though I’d recommend you preview them first). My older daughter has aspirations toward veterinary medicine, and I think Walker’s characters will likely appeal to her … but at almost-12, I’m not sure if the nature of these stories (and what I’ve read so far of Keys) is quite appropriate.
Reinhard’s take is spot on: Startling Figures and The Keys of Death are edgy, gritty, realistic, contemporary stories meant for adults and older teen readers. My bad guys are really bad and they do bad things! They say bad words! (Sometimes even the good guys say bad words…). Some situations are intense. Adult relationships are tastefully depicted (nothing explicit) but some parents may prefer that their children be a certain age before reading.
She concludes with this observation:
Walker has taken on suspense/thriller fiction from a Catholic perspective, without watering down the “real” aspect of things.
This is exactly what I was going for in both books. Well done, Sarah, and thanks for your kind assessment!
You can read more from Sarah Reinhard on her blog, Snoring Scholar and at the National Catholic Register.
Here are the URLs in case the links above are broken or go astray: