August 17th, 2022
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Fresh Fiction Reviewer Profile | Sandra Martin


The Dead Husband
Carter Wilson

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May 2021
On Sale: May 4, 2021
400 pages
ISBN: 1728225086
EAN: 9781728225081
Kindle: B08DHL9NB8
Trade Size / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Carter Wilson:
The Dead Husband, May 2021
The Dead Girl in 2A, July 2019
Mister Tender's Girl, February 2018
Revelation, December 2017

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Here at Fresh Fiction, we love book chat, and we have a lot of reviewers with fierce opinions about the authors, characters, and books they love (and about the things that drive them crazy). This is one in a series of reviewer profiles. Hopefully, these will give other readers ideas about what books to add to their TBR lists, as well as spark some conversations.

A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine

What qualities make a book super satisfying for you – characters, dialogue, setting, mood? Does it depend on what genre the book is? Any examples?

I think a good mix of all these qualities makes a great book.  The characters have to be interesting, the dialogue has to move the story forward, and the setting and mood have to pull me in.  I grew up in the eighties and nineties reading R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Richie Tankersley Cusick, and Stephen King.  I've always liked mysteries and scary novels with a sinister atmosphere and unexpected twists.  Some recent favorites are novels by Carter Wilson (THE DEAD HUSBAND and THE NEW NEIGHBOR), Riley Sager (FINAL GIRLS and HOME BEFORE DARK), Vera Kurian (NEVER SAW ME COMING), Lily Sparks (TEEN KILLERS CLUB), and Annie Ward (THE LYING CLUB).

 

Are you a reader who has favorite "re-reads"? If so, what makes a book a re-read for you?

I rarely re-read a book, but I do sometimes go back and read the classics.  I recently re-read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, FRANKENSTEIN, and FAHRENHEIT 451.  It is amazing to see how the themes in these stories stand the test of time.  I also re-read WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts every few years.  I just love her writing and characters and something about this story resonates with me.

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

What makes a good character for you? Some readers must "like" or find a character likable for them to enjoy a character. Some don't feel a character has to be likable to be interesting. What about you? Favorites?

I like a character to be strong and self-sufficient.  I don't necessarily have to agree with all of their decisions, but I have to relate to them in some way.  Some of my favorite characters are Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski, Laura Childs' Theodosia Browning, and Billie Letts' Novalee Nation.   I like characters that struggle and succeed and aren't afraid to take risks.

 

Favorite villains?

I am a fan of Stephen King, so some of my favorite villains are MISERY's Annie Wilkes and THE SHINING's Jack Torrance.  Such complex and tortured villains.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Any books you took a chance on, that you otherwise might not have normally read, but turned out to be amazing?

I normally read mysteries, suspense, and thriller books.  I have just started reading the fantasy novel THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.  I am enjoying the story.  It has a nonlinear timeline with multiple character viewpoints and fantastic magical elements.  I read a few chapters a night and it's pure escapism.

 

Has a book ever made you cry? If so, did you still enjoy the story?

Yes.  The YA novel A LIST OF CAGES by Robin Roe.  It's a story about foster brothers reconnecting, abuse, trauma, and hope.  I was engrossed in the story and rooting for the main character.  I enjoyed it, even though it made me cry.

 

Are there any supporting characters you wish an author would devote an entire book to?

Yes.  I would like Carter Wilson to write a novel about his character Willow.   She's the daughter of a dead psychopathic mother and her story would be so interesting!

 

How do you feel about an author killing off a favorite character or one you felt invested in?

If it works for the story, it's fine with me.  Often, an author will surprise me with the unreliable narrator.  Is the character a good person?  Or are they showing a facade for what lies underneath?  I like being surprised by the characters.

 

Without naming names (specific authors or titles), what are some things you dislike in stories?

I dislike stories that are unnecessarily too long and redundant.  I've noticed cozy mysteries have gotten longer over the years, and that's not necessarily a good thing.   Also, I dislike mysteries with very little mystery and authors who get too political in their fiction writing.

 

Sandra Martin is a reviewer at Fresh Fiction. You can find more of her articles and reviews here.

 

 

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