Child’s Books ‘Keep You Enthralled’

noel.jpgIf you’ve been in a bookstore in Northfield in the last five years chances are good you’ve run into Noel Ponder, who works at the college stores and has served as a bookseller at River City Books since the store’s inception. Ponder’s the only person I’ve ever known to never show up for work in anything other than an amiable mood. If you need help finding a book, he’s the man.

An avid mystery reader and a fan of books written by Lincoln Child and Child’s writing partner, Douglas Preston, in advance of Friday night’s big event, I checked in with Ponder about what makes these bestselling reads so appealing. Ponder’s read almost every one of their books, including Utopia, Child’s solo effort, and he’s excited about the chance to hear Child speak in person.

“I do very much enjoy their books,” Ponder said. “Yes, it can be a bit graphic at times, but not any worse than Kathy Reich’s stuff. And it is not gratuitous. Just enough to creep you out, but not drive you away or put you off lasagna.

“Another thing I really appreciate about their writing is their self control in the area foul language. So many mystery writers, it seems, feel that the dialogue isn’t gritty if they don’t insert at least one four-letter word per paragraph (and by four-letter word I don’t mean “dead”). Not so with Child and Preston.

“What I also like about their work is the impressive detail used (although most of the time the technical stuff is over my head) and their ability to keep you enthralled. It is decidedly hard to put one of their books down. Once down, it is all I can do to keep from picking it back up again. They truly know how to advance the plot, keep you guessing, keep you interested and get you to like and care about the characters.”

Should be a great evening Friday night. Hope to see you at 7 p.m. in the basement of River City Books, located at 306 Division Street in downtown Northfield, one door down from the Northfield Arts Guild.

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