I owned a bookstore in Indiana for 36 years and am happy to be back serving customers. I read mostly character driven fiction.
James Lee Burke writes landscape description as evocative as any contemporary author, and his mysteries have depth often exploring the violence that occurs when socioeconomic cultures clash.
For those who prefer character driven fiction, Gone So Long will captivate you. A violent act changes the lives of Dubus' three main characters, and I cared deeply that they find peace with themselves and each other. It takes great talent for an author to make me feel this way.
Since so many protagonists in fiction today have some emotional defect, it is a pleasure to read a novel where the main character is a truly likable gentleman. Such a person is Count Rostov, banished to the Metropol Hotel after the Russian revolution he soon endears himself to staff and guests and becomes part of an intrigue to aid a young woman.