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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Southern Literary Suspense - is that a genre?

Bret Lott is known as an author of literary novels, short stories and as the editor of The Southern Review. He was born in California but has made himself into a South Carolinian. You wouldn't consider him as an author who writes thrillers, but back in 1997, he wrote The Hunt Club. In this title he follows Huger Dillard, a 15 year old young man who comes of age in the story. Huger helps his blind uncle run the Hunt Club where the wealthy come to drink and pretend to hunt. There is a murder and there is suspense but generally this is a tale of growing up. In many ways, The Hunt Club is more about family, characters and people in general..
Coming next week, Lott revisits the Charleston lowcountry area with Huger and ‘Unc” in  Dead Low Tide. Huger, now a young man, and 'Unc" find a dead body while out on a golf course. Unc likes to practice his golf swing at night when others can't see him. Huger who has become pretty much a slacker since his traumatic adventure in the previous novel, is spurred to action as the 27 year old is forced to care. Lott’s work in-between these two books were literary in bent but he obviously missed the plotting elements of suspense. Lott is still a character driven author but these two titles are good southern literary suspense novels.

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