Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Said the Spider by Earle E Van Gilder

Said the SpiderSaid the Spider by Earle E Van Gilder
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publish Date: June 23, 2010
Paperback, 290 pages
Fiction, Mystery and Detective

My Review:
Why I read this: The publisher emailed me with a list of books and this one really jumped up and grabbed me.

How is the novel driven: Plot, you do learn about characters, but it's suspense/mystery so the plot is most important.

My thoughts: At first I found it a little hard to get into, Said the Spider jumps around a bit in the beginning introducing the various players in the book.   However as I continued reading I found the jumping around to be much more interesting.  It would go from present day to back in the past a little to show motivation or background behind why certain decisions were made.  By one-quarter of the way through the book, I was thoroughly into how the book was written.

The plot moves at an interesting pace.  I found myself sucked into the book and not realizing over an hour had past and I had not moved.  At times the language is a little stilted and sometimes there are a few too many exclamation marks, but the story shows through these minor mistakes.  One of my favorite things about the book is the fact that one character shines through above all the rest, he's not perfect but Dan Jamieson, the private detective has a much more spotless character than most of the rest of the characters.  Setting him against greedy bankers, shifty businessmen and a con-man above all con-men makes this book very interesting.

Said the Spider is a truly enjoyable book, I' m not sure the ending makes complete sense to me, but it made enough sense that I felt the story was tied up.  It is full of creepy twists and turns and characters who are everyday people, but because of their greed they get sucked into things they never should have been a part of.  Mr. Van Gilder seems to have a very good understanding of this world and really brings it alive.  The setting was new to me as well.  I don't think I have read too many books that take place in Milwaukee so that made it different to me as well.

If you enjoy suspense/mystery books that uses the everyday man involved in crime that is way over his head then this is a book for you.  It is hard to put down and enjoyable.  Frightening in ways as well.  But overall an enjoyable book with just a few minor editing type problems to marr it.  But the execution of the story is well-done in a different way from most books, almost circular in fashion, but not confusing or overwhelming.

My Rating: 3.75/5.0

About the Book:

Sophisticated crime syndicate parasites invade the normally solid foundation of Midwestern banking and generations of established manufacturing. Executives and management usually in control suddenly find they are masterfully manipulated into a web of irreconcilable personal and financial seduction.

From the traumatic discovery at the river’s edge to the eventual confrontational conclusion Said The Spider seduces greedy, gullible and unsuspecting prey into a deadly and graphic whirlwind of corporate disaster leading to murder, suicide and revenge.

The early exploits of the juvenile crime spree by a youthful mastermind who cleverly manipulates his prey leads the reader to the ruthless genius manipulating the city. This drama of cause and effect with no escape from the temptations of lust, greed, and ignorance has been cleverly baited.

The corporate investigative agency and police sources enter almost too late to stop this whirlpool of turbulence as the bank Vice President’s realize their own failure and the investors and corporation officers panic and retreat from the coming Armageddon.

As murder, suicide and monumental financial losses are exposed, the crime syndicate learns of an investigation which might interrupt their lucrative operation. Crime bosses will stop at nothing to successfully complete their artistic looting of a major bank and manufacturing complex.

Time is running out. Investigators are pulling pieces of the puzzle together. Corrupt and greedy bank executives are running for their lives. The syndicate is charging ahead in their goal of complete domination and eventual departure culminating in a surprise and conclusive end to fraud and murder.

About the Author: 
More than 40 years Earle (Doc) Van Gilder was involved in the investigation of white-collar crime. The last 20 years he ran his own Investigative Corporation partnering with major firms, local and state government agencies and law enforcement to solve a wide range of criminal activities from internal theft and white collar crime to insurance fraud, criminal investigations and undercover operations.

Earle is also a certified Kyokushinkai Karate Branch Chief and martial arts instructor and well versed in the handling of weaponry. These experiences combined with his Marine Corp and equestrian experiences have resulted in a number of short stories which in turn led to his first novel, Said The Spider. He recently completed a second novel, Gumshoe Diary, The Month of May.

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher (Outskirts Press) for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Author Interview: Earle E Van Gilder

Today I would like to welcome author Earle E Van Gilder to My Reading Room.  I will be reviewing Earle's book, Said the Spider (Outskirts Press) later today, but first, let's hear about the book and the author.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Annie and I went to bed early and watched a re-run of Frasier.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My natural incliniation to write and the request of friends and acquaintenances who wanted me to share my stories with them.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
I’m egomaniac enough to think it’s interesting, different and written in a way the reader will enjoy it.

Tell us a little about your main character? Is he/she someone you’d like to meet?
I’ve already met the main character---it’s me!  
Can we have a snippet from the book? 
The book can be reviewed on  It’s fiction but based on actual experience concerning industrial espionage, white collar crime, and the characters on both sides of that equation.
Said the Spider 
How much of your work is realistic?
It's of course fiction, but based on experience and actual occurrances over many years of living.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Said The Spider seemed to fit the antagonist character of the story and those infected and affected by that purpose.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
Sitting down and taking time away from so many other things is the discipline I need to improve on in writing.  The easiest is dreaming up the characters and story.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorites are Larry McMurtry, John F. Ross and Allan W. Eckert all of which cover the early history of America in a form and style that makes that time very real.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I have completed (both unpublished) Gumshoe Diary-The Month of May, and Point of Connection.  They are related to the original book (Said The Spider) with many of the same characters, but new adventures.

How long does it take you to write a book?
The first book took me eleven years to write, re-write and re-write, the last two were finished in less than one year.

Do you have a writing schedule?
None at all.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
“He Did What?”

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
Frasier (every night).

If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?Anyone of the characters in Lonesome Dove.

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
St.Pauli Non-alcoholic beer, some yogurt, a couple pieces of pizza, I know there's some ice cream, hey wait a minute, you're not coming over for dinner are you?

Thank you for joining us today Earle. I will be reviewing Said the Spider a little later today, so stay tuned for that.

What are You Reading Monday - January 24

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in!

Books Completed Last Week 

  • Haven by Kristi Cook (egalley)
  • Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast (library)
  • Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag (library, audiobook)
  • Said the Spider by Earle E Van Gilder (review)
Reading Now:
  • Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (audiobook, library)
  • The Lost Saint by Bree Despain (library)
  • Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
  • Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
  • The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
  • To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz
Summary -

Getting my reading groove back this week, participated in Bloggiesta over the weekend and did some re-vamping, cleaning and some advance posting (yeah for me!)

Best of the week:  Deeper Than The Dead by Tami Hoag - this was Hoag at some of her best, creepy, full of twists and turns and just a great read (or listen to in my case).