Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I Have Linda Castillo Covered!

I haven't done any comparison posts for a while. Distracted by flood clean-up, reading, and other things I really wasn't reminded until I happened to be perusing the bargain bin at Book Depository. I can often find my favorite UK authors at Book Depository for less than I can buy them on this side of the pond plus delivery is free. Can't beat that with a stick!

Anyway, I happened to see some American authors there in the bargain bin, and seeing the UK covers reminded me that it wouldn't hurt to do a little comparison. So... here I am with the American and British covers of a crime fiction novel. Let's take a look, shall we?

The US cover...

Blue is my favorite color, so that is always going to catch my eye in any comparison, and I love the dark silhouette of the house with a person standing at a lighted window. It makes me wonder what's going on. Is that light in the sky sunrise, and is the person in the window waiting for someone who never came home? I like covers that get my imagination going, but... it would be nice if the one- and two-word blurbs (and who said them) were removed. The gold seal telling us that Castillo is a winner? I'll let that stay. (Magnanimous, aren't I?) The line running across the top should really mention Kate Burkholder, too. For me, the US cover is a case of something really good brought down by too much clutter-- and I also find it interesting that nothing says "Amish." I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that this particular subgenre is rather popular, so I'm wondering why the marketing team decided not to have anything overtly Amish on the cover.

The UK cover...

On the other hand, the UK cover has an Amish horse and buggy right out there for us all to see. I don't know about you, but this cover gives me a feeling of dread. We see the buggy through the windshield of a car, and the only thing we can see of the driver is a pair of mirrored sunglasses. The predominant color is black, and from the look of the trees and undergrowth at the sides of the road, it's late fall or winter... the dead time of year. I don't think the little descriptive sentence is really necessary unless Castillo has yet to become known in the UK. The only other thing I have to say is that the author's name and the book title show up really well against the black background.

The verdict:

As much as I like that blue on the US cover, I have to say that the UK cover wins this round. Everything combines to make this cover feel ominous, and that horse and buggy scream "Amish!" (Although the buggy is missing the reflective yellow triangle on the back. I grew up a few miles away from a large Amish settlement.)

What say all of you? Which cover do you think is better? US? UK? Too close to call? Don't like either one? Inquiring minds would love to know!  



  1. This is one of those times, Cathy, when I like both covers. I really do. My vote goes (by a slim margin) to the US cover, but I can see why you like the UK cover better.

  2. It isn't close for me. I like the UK cover better. The US cover is rather generic to me. The UK cover shows the Amish connection and there is a ominous feel to it.
    It reminds me that this is a series that I fell behind with. I think I should look in my large TBR stack to see if I have the next book in the series. It is funny how one can be detoured in their reading plans. I know this year I planned on reading what I had at home first. I am not doing real well with this as there are so many temptations in new books coming out. Some are new books in series that I am following and some new to me authors or series that just sound so intriguing.

    1. I've had many a reading plan fall by the wayside, although I do seem to be sticking by one (so far) this year.

  3. I'm not familiar with this series at all, but I agree with all of the points that you made, Cathy. I have to say, though, I think that the "descriptive sentence" on the UK cover basically ruins hat is otherwise a winner.

  4. Honestly, I can't decide. I like the U.S. cover except there is no hint that it refers to Amish people, as the blog points out. I don't mind the short blurbs.

    And I don't mind the teaser on the British cover. But that doesn't grab me either. And the theme of a picture from a car window doesn't thrill me either.

    But if I were in a library looking for a thriller, it's more likely I'd pick the British version because it's more provocative, including the few words about the plot. Having read it, now I want to know the answer.

    1. I have insider knowledge on this cover that I didn't divulge in the post. The view from the car windshield has meaning, but I can see why it might not grab you.


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