I've read three books in the last two weeks. I haven't done that in years. First, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, then Bruno, Chief of Police, and now The Cold, Cold Ground. It's interesting to compare the different styles of writing.
J K Rowling has a simple, straightforward style that's accessible to any age from about the third or fourth grade. It's a bit lumpy but moves forward.
Martin Walker's style is more lyrical and soothing, even when dealing with a vicious murder. It meanders a bit, much as life does in the South of France, but carries you along.
Adrian McKinty's style is harsh and cold. Clipped as tight as possible to avoid anything in the way of honest comfort. It's a murder mystery set during the hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, dealing with a series of murders amidst riots and politics and territorial hate spiced with sectarian violence. It's told in a first person style that even Raymond Chandler would think is bleak.
I brought it with me on the train, since I didn't have WiFi to keep me busy, and finished it just shy of Poughkeepsie. It also helped distract me from the Dutch woman behind me, who seems to have either pneumonia or bronchitis or both. If I get sick, I will be pissed.
Again, reading a book's helped me see how I should change something in CK. Nothing major, just a small shift in the final bit at the end that makes a lot more sense. And a willingness to back away from the conspiracy theories I like to go for. That won't work for CK. They've become so prevalent, people expect them so should not be indulged.
Of course, with The Vanishing of Owen Taylor, all bets are off.