Catch up

I’ve read a few books recently but I don’t have a lot of time to review them properly so here they are in no particular order :

Room is excellent and I now have no desire to see the film. I’m not sure it has Booker prize qualities for prose but hey-ho. 

This always was one of my favourite Brookmyre books and I’m very surprised it hasn’t made it to TV or film. Superb stuff. Jane Fleming hahahahaha -so much fun

This is poignant and intriguing and not necessarily linear. I liked it a lot. Better writing and structure than ‘room’. A lot better. 

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Warming up

I’ll confess to being rather underwhelmed with the first outing for Cormorants strike and this improved for the second. by the third book He is getting to be a well developed character sat in a well developed plot. I can safely say that this is the first of these novels I have truly enjoyed. 

Here, our private detective comes up against the police in a live murder enquiry and finds himself en-route to Barrow-in-Furness. Having lived and worked there, it was interesting to read how it had been portrayed and it was quite honest. The only detractor was the attempt to do the ‘accents’ in written text. This author failed to capture ‘Barrovian’, which is quite unique and can only properly be emulated by those who grew up in that God forsaken culdesac. Neither can the author do Scottish accents which is kind of ironic…. for that you need the talents of a born writer e.g. Chris Brookmyre. 

However I was reading the Barrow section of this novel whilst sat in a hotel in the same town and not 200yds from the last resort cafe (mentioned), where I had lunch on far too many occasions ! They do great coffee and cakes  in there. 

Robin (cormoran’s sidekick) has a character arc which takes her on a real journey and finally lets us see that she’s mightier than she appears. Her ‘wedding story’ defines her, and finally asserts her position in this series.

I’m now looking forward to others 🙂

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Robert Harris delivers a fast-paced thriller set in the heart of the Vatican City and entering round the election of a new pope. 
This book might be downright offensive to some but I found it a really good read and was pretty much sucked in until I finished it. 

It’s not a great work of literature but it doesn’t need to be. 

There is a story and it does concern the outgoing pope and the candidates for the position. However the election of a ….. pope was just a stretch too far for me and it all fell apart. I did get this about halfway through and I’m sure this will be a movie at some point. The scene in the bathroom with the discussion about the razors was the giveaway.

It’s all a little bit ‘now’ for my liking but it was a good read nonetheless and the settings were well described. 

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Rumpelstiltskin – ever wondered what he was really up to? Goblins. Ever wondered if ALL those goblins in those dreadfully protracted middle earth movies were all CGI? The Saracen’s head – it’s not really a ‘head’ though is it? It’s just a pub. Are you sure? Doughnuts. The portal to the multiverse or just a bakery product? 

All this and much more. A tale of greed and desire, of money and power. The financial crash of 2008, was it just because of this very simple principle that you CAN turn straw into gold?

I liked this tale and it neatly works in some popular folk tales and draws them up and alongside the most serious monetary crisis of modern times. There is much to unearth and, although the doughnut portal has been used again, I think it is used to good effect, although I can’t quite yet work out how Tom Holt will extricate himself from this trope.

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Whose coffin?

This is an excellent and bang-up-to-date thriller with a strong ecological basis.

Amnesia can be a great way to create confusion and distraction in a thriller. In this book our protagonist is washed up on a beach on the Isle of Harris having no memory of who he is or what has occurred. Neil gradually starts to piece together snippets of his life from the place where he has been living, 

Before long there is an attempt on his life and the re-kindling of a sexual relationship of which he has no recollection. 

Meanwhile a teenage girl in Edinburgh mourns the death of her father and discovers that what she knew about him was actually not at all what was really going on. 

Then there are the bees… 

and the neo-nicotinoids.

And a dead body which Neil cannot be sure he didn’t kill because he can’t remember.

This thriller kept me guessing and I did not see the final twist until it was presented to me.

I can thoroughly recommend this book. Smart, intelligent and well-researched 

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Reasons and logic

Don Tillman returns as the delightfully socially awkward Columbia academic. 

If you haven’t read the Rosie Project then this does stand alone but is far better appreciated as being read after the first one. 

Don is back and trying to apply logic, reason and order to Rosie as their marriage develops. 

I had rather too much identification with Don but that’s OK and I found this book equally charming as the first and at least as engaging. 

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Night manager (of a travel tavern)

This book is like a badly written first draft of the ‘Night manager’ by John le Carre. It is one of Peter James’ early works on a re-release and I very nearly gave up on it. The only reason I continued was that I had already invested a couple of hours in it at that point and I wanted to know how it finished.

The portrayal of 80s banking, although Factually accurate and well researched was toe-curlingly awful and the other allusion would therefore be to the excesses of Jordan Belfort in the wolf of Wall St and it doesn’t even match up to that.

Plot? Errr a city trader wants to make lots of money  but his boss is involved in shady arms deals and some people want them dead. It’s amusing for the bits that other kindle users have chosen to highlight. That’s about the best bit!

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