This tag is associated with 10 posts

Review: Canada by Richard Ford

“First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” Now that’s a hook. That’s what made me want to read on. Sensational? Yes. Direct? Certainly. An Elmore Leonard crime novel? Definitely not. Canada is the story of 15-year-old Dell Parsons’s life in the aftermath of an ill-planned … Continue reading

Book Review: Solaris Rising

Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback] I have fond memories of sci-fi shorts. Not the ones sported by Zapp Brannigan in Futurama. I mean short stories. I used to read a lot of sci-fi as a kid, it was one thing our local library was good for. So visiting my current … Continue reading

Review: The Woman in Black – Susan Hill

You may have been disappointed by the film, but Susan Hill’s riveting novella is a Christmas story to rival Dickens, and it’s as scary as they come. The Kipps family are celebrating Christmas by telling ghost stories around the fire, when their solicitor father, Arthur, plucks up courage to share an otherworldly encounter which he … Continue reading

Review: The Weekend – Bernhard Schlink

Schlink is fascinated by criminal responsibility. The Weekend addresses the question at the heart of The Reader – can homicide ever be pardonable? Family and friends have gathered to celebrate the release of pardoned terrorist Jörg. Jörg killed innocent people in the name of the Red Army Faction terrorist group, and has served twenty-four years … Continue reading

Review: The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber

Less Upstairs, Downstairs than inside the family and out The 835 pages of The Crimson Petal and the White may look daunting, but embark on the first few chapters and you’ll find a gallery of original characters with compelling prose depicting life in and above Victorian London’s underworld. Faber’s protagonist is Sugar, a prostitute whose … Continue reading

Review: Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

Most of us strive to be heroes, but when we’re vying to achieve ambition, it’s easy to wind up as villains. Amsterdam depicts three high profile characters desperate to create a worthy legacy, but who are sunk by immoral decisions they make on their journey to the top. Clive Linley, Vernon Halliday and Julian Garmony … Continue reading

Review: Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James

Never judge a book by its cover… I picked up ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ because it was in the best seller charts. The dark cover with the fettered key promised some sort of crime plot with (according to the blurb) a bit of romance thrown in. What I found was kinky sex scene after kinky sex … Continue reading

Book Review: Williams’ Progress by Matt Rudd

Parenting? On second thoughts… William’s Progress revels in the common and not-so-common traumas of being a father. The eponymous hero and his tolerant wife, Isobel, have a new son, Jacob, who is more than enough stress in an already busy life. Think again. Amongst his new-found lack of parenting skills, William has to contend with … Continue reading

Review: Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones

Bones of Contention If you’re into crime fiction, The Lovely Bones isn’t the book for you. It may look like a whodunnit, but it’s about the emotional repercussions of crime. And unlike most murdered characters in crime stories, 14-year-old Susie Salmon has one advantage: she gets to show us what she’s really like. She’s unnervingly … Continue reading

Dawn breaks on end of Twilight. Sad or glad?

A successful series, but the books won’t be as immortal as the vampires. Before you get the wrong idea, I love the Twilight Saga. A gentlemanly belle époque-style hero who happens to be a vampire is a character I find strangely appealing. And I can’t get enough of Robert Pattinson either. But, for me, the … Continue reading

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