I think this was another one of my 3 for the price of 2 buys. However, I wouldn't buy it given the chance again.
No! It's a very readable book, and I couldn't put it down. So, it only took me a day to read, so what I'm saying is, I wish I'd picked it up at the library. That aside, it's humourous, fast paced, and the author makes some very good observations.
Helen, the main character is a downtrodden housewife when we first meet her. She is in the midst of preparing an elaborate dinner party for her husband's boss and wife, and maybe some other guests, they are implied. However, she decides to have a drink of wine, and a relaxing bath. She falls asleep, to be woken by her husband arriving home from work. He berates her for not having everything ready, but she tries to rescue it. The dinner party goes from bad to worse, and he starts to belittle her in front of their guests. (She has never failed to produce beautifully cooked meals in the past.) Then he goes on to complain about some one's driving nearly causing him an accident, Helen merely comments that it is always the other person, never him at fault. Other guests join in the discussion. Helen issues a challenge, which he takes up. The next day he tackles the challenge, but in carrying it out, he is in a freak accident and he ends up dying.
The rest of the story is about how Helen emerges from her cocoon, and starts to enjoy life.
This book is a lovely take on how a downtrodden woman claims back her life. In some places it felt very familiar to me, and probably would to most women who have been the submissive partner in a bullying relationship.
I'd picked up this book, because I'd read and enjoyed Copycat, another of Erica Spindler's novels. I wasn't disappointed. Again the story moved quickly, and was full of action.
The main detective in this novel is Captain Patti O'Shay, the novel starts off in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, then jumps forward to 2007.
Directly after the storm abated Captain Patti O'Shay's policeman husband is found dead, clubbed over the head and shot in twice in the back, minus his badge and service revolver.
In the aftermath of the storm NOPD come across someone's gruesome "Trophy" collection in the refrigerator graveyards.
Jumping forwards two years a corpse is unearthed in one of the parks, obviously a victim of the killer who's "trophies" they found, but in the shallow grave is Captain Sammy O'Shay's badge, his revolver is found in the vicinity, with the numbers filed off. When tested it is the gun used to kill him. This makes Patti more determined to catch the killer. The plot is very good , two police operations become tied together, and as the pace gathers it becomes a race against time to save Patti and family members becoming another statistic. The story is gripping from beginning to end. As with all detective novels there is a reasonable body count, and the reader can pick up the "clues" along the way, I must say the culprit was on my suspects list, but I think that is down to the fact I have written some fiction, and not that it is given away in any form.
The write up this book had in my book club was encouraging, so I bought it.
The story is all in first person, as if it is Philip's diary, (the main character.) Philip is only 11 year old and the punctuation and some spellings are a little odd. This book however is not a teenage book, as such.
Philip retells the events from the date of his father's death in an accident, to the date of his father's birthday, around two months later. The events are pretty bizarre at times, but the again, Philip is only doing as the ghost asks him.
Throughout, I was questioning myself, is Philip just so upset about his father's death that he imagines his father's ghost? It is never quite resolved, but as he and his father were close before the death, and the death sudden, it is possible, or, I could take the story at face value and believe in the ghost.
It was a very entertaining read, and once I realised it was written in a 11 year old's voice, reading was easy.
The bumph mentions Shakespeare's Hamlet, I have only read a synopsis of Hamlet, but from what I read I think it is right.
I'd picked this book up in Waterstones when I was trying to find a third book to buy in their 3 for the price of two promotion. (It's a regular feature in their shops. You can mix the books, even mix adults and children's books. So much so that I nearly always find three books. The newspaper blurbs on the back cover helped sell this to me.)
Anyway, it's the 19th Falco novel, but it doesn't really matter that you haven't read the other 18, or at least it didn't seem to.
Falco is the central character, and he's an "investigator", today he would be called a detective. He has a rival, Anacrites, who is described as the "Spy", who comes across as a thoroughly detestable character, whose only redeeming feature is his continuing attachment to Falco's mother, who he had lodged with when younger. Falco tries at every turn to confuse Anacrites, so that he can be the first to solve the problem. They have both been given the task of finding an escaped "prisoner", she's a famous enemy of Rome, and when she finds out her planned "future" she escapes.
the story was slow to start, but then became very readable. I got to the stage where I wouldn't put it down until I had finished the chapter I was reading, then when I finished that one, I just wanted to know what happened next. I'm guessing the slow start was because I haven't read any other Falco novels.
This book was pretty interesting to me as I'd done Latin for a time at school, and was trying to picture the houses, and surroundings.
I'll give you the blurb from the back of the book now, and the link to Lindsey Davis' website, where you can learn more about both the author and the series of books.
I must say, this book was a disappointment. I first found Berry when I discovered his book The Templar Legacy. Ever since reading Brown's book, I've been just devouring any and all books pertaining to the Knights Templar. I quickly followed that up by reading all of his other books. Each one was unique and exciting in its own way. I even like that his last three books all featured the same trilogy of main characters, so that you get to know them better.
But this book was a disappointment. After finishing it, I was like... okay, who cares? I think Berry could've done a much better job with the basis of the plot - finding the mysterious location of Alexander the Great's final resting place and the equally mysterious draught that was said to be a cure-all in Alexander's day. But when he threw in the sub-plot of a scientist who'd discovered the cure for HIV/AIDS through these microbes found in a pool in a cave in the mountains, I felt that the main plot was just anti-climactic. And I didn't like the way he's tried to force two of his leads into a romantic relationship. It just didn't work for me as well.
I hope that in the future Steve should take his time a bit more and really come up with something good. Of course if his next book is less than stellar, then I'll know he's fallen into the same trap as other writers: writing just for the money. Not to tell a good story.
Labels: international thriller
I believe that Blue put that I don't like romances, which is true, but this isn't any more a romance than Indiana Jones films are romances.
As with all Tom Holt books, it takes a fairly simple setting, and throws into the mix some totally unexpected events, and you have a really good book as a result. They aren't found with the fantasy books for nothing. Tom Holt stretches your imagination as far as it will go, and then takes off at a tangent, probably why I like his writing.
The bumph on this book only gives you a hint of the flavour of the book, you know the way a cook could tell you one ingredient they will be using is Tabasco sauce, but you have no idea what they are making, but you'd still love the result.