Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Witness - Simon Kernick

Jane witnesses the brutal torture and murder of her lover and now needs the police to protect her, as the killers are now after her.  Ray Mason, a hardened London detective, well he is sent in to find out who did it.  Random killers, criminals or terrorists.

So then we get lots of guns, shooting, torture and running .  I did enjoy my first Simon Kernick novel, a very good contender in the thriller genre. 4/5.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Little Red Chairs - Edna O'Brien

Fidelma is struggling in her little Irish village.  Her marriage to a much older man is failing, and she feels defeated after losing two babies, so when Vlad the mysterious charasmatic healer/poet arrives, she feels herself drawn to him.  His magnetism also draws in many others and the village becomes all abuzz, inviting him into their circle.  But he has a past that remains unhidden and tracks him down and enters Fidelmas life - leaving her lost and looking for understanding.

It is an odd one this book.  Many great reviews, and maybe I just don't understand modern literature, but I found it hard to stay connected at the beginning and most of the way through.  The sing song style of writing didn't appeal to me, and I would have liked more about the main characters and less about the peripheral stuff.  The small bursts of violence were a bit shocking, but most of the book left me unmoved. 2/5

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Adventures in Human Being - Gavin Francis

I am sure that Gavin Francis is one of those guys, who has plenty of entertaining stories to tell at every event, so much so that people have told him that he should write a book.  Training as a doctor, he has then held a wide and varied range of jobs, teaching anatomy, neurosurgery training, working overseas and now as doctor in a general practice.  He spins the tales of his life with stories about patients and the workings of the human body.

This for me was a bit of a light and mildly amusing read, and I have to admit to learning a few new things.  The technique to help a patient with ear troubles was a goodie, and I like his common sense approach and gentle ways.  3/5

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fool Me Once - Harlan Coben

I wasn't convinced by this one.  Normally Harlan Coben is a pretty solid type of author and you know what you are going to get, a normal everyman/everywoman type main character with a normal life who goes through lots of twists and turns at their life is turned upside down, but you know they are normally going to come out on top at the end, and the bad guy will get theirs.  Still in this one, I just felt a bit like it was a story that didn't resonate with me.

Maya starts off at the funeral of her husband, killed in the park leaving her as a mother to a young daughter.  Her sister was also killed several years earlier and she begins to link the two together after a run in with the family nanny.

Still I'm not going to give up on you Mr Coben - I still believe in your power to produce a solid thriller novel. 3/5

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Broken Angels - Graham Masterton

Katie McGuire is still encountering  some nasty killers in Cork, in this the second novel in the series.  This time a bloated body of a priest is found floating in the river by some fisherman, and he has been tortured and is missing some sensitive body parts.

Her private life is getting interesting too.  After a year long relationship with farmer John, he is now beginning to put some pressure on and decisions must be made, nothing will be easy for her.

  She is fast becoming my new thriller hero, as I am enjoying her stories and she seems to hold her own without getting into crazy scenarios like old Tempe Brennan or Kay Scarpetta - if you like those books, I think this series will be right up your alley. 4/5

Monday, April 11, 2016

Music Monday - Sorry Bollywood Remix

I saw this on someones blog over the weekend and like them have found it addictive, and have watched it a couple of times already.  Made me smile on Monday anyways!!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Humans of New York Stories - Brandon Stanton

There is something so compelling about Brandon Strantons Humans of New York.  Just a photo and a few sentences to tell us so much about someones life - a glimpse into their story, that makes us think we know them.

I stood in the library and read a few pictures and then decided to take this home to devour in one sitting, an easy read.  4/5

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Somewhere Inside of Happy - Anna McPartlin

Maisie finds herself having to stand in front of a group and talk about her son, her son who died twenty years previously, and this leads us into the story of Jeremy and his best mate Rave, Bridie Maisies mother who is suffering from dementia and Valerie Maisies young daughter, and Maisie herself who is trying to negotiate a new relationship.

I did find the beginning of the story a bit slow, but once going it was a nice family story that reminded me very much of Jojo Moyes and her storytelling.  A good solid tale of love and family and that relationships grow and change throughout the years, and that everyone deserves happiness, in whatever form that takes. 4/5

Monday, April 04, 2016

But You Did Not Come Back - Marceline Loridan-Ivens

How moved I was by this little book.  Maceline writes her memoir as a love letter to her beloved father, who with her was transported from their home in France to Auschwitz/Birkenhau when she was just fifteen years old.  There she was able to see her father twice, and one of the times when passing each other to reach out and embrace him, and him pass her an onion and a tomato.  Then upon finding a smuggled gold coin she used it to get a message from her father, a letter that tells her how much he loves her and that she will survive - but he knows that he will not return.

After the horrors of the camp, the rest of the letter describes to her father that how his loss still echoed over the years and still hurt her deeply and she felt him in everything she did and how after fighting to survive the camps, when she came home she struggled to carry on.

Haunting, sad and hopeful at the same time, this book moved me deeply. 5/5

Friday, April 01, 2016

White Bones - Graham Masterton

On a wet dark morning, the bones of eleven women are discovered under a rural farm in Ireland.  Katie McGuire and her team seek to find out when the women were killed and why in such a gruesome way.

Then a pretty young backpacker is picked up for a ride and disappears.  When her remains are found in a ritual display of body parts, they wonder if the same killer is back, trying to raise an ancient being from the darkness.

Part cop thriller and horror, it was held together by the wise voice of Katie, who is undergoing a lot of background turmoil, the death of her young son and a husband whose world is falling apart.  Still she keeps going - although she does make a few dubious decisions throughout the story, she comes across as a good complicated character.

I gave it a 5/5 because even though at times I was totally grossed out by the story, I was keen to dive into the book anytime I could. 5/5