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As the Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series)
As the Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series)
by Damien Boyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.94

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why do people give 5 stars to books like this?, 23 Mar. 2015
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I can't understand why so many readers give such a poor book 5 stars, or 4 stars, or even 3 stars. I only gave it 2 stars because it was a first novel, but how it got published, into print and onto the book market in the first place is beyond me. These days, it's much easier to place a book on the market than it should be. I see that the writers following novels have fewer low ratings so I presume he's improved his technique, which couldn't have been hard to do.

As many reviewers have said, it's a short book. Thankfully. That, in my opinion, is because there's nothing of substance in the storyline (perhaps there could have been a half-decent plot in there somwhere) or in the characters, who were as exciting as wood puppets. In my head I kept imagining them as the "Bill and Ben" puppets we used to see on TV many years ago. I still have no idea what D.I Dixon looks like or sounds like, can't picture him in my mind at all. I read the whole book without "knowing" the main character at all. The same can be said about every other character in the story. The only one I have a clear image of is Dixon's dog! It's a white Staffordshire Terrier who likes to run around chasing tennis balls (and that's about as much character description as most of the humans in the book received too). I don't get why Mr. Boyd has to describe all the pieces of furniture that fill the various rooms the story takes us to. This technique in the hands of good writers helps to anchor you into the story but, in his hands, just fills the page with meaningless, flat, boring descriptions that add nothing to the scene at all. The writing, as others have said, is quite amatuerish. The sort of thing someone might have written as a first story in a Creative Writing Class. As I've said, who decided it was worthy of publishing in its current version (and expect people to pay money for it) is a mystery to me. Maybe with three or four re-writes at a push.

Mr. Boyd seems to have ran out of steam before he put pen to paper anyway, forcing him to stretch out his story in order to make it a decent length, and it is still a short story. It's OK to write a book based on your area of interest (rock-climbing in this case) but you have to excite the reader about the topic, which he didn't for me. So many references to the sport that went way over my head and, in the end, most of which were not actually necessary in the telling of this tale, certainly not in the obscure details that Mr. Boyd included. It feels like half the book was taken up with technical jargon fom the worlds of rock-climbing and web-based social media. The "meat" that was left would have left it a very short story indeed.

I'm not wishing to criticise a writer's first novel unduly, but I don't understand why it has the high ratings it has and would like to prevent people buying such poor literature based on the hype it has received and to do the same for the people who think they should publish books like this. Go for his follow-up novels if you wish, to perhaps enjoy a better read, but don't waste your time and money on this. Ther are far better books to find. Good luck Mr. Boyd in improving your technique and let's hope one day you live up to the hype. I personally think you have a long way to go but good luck anyway.

Could it be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses
Could it be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses
by Sally M. Pacholok
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is crucial if you're worried about your health., 19 Jan. 2012
We all fall ill, have friends and family who fall ill and many, many times those illnesses will not be what they appear to be. Doctors don't know all the answers. And because they don't and never will, they will misdiagnose probably a significant percentage of the illnesses they come across, some of them potentially devastating and even fatal. But the tragedy of this is that it's not a doctor's lack of motivation or dedication that is the problem, it's the lack of the correct training, of ignorance and sometimes reluctance to look at what can be staring them in the face. Yet we trust our lives to them. Books like this, that highlight the possibilities of the errors our doctors make and bring to our attention the sheer danger we could find ourselves in, are crucial to every one of us.

B12 deficiency can easily be responsible for many all-too-common illnesses such as fatigue, depression, memory loss, brain fog all the way on to dementia, Alzheimers, Autism, and many more. It can mimic the symptoms of MS and Parkinsons. These are illnesses that we will ALL come across at sometime in our lives, either affecting ourselves or someone dear to us. And age has nothing to do with it. B12 deficiency can affect everyone. And if our doctors look at B12 deficiency before they look at anything else, many of these illnesses can be treated simply, quickly and cheaply long before they become a threat, long before they destroy a life, long before they devastate families and ultimately affect probably millions of people.

The more you learn about B12 deficiency the more you will realise that it is probably affecting someone you know today, someone close to you and maybe even yourself. This is "the" book to read if you really want to learn about this illness, although it will only become an "illness" if our doctors fail to look for it, fail to accept how common it is, and fail to act quickly. Educate yourself on this because you could save someone's life. You could help to avoid the unthinkable. The bottom line is this . . . DO NOT LEAVE IT UP TO YOUR DOCTOR . . . YOUR DOCTOR COULD MISS THE OBVIOUS AND IT WILL BE YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT, WHO WILL PAY THE PRICE.
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