Profile for Michael Watson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Michael Watson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 614
Helpful Votes: 3934

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Wolf in Winter: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 12
The Wolf in Winter: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 12
by John Connolly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie never gives up which makes for good reading, 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The last but one in the Charlie Parker series - so far - and as ever we have Charlie facing his demons, still in the depths of the Maine woods, a sombre place at the best of times. For Charlie and his few friends these are not the best of times.

A strange cult-like group lives in a dour, old village called Prosperous in the midst of which are the ruins of an ancient church, featuring, as it does, the a means to centralize the locals during their strange and obbsessive devotion to the cause - that cause being the security, safety and removal of people they don't want. It is this last part which brings Charlie to Prosperous.

They wish he hadn't come, he wishes to destroy these people and, as the book unfolds, we realize that vengeance is playing a hand for Charlie, too. His old foes are back, too, so there is plenty of action thoughout this book. This is always expertly written, no crash, bang, wallop, just getting on with the business to deal with his enemy.

All-in-all, an excellent thriller, as it it ever couldn't be!


The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie)
The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie)
by Gordon Ferris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Who'd want to be in Glasgow in 1948?, 9 Oct. 2014
Gritty, fascinatingly told and a whole new - yet old - world of late 1940s gangsters in Glasgow. This is not a pretty thought and nor are some of the scenes within the book.

Hugh Donovan's life is about to be officially terminated, yet Douglas Brodie vows to find who has set up Donovan for the fall in the remain four weeks. He finds help with an advocate, Samantha Campbell, so between them, they face rather a challeng from those who don't want anyone meddling around in the case.

The blurb states that this is an ebook bestseller, thence going into print. I'm glad it did as I'm old-fashioned enough to believe in the smell of paper and printer's ink before the world succombs to technology thoughout. Brodie is a tough nut and he makes this book all the better for it. His new 'friend' plays her part and, all-in-all. this starter of a trilogy (I think) is a very good one. I am on the lookout for follow-ons; these tough heroes are well worth following around, the more so that the author gloomily paints Glasgow at a time when I was just beginning to grow up - short back and side, short pants, short rations - all that stuff.

Do buy this book, it's a book really not to be missed.


The Fear Index
The Fear Index
by Robert Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different with a slow fuse, 9 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Fear Index (Paperback)
I swapped this book recently since it had slipped through my 'reading list'.

It's a slow starter by any stretch of imagination and, frankly, as the book does begin to open up, you do need some imagination for the belief in a machine that will take over the financial world - Gordon Gekko eat your heart out.

Still, Alex Hoffman has created such a machine, though unaware of its ultimate power. In the interim, the 'mad' scientist' has become a schizo paranoid, building simultaneously a safe over-ride which means the machine, unbeknown to almost everyone can never be destroyed.

In his lucid moments, Hoffman tries to find out who is spying on him, inded, invading his privacy, buying all the paintings at his wife's first Exhibition, little undertsnading that is his schizo side.doing the work.

The story does begin to grip. The author always writes well, so The Fear Index is not a poor book, it's just a little out of kilter with mainstream Robert Harris. It was always going to end in a certain way, though this still has a sting in its tail, so well worth a read but try to find a second hand copy this time round.


Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it if pushed, 3 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I suppose after 18 novels featuring the same principal character, it must become more and more difficult to create a new geographical area where he can build up a story without much effort.

If you want a stranger's guide to London, of which the first 100 pages or more can be found here, then I suggest you find a Lonely Planet reference work.

Or, if you want your hero to babysit a rookie sidekick, it's been done before.

All-in-all, this is a disappointing book, like an old steam engine running out of....well, er steam, Reacher is chauffered around London, receving all the while a running dialogue as to the historic features of whatever he passes. He fortunately avoids a head-on collision with a .50 calibre bullet thanks to a gust of wind - or was that somebody else? No matter, people fall like flies though Reacher plays little part in the rough & tumble until the last 50 or so pages. At this point, we do get back to why one buys these books.

Frankly, it was just in time because I would have given up on the book; there is so much difference between 'The Killing Floor' and this one that I felt honour bound to check it out. Nope, same author, same excellent character in Jack Reacher but what else? Frankly nothing worth paying the full price for.

Next time, I shall wait and find a secondhand copy, still hoping it will be a whole lot better than this unendearing so-called thriller.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2014 2:53 PM GMT


Entry Island
Entry Island
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Past and present; is there a future?, 28 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Entry Island (Paperback)
I've never been a big fan of crime thriller stories which somehow originate with events in the past so that we flit back and forth between - in this case - two centuries.

But this one works. The author's meticulous research is probably the reason, coupled not unnaturally with the quality of the writing. This enables the reader to have some empathy with some of the characters and the slow dawning on Sime Mackenzie that his ancestors' actions have brought about such a strange connection with one of the inhabitants of the Island - though, in fairness, he did suggest the moment he saw her that he thought he knew her. The fact that she was the prime murder suspect was simply an added problem to the Police Investigator.

Then, of course,there is the place setting. I'd never heard of these Canadian islands and the well-told history lesson was worth the cost of the book in itself. I can't say I'd necessarily want to go there but I'm delighted to have made their acquaintance. The fact that there is a murder investigation going on in the midst is another tribute to the author as the background never forces its way to the front.

I'm rather dubious about the ring and the pendant connection brought about, as it is, by further revelations; it's a bit too pat for them to be part of the overall picture and what about Crozes? And finally, does real life life ever pan out quite as the author would like to suggest? Even so, this a great story, beautifully told. I was so impressed I spent a while sourcing the Lenzo Files trilogy, as I've not read a Peter May book before (shame!). I would have done the same for the Lewis trilogy but the TV spin-offs tend to spoil the reading thereof.


A Song for the Dying (Ash Henderson Novels)
A Song for the Dying (Ash Henderson Novels)
by Stuart MacBride
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Violent, oddball people on both sides of the play, 27 Aug. 2014
I would imagine one could find fault with most of MacBride's characters but Ash Henderson is the least realistic, the least likeable and certianly the most aggressive and brutal man of the lot. Having said that, in this book, there are others such as Mrs. Kerrigan and another oddball, Wee Free to name only two. Where on earth such characters were created is beyond me..well, yes, from the author's mind but to have them play such a pivotal role seems obscure.

Even so, there are merits in the book. There is excellent place setting, some decent dialogue and some great scenarios, though these are often spoilt by the horrific violence perpetrated.

I miss the Logan McRae laddie, that's for sure.


Dead Ends
Dead Ends
by Erin Lange
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the author teases out their character flaws whilst managing to almost convert the bully of the two into a better way of life - t, 19 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Dead Ends (Paperback)
The title is something of a misnomer in that, despite the appearence of 'dead ends' this story opens up quite a few new avenues for the two youngsters.

But not without angst, grief, hopelessness, distress all of which appear far greater when a teenager than when you've been though the mill a little bit.

It's a book so far removed from my usual collection of reads that I suprised myself how much it tuggesd at heartstrings I thought had dwindled away! The two disparate characters are neatly drawn together; the author teases out their character flaws whilst managing to almost convert the bully of the two into a better way of life - though is this at the expense of his younger friend, a Downs Syndrome boy suffering from shool bullying?

A very enjoyable read, a quite unexpected story and one of those very few books which should be read because of how it is set out and how it should affect pretty much everyone with a heart.


Revenge
Revenge
by Martina Cole
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Enough is enough, surely?, 16 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Revenge (Paperback)
It's a while since I read one of these books but I may really as not bothered picking up this one; nothing seems to have changed.

The plotting is poor, the dialogue is at times so banal I began to wonder just who buys these books on a regular basis. Well, not me. I shall avoid this author's books despite the rave reviews, the plaudits and much else which goes with these so-called gangland bestsellers.


The Secret Place
The Secret Place
by Tana French
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It might be for all the names on the jacket but it's not for me., 8 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Secret Place (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I obviously slipped up with this choice. Yet again, the blurb suggested this was to be a crime thriller. Oh dear. Mystery? Thriller?

This is a book which is very hard going. On reflection, I cannot think why I would want to read about 8 schoolgirls, me trying to assimilate their somewhat basic understanding of English. Lately, I have read a good number of books, thanks to an enforced stopover and I've noticed that some of the author's I've chosen to read have provided me with a less than interesting story. It's as though they've run out of steam and yet are obliged to fulfil a contract.

At the same time, there are other less well-known authors who deserve more of the limelight, who write better stories, who keep the adreline flowing for the reader. Thankfully, thanks to Vine, the books cost me nothing but I'd still rather read a good book by anybody than a very strange book by a well-known name.

So, regrettably, for this novel, I shall quickly move on and hope that the new month's selection will prove more fruitful.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2014 11:29 AM BST


Unseen: (Will Trent / Atlanta series 4)
Unseen: (Will Trent / Atlanta series 4)
by Karin Slaughter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Could do much better. Please., 8 Aug. 2014
Rather a disappointment, this. In fact, it's a lot of a disappointment, really. I suppose it's meant to be a crime thriller but it seems more like a family planning reunion. This may well be good for certain categories of readers but such matters leave me cold.

Actually, the short story which follows (in this book I have, anyway) entitled, 'Busted' is much better than the full length 'unseen' which may well suggest that 'unseen' has an awful lot of padding in it.

I won't write off this author just yet but I do hope that her next book has more bite, is more substantial is, well, rather like her earlier books.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20