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Troy Beal

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Tigerlily's Orchids
Tigerlily's Orchids
by Ruth Rendell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wilting Orchids?, 24 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Tigerlily's Orchids (Hardcover)
While worth reading as all Rendell's books are, this is a rather inconsequential novel.
Peggy Lee asked "Is that all there is?" and one could say the same of this book.
If you compare this to "A Demon in my View" which also dealt with oddball characters living in flats, there is nothing like the menace, or tightness of plot- this book is all rather laissez faire, there is a murder but its perpetrator hardly seem to matter and the motive is not believable.

The lasting impression is "So What?".

In a month I won't remember any of it, whereas many many years later I remember "A Demon in My View".


What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath
by Sarah Rayne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Murderous Tale, 14 Oct. 2011
This review is from: What Lies Beneath (Paperback)
A good book and well worth reading- I would say I did not find this quite as atmospheric as some of the other books by this writer- some of the village scenes (in the present, not the past ones) struck me as a bit Miss Marple- the characters of Clem and Veronica being somewhat unbelievable.

Nonetheless, there is much of interest, and one very gory, gut wrenching scene.


The Jackal Man: Number 15 in series (Wesley Peterson)
The Jackal Man: Number 15 in series (Wesley Peterson)
by Kate Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Tale, 10 Oct. 2011
As with all this writer's books this is well written, imaginative and well thought out.
I did have one small niggle about the identity of the killer- and to keep it vague so as not to spoil the plot-something the killer is able to do which isn't really convincing.

But this is not of overwhelming importance, given the high quality of the book as a whole.


The Blood Pit: Number 12 in series (Wesley Peterson)
The Blood Pit: Number 12 in series (Wesley Peterson)
by Kate Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Further Success, 29 Sept. 2011
Kate Ellis has a consistently high quality output- the imagination and detail are again evident in this excellent story- monks, public schools, assault, hemlock poisoning, and even a tiny bit of Henry VIII.

And even minor characters like the revolting Carl Pinney are so well drawn.


The Flesh Tailor: Number 14 in series (Wesley Peterson)
The Flesh Tailor: Number 14 in series (Wesley Peterson)
by Kate Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner, 16 Sept. 2011
This is an unusually well written and carefully plotted book.
A good story, well told, and with some surprises.

The flash backs to war-time evacuation were interesting, and fitted well into the disturbing story.


Michael Tolliver Lives
Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Middling Mouse, 16 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Michael Tolliver Lives (Hardcover)
A slight, almost plotless story, not much point to it or life in it.
Nice enough to catch up on some of the rather two dimensional characters- and the picture painted of the brother Irwin is grimly amusing.


As Far as You Can Go
As Far as You Can Go
by Lesley Glaister
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid The Outback, 10 Sept. 2011
This review is from: As Far as You Can Go (Paperback)
A very good read, and well told story.
The character of Graham, supposedly aged 36, is quite irritating, he is selfish, petulant and teenage in most of his behaviour.
Taking an unsatisfactory relationship into the Outback, as Cassie does is hardly designed to strengthen it, and as she finds, he's wanting to go home, like a silly child, almost after day one.
The good thing for the story is that he can't, and the tale of how these two rather foolish almost early middle aged people are manipulated by their very dodgy employer, progress to disaster.
Shame the silly couple manage to evade any real responsibility- I'd have been quite happy for them to have come to a far more punishing end.
Neither of them seems to have gained any awareness from their experience.


The Life You Want
The Life You Want
by Emily Barr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is this India?, 7 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Life You Want (Paperback)
What a slovenly mother Tansy is. A near alcoholic, and terrible cook, close to an affair with a no good teacher.

Her husband has infinite patience. Maybe he gets rid of her letting her go to India, for a break from her self regarding alcoholism?

Needless to say she bodges up her self indulgent holiday to India, and has to be rescued. No doubt at great expense.

The reader may well have found it more convincing were she have been left to it rather than the deus ex machina of the ever reliable Max appearing to sort out the mess she has made, and bring her home on a vague promise that she will drink less.

Annoying though she, and in fact all the women, in this book are, it's still a good read, slightly marred by the mechanical ending.

The main character cries out for a good slap!


Nemesis: (Falco 20)
Nemesis: (Falco 20)
by Lindsey Davis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker Falco, 6 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Nemesis: (Falco 20) (Hardcover)
This tale of Falco is different in tone from nearly all its predecessors.
Less comic, more brutal, and maybe morally ambiguous?

An interesting departure, and a darker direction.

Would probably prefer the next one to be a little lighter in tone, and with a touch more of the normal comedy.

But full marks to the writer for carrying this change in tone off so well.

And more Anancrites- remember Conan Doyle.....


The Monster in the Box: (A Wexford Case)
The Monster in the Box: (A Wexford Case)
by Ruth Rendell
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, 8 Aug. 2011
There's probably more about Wexford's past in this book than any other, and for that it was worth reading. The plot has been most unappreciated by some reviewers here, and is so unlikely, and unconvincing as to deserve these criticisms.

However it is an enjoyable read, though somewhat off key, and off colour.

Not one of her best, unfortunately.


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