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T.L. James

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As The Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 1)
As The Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 1)
Price: £1.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly realistic police procedural, 8 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Compared with most cop fiction, this reads like real life. It's not all done by one inspector and his sergeant, there's a team, and it takes a reasonable amount of time, and the computer technology is at the sort of level a normal police officer might well understand, and the cops have to collect witness statements, hold meetings and file reports. There's no running around shooting at the bad guys (though it all ends with a bit of a bang) and people go home at the end of the day and start work again next morning.
If this sounds tame and slow, it isn't. It feels like a real investigating officer using his personal knowledge of something (in this case, rock climbing) to realise an apparent accident doesn't ring true, and then using his professional skills, persistence and resources to get to the bottom of it.
I want to read more of this author's work, if this is what he can do.


Zoo Tycoon (PC)
Zoo Tycoon (PC)
Offered by Digitalville UK
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for all the family, 18 Jan 2005
This review is from: Zoo Tycoon (PC) (Video Game)
A virtue of this game is that it is enjoyable for a lot of different kinds of players.
My wife loves it, and she is not normally into computer games at all: it appeals to her design skills, and she is good at figuring out what is needed to succeed (hint: in the early stages, if you want satisfied customers concentrate on giving them food, drink and toilets).
My six year old daughter likes it too, and can cope with it with limited adult help.
And I like it, and I'm usually interested only in historical military strategy games.
So good value all round (we got it free with our laptop, but it means we will upgrade and buy other tycoon games).


Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel: 6
Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel: 6
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vintage wine improves as it gets older, 2 Sep 2003
I read this book soon after it was first published 14 years ago, and I have just re-read it.
It's as funny as ever (provided you really know Macbeth), but the really impressive thing is that, even when you have read all the other novels in which the characters have subsequently developed, they remain consistent. Granny Weatherwax is still gloriously herself - never confusing being good with being nice - and Magrat the junior witch is a recognisably immature version of Queen Magrat. The gags never get in the way of the personalities.
The Discworld books may be funny, and they may have started as spoofs on swords-and-sorcery literature (of which I read more than I care to remember when I was an adolescent), but this is *real* literature.


The Labyrinth Makers (CRIME MASTERWORKS)
The Labyrinth Makers (CRIME MASTERWORKS)
by Anthony Price
Edition: Paperback

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First steps into the labyrinth, 1 Aug 2002
This is the first book in Price's espionage series about British Intelligence's shadowy "Research and Development" department. It pays to read the books in order of publication - they get more complex as you go along, and it is useful to be familiar with recurring characters, particularly the maverick intellectual, David Audley, and the working class Lancastrian soldier, Colonel Jack Butler. I originally read one of the subsequent books first and could not make head or tail of it, but "Labyrinth Makers" sets you up for the others and is relatively straightforward.
Only relatively, though. This is an intricate world of intellectual double- and triple-cross. The fun is in the complexity of the twists as each character tries to gain more information than he gives away. Each book is told from one character's internal point of view, and he can misunderstand others' personality and motives quite fundamentally, as subsequent books may show.
David Audley is the subject character of this first book, and is still quite junior in the department. He is a historian, which is a key factor - in Price's books, the real solution to the mystery almost always lies in the past, recent or remote. He has to find out why a Second World War transport plane, piloted by the con-artist father of a young woman, crashed with an apparently worthless cargo, and why Comrade Professor Panin of the KGB is interested in it.
There is little overt violence and no improbable James Bond-type agent; the conflict is one of information and ideas, and the hero is quite realistically scared of getting hurt. The final twist, as always with Price, is completely unpredictable, and you never know what to believe. As the series continues, things which had been clarified, apparently finally, at the end of one book are sometimes called into question in a subsequent one.
I would very strongly recomment this book, not just as a holiday read but also as the introduction to a realistic and fascinating world, which covers most of the last three decades of the Cold War and the first few years after it ended. (Price, very wisely, seems to have stopped writing as his senior characters retire and the us-versus-them certainties with which they have lived disappear). Read this book, then read all its many sequels.


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