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Reviews Written by
A. MacKlin "Me" (Liverpool, UK)
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The Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen 1)
The Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen 1)
Price: £3.59

3.0 out of 5 stars good ...but drawn out too long, 17 May 2014
I enjoyed the book, and having read a ladge amount of these Scandi-books I would say that it holds it's own sth Nesbo, Mankell, etc.
I found the end VERY drawn out though. it was a good story though, with enough intrigue and plot twists to keep you going. The characterisations are decent and there are not too many references to foreign placenames and the like, as that can occasionally make things difficult to wade through. All in all it was a decent read, and a good story.


Shadowland
Shadowland
Price: £2.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn, 13 May 2014
This review is from: Shadowland (Kindle Edition)
This book is a good yarn, which is ironic, beczuse ghag s how the story is told ...by a storyteller by a roaring fire to an eager audience.
I'm still not too sure about the "canine element" in the story, but once it was there it was handled quite well. I like historical fiction that is woven around historical facts, and this was a good attempt at a genre that is domnated by the likes of Cornwell and Iggulden.
A good read, and money well spent.


The Man That Time Forgot: Book One
The Man That Time Forgot: Book One
Price: £1.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 13 May 2014
i thought that this book was really interesting, and kept you guessing all the way to the end. It was a good premise on which to base a story, snd the authors developed the idea well. The pace is good, complete with twists and turns, and the sci-fi element is consistant and feasible within a sci-fi concept.
a good book overall. a very good read all round.


Look Behind You
Look Behind You

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars weak and predictabe, 13 May 2014
This review is from: Look Behind You (Kindle Edition)
I found this book to be weak and quite predictable. Without giving too much away, the person you think is the baddie a third of the way through, is actually the baddie.
towards the end you start to see alternatives, and for a while you think it will be one of the other goodies that turns out to be rotten. Unfortunately though, it isn't ...it would have been better if it had.
I will be reluctant to try this author again.


The Black Path: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation
The Black Path: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation
by Åsa Larsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Too much flashback, 10 Dec 2012
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I am a bit fan of Rebecca Martinson, as a character, and I like the way that she sees things. I like the way things happen around her too, which it invariably does, but this book seemed far more obsessed with other characters living in the past, and the author recounting their past. In short, virtually none of the book (apart from the perennial will-she-won't-she thing with her boss) was about Martinson or even the main police characters. It was all about Larsson piecing together the lives of several one-off characters.
I enjoyed the book, but far less then the other ones.


The Return (The Van Veeteren Series)
The Return (The Van Veeteren Series)
by Håkan Nesser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacklustre attempt, 10 Dec 2012
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I am a bit of a fan of the character, Van Veeteren, but this book was not as good as the others. The premise of the story itself was okay, and should have resulted in a good yarn, but I think Nesser got lost along the way. I am not even sure what on Earth the point of him having an illness, then an operation, and then recovering was all about. It wasn;t even as though it was explored in any way at all, or formed part of the sub plot or what have you. It was just plonked there as a potential plot device and then all of a sudden he was recovering again. It was pointless.
The book itself is okay though, I suppose, but I felt it could have been handled better.


Borkmann's Point (The Van Veeteren Series)
Borkmann's Point (The Van Veeteren Series)
by Håkan Nesser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 10 Dec 2012
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Van Veeteren is an interesting character, but some times less so than others. Fortunately, this was one of his betteer outings, and the story was entertaining and challenging, with a few twists along the way. It is difficult to analyse any part of the book without giving bits of the plot away, but I can assure you that Van Veeteren is a good character to read, despite him being a bit of a moaner, anf this book is one of his better yarns.


The Mind's Eye (The Van Veeteren Series)
The Mind's Eye (The Van Veeteren Series)
by Håkan Nesser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising start..., 15 Sep 2012
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Inspector Van Veeteren seems to be made in the shape of many other detectives in popular fiction, and at first glance seems to have all the right qualities to be popular ...dour, depressed, mouthy, brooding, dark, and of course with a totally destroyed private life. Fortunately for the reader he also shares the positive qualities of this role model ...sharp-minded, quick-witted, intuitive, and doesn't miss a trick.
Like many people out there I have many many hundreds of books over the years, and a fair few of them thrillers. The problem I have with Van Veeteren, in this opening saga of his life, is that I didn't see anything to set him apart from any other character ...the story could have been about Inspector Pekkala, Harry Hole, or even Harry Bosch. Cross genders and it could have been about Martinson or any other hard-nosed copper.
In spite of what I have said above I enjoyed the book. Sure, it annoyed me when he never shared anything with his side-kick, because I can't stand arrogance, and he is perhaps the most arrogant character that I have ever met, but the sharpness of his mind and the author's ability to drip-feed details in the right dose makes up for that. The storyline was complex enough to keep you guessing, but delivered in a style that masked the complexity quite nicely.
Speaking of the author, praise must be given for his ability to control all elements of the plot in a very pleasing way. Like all "Scandi Books" - as they seem now to be categorised as - there is a plethora of foreign character names, place names, and national hang-ups about things like accents, but they do not get in the way of the storyline, or even tamper with the plot. Nesser is a good author, and worthy of at least a second outing, so his series of books featuring Van Veeteren will no doubt go on my Christmas shopping list. The only concern I have for Van Veeteren is that his arrogance and disdain for others will get in the way of me enjoying his stories, and that would be a shame, because Nesser delivers good stories. You should try this book to see what you think.


The Red Coffin
The Red Coffin
by Sam Eastland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pekkala for King!, 4 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Red Coffin (Paperback)
Pekkala for King! ...not that Russia is likely to go back to its royalty days, but if it did, then Inspector Pekkala is your guy for the top job. In him we see all the qualities we (futilely) wish of our leaders, and perhaps even those that we wish we had ourselves. He is tough and strong; resilient and resourceful; witty and wily; shrewd and honest; and above all, REAL.
Well, he SEEMS real, but of course he is a fictional character. The fact that I use words like real in describing him is a testament to the writing skills of Sam Eastland (AKA Paul Watkins). He writes in a style that lays layers upon layers of intricate storytelling that build up to quite a complex storyline that other authors would struggle to accomplish - it is unfortunately too easy for an author to deliver too much too soon, but Eastland manages it quite easily. The story itself in this book is quite an interesting one, actually, and perhaps the best all-out story out of all the three books (so far) in the series. There is less about the times and conditions than in his other two books, but a more gripping tale nontheless.
I would recommend Pekkala and Eastland to anyone, as I am indeed to you right here and now!


Siberian Red
Siberian Red
by Sam Eastland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.63

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pekkala, the Jack Reacher of Sovietski, 4 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Siberian Red (Paperback)
The author, whether writing under Sam Eastland or his real name of Paul Watkins, has an ability to weave a tale around available facts that leaves the reader under the distinct impression that the author must have actually been there and witnessed the events. 'Eastland' has a style that gently lays out facts and fiction - effortlessly intertwined - and then over the course of a couple of hundred pages lays layer upon layer until a complex story with some very pleasant, and amusing, sub-plots that leaves the reader wanting more.
This is the third of the Inspector Pekkala stories, and as my title suggests, he is like the Jack Reacher of Soviet Russia. He is tough, strong, shrewd, super-honest, intelligent, and doesn't miss a trick. The three books also serves to educate the reader as to the situation and conditions of the times ...younger readers (and for me, that's people in their 30's and 40's) will not be familiar with the concept of a Cold War, or be aware of the conditions in the Gulags. The times are delivered with less seriousness than, let's say, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would have presented them, but this is a good thing. Solzhenitsyn wasn't writing a damned good thriller, with a lead character that has few contemporaries - Eastland is, and he delivers with all three books. I don't know why, but I always read the Pekkala part with Liam Neeson's voice!
The book, like its other two parts, is an excellent read, and I'm sure that the weather in Archangel is pretty chilly at the moment ;-)


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