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Tony Copperfield's Primary Care Scream, 1e
Tony Copperfield's Primary Care Scream, 1e
by Tony Copperfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For GPs only, 25 May 2007
Uninformative and not really very funny - a book to avoid unless you are a GP yourself.


Saturday
Saturday
by Ian McEwan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow, 20 May 2007
This review is from: Saturday (Paperback)
There are no profound insights in this book to justify its slow narrative pace. Perowne, the main character, is too preoccupied with his work as a surgeon to achieve much understanding of the world around him, although he does have a certain compassion. This is understandable but tedious to read.


Country Doctor: Tales of a Rural GP
Country Doctor: Tales of a Rural GP
by Michael Sparrow
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining book with a misleading title, 19 May 2007
Despite the title, much of the book is taken up by an account of the author's experiences in medical practice in Cape Town and Belize. However, the book as a whole is interesting and funny, though some of the stories may have been improved on in the telling.


Good Morning, Midnight
Good Morning, Midnight
by Reginald Hill
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but the ending disappoints, 2 May 2007
This review is from: Good Morning, Midnight (Paperback)
If you are new to Reginald Hill's work, it would be better to start with one of his earlier books which introduce the detective duo of Dalziel and Pascoe. There are a lot of characters in this book, and it's only because most of the police officers have been featured in earlier books that you can keep track of them all.

Some fans may be glad to know that this book does not include the Gothic fantasy that marred his last couple of novels. The book is Hill's attempt at a locked room mystery, and it's ingenious and entertaining. The only problem is that it might not have been a good idea to tackle this element of the genre in a novel which is also attempting to give a response to 9/11. Hill has always included social comment in his work, but here he has had difficulty in integrating the political aspects with the family story.

However, some of the subplots are very funny. As other reviewers have pointed out, Hill has rejected the spare style and his descriptions are more vivid in consequence.

If you like open endings, especially with a cynical tone, then you may enjoy the ending, but if you prefer all the ends to be tied up as in a conventional detective story, you may find the ending dissatisfying.


Case Histories: (Jackson Brodie)
Case Histories: (Jackson Brodie)
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leave it to the professionals, 7 April 2007
This author is immensely talented, as Behind the Scenes at the Museum made clear. However, if you are looking for detective fiction it is probably better to choose a book by a writer who specialises in that. The descriptions are vivid and the style is excellent, but the cases are not linked, the process of deduction is not shown, and the suspense is not thrilling. Some parts of the book are very sad, and the remainder was not funny enough to compensate.


The Shape of Snakes
The Shape of Snakes
by Minette Walters
Edition: Paperback

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sour, 28 Mar 2007
This review is from: The Shape of Snakes (Paperback)
This book concerns Mrs Ranelagh (her full first name is never given) investigating the death of a former neighbour, a black woman with Tourette's syndrome, which took place 20 years ago. She and her husband have been living abroad since then. At first her obsession with a neighbour's death seems implausible, but it gradually becomes apparent that she feels wronged by other happenings at that time and that her quest is not for justice, but revenge. There are some other features of the book which are implausible, not least the killer's motive, and the description of Richmond-upon-Thames does not accord with my recollections of the place at roughly the same period. However, the real problem with the book is the sourness which occasionally creeps into this author's other works and is predominant here.


Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime
Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime
by David Copperfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relentlessly conservative, 23 Mar 2007
As a serving police officer, the author has no difficulty in making his account realistic. Not being a detective, he is not involved in serious crimes that take a long time to solve, although there are recurring characters, as the same people tend to end up in the police station either as complainant or defendant. What the author adds is humour - the book is often very funny - and a coherent but limited world view. For a reader with liberal tendencies, the airlessness that characterises true conservative thinking becomes oppressive after a while. Your enjoyment of this book is therefore likely to depend on your own politics.


Death In The Truffle Wood
Death In The Truffle Wood
by Pierre Magnan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 11 Mar 2007
A fast-moving thriller with many quirks and unexpected twists, at least partly because of the French setting, which is graphically rendered. It might be easier to get to know the detective if one read the earlier books in which he was introduced first. The action would have been more gripping if the characters had had more depth.


The Naive and Sentimental Lover
The Naive and Sentimental Lover
by John Le Carré
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long, 11 Mar 2007
Although le Carre has a good style in comparison with other thriller writers, it is not strong enough to hold the reader's interest in the absence of his usual intricate plot. The main character, Aldo, is slow to catch the reader's interest, although he does so in the end; Shamus and Helen are perhaps more interesting but as 'free spirits' you may find them rather dated. The plot is slight and much of the text is taken up by Aldo's thoughts on various subjects. Having said all of this, the book might have been a worthwhile read if it had been cut to a considerably shorter length; as it was, it was a struggle to get through it.


Inside Edge
Inside Edge
by Christine Brennan
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but dated, 20 Jan 2007
This review is from: Inside Edge (Paperback)
This book is not an instruction manual but gives the story behind the competitions in a manner reminiscent of Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. It is only about ice skating though. Most of the chapters deal with solo skating; there are passages about Torvill and Dean and Rudy Galindo (Kristi Yamaguchi's former partner) but otherwise little about ice dance or pairs skating. The book includes a great deal of information that would not normally be available, about the problems of young skaters with money, coaches and diets; the function of judges and national bias; and the lives of professional skaters. However, the book was published in 1997 and there is an excessive amount of detail about Baiul's victory over Kerrigan in the 1994 Olympics. Naturally the book does not take account of recent changes to the judging and scoring system, or other rule changes.


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