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S Clark H (UK)

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The Constant Princess: 4 (Tudor series)
The Constant Princess: 4 (Tudor series)
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and repetitive, 27 Feb 2014
This is the first Philippa Gregory novel that I've read and, reading other reviews, it seems that this is not one of her best - but it still gets a high rating from what can only be described as die-hard fans. It would be more helpful to novices like me if people were more objective and honest. The storyline is slow and the narrative is repetitive. It is as if the author was told to write a certain number of pages but struggled to reach the target so filled the pages with a lot of puff.


Loitering with Intent: The Child v.1: The Child Vol 1
Loitering with Intent: The Child v.1: The Child Vol 1
by Peter O'Toole
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 Dec 2013
I'm a big fan of Peter O'Toole and his recent death led me on a Google-trip and landed me here for a short while. I wanted to see how many others felt the first instalment of his autobiography fell short of the mark. I was shocked to find just one other review (by someone who loved it). The lack of reviews must be because the book pre-dated the internet. It doesn't look like this or the second instalment were great successes as they now seem hard to come by. I didn't bother with the second instalment as the first had put me off.
I read this book some time ago and remember feeling so disappointed with it. I came away feeling I knew nothing of the man other than he clearly fancied being a poet. It was as if he was trying to obscure the facts behind a veil of poetry. The style is a kind of cross between the poetry of Dylan Thomas and the stream of consciousness of Virginia Woolf. I know Peter didn't drink at the time of writing due to his health issues, but this read so weirdly that I wonder if he was on something else when he put pen to paper.
As a work of art, it might succeed; as an autobiography I felt that it sadly didn't.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2014 1:07 PM GMT


The Watermen (Tom Pascoe 1)
The Watermen (Tom Pascoe 1)
by Patrick Easter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Watermen is as dull as dishwater, 2 Dec 2013
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I was really looking forward to this as a reviewer here had posted that the protagonist, Tom Pascoe, had filled the gap left by Andrew Pepper's Pyke character. Sorry, but I cannot see any resemblance at all. Tom Pascoe is totally dull and completely one-dimensional - as are all the characters in this novel. Like another reviewer here, I too couldn't get over the ridiculous hospital setting where 20th century nurses seem to have stepped into the pages. Wasn't it Florence Nightingale, some 50 years later, who changed men's perceptions and managed to get females into nursing? The love interest story is akin to Mills & Boon (I read one recently just to see if they had improved, sadly no). Three-quarters of the way through and I actually gave up reading because I really could not care two hoots about what happened to anyone in this sorry saga. If anyone can recommend historical novels with well-rounded, three dimensional characters and heroes who have a touch of anti-hero about them, please post me a message here. I'm getting desperate for Andrew Pepper to write another novel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2014 9:41 PM BST


Blackstone's Fancy
Blackstone's Fancy
by Richard Falkirk
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Even more enjoyable than the first in the series, 18 Jun 2013
This review is from: Blackstone's Fancy (Paperback)
Even more enjoyable than the superb "Blackstone", the first in the series. This one (the second in the series) is all about prize-fighting, but don't let that put you off if you have no interest in boxing - I don't and I still thought this was great. It's more about corruption and double-dealing - with a bit of love interest thrown in.


Blackstone
Blackstone
by Richard Falkirk
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: Blackstone (Paperback)
Blackstone is a very enjoyable three dimensional character, a great forerunner to Pyke, the protagonist of Andrew Pepper's gritty novels. Blackstone is not quite as naughty as Pyke but then Richard Falkirk wrote the Blackstone novels 30 years before. I agree with the other reviewer that the next novel in the series, "Blackstone's Fancy", is even better.


The Châtelet Apprentice: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 1: The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation
The Châtelet Apprentice: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 1: The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation
by Jean-François Parot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, 28 Oct 2012
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One of this book's problems, I think, is that it has been let down by the translation. The language used when the characters converse is so stilted that it gets in the way and ruins the flow. But I know that it cannot only be about the translation. I haven't read any other French detective novels written in the 21st century but I have seen some recent French-made detective series on French TV and they are sadly lacking. That's probably why UK and US-made detective series (eg The Wire, Inspecteur Morse and even Midsommer Murders (Inspecteur Barnaby) are so popular over there. The characters in this novel were so thinly drawn that they were just names. The plot was not enough to keep my interest. Finished it but wish I hadn't bothered. I gave it an extra star as I found the locations interesting and fairly well described. But I'd rather have plot and character above location.


The Vice Society (Albert Newsome 2)
The Vice Society (Albert Newsome 2)
by James McCreet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first in the series, 4 Oct 2012
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The plot here is better than the first in the series but the book is still not completely gripping. There are some clever bits - I liked the touch of the 'author within the author' who tries to keep one step ahead of the police. But the novel suffers terribly from one dimensional characters. Williamson is holier than thou and Newsome is just plain horrible. The only characters who are remotely interesting are "the author" and Noah - unfortunately they don't appear enough to redeem the book. As for the third book in the series, unless someone tells me Noah is the star, I'm not going to bother.


The Detective Branch: A Pyke Novel (Pyke Mysteries)
The Detective Branch: A Pyke Novel (Pyke Mysteries)
by Andrew Pepper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 April 2012
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Great stuff yet again. And again I'm not going to give the plot away. I love the problems Pyke is having at work with his bosses; I love the problems he is having at home. Seems like Pyke's whole life is a mess and I so want him to succeed. He has come from the slums and has worked hard (not always legitimately) to get where he is. He deserves a bit of luck. But this world is so random and the author isn't afraid to emphasise that. Only one more Pyke novel to go and I am now getting desperate as to what I will do without him.


Kill-Devil And Water: A Pyke Mystery (Pyke Mysteries)
Kill-Devil And Water: A Pyke Mystery (Pyke Mysteries)
by Andrew Pepper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make these novels into a TV series!, 8 April 2012
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Another great Pyke novel - please make these into a TV series!!!! I love the juxtaposition of Pyke's love for detective work (which he is so good at) with his yearning for building a more settled home life (which he is rather abysmal at). Pyke wants to do the right thing and tries desperately to be a role model for his son. Again, I'm not going to give any more of the plot away. Suffice to say I didn't want to finish this and I actually re-read lots of it just to put off that fateful day! With only two more books left in the series, I was beginning to get worried at this point. Pyke has taken over part of my life, how will I ever live without him!!!! :o


The Revenge Of Captain Paine: A Pyke Mystery (Pyke Mysteries)
The Revenge Of Captain Paine: A Pyke Mystery (Pyke Mysteries)
by Andrew Pepper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 8 April 2012
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The second Pyke novel, and another that I couldn't put down ...but neither did I want to finish it, I enjoyed it so much. Andrew Pepper isn't worried about shocking us. If you are new to the Pyke novels, be careful what you read online. There are so many reviewers who give far too much of the plot away. After the first novel where we gasped at Pyke's exploits, we now see a slightly different side to him. Pyke is still downright awkward and impossible to get to know (which in itself is appealing) but now we start to feel more empathy.


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