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Donald Thompson "waldo357" (Belfast N Ireland)
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The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle)
The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle)
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Group Effort, 28 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Okay lets get this out of the way first, this book has seven, yes seven, credited authors. Does that make it a patchwork piece? No, not really. Set in the 13th Century as the Mongol horde has swept all before it in Eastern Asia and Europe an obscure group of knights set about trying to stem the stream of invaders. Switching between the battlefields of Europe and the court of the Great Khan, it manages to convey a sense of hopelessness at in one and dissolution in the other. An epic tale which promises to expand and grow. Whilst it deals with seemingly world changing events, the authors do manage to keep an eye open for the small things, such as the way a certain grass moves in the wing. Details like this make a story believable. Book 2 is ready to be read.......


Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon 11)
Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon 11)
by Daniel Silva
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

3.0 out of 5 stars In Need of Restoration, 29 Jun. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
From its opening in Cornwall, through several suicide bombings. high finance, and a showdown in the Middle East, Daniel Silva tries hard to make Gabriel Allon a spy for the 21st Century. However, the story really fails to grip, and the dubious morals on show do somehow detract from his characters. Whilst not agreeing or disagreeing with his main thrust, the storyline moves a little too slowly, while events move too fast. Unsatisfactory character profiles do nothing to add to it.


The Summer of Dead Toys (Inspector Salgado 1)
The Summer of Dead Toys (Inspector Salgado 1)
by Antonio Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What You Think, 29 Jun. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When a seemingly open & shut human trafficking case stalls, Inspector Salgado is re-assigned to "investigate" an apparent suicide. Having recently returned from compulsory leave for the brutal beating of a suspect, he takes the job as a favour to his boss. The story which slowly unfolds dates back several years to an apparent accidental drowning. Past sins are revealed and revisited, and the dichotomy of modern Barcelona between the haves and have nots is brought into focus. With an underlying dark thread of human trafficking never far from the surface. the book keeps you interested throughout. And the ending, whilst apparently obvious, turns out to be a bit shocking. Nicely paced and plotted.


Apocalypse Cow
Apocalypse Cow
by Michael Logan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.12

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Mooooving, 29 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Apocalypse Cow (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Okay bad pun, but it says more about me than the book. In Michael Logan's tale a virus is developed as a new form of Biochemical Warfare agent. Sadly it gets out into the British countryside. Its immediate effect is turn cuddly fluffy animals, and rats, into flesh eating, blood hungry, sex starved killer Zombies. Humankind in Britain is threatened and only 3 slightly incompetent losers can save mankind. Well, maybe. Taking its cue's from B Movies, radio plays, and Terry Pratchett, the whole gallops along nicely towards an interesting conclusion, and a nice twisted ending. Clever, funny and at times gory enjoyable fun.


Gold Rush
Gold Rush
by Michael Johnson
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Golden, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Gold Rush (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We all know what Michael Johnson achieved at the Olympics and World Championships. This goes some way to telling you how. Natural talent is never enough. Johnson and the many athletes, mostly British it must be said, he has interviewed make this abundantly clear. In many cases it comes down to mindset, not necessarily who wants it more, but who has prepared for it better. For most coaches a lot of this will be no revelation, but for some athletes it may make uncomfortable, if ultimately rewarding, reading.


Comfort & Spice (New Voices in Food)
Comfort & Spice (New Voices in Food)
by Niamh Shields
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as easy as it looks, 7 May 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent cookbook, but it is not for the fainthearted or nervous chef. Whilst the recipes are excellent and well illustrated the techniques required are not for the novice. This is perhaps what really lets it down. A little explanation of how things are done could have turned this 3 into a 5 star review.


200 Pasta Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
200 Pasta Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
by Marina Filippelli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Pasta for the Masses, 7 May 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Once again Hamlyn comes up trumps. Simple well explained recipes without the drama of some modern cookbooks. They are easy to follow and take only a small amount of skill to produce fantastic enjoyable meals. A slightly larger format would have helped, but still brilliant.


Shut Your Eyes Tight
Shut Your Eyes Tight
by John Verdon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Twisted Tale, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Shut Your Eyes Tight (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dave Gurney returns in another taught story from John Verdon. This time investigating the seemingly simple murder of a bride on her wedding day. But it's too simple. Gurney gets involved, against his better judgement, when an ex colleague voices concerns about the investigation. Tightly written and with little wasted narrative it is a well paced and enjoyable story. My only caveat is that I did solve the mystery rather too quickly, but getting there with Gurney is really the point of the story, and that I enjoyed.


The Berlin Crossing
The Berlin Crossing
by Kevin Brophy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.62

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 7 May 2012
This review is from: The Berlin Crossing (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an odd book. Set in London/Berlin/East Germany of the 1960's after the construction of the Wall and Germany and Ireland post German Re-unification. In essence it is a love story with spies. It is also a story about ideals, loyalty and double dealing. The characters are well drawn, the story believable and it makes no real claim to political insight. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read.


Hitler, Mussolini and the Vatican: Pope Pius XI and the Speech That Was Never Made
Hitler, Mussolini and the Vatican: Pope Pius XI and the Speech That Was Never Made
by Emma Fattorini
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly but Tangled, 7 May 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Emma Fattorini tries to make sense of one of the Roman Catholic churches most painful episodes. Why did the Pope, Pius XI, not make a stronger stand against the rise of Fascism and Hitler. In doing so she exposes some uncomfortable facts regarding the church and politics. The research is brilliant, and the hypotheses that Pius had intended to launch a scathing attack on both, before his death, is well argued. But too much is inevitably lost in the welter of detail with which we are bombarded. I also feel that she could have researched some of the facts on the Spanish Civil war a little better, she seems to ready to accept the churches line from 1936 about the killing of priests which has since been proven to be highly exaggerated and questionable. The one thing the book does do is open up a channel for debate, and it also casts Pius XI successor Pius XII in an even less favorable light. An interesting, if at times tangled read,


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